Starter Not Engaging


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Bill, I agree with the above comments, you need to install the spacer plate, regardless of this current issue. Is your ZF input shaft bottomed out inside your crank?? That spacer also affects the starter to ring gear engagement. So, in my mind, you have two reasons to pull it apart. The spacer is as much of a reason as the wrong flywheel! For example, if the input shaft is bottomed out in the crank right now, and clamped (bolted down) under load. You very well could damage your motor (thrust bearing) and your trans simply by firing the motor. I took great care in this math when assembling my drive train.
Consider it yet another mock assembly. You checked fitment on many items during this last assembly, maybe the next one will be the final. I can't tell you how many times mines been in and out. There is no set number's done until its right. No short cuts. Later this day and the effort will seem like nothing.
Hi Bill, if you need a new flywheel, McLeod can cut down a 30 lb flywheel to make it a little lighter, the flywheel should be about 1 % of the weight of the car, mine is 26lbs.
I helped a friend a mine (Lynn Miner) install his ZF with a Kennedy bellhousing and the instructions specifically stated to NOT use a spacer plate between the engine and the bellhousing. I also think he used a 157 tooth flywheel and the high torque Ford starter. Found some pictures I took of the install, note the starter spacer.


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I just got off the phone with KEP and they confirmed what Mark Reid and Rob said - I need the larger (164-tooth) flywheel and the spacer plate for my bellhousing.
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The design of the spacer plate in the pic posted by Richard in #24 above is flawed as it relies totally on the starter attach bolts for starter pinion/ring gear mesh and I think you will find its a 164t flywheel which has the fwd mounted ring gear which reqd the extra 1/4" alloy spacer in order to make it all work. Its a typical example of one small change requiring another bigger change. The original Ford sandwich plate that locates on the block dowels eliminates any possible errors, that Kennedy setup is just trouble looking for somewhere to happen.
Like I said this was on Lynn's car so I'm not positive of the tooth count but the other picture I posted was the engine/flywheel the bellhousing bolted up to and I know it works as the car starts and runs great.

Bill have you posted any pictures of your car, what is the make/# of the blue paint?
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