View Full Version : 302 ford starter issues

05-11-2012, 05:54 PM
ok the motor ate up another starter I have been round and round with the different ford starters. the 302 had a long and a short snout starter in the auto world they were for auto or manual trans. the boat takes a short snout starter and i had two old ones rebuilt but they didn't last I just bought a napa marine 18-5903 which is a short snout starter but it has a tab on one side which stops it from seating correctly. I am not going to take a new $300 starter to the grinder. I was going to just swap housings but the newer napa is slightly wider than the older ones. any ideas or leads??

here are pics of the two side by side the older on the left the newer on the right and the tab at about 3 o'clock , the second pic the tab can be seen at about 12 o'clock, and the 3rd pic is the old starter with no tab.

05-11-2012, 08:23 PM
Matty, did you check the starter ring gear when you had it apart?

05-16-2012, 07:22 AM
I think I have this resolved and it looks like the napa part number or actually the part has changed especially the snout . the starter needed is for a pre 75 manual transmission ford 289/302

05-16-2012, 09:21 AM
Matty, I am glad you have this issue figured out.

It gets old real fast when you are tossing 300 bucks each time.


05-16-2012, 09:30 AM
My parts guy is very good he wants things to be right, he gave me full refunds with no re-stocking fees. It is usually much cheaper to find on ebay but with some sellers return policies it still doesn't pay. I still have a CCW 302 starter that I picked up on "such a deal" would have been almost as much as i paid for it to return with shipping and re-stocking fees

10-08-2012, 11:34 PM
Do you know what PN ended up working for you?

10-09-2012, 07:33 AM
I'll see if I can find the invoice , the number crossed to a pre 1975 manual trans starter for the 302. the final cost for the starter once we found the right one was $200 would have been about 175 with a core return but I wanted to keep the old one just in case. Ebay can be a great economic source but beware most of the starters marked volvo or omc pleasure craft are newer version starters that won't fit. also beware of return policies and shipping costs.

10-16-2012, 09:39 PM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]
I have seen the 302 ford starter problem before in a mid 70's boat with a mercruiser set up and perhaps others are the same. Even using the stock mercury starter was to no avail as it also failed in short order. Mercury uses a flat pan/sheild that goes between the bell housing and the block on the ford applications. (installed before the flywheel) It is approx. 3/32" thick, which spaces the bell housing that far away from the block mounting surface. the bell housing bolts go thru this pan and into the block and short 1/4" bolts go thru the pan and into the bell housing on the lower portion. there is a round cut out that the starter nose goes thru and then into the bell housing, the pan spaces the starter a needed 3/32" further from the flywheel. the owner had removed the motor from the boat for an overhaul and replaced it forgetting to reinstall the pan/shield and the starter issue began. Without the pan/shield the starter bendix is too close to the ring gear which will destroy the starter. hope this helps.

10-17-2012, 07:52 AM

yes holman moody used the plate as well. the one you describe sounds exactly like this. mine was re installed. I think that the tab on the one starter( middle pic above) was hitting the plate