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1968 Mustang Starter Noise When disengaging

I have a 1968 Mustang with a straight 6. From all the research that I could do, the engine appears to be correct for the car.

I replaced the starter with one from AutoZone - DuraLast. The starter engages fine - no noise and the car starts fine. The noise comes when the starter disengages. The noise only last a few seconds. Sometimes it is very loud other times it is very brief.

I did a compare of the old starter to the new starter and noticed that the gear in the old starter sites further back in the starter housing then the new starter. Not sure if that is the issue. I have tried to do some searches to get some views of the starter but no luck.

Wondering if anyone can provide some guidance on this

Ford’s of this vintage had starters that were called long or short nose starters. The replacement may be a short nose starter so the starter gear is closer to the ring gear.

You can’t use a short nose starter in a long nose application and vise-versa. You either wreck the starter and/or the ring gear.


Great response, wish I could star it!

When I compare the old starter with the new starter the “nose” is the same length. The only difference is that in the old stater the gear is further back in the housing then the new starter.

Now looking at the old starter I noticed that the rod in which the gear is on is pushed back from the front of the nose - that is I see a lot of the brass bearing.

Now doing some searches to try and determine if the engine is original or from that time period I got some conflicts. The engine block code indicates that it is from 1968, but another post I found states that in the 1968 blocks where not put into production until 1969 and that the 1965 blocks were used.

So a bit lost on all that.

Wondering if there are any specs on the starter which can tell me how far back the start gear should be from the nose of the starter.

You may have gotten a bad rebuild. I’d take it back and get another one.

I went through this when I had my 71 Ford Pickup with a 302. I exchanged 2 starters with the same results…noise after engine starts…What I found out was ( after removing the bottom bell housing cover ) that the starter gear was over engaging the flywheel just a tad, and the ring gear was “nipping” the starter gear upon return making the noise.

To fix this I just installed a few spacer washers between the starter and bell housing
( making a small shim ). Problem fixed. Had that starter on there for years until I sold the truck. We are talking here of maybe 1/16 of an inch.

I have just recently been able to get a hold of a shim and will be installing it. It appears that the starter just needs to be pulled out just a little bit in order for the gears not to touch each other.

I have done some searches about rebuilt starters and you can go down that road of returning them until you get one that works, but may take a while. The starters are rebuilt with a little regard to specs but not much.

Update - the Shim worked. The car starts strong - new battery, new cables for the charging and starting system, rebuilt starter - shimmed and we are up and running the 68 stang is on the road again.

Thanks for the help