I bought a stock, Ford starter from NAPA and installed it. Turned the key and was immediately pleased that something happened. I had imagined that I would not be able to do this. My happiness lasted about 1/4 second when I realized that there was something wrong. The starter just spun free. I removed the it — chipping my knuckles some more — and noticed that the offset was 3/8 instead of the correct 3/4. The offset is the distance between the mounting surface of the starter motor and the forward surface of the flywheel. Essentially, the new starter’s gear did not reach far enough into the bell housing to engage the flywheel gear. Lovely. Fortunately, even though their policy is that if you bolt a starter up, you keep it, NAPA accepted the return because they had sold me a starter with the wrong offset. I then ordered a Powermaster 9103. This looks like it will be great. Much smaller and lighter, and stronger with lower power draw. But this has a solenoid built in. They say a remote starter can be used, but will require a jumper or a wire move. I hope it will work with a jumper between the little battery terminal and the larger stud where the cable from the solenoid goes. I really don’t want to rewire the starter circuit. Has anyone installed one of these?
By the way, I measured both the 289 and the original 260 and their offsets (and everything else) was the same.