Anyway, here's what the guy said: "Thurst bearing wear in the engine does this" (!). Granted, this guy is a genius, but I think this is major wrong. They do sell a special shim to move Ford starters "out", however. MAybe the V-8's do this, but in our (and my) case, I think something is odd with the starter housing, bell, or, in other words, some machining issue intrinsict in my car since new. When I worked for Chevy we were somehow supposed to shim starters at times. I knew the theory, but it seemed by guess and golly. You shimmed up or down on a plane parallel to the ground controlling pinion engagement with the ring. Our XR starters can go in and out - so here's my point:
If you blow up a drive or lose an armature C-clip, maybe your clearance fore and aft is askew relative to the flywheel. My drive had milling marks on the face of the roller clutch. An 'overthrow' of the pinion can also cause this, so end play may be at work.
In any case, some thoughts on our starters.
'91 FZR 1000
'64 XKE FHC, in a thousand pieces
2003 BMW Ci (just like an XR!)
'89 XR, red family car
That's a picture of a C-3 flexplate with the center section sheared apart caused by a starter pinion gear that didn't retract fully on its shaft and occasionally contacted the flywheel under ceratin conditions. Trust me, the center section is completed separated; I placed it where it shold be for this photo taken for a different purpose. It made a terrible THUNK and the engine would almost instantly drop to just a few RPMs. It took me a while to figure this out and only after it completed separated and I pulled the trans did I confirm what had happened.
Lijewski: "Sum Ergo Drive-O. Mucho!
1 86 XR aka Naomi- my first love, now project car
1 14 black Fiesta SE aka Fiona- my new DD