Hey all hows it goin.

I bought this 1981 wooldridge with an externally balanced 460 and 3stg hamilton last year.
It sat for ten years without use. Before repalacing the moter I went thru 2 starters and ring gear in 50 hours of use. i just replaced the motor and finally got it fired up today. It is a reverse rotation starter that hangs off the back of and on the top of the bellhousing opossite of automotive application. It uses a Nicson adapter. It is ford starter with a GM soleniod It appeared that the starter gear wasnt reaching out far enuogh and only engaging about half way thru the flexplate gears. So I got smart and shimmed out the flexplate so it would be about an 1/8 inch closer to the starter. But now my drive shaft wont fit between the jet and the rear of the crank. these starters are special order only usually and about 250$ each. not including the flexplate. Ive had to buy 3 of them so far!!

The boat came with the 164 tooth flexplate and thats what i keep replacing it with. i think there is a 163 tooth model too.

So when I take my shim out im going to be back to square one. Id be happy to get a whole bellhousing/ringgear starter setup off another boat if that would fix me. But my rear engine mount is welded to the bellhousing so I would have to change that. Since this is 1981 vintage I doubt im going to figure this out without replacinging everything. Also im wondering about converting to a flywheel made for a clutch instead of a flexplate.

plz help im about to give up and sell the works.