after nearly 3 full months of battle my cancer has been cured! KNOCK ON WOOD. Atleast i hope and think.
hopefully im NOT jinxing my situation by posting?
Sam-missle: i DID take your sugestion and clocked the solonoid. That didn't cure my problem as the starter still seemed to shift out of alignment. However, I have left it clocked as suggested. Once again after torquing down the starter bolts and after a few start attempts we got GRIND city. Once again, the bolt hole that was patched together had wiggled its bolt loose. loose to the point where i barely needed a ratchet to lossen it.
With the starter still clocked, front brace in place and NO shims i ran a grade 8 stud through the hole. capped the top of it with a nut. put the starter hole through the stud and tourqed another nut on the bottom of the starter. Finally added another nut below that nut to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. Ive had over 100 perfect starts since! Ive even made it to the gas station and prayed like hell after gassing up that it would start. I did bring my insurance policy though (tool kit, jack and stands in the trunk
thanks everyone for their suggestions! i fully realize a stud through your starter wasn't how the factory intended, but its the ONLY thing that worked! Go figure! That weak hole was causing all starter bolts (new and used) to wiggle the entire starter motor out of alignment.
Joe im with ya! My 403 olds block never required a starter in 4 years of use. damn thing was just too expensive to rebuild. Chebby small block a dime a dozen