Thanks for butting in, Musky. I too tried shimming the starter every way I could, with no luck. My big starter is a few inches from the manifold, so I'm going to put in a heat shield to be safe, but I don't think it's going to solve the problem. I can check my timing, because that does sound like a feasible solution. How much do the "good" starters from Napa cost? Thanks again, just asking some questions before I go out and replace every single thing under the hood before I find out what the problem is. About the Ford solenoid, I've heard good stuff about them too, but no experience with them.