DSM tuners reputable member posting this information:
Model for model along with corresponding model years, the starters are the same. All 1G AWD cars use the same starter as the 1G FWD turbo cars with a manual transmission.
Starter part #'s per another guy from the web. Automatic starters apparently have a deeper plunge depth/engagement to hit the flexplate properly?? <- not confirmed but plausible if they are spaced differently because of their position on the torque converter, so very likely this is the case.
thomcasey, I wonder which starter you had whereby the noses were different depths?
Starter #'s md172860 and md172861 are all 1.2KW gear reduction type starters.
Checked ASA tonight, this is the Colt/Mirage 4g61t starter part #
89 FWD C53A KM210 5 spd starter = 172860
Colt/Mirage/Summit 4G15 - 3,4, and 5 speeds transmission/transaxles:
1989-92 C52 4g15 cars got 0.7-0.9 kW direct drive starters, not Gear Reduction 1.2 kW models like the 4G6X motors.
If someone was to measure the gap between the starter plate edge (with the bellhousing in place), to the far edge of the flywheel teeth, then you start to get an idea of how far the gear has to "plunge" in the nose of the starter. If your starter does not have sufficient plunge depth, try one that is supposed to for the application at hand; ie the transmission and matched flywheel you are using. Presumably you are matching a FWD flywheel and FWD bellhousing, to a FWD starter. Or you are using AWD parts in their entirety, to make things jive.