<font face="Comic Sans MS"> In a perfect world we could take a small round guage (3/32nds of an inch sounds right to me now but I doubt it is, anyhow somewhat small), fit the starter up there, fasten it, with the flywheel/flexplate exposed, and actually put the guage between the teeth on both gears to determine if it's shimmed correctly.
On the other hand since this is (likely) installed in a vehicle that's not feasable. Was the old one grinding? What do the wear patterns on the teeth look like? If it's grinding, I put 1 small shim (the thickness they include with the better quality units) and put it only to the outside bolt, and do that until it works properly. I'm not sure if that's the proper way, but it hasn't failed me yet. </font>
ORC Land Use columnist:
My November article on ORC