Miles Cook
October 1, 2008
At 10.55 pounds, MSD's APS starter for Fords (PN 5090) is nearly 51/2 pounds lighter than the stock version we removed from our '67 Mustang subject car. Installation is a few extra steps beyond just a two-bolt R&R operation, but it's still a relatively straightforward weekend-afternoon project. This starter fits vintage 289, 302, and 351W engines with automatic transmissions, as well as 5.0s with automatics and five-speeds. It can't be used on early three- and four-speed applications because the flywheels are closer to the starter mount surface and will prevent the starter gear from separating from the flywheel. It fit our '67 because the car has a late-model T5 five-speed transmission and a late-model-style bellhousing.

MSD Ignition has long been a resource for high-quality automotive ignition components. From distributors and spark-plug wires to the company's stalwart 6AL ignition box, many a vintage Mustang and all sorts of other popular cars are equipped with MSD pieces.

MSD's line of electrical-oriented parts now includes starters. Among them, the latest application is for small-block Ford engines, which includes 289s, 302s, 351Ws, and 5.0s, as found in Fox-body Mustangs.

The Advanced Power System (APS) starter is designed to crank over the highest-compression engines, featuring a 3hp motor and a reduced 4.4:1 gearset to deliver high torque to the flywheel or flexplate. The armature is balanced during assembly and is guided by two ball bearings for smooth engagement and years of reliable service.

The downsized mini-starter-type housing clears most headers and oil pans, and the billet mount can be clocked in different positions to help in tight applications. The assembly also has a red powdercoated finish.

We stopped in at Reenmachine to observe one being installed in a '67 Mustang. After adjusting the clocking and putting in the supplied shims, the guys at Reenmachine had it installed in about an hour.