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I have a 69 302 and im having a problem keeping a charge to the battery and im chewing up starters like you cant imagine. The alternator is new and working fine. I brought it back and got a new one to be safe. Ive checked the wiring and it is all getting the power it needs and doesnt seem to be shorting out. I have replaced the starter 3 times each time it runs great until about 3-5 days or 1-2 dozen starts, I know i have the right starter we have matched it with the original. The original did not have shims so the first replacement i didnt shim the second time i did thinking maybe that was the problem Same thing happened just faster. Now im going back tommorow to replace the starter for the first time and the battery. The battery will hold the charge until the starter begins to act up. ANY help is appreciated.. im lost on this one

Thanks
Thunder
 

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Been there, take the nose off you old starter and install on the replacement one, you did keep the old starter , right? A better fix would be to take your old one and have it reconditioned, is it the original 302 Delco-Remy 302 starter?

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69 rallye green X77 Z/28,1967 SS 396 Conv. 1974 c-10 454 swb
 

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As Pipeman suggested, go back to parts store and get the old nose from orig starter and swap it on to the new one.

If starter is not shimmed properly, One of two things well happen:
1. Shimmed too far out, rip off ring gear teeth and create a high pitched whine when cranking, well also destroy starter pinion. Place shims under outer bolt to shim starter towards ring gear.
2. Shimmed too close, starter may jam in place and run continuously until battery cable is pulled from battery. Shimmed alittle less close, starter will be in a bind, therefore requiring more amperage to turn over, thus heating up battery internals and I have seen abattery melt its plates together and becomes a door stop, a good one if it has a handle on it. Shim both bolts the same thickness to place starter away from ring gear.

Usually a starter will demand no more than 150 amps. Have a VAT-40 machine check done, Sears has it. This will check out starter system, charging system, and battery capability to supply both.

Everett 68/350/PG/11.90/115mph
 
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