Turns out it wasn't really the starter that was making all the trouble. It was the thing attached to it. What DO they call that thing, what's the technical term? Oh yeah, Motor! There is an ear broken on the motor block, where transmission and motor come together. So they're together, but they're not really together in a good way...sounds like a lot of marriages.
So in the interim, I have to park making sure I'm on a hill. The flywheel is chewed up, there's a dead spot in it. Like my hero RE Lee, I'm lately mindful of topography.
The broken ear on the motor block can't be repaired, because motor block on a 1988 Mustang is cast iron, as well it should be. And it costs $3500. I paid enough attention in Metallurgy class to know you can't weld cast iron. So it was never the starter really. The starter was the canary in the coal mine, trying to tell me the motor had an ear problem, just like Van Gogh.
Oddly enough, I once got my right ear cut off by a chain link fence, but I got better, and I digress.
So now we are engaged in a Great Civil War, testing whether this Mustang or any Mustang so constituted can long endure. I'm sure not rich. I have to decide now if the Mustang is going to get restored fully, or consigned to junkyard. Well, ya know? Middle aged white guys often go in one of three directions:
1.) Go buy a motorcycle.
2.) Go buy a Corvette.
3.) Drive around in a restored classic car.
I've got nothing against motorcycles or Corvettes. I really despise getting old though, but compared to the alternatives? I like English sports cars, always have. And this Mustang, I didn't choose that car, I inherited it. But I'm going to restore it. After all, it got me to Holly Springs and back, with just ONE muffler falling off in the process. Worth restoring just for that day.