Hello All !
Not to beat a dead horse or anything but has ANYONE figured ANYTHING out here ?
I am having a similar problem, if not the same. I am on starter #4 and I have purchased every one from auto zone. I purchased a new flywheel from quadratec and installed it simultaneously with starter #3. After attempting to start it, I realized that I forgot to install the locator pins between the transmission bell-housing, and the engine. This could be your issue and might be worth investigating. There are two locator pins that look like small sockets that your main transmission bolts go through and are essentially, what place your transmission bell-housing relative to your engine.
But, the issue persists. I recently went to start it after sitting for a while, so it took a few cranks. The starter seemed to be engaging and disengaging properly which amazed me. But then, as soon as the engine decided to start I hard the starter cracking !
I am at a loss of ideas unless my bell-housing is bent which is my next move. Does anyone think I am on to something in regards to this happening only when the engine tries to start ?