I have a 67 Fairlane with Crites 2" O.D. tubes. Engine compartment has similar confines and patience testing attributes. The ONLY way a stock dimension starter goes in/out of my bellhousing is by unbolting the idler arm bracket from the frame rail and pushing the drag link assembly forward I believe,( might be rearward), and then tumbling the starter body through the opening between the block, number 3&4 tubes and the drag link.
I have done this with Hooker Super Comps also in the same chassis.
Every second counts