The starter is a PAIN to replace.

Posted by: RWDForever

The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 12:21 PM

Pray that your's does not die.

After 4 hours I replaced the GM's starter with 172K miles on it. For anyone attempting this...you HAVE to buy two 3/8 inch flex extension connectors for your socket extensions to flex around frame and engine components. AND you will need a variety of lengths of extensions to make a snake that will go around the motor mount and A/C compressor to do that 3rd inside-most bolt next to the block.
Without the flex connectors I could not get a straight extension to fit and attach a rachet to it to get the bolt off.

I had to play with different lengths and placement of the flex joints to finally get it to work to remove the bolts. My total length to do that inside-close to the block 3rd bolt was an extension about 2 feet long using both flex connectors.

I hope the newer 2003+ models with the redesigned front frame is better than this design.

FYI: I took the old starter apart and the seals had gone bad and let dirt inside, all the brushes and contacts were fine but grit had done too much damage to the rest of the starter.
Posted by: theredlineboss

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 12:44 PM

Did you attempt to remove the solenoid before removing the starter? Removing that makes the procedure go quite a bit faster.

Rob
Posted by: Sepiroth

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 09:46 PM

I dont know why so many people have such a b!tch of a time with starters on these mod motors. On average, it takes me less that a half hour to swap them out.
Posted by: Fordiesel69

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 09:48 PM

I opt to remove the A/C compressor and just move it off to the side. No need to disconnect or discharge.
Posted by: DuceAnAHalf

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 10:21 PM

i did the starter on my 97 in about 30 minutes. luckilly it had been done before and whoever did it did not reinstall the third bolt
Posted by: kustomizingkid

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 11:23 PM

I also don't understand people issues, mine took 15 out 15 in.
Posted by: MarkLamport

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 11:32 PM

It comes out easy with a 1/4 inch rachet with extention, no need for u joint. I have changed them on CV, GM, and TC with no problem. Good luck
Posted by: Rizzo

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/16/08 11:43 PM

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH the 3rd bolt...Its about as useful as a 3rd eye. On your forehead.
Posted by: SteelCityMarquis

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/17/08 01:21 AM

Did you reinstall the third bolt?
Posted by: Dan The Vic Man

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/17/08 01:25 AM

 Originally Posted By: 93MGMGS
Did you reinstall the third bolt?
In did when i did mine \:\) now i get to do a motor swap soon and have a 3rd bolt on the starter to look forward too.
Posted by: SteelCityMarquis

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/18/08 12:12 AM









Only two for me
Posted by: keith96p71

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/19/08 09:01 PM

for me it wasnt the third bolt.. my f150 had that same starter. it was trying to find the right angle to slide it out of there.
Posted by: FunkRider

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/20/08 03:27 AM

Nothing like my 03 with the updated frame and suspension for a quick 5 minute starter change. ha
Posted by: Eagle_Keeper

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 04/20/08 08:23 PM

I got a stupid "Snake Driver" screwdriver handle, 1/4" dr. flex shaft Taiwan thing from my mother-in law 4 yrs. ago for x-mas. After collecting dust since then-I finally had the light go on in my gourd to try and use it. Ten minutes later the frigging starter was out and in my hot little hands for a bendix spring replacement....go figger.....The screw driver handle and flex shaft worked great after I got the top bolt started coming out with my Snap-on 1/4" ratchet and numerous extensions. same on putting it in....
Posted by: Great_Wun

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/18/08 04:11 PM

If I was to use the extensions to remove the bolts, do I still have to remove the a/c compressor to get the extensions through? Its been 2 hours and im still stuck on the second bolt.
Posted by: Corsair

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/19/08 11:06 PM

I did mine today, again....gear kept bouncing on my flywheel...weak springs..2nd AZ starter this yr. Grrrr.... I just pull the solenoid off mine, turn the flywheel a little to keep tension on nose gear so I can slip solenoid plunger into cradle, and whala! tis done...on average it takes about 40mi to do it this way as you have to undo the wires on the solenoid, but its worked for me so far. At least for another 6mths I guess....
Posted by: Fordiesel69

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 10:02 AM

 Originally Posted By: Corsair
I did mine today, again....gear kept bouncing on my flywheel...weak springs..2nd AZ starter this yr. Grrrr.... I just pull the solenoid off mine, turn the flywheel a little to keep tension on nose gear so I can slip solenoid plunger into cradle, and whala! tis done...on average it takes about 40mi to do it this way as you have to undo the wires on the solenoid, but its worked for me so far. At least for another 6mths I guess....


People mention to take off the solenoid, how do you get to the bolts to loosen it? Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying.
Posted by: mrbear5300

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 10:45 AM

Ughh, so i have this to look forward to when I possibly pull the motor soon? Lovely.
Posted by: Corsair

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 02:19 PM

on the back of the solenoid are 2 screws, torx head. t30 i think, cant remember...blow the debris out of the holes first , loosen...then undo the wires running to solenoid...assuming you unhooked the batt first so you dont get electrocuted first..take off the nut above where the starter wire was, sliding the small contact wire behind it off the threads and pushing aside. unscrew the bolts on back of solenoid...only thing easy to get to, esp if you've removed factory double cats and have installed a single highflow. anyway, after screws are out of way, which are easy to strip out, gently lift the solenoid out and up to disengage the solenoid plunger from the cradle in the starter housing. the bolts holding the starter are right there, easy as you please. once you get the starter, you'll understand how simple it is. install with solenoid out, push the nose gear into flywheel and turn flywheel a little to keep tension on nosegear as you try to slide plunger into the cradle. otherwise, it'll wiggle back and forth, causing you many hours of fun. trust me. again, it's really easy to do it this way, just get the new starter first, take its solenoid off and you'll know how to take it off on starter in vechicle.
Posted by: koolaid6666

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 05:26 PM

Took Me Two Days to Do It.The third Bolt Was no problem To Get Too The Second bolt strip On Me Tried everything couldn't get it out Had to dremel the second bolt Out.
Posted by: patgizz

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 05:48 PM

i bought one of the husky 1/4" drive ratchets with the positionable head(it can be staight, 45, or 90 degrees to the handle either to the left or right and the handle is as long as a normal 3/8 drive). it got the job done with no removal of anything else.
Posted by: GaryinVT

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 12/20/08 06:24 PM

I, too, didn't have a huge problem with the stater on my '03.

I hit the bolts with PBlaster penetrating oil for a couple days beforehand.
Used 1/4", not 3/8" ratchet with all my extensions. Maybe 12-16"? I think using a 1/4" ratchet makes a big difference.
Got all 3 bolts out, but only put the 2 easier ones back in, as many people do.
I almost started to cross thread one of the bolts putting it back in, due to not holding the starter flat against the block. That's easy to do, it's heavy!
Posted by: 10_8

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/03/12 10:51 AM

OK, so does the '97 have a removeable solenoid?

If I can get the starter out, I'd have better access to the ground plate the cables are connected to at the back of the motor: trying to get this project figured out.

In the last 2 years I've done alternator, starter, and battery. 1997 with 180K miles. Now, I've got a no-start condition again-just a click. I'd liek to get this straightened out before snow flies....thanks for any insights...
Posted by: ShireHorse

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/04/12 12:59 AM

Originally Posted By: RWDForever
I hope the newer 2003+ models with the redesigned front frame is better than this design.


I can confirm that. It's harder to jack up the car than it is to remove the starter on 2003+.

Also, holy thread necromancy, batman.

~Shire
Posted by: 03RedVicSport

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/04/12 02:01 AM

I've had mine out & replaced it and then out again for the build, and it is a precision operation.

Not IMPOSSIBLE, but it's a trick!

2 out of 3 of those bolts are OK, the top invisible one is a challenge.

You need to use a certain length 10mm socket & extension, so the ratchet handle hangs off just over the end of the motor can, and there's one certain position where you can JUST get a finger on the bolt head to help guide the socket to it as you feed the thing in blind.
Posted by: silkystylz

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/17/12 06:49 PM

My lil trick. when i swapped my motor i took my cut off tool to the trans and engine block ears on the right side. trust me it was worth the 3min it took and i will never have to fight that bolt again.
Posted by: 10_8

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/25/12 09:34 AM

Cool, thanks for the positive and productive replies.
Posted by: WikiWonders

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/25/12 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: 10_8
OK, so does the '97 have a removeable solenoid?


FWIW, it does have a removable solenoid. t-25 bit. when pulling my starter, these were hopelessly seized and just stripped. I used a stubby 1/4 ratchet to get the middle bolt loose, and a few extensions and a u-joint to get the top one loose. not that bad once you figure out how to route the extensions.
Posted by: Drac

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/26/12 02:34 AM

funny... i can pull the starter out in my 2004 in like 10 minutes lol. having the right sockets/elbows/size extensions is a lifesaver.
Posted by: 2004_p71

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/26/12 05:10 AM

I did it on my 97 few month ago fand it was a pita also because all 3 bolts were seized.
I managed to take it out by removing the solenoid too.

I did replace it again last night with a reman from ford and not an auto part unit that last abouth a year nono The fors uniot was 50$ cheaper , way better quality and spins way faster laugh

With a 1/4 ratchet a long socket and extention it can be done but since I cleaned all the threads last time I could turn with my fingers all the bolts and then just tighten them with the ratchet.

It is defitnaly easier on the 03+ cars for sure
Posted by: DavidVT

Re: The starter is a PAIN to replace. - 09/26/12 06:09 AM

Had to do mine in the dirt driveway at work after leaving it all weekend for a wedding trip.
No fun after maintaining a diesel pickup for a decade with lots of ground clearance. But at least it was an 03 Vic....