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Old 11-09-2006, 09:50 PM   #1
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Default starter removal

im trying to get my starter off on my 87 n/a. i got one bolt off but there is one more closer to the engine i cant reach. how do i get to that?
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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I managed to get to the top nut using this type of spanner the bottom nut wasn’t to bad.The problem is then trying to remove the starter from the engine bay,I found removing it from underneath was the only way out.

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Old 11-11-2006, 09:23 PM   #3
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Behind the manifold from the top, not the easiest of jobs plenty cuts and grazes on the arms.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:16 AM   #4
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decided to remove the entire manifold just so you know its easier to put it back on and what not. how do i get to this bolt?? (its the one one the left side its covered by like a huge oil hose.) do i have to take off the alternator?
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogum7
i have taken it off about 100 times. it takes about 5 min maybe ten at most.
Lol, thats cuz you've taken it off 100 times. I'm the same. It took about 2 hours the first time I did it. Now I can take it off and put it back on in 10 mins. I just did it from under the car. The bottom bolt is easy, but the one on the top of the bellhousing is the hard one. Just reach your hand up on top and feel around, find out where you need to go. Then take the ratchet and put it up there handle first (it'll help cuz theres not much room to move around), then just mate the socket with the head of the bolt and go from there. If you didnt already get a new starter, make sure you get the 89+. It's threaded so you don't need the nut. Just screw the bolt into the starter. It makes the job 100 times easier.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:07 AM   #6
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The starter motor is held on by 2 bolts. On pre89 starters, the top bolt slides through the mounting ear and is fastened on the other side with a nut. I'm told that 89+ starters are threaded here, making removal much easier.

These instructions are for starters with a nut/bolt.

When removing the starter, there isn't anything else that you need to remove (unless you still have the OEM plastic covers under the engine).

Most of the starter removal is by feel, because you're right; you can't see shit. Make sure you remove all the wires from the starter before you remove it, and that the negative battery cable is disconnected. Do the top bolt first, it's the hardest. You can identify it by laying under the engine (head by the bellhousing, feet out under the front of the car), reach your left hand up and start groping that starter. Once you feel where the starter meets the bellhousing, follow that crease towards the block. Your fingers should shortly meet a bolt with a nut on it; that's the top bolt. Throw a short box end wrench on the end that faces the front of the car. Make sure it's secure, because you're going to be twisting that bolt and relying on the wrench to stay on that nut on it's own once it hits the starter.

Now, leaving the wrench in place, find all of your ratchet extensions. I think you'll need about 24" of them, so if you don't have enough go buy more. Throw those all together with the correct sized socket, and go lay down under the driver side of your tranny. If you tilt your head up, you should be able to barely see that top bolt. Snake your ratchet contraption up there, and slowly start removing that bolt. Make sure that wrench you put up didn't fall off, and keep loosening that bolt.

That should do it, installation is the opposite of removal. And that bottom bolt should be a piece of cake.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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The job is made more difficult with the N/A MKIII.... the ACIS system has a large vacuum tank which is mounted in front of the starter which IIRC does make the job a bit more difficult on the N/A.... It's still plenty doable without pulling a bunch of extra parts. Stubby, ratcheting spanners are your friend.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:34 AM   #8
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Geeze! I just completed starter removal and solenoid rebuild of my 87 MKIII 5sp N/A starter today. Thanks to BTWilson86's post a bit earlier here. This took me almost 5 hours due to some misunderstanding and false starts. I'll try to enhance his details to keep others from repeating my mistakes.

I put a jack stand behind the drivers front wheel and raised it two notches. I didnt need to remove ANY items other than the starter to complete this task.

I mistakenly thought that I could remove the upper nut somehow. You cannot. You must put the 14mm box wrench on that upper NUT only to secure it while you remove the upper BOLT from behind. (I could see that upper nut from standing up above and putting my right cheek on the drivers side hood strut. This let me see if I had the box wrench on proper. Also, it worked best to place that box wrench in an upward diagonal position so it would bite on support when I turned the upper bolt from behind. When I placed my cheek against the hood strut, the box wrench was pointing directly at my eye.)

To remove the upper BOLT, follow his instructions. Just to add, that your feet should be sticking out from the drivers side for this step. And yes, it took about 24" of extensions. I put a swivel adapter at the end next to my 14mm socket. It is such an awkward angle the swivel keeped drooping, so I put a small piece of duct tape around the swivel to restrict it. Also, wait until you have the socket secure on the top bolt before adding the ratchet. I just found that gravity kept working against me at this angle. I had a fairly large ratchet, but still couldnt break the upper bolt loose, so I grabbed a foot-long cheater pipe for the ratchet, and it quickly came loose.

The lower NUT and BOLT are easy to remove, but still needed that cheater bar leverage to break things loose.

My goal was to replace the solenoid plunger and contacts to eliminate some 'dead spots' which were keeping the starter from even clicking or spinning. I bought this repair kit on eBay pretty cheap. When I removed the copper contacts, they were indeed work way down and the solenoid plunger was pretty corroded. Even though my mileage isnt too high (140k), I'm the original owner and this has been my daily driver for the past 23 years. So, I'm sure these contacts were well used.

Many thanks to BTWilson86's info above! I'm not sure how long it would have taken without them.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:17 AM   #9
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Default removing the starter

Yep I agree with what you said, but for me to get a wrench on the front of the top bolt I had to lay with my feet toward the front of the car under the engine and then snake my left arm up through the cables and put a box ratchet on it. It helps if you disconnect the wires to the starter first,

I barely was able to get my arm back up there to get the nut restarted on that front of the top bolt. I did this while my 26 inch extended socket was gently turned from the left side of the trans with my right hand to thread it on. It took determination and a no quit resolution because I have muscular large arms. Pays to be skinny doing this one and you can't do it without the wobble adapter on your socket. One more thing use only a 6 sided socket and grip the head of that bolt square with the wobble allowing your extensions to drop a bit as they come back toward you along the drivers side of the trans! Be prepared to use a breaking bar because the nut is on the other side from your socket you'll be turning the head of the bolt to break the nut free on the other side. Those bolts from factory are real tight you don't want to strip the heads.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:01 AM   #10
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The top bolt takes a 14mm 6 sided socket I think the lower one was a 12mm. You need two 12"extensions to get the top one off. You also need a short 14mm enclosed wrench for the front top bolts nut.
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