Starter Motor replacement tips..??

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
I think my starter motor is finally dead. I posted a while back about how it was slow to spin up, but it was winter (quite cold here in IL) and I was leaning towards blaming the battery at the time.

With the wamer weather and a new battery everything was behaving for a while. Now, for the last couple of weeks the car has started fine but there has been a worrying clunk when the engine fired up. My initial thoughts at the time were a dying starter motor.

Tonight my wife went to run and errand but came back intot he house just moments later telling me the car is dead and won't start. Battery seems pretty healthy. Turn the key and there is a loud click; louder than a relay. At one point I could even see some smoke coming from the starter motor housing. So I am fairly sure it's my starter motor. :yes:

Anyhoo, has anyone here replaced a starter on these vehicles before..?? Any hints, tips, tricks, words of wisdom to pass along. From what I can gather the onyl difficult part is the back bolt that is sandwiched between the starter and the block, along with the fact that access is not the best. I think GM designed everything on this car to be difficult to access. I saw somewhere that the best method is to come in throught the wheel well....

TIA.

Dave.
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
I have replaced mine twice now, the first time sitting in the parking lot at Advance Auto where is was kind enough to stop working. The second time was yesterday. I originally replaced it with a salvage yard starter. Around that same time my power drains started so I went ahead and replaced it yesterday to check in hopes that is the issue.

Yes, the easiest way is to go through the wheel well. I have a bit of an advantage because of my body lift, so it really wasn't to difficult. Good luck!
 

stormsurge

Member
Jan 29, 2012
386
Changed mine on the 03. I6. Everyone sead to go through the fender well. I found it to be alot easyer from the top. I just uncliped the wire thats in the way of the back bolt. Extention reached right in there. About a 30 min. job. 15 min. next time i wont remove the tire lol.
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Thanks for the replies, fellas.

Good to know that it's not the nightmare job I was imagining, given that the upper back nut is not exactly the most accessible item.


Dave.
 

AtlWrk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
674
davenay67 said:
With the wamer weather and a new battery everything was behaving for a while. Now, for the last couple of weeks the car has started fine but there has been a worrying clunk when the engine fired up. My initial thoughts at the time were a dying starter motor.

Did this resolve your clunk?

Sounds like the same problem I've been having for a a few weeks as well: a couple of quick clunks immediately after the engine has started. I suspected the starter as well.
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
AtlWrk said:
Did this resolve your clunk?

Sounds like the same problem I've been having for a a few weeks as well: a couple of quick clunks immediately after the engine has started. I suspected the starter as well.

The car only died on my wife last night. Ordered a new starter which I am hoping will be here by the weekend so that I can get the new one fitted and get my car back.

I was only getting a single fairly-loud clunk when the engine caught. I am hoping that this noise is realted to the dying starter motor rather than any problems with either the flywheel gear teeth or the starter motor gear teeth. I'll post up my results when I get the job done. If I remember to take pictures it might even make an article for the 'how to' section.
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Huge kudos to stormsurge. :thumbsup:

I used his method and was able to get th top bolt out going in from the top after unclipping the section of the harness that abscures the starter motor. Took roughly 40 mins to get the starter out from beginning to end, including taking pictures. thjis also includes jacking the vehicle up and removing the front wheel, which turned out to be unnecessary in the end.

Just waiting on the new starter to arrive and then I estimate 30+ minutes to pop it in and fire up the TB.
 

stormsurge

Member
Jan 29, 2012
386
Thanks. After i got the wires out of the way mine was easy. I do beleave i used a swivel extention on that back bolt. The hard part was getting autozone to sale me a starter. Funniest + stupedest time i ever had. Guy wanted to test my old one and sead it was good and i did'nt need a new one. I explained to him that bad starters sometimes work and i tested it before i came in and it was'nt working. Can i get a new one. The manager came over and told me they cant sale me a starter if my old one works. I sead what! What if i did'nt bring my old one in, would you sale me a starter? She sead yes. I sead can i please get a starter. Well ok but you dont need one. OMG. How many peaple put there old one back in and really get pissed lol. :crazy:
 

Opeth

Member
Mar 25, 2012
177
stormsurge said:
Thanks. After i got the wires out of the way mine was easy. I do beleave i used a swivel extention on that back bolt. The hard part was getting autozone to sale me a starter. Funniest + stupedest time i ever had. Guy wanted to test my old one and sead it was good and i did'nt need a new one. I explained to him that bad starters sometimes work and i tested it before i came in and it was'nt working. Can i get a new one. The manager came over and told me they cant sale me a starter if my old one works. I sead what! What if i did'nt bring my old one in, would you sale me a starter? She sead yes. I sead can i please get a starter. Well ok but you dont need one. OMG. How many peaple put there old one back in and really get pissed lol. :crazy:

Are you typing "sead" on purpose, rather than said? Your post was aggravating to read... Lol
 

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