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How to: Replace M20 Starter easy!

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  • denzelgore
    replied
    Any advice on removing a starter from a 1986 BMW 325ES???? The top bolt is giving me nightmares.

    Leave a comment:


  • essi1553
    replied
    I just had to do this job and I think I've done it the easiest way possible. I didn't disconnect any coolant lines, and very few electrical connections (I think 3).

    The secret weapon was a 3/8 line wrench (for use on brake lines) I placed that over the torx bolts near the firewall (it may take some maneuvering but it fits on both from the top of the engine and will hold). I did the whole job in under an hour and a half. I only had to get under the car to loosen the bottom starter nut. I didn't use a single wobble extension, and only one 6 inch socket extension. The only tricky part was removing the line wrench, and that was easily solved with a light tap from a rubber mallet handle (due to tight spaces)

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  • jgilber0
    replied
    Originally posted by MSGGrunt View Post
    I know I could weld tabs on the bolt head end to stop them from spinning but, I had another idea... What about using star washers on them? My thinking is that the star washer will bite into the bell housing and bolt to provide enough friction so the bolt won't spin while the nut is tightened.

    Thoughts?

    I will report success or failure in a couple days when my new starter arrives.
    Well, did that work? Hope so...

    Leave a comment:


  • MSGGrunt
    replied
    I know I could weld tabs on the bolt head end to stop them from spinning but, I had another idea... What about using star washers on them? My thinking is that the star washer will bite into the bell housing and bolt to provide enough friction so the bolt won't spin while the nut is tightened.

    Thoughts?

    I will report success or failure in a couple days when my new starter arrives.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Shredwick
    replied
    If this helps anyone, I used a 10mm brake line wrench on the torx head on top of the starter and wedged it so it wouldn't come out, along with about two feet of wobble extensions to get my ratchet to an area where it could be used.

    Also, you may have to put on a new connector on the little wires, one of mine disintegrated when I tried taking it off.

    Leave a comment:


  • tomstin
    replied
    Does anyone know the size of the bolt that holds the starter bracket to the side of the engine? Mine appears to be stripped or at least the first few threads are buggered up. My guess its M10 1.5 but by chance can anyone confirm?

    The new to me E30 needed the starter replaced and much to my surprise it was only held in by the bell housing bolt. I would like to install it correctly this time by chasing the threads.

    Thanks!

    Figured it out. Used a tap to chase the threads, if anyone else runs into this the bolt is a M10 1.5
    Last edited by tomstin; 05-04-2015, 08:36 AM.

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  • soccerstu598
    replied
    POSTING THIS TO HELP EVERYONE. Took me 15 min to do starter I was very pleased!

    Get a 3/8 mini wrench on back side. To hold the Torques bolt. It takes some nice finessing but can be done. Then 16mm socket on the nut. Do the same on bottom but bottom but was 17mm for me. Remove wires before unbolting. And ur done!

    Leave a comment:


  • thatphysicsguy
    replied
    I had a pretty easy time of getting the starter off since I was replacing it at the same time as doing a headgasket.

    However, putting it back on was a huge pain in the ass. If you're stuck with a slushbox, the dipstick for the transmission makes it a HUGE pain to get a reaction tool around the back of the bellhousing where the torx bolt lies. Seriously just spent almost 90 minutes straight trying to jam stuff back there, just to get within a 1/4 of an inch of the bolt. I was the most pissed I've ever been at my car. Luckily I had a punching bag handy, seriously...

    Leave a comment:


  • Peelsbimmer
    replied
    Originally posted by 5Toes View Post
    I can do this job in 20 minutes.. dont even ahve to remove the airbox

    Use a long ass screwdriver and jam it between the tranny bell housing and the torx screw. Problem solved

    Bumping this thread, because this guy saved my life!! This was by far the best way to get that bitch off!!

    Leave a comment:


  • 5Toes
    replied
    I can do this job in 20 minutes.. dont even ahve to remove the airbox

    Use a long ass screwdriver and jam it between the tranny bell housing and the torx screw. Problem solved

    Leave a comment:


  • BMWManiac
    replied
    I thought my starter was bad, but turns out that one of the ears that holds the starter to the transmission broke, and the other bolt was missing....wondered what happened?

    I removed the airbox and intake elbow. I was able to access both bolts by hand...although they are pretty scratched up. I don't see the need to access anything from underneath. I used my fan clutch tool to keep the torx end steady while I remove the 17mm bolt....reinstall should be pretty easy. My question is how do I ensure the teeth on the starter line up with the teeth on the flywheel so I don't grind the teeth after I install it?

    Leave a comment:


  • tcrane54
    replied
    When I pulled mine I welded a plate to the nut that goes behind the bell housing. The tab hits the bell housing and allows you to tighten the starter bolt without needing a wrench on the nut. If you dont have a welder swing it into a local shop, most will do for free.

    Leave a comment:


  • ///M42 sport
    replied
    can you post pics? seriously...in writeups. pics are worth a thousand words.

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  • Eddie Haskell
    replied
    Bernpeed wrote-"i just replaced my starter and it grinds when starting the car."

    The starter gear isn't engaging the ring gear on the flywheel. I wouldn't keep hitting the starter. You need to pull it and see if your starter gear is crapped or the the ring gear is somehow mismatched along with troubleshooting a limp dick bendix . You would have to work at it pretty good to get the starter bolted in at a F**ked up angle. When you get the starter out hit with 12v and check the bendix. Check the ring gear for mangled teeth also. Good luck, a big PITA awaits you unfortunately. If the ring gear is trashed your looking at a proverbial anal reaming.
    Last edited by Eddie Haskell; 02-03-2012, 11:40 AM.

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  • bernzpeed
    replied
    haha this was in march 2011

    Leave a comment:

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