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Old 01-14-2008, 08:48 PM  
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Default DIY Starter replacement - with PICs

In a prior thread (see “Can I access my starter bolt from the radio slot?”) two ways to get to the starter bolts were discussed: 1) Remove the intake manifold, or 2) Drop the shaft/exhaust, loosen the transmission brace and tilt down the engine/transmission slightly to access starter from the...
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By fieldhb on 09-08-2009, 02:41 AM
Default My Starter is starting to go.

Thanks for he write-up.
I am looking to replace the starter in my car, and would like to see the pictures also.
Any chance of getting those posted somewhere ?
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By dguzzardo22 on 09-08-2009, 07:46 AM

im in the same boat aswell even tho its my 3rd starter i still would like pics also ..
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By BMW_Hatchback on 09-26-2009, 08:07 PM

pics are dead now
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By Xenocide on 09-26-2009, 08:29 PM

easier on m52 so don't even worry about it BMW-Hatchback.
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By 30yrMbr on 10-09-2009, 01:35 AM

Well, after too many weekend days and weekday evenings, Ladeda3's starter is finally replaced and FUNCTIONAL! WoooHooo...

Had to redo, undo and do again too many times, almost memorized where every connector and fastener goes. Except for the 3 nuts that were left over...
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By Platanos on 08-05-2010, 01:54 AM

i am having a hell of a time getting the top bolt out. went out a bought a swivel head rachet and still no luck....don't know what else to do.


Tried using a 12 point wrench.....stripped the damn bolt.

edit again;

What now, drop the tranny?
Last edited by Platanos; 08-05-2010 at 02:19 AM..
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By cooljess76 on 08-05-2010, 03:13 AM

Originally Posted by Platanos View Post
i am having a hell of a time getting the top bolt out. went out a bought a swivel head rachet and still no luck....don't know what else to do.


Tried using a 12 point wrench.....stripped the damn bolt.

edit again;

What now, drop the tranny?
No, just disconnect the shifter linkage, put a jack under the back of the tranny, remove the two nuts on the tranny crossmember and driveshaft center support bearing and slowly lower the jack. The engine is going to tilt back towards the firewall, but it'll give you about 2 extra inches of clearance above the tranny from under the car. Older model Ti's had a bolt and nut on the upper starter bolt. My '95 clubsport had a bolt and nut, but my '97 and newer models have a threaded starter housing, so there's no nut to hold from the other side. Makes things a little easier, I forget which year they started using threaded starters.

BTW, the starter will drop out from under the car. All you have to do is remove the dipstick tube, rotate the starter 270 degrees lengthwise and drop it straight down. Make sure your battery is disconnected before disconnecting the wires going to the starter. No need to remove the intake manifold like someone mentioned, it's too much of a PITA and completely unecessary. Best of luck man, LMK if I can help.
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By Platanos on 08-06-2010, 11:21 PM

Thanks cooljess, your tips helped out. I got everything buttoned up. Was a pain in the ass getting the intake back on. Why would they put that harness through the middle of the intake!?!?

Anyway, now my car won't start. I checked all my plugs and hoses. Everything is in it place. I swapped the two plugs going into the block (cps and something else?) because I wasn't sure which one was which. Still no start. Its cranking but won't turn over, it even sounds like its gonna start but then nothing. It backfires if I keep trying. This is extrememly frustrating..
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By Platanos on 08-06-2010, 11:46 PM

Now I got her to start but she is intermittant. Not sure what else to do.
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By Colink on 09-06-2010, 02:53 PM

I have a '96 model ti. How do I know if I need a starter with threaded mounting ears or un-threaded, without having to go in there and take it out?
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By Xenocide on 09-06-2010, 03:37 PM

Get threaded ears, they are interchangeable. threaded ears are easier to install. If you buy it from autozone (which I recommend). They are both sold under the same part number so keep opening what ever boxes they have instock until you find one. I think It took me 2 or 3 boxes to find a starter with threaded ears.
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By 95white318ti on 10-26-2010, 03:14 PM

Hi guys. I just read this and comments in search of which wire goes on the small top terminal and the bottom one. I read another and thought it said Ylw blk on the bottom one. Is this correct?
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By 3ggshell on 10-21-2011, 03:01 AM

Hello, I'm in the process of removing my old starter and I got both bolts out from the bottom without removing anything - just using some wobbly extensions. I also have all the wiring disconnected, and the starter just will not come out. I was wondering if anybody has had this problem? I can see that I got the right bolts out, and I'm worried the PO has mushroomed the pin. I can get separation of about 1/8" and it will wiggle a little, but that it. Hopefully someone else has had similar problems.

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By PixelRandy on 05-31-2014, 08:56 PM

This thread has been stagnant for a long time. I thought I'd chime in as I just (as in ten minutes ago) did swapped the starter in my '96 M44 ti. I already had the intake and cooling hoses out as I'm in the middle of rebuilding the cooling system. Seeing that the starter was right there, I didn't want to risk not replacing it. My car is just shy of 200k and I don't see any service records showing that any of the POs had replaced it. My car came with binder of records too.

Tools you really need to do this right, and I can't emphasize this enough:


Trying to use anything else to get the two bolts out is half-assing the job. The firewall is directly above the two bolts, so you need a handle that came come back towards you (even just 10*) to clear the firewall.

I found that on my car, once the bolts were broken free a turn or two, they came out with finger pressure. Whew!

The starter did stick on the locating pin. A little VERY gentle prying while rocking and it came right out.

I noticed that the new starter didn't want to slide back over the locating pin easily, and you don't want to bang on the starter as you can damage the magnets. I took a bit of fine sand paper and took off the surface gunk on the locating pin. This allowed the new starter to fully seat with hand pressure with a little rocking.

I also cleaned off a bit of the corrosion that was on the two bolts and put a dab of anti-seize on the threads. I was able to finger tighten each bolt all they way until they bottomed out. Just a half or three-quarters turn on each with the wrench until tight.

I hate working way back there. It's just asking for muscle cramps. Man, I'm really out of shape!

Good luck!
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By alika808 on 11-15-2014, 06:13 AM

Great Job. Perfect I need this DIY and makes my project easier. Thank you.
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