Starter motor removal

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My Name: Ozvtr

Posts: 1043
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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The starter (at least for the petrol engines) sits on the back of the engine facing the fire wall.
The starter is held onto the engine/gearbox by 3 bolts. 2 bolt through the starter mounting flange into the engine and 1 bolt trough the gearbox bell housing into the mounting flange of the starter.
The one that bolts through the gearbox and into the starter is a pain but I'll get to why in a minute!

Here is an outline of the starter and where the parts are that we will be removing.

First up, disconnect the the battery positive terminal. One of the terminals of the starter is connected directly to the battery + terminal. We have to disconnect the terminal at the starter, so if the tools used to disconnect this starter terminal touch a metal part of the engine with the positive attached to the battery...we would be shorting out the battery and that would not be good!
Disconnect the PCV (positive crank case ventilation) hose on the air filter assembly, just in front of the throttle body. Press in on the yellow tab and remove the hose. Remove the air filter inlet hose that comes from the radiator support to the front of air filter box. Remove the air filter housing by loosening the retaining band at the throttle body and turning the plastic retaining peg on the bracket of the thermostat housing, 90 degrees. Twist the nose of the air filter housing up and then remove the whole housing assembly.

Next we need to remove the electrical connections at the solenoid that go to the battery and the alternator( the ones I was just talking about). They are held onto the starter solenoid by a 13mm nut. Remove the nut and remove the two electrical lug connections.

Remove the starter wire from the stud on the solenoid. This is an 8mm nut.
Lets go straight to the difficult bolt first shall we?
On the top of the gearbox bell housing you will find the head of a bolt. The head sits under the coolant line and engine electrical looms. It's difficult to get to but here are some photos of where it is.
It requires a 13mm socket to remove the bolt. There isn't much room and I had to use a couple of short extensions to get in and under the coolant line and a mirror to see the head.
Undo the bolt and make sure it's clear of the starter flange but don't pull the bolt out! It's difficult to pull the bolt all the way out and it's not necessary, you are going to re-install it later anyway! So leave all the tools attached to the head of the bolt. If you can, use another 13mm socket or ring spanner to undo the other bolts. Trust me, if you can, leave the tools on this bolt. If you need to re-use the 13mm socket..oh well, then you need to.

The other two bolts are located at the top and bottom of the back side of the flange. They also require a 13mm socket (or spanner) to remove.
Once the bolts and wiring have been removed the starter will probably stay in place because there is a locating dowel in the upper flange mounting hole. But the starter can still be removed easily.
If you intend replacing the starter, check the new starter for the dowel pin. If it's missing from the new starter you will need to salvage the dowel from the old starter.

Installation is the reverse of removal, no hidden traps.
I can't find any torque specifications for the nuts and bolts but getting a torque wrench in there would be difficult anyway.
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