Does the car engine need to be lifted up to get the starter out and replaced, It seems there is not enough clearance to put the plastic cover back once the starter is replaced, I broke the old plastic cover taking out the old starter
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It is safe to jack up the engine by using an old folded up beach towel or something to give similar cushion as to not bend the oil pan. Make certain that there is nothing holding the engine from being lifted freely, i.e. heater hoses, radiator hoses strut mount stiffener etc.
remove upper engine cover,disconnect battery ground cable,remove throttle cable and cruise control cable from throttle body.remove intake manifold by gently lifting at throttle body end.should be enough clearance to get to starter
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The information set forth below is the approach used in our shop. You'll Probably have to use a floor jack and jack stands in lieu of a hoist or lift.
Be sure and pay careful attention to the section on shims. Starter shims are used to correctly position the starter in relation to the ring gear on the flywheel or flexplate. Advice: Worn gear teeth on the starter drive and / or the ring gear is an indication of improper starter mounting. Follow the directions that come with the shim kit for proper installation
If your testing indicates that the starter must be removed, the first step is to disconnect the negative cable at the battery.
It may be necessary to place the vehicle on a lift to gain access to
the starter. Before lifting the vehicle, disconnect all wires,
fasteners, and so on that can be reached from under the hood.
Disconnect the wires leading to the solenoid terminals.
To avoid confusion when reinstalling the starter, it is wise to mark
the wires so they can be reinstalled on their correct terminals.
On some vehicles you may need to disconnect the exhaust system to be able to remove the starter.
Loosen the starter mounting bolts and remove all but one.
Support the starter while removing the remaining bolt.
Then pull the starter out and away from the flywheel.
Once the starter is free, remove the last bolt and the starter.
Once the starter is out, inspect the starter drive pinion gear and the flywheel ring gear.
Starter drive and flywheel ring gear wear patterns. Courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
When the teeth of the starter drive are abnormally worn, make sure you inspect the entire circumference of the flywheel.
If the starter drive or the flywheel ring gear show signs of wear or damage, they must be replaced.
Reverse the procedure to install the starter.
Make sure all electrical connections are tight.
If you are installing a new or remanufactured starter, sand away the
paint at the mounting point before installing it. Also, make sure you
have a good hold on the starter while installing it.
Many General Motors' starters use shims between the starter and the mounting pad.
Shimming the starter to obtain proper pinion-to-ring gear clearance. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation - Service Operation.
To check this clearance, install the starter and insert a flat blade
screwdriver into the access slot on the side of the drive housing. Pry
the drive pinion gear into the engaged position.
Use a wire feeler gauge or a piece of 0.020-inch (0.5080-mm) diameter wire to check the clearance between the gears.
Checking the clearance between the pinion gear and the ring gear.
If the clearance between the two gears is incorrect, shims will need
to be added or subtracted to bring the clearance within specs.
If the clearance is excessive, the starter will produce a high-pitched whine while it is cranking the engine.
If the clearance is too small, the starter will make a high-pitched
whine after the engine starts and the ignition switch is returned to the
Every starter should be bench tested after it is removed and before
it is installed. to conduct a free speed or load test on a starter, see
the free speed test.
Some times you need to move the steering in one direction or the other to get room to move the starter. Look on the New starter for a Rearward bolt coming from the Trans side. Sometimes you have 3 starter bolts.
I think you are right about the starter being the problem; the whining you hear is the starter free-wheeling after disengaging too early.
Getting clearance is another matter; I have, on occason, used floor jacks to move the engine temporarily without unbolting the motor mounts but that may be necessary in some cases.
Sometimes, I have just had a helper use a 2X4 to shift an engine enough to gain a needed 1/2" of clearance.