Question about 1987 Volkswagen Cabriolet

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How do I go about changing the starter in my 1987 vw Cabriolet? It looks like a very complex job to me. Do I have to remove other parts first (like the engine?

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The starter install is fairly simple and will require a 13mm socket and a long extension. First get the car securely on jack stands or ramps so your have access to the bottom of the car and engine.  lying on your back with your head towards the rear of the vehicle (approximately center of the car) you can look up past the exhaust pipe and CV axles and see the starter from there.
 
First remove the main wire that comes from the battery (13mm nut and lock washer)  then unplug the two wires that are on separate sides of the lug you just remove (noting the wire colors and which side you removed them from).  
Next remove the 13mm bolt that holds the bracket attached to the rear of the starter. It's the one bolted the to the engine block that is attached to the passenger side of the starter.
Lastly you will find 3, 13mm bolts that actually bolt the starter through the engine bell housing into the transmission.  
There is one on the very bottom, one in the center (kinda towards the rear of the vehicle only about 3 1/2" upward of the bottom bolt) and one at the very top directly opposite the bottom bolt ( this one is the hardest to locate and remove but it's up there, you just have to feel around or get a light to shine on the top of the starter to see it)  
After all bolts are removed you navigate the starter out by pulling it towards the passenger side wheel and between the CV axles and suspension parts of the front end.
To reinstall it's the opposite of this procedure!
Hope this Helps!!

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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