Question about 1997 Saturn SL
Disclaimer: changing out the starter on my 1997 SL was a minor bear. :-)
1. Place the car on stands or a ramp
2. Disconnect the negative cable on your battery.
3. Locate the starter (under the motor, close to the center)
4. Remove two nuts attaching the electrical leads. Frankly, I found them to be little trouble to remove before removing the mounting bolts, and my Mitchell's and Haynes books suggest removing them first to avoid damaging them.
5. Loosen the two bolts holding the starter. One bolt is almost inaccessible. I used a 13mm deep well socket and a couple of different length extensions (one 4" and one 2") to reach the two different bolts and remove them.
While it helps to get as much room under the car as possible (I was only able to achieve a little under a foot working height with the ramps and jackstands I had), I also used a socket wrench (Stanley part #89-962--Black and Decker has one that's similar now, both available at amazon.com) that allowed me to _twist_ the handle in addition to using a normal ratcheting action. Without it, I seriously doubt I would have removed the old starter and installed a new one in the time I did, since the working area is very, very constricted.
Quick tip: working under the car in constricted spaces, keep track of nuts and bolts by attaching a STRONG magnet to the oil pan. Simply drop the nuts, bolts, sockets (and even extensions!) UP *heh* onto the magnet for handy retrieval later.
Still, if you are able to rent bay space and use a lift, the removal/installation would be much easier. Still constricted (and the Stanley tool or its equivalent still HIGHLY recommended!), but standing to work would make this a much, much easier task.
Posted on Jul 07, 2008
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