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Starters and Ignition Systems
Saturn L-Series
Saturn S-Series

How do you change the starter on a 1996 Saturn SL?

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2015-07-15 21:44:19
2015-07-15 21:44:19

In my experience with your hand anda few craftsman sockets and lowring the engine (there is no space for a tool to remove it so losen the engine mounts and transmounts takes about 3 to 6 hours to remove&instal plus a can of beer for me and your famiy (babies tooo)

I recently replaced the entire motor on an SL2 97 and the starter wasn't really a big deal.

It is behind the engine so you will need to first disconnect the positive battery cable.

Raise the vehicle.

The area you will be working in will be a bit tight but workable.

I found that removing the mounting bolts, lowering it gave me easier access to removing the wiring from it.

Reverse for installation.

#2 is an improvement over the first, but here's some additional info:

Two bolts. One 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--http://tinyurl.com/3587et) 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.

In addition to the two bolts, there are also the two nuts (referred to in answer 2) 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 acoid damaging them.

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.

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