Let me adjust this answer a bit. I have a 1995 towncar, and I suspect that they are practically identical. Mine is an eight cylinder and I have just removed and replaced the starter. It is necessary, of course, to jack the automobile up a sufficient height to allow one to comfortably reach up and work at arm's length, or else put the car on some sort of rack that will allow access to the starter area. If you jack the car up, do not fail to use a jack stand to provide additional support in the event of a jack failure. It is very important of course, to have the car in park and have the wheels securely chocked to avoid any movement of the vehicle whatsoever once it is lifted off the ground.
I discovered that one has to use a 10mm socket and a couple of short extensions and a ratchet, size 3/8s. I recommend that size because the area is very tight! I suppose that one could use the quarter inch extensions and ratchets, but it is my belief that as tight as the starter bolts are, you would either break the inside gears of the quarter size ratchet or possibly break one of the ends of the extensions or the ratchet connection to the extension itself.
To be successful, one must select socket and extensions that will allow the ratchet to barely project past the end of the starter(toward the front of the car), as there is a frame brace immediately in front of the starter! That frame brace will prevent use of any tool that projects more than one forth to one half an inch beyond the end of the starter.
Additionally, there is a mounting bracket on the side of the engine, between the starter and the block that retains the two metal lines that I assume go back to the transmission.
That bracket has a single bolt attaching it to the block, and if it is not removed, and the bracket slid out of the way, (not removed, mind you) the bracket will prevent the starter from being positioned back in place so that the bolts can be installed. If you do not remove the bracket bolt, the clearance is so tight that it will be impossible to replace the starter. There is plenty of room to re install that bolt once the starter is installed, so do not allow that to worry you.
The bottom two bolts are not really too much of a problem to remove, and I would advise against removing the solenoid as there is very little room to reinstall the two torx bolts (actually small screws) that attach the solenoid to the starter itself. I had considered that option myself but when I observed the lack of space that would remain once the starter itself was positioned and bolted down, I decided that I would be better off to use touch to remove and re install the starter. One must reach up (i found it necessary to use my left hand) and feel for the top bolt, using my little finger to locate the bolt, which is approximately 180 degrees from the bottom bolt. After locating that bolt, one must slide the socket and extensions and ratchet handle up above the starter, with the right hand, ())and this is not easy,) but it can be done, and with the little finger of the left hand marking the bolt, slide the socket over the head of the bolt. There is a necessity to be very precise about the length of the socket and the extensions. I used a deep well 10mm six point socket and appropriate length extensions.
When re assembling the unit, it is very difficult to keep the bolt in the socket so that you can put it back in the top hole. I solved that problem by taking some heavy adhesive that I had kept from a windshield installation and placing it around the head of the bolt so that it was held solidly in the opening of the socket. That material is almost like gum and is black and very sticky. Without that material to hold the bolt, I doubt that I would have ever managed to re install the top bolt in place!
I hope this is helpful to anyone attempting to do this. The clearances are so tight that if you are either too long or too short in your tool extension length, you will either not be able to reach the bolt head, or the frame cross piece will not allow you to get the socket on the head of the bolt! The biggest problem I had, once I got the bolt in the hole, was the little lever on the ratchet kept hitting the frame piece and reversing the direction of the ratchet. Frustrating indeed, but possible. I would like to find the man who designed the available space for this starter installation and force him to do the job.
I wish you luck and you must be determined and focused to be able to successfully accomplish this. You will be proud of yourself once you do this!(by Jim Dear)
You must remove the silinoid that is on the starter in order to reach the rear bolts on the starter.
I had the same problem. But when I took the starter off I found out it had already been replaced once and the top bolt was left out. The starter had been on the car for at least 110,000. I put the new starter on and left the top bolt out. The car has been running fine for 10,000. .Additional helpful info:The torx screws on the solenoid can be easily removed if you purchase a set of torx tips for a screwdriver. Find the wrench size that snuggly fits the part of the torx tip intended for inserting into the scredriver handle (1/4" is most common) and use one finger to hold the torx tip in place while using the wrench to remove the torx screws. Also, as the top bolt is used to prevent torquing, you can purchase a stud, or cut down a piece of threaded rod to provide a "peg" in place of the previous bolt that created all this fun in the first place.
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