How to Install a Starter Motor in Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The starter motor, small but mighty, turns the flywheel in an attempt to set the engine on your Vehicles in motion. When the starter fails, the engine will not run Vehicles all. Damage to the starter motor most often happens from a weak drive assembly thrust spring. This causes the starter to disengage itself from the flywheel too soon, before it effectively starts the engine. Replacing the drive mechanism within your starter can also be done. However, the amount of work required proves nonproductive compared to just installing a new starter entirely.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Starter Motor in a Mazda 626

Raise the hood on your 626 and locate the car battery. Remove the negative cable from the battery with a socket wrench and position the cable away from the battery. The negative post on the battery is easily identified by the small (-) minus symbol on the battery’s case.

Engage the emergency brake and then raise the front end of the car with a suitable hydraulic jack. Place a jack stand under the frame rail on both sides of the car, then slowly lower the car down onto the jack stands.

Locate the starter beneath the car. It looks like a metal tube that has a smaller tube connected to it with wires coming out of it. The smaller of the two is the solenoid.

Label each of the wires clearly with white painter’s tape connected to the solenoid. You should see three wires in total. Two wires are held in place by nuts and the other one is a push-on wire.

Remove the push-on wire first by grasping it at its connector and then by pulling it straight off the solenoid. Loosen and remove the two nuts holding the other wires in place, then take them off the solenoid’s studs.

Remove the two nuts and two bolts holding the intake manifold bracket in place with a socket wrench. Place the bracket to the side of your work area. Put the two nuts and two bolts in your pocket.

Remove the two starter mounting bolts on the top of the starter at its base with a socket wrench. The innermost mounting bolt may be tough to get to with your socket wrench. Therefore, you may have to connect a flexible extension to your socket wrench to remove the bolt.

Brace the starter motor with your free hand and begin loosening the bottom starter mounting bolt. Once the bolt is loose enough to remove, do so, then place both hands on the starter motor and carefully lower it down from its mounting position.

Install your new starter motor on the 626 by reversing the removal process.

Tighten the starter mounting bolts to 32 ft-lbs. with a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench. The intake manifold’s two nuts should be tightened to 15 ft-lbs. and 35 ft-lbs. for the two bolts. The solenoid’s two nuts need only be snug enough that the wires can’t move around freely.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Hydraulic jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • White painter’s tape

  • Flexible socket wrench extension

  • 3/8-inch drive torque wrench

 How to Install a Starter Motor on a 350 Chevrolet

Disconnect the battery’s ground cable with a wrench.

Raise the vehicle to a working height with a jack then support the vehicle with safety stands.

Note the location of each wire which connects to the solenoid, then loosen the nut which secures each wire in place with a wrench and pull the wires off of the starter.

Remove the starter’s two mounting bolts with a wrench then lower the starter from the vehicle.

Insert the replacement starter into position against the transmission’s bell housing, then hand-tighten the starter’s two mounting bolts. Tighten both bolts to 25 to 30 foot-pounds of torque with a torque wrench.

Slide the metal loop at the end of each starter wire onto its respective threaded rod then tighten each wire’s nut onto the metal tip of the wire with a wrench.

Raise the vehicle with the jack and remove the safety stands, then lower the vehicle to the ground.

Connect the ground cable at the battery with a wrench.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Jack

  • Safety stands

  • Torque wrench

 How to Install a Starter Motor for a 2002 Kia Rio

Remove the Starter

Open the hood of your Rio and locate the negative battery cable end where it attaches to the negative battery terminal. Loosen the clamp bolt on the cable end with a wrench, then carefully remove the cable from the battery. Isolate it from the battery while you are working.

Raise the front of your Kia off the ground with a jack. Make sure it is high enough to work under, then position a set of jack stands under the front suspension to support the car.

Position yourself under the passenger's side of the car and locate the starter on the engine. The Rio has a support bracket under the starter that you need to remove before you can remove the starter. Remove the four bolts on the bracket with a socket and ratchet, then set the bolts and bracket aside.

Locate the wiring connections on the back of the starter solenoid. There are two connectors on the starter: the "B" terminal, which is a large stud and nut terminal at the top center of the solenoid, and the "ST" terminal, a push-on fitting on the outboard edge of the solenoid and slightly below the "B" terminal.

Grasp the push-on connector with your fingers and pull it straight off the terminal. Lay it aside for now. Reach up to the "B" terminal with a ratchet and socket and remove the nut, then slide the wire off the stud.

Move to the front of the starter and remove the three mounting bolts that secure it to the bell housing with a socket and ratchet. Slide the starter back from the bell housing, making sure the nose cone fully clears the housing. Lower the starter out of the engine compartment.

Installing a New Starter

Raise the new starter into the engine compartment and slide the nose cone into the hole in the bell housing. Install the three mounting bolts and tighten them to 35 pound-feet with a torque wrench.

Install the large wire you removed from the "B" terminal on the old starter to the "B" terminal on the new starter followed by the retaining nut. Tighten the nut with a socket and ratchet until it is snug. Be careful to not overtighten the nut or you will crack the plastic on the solenoid.

Position the bracket under the starter and install the four retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts to 35 pound-feet with a torque wrench.

Push the hard plastic connector on the second wire onto the "ST" terminal, making sure it seats completely. Move out from under the car and raise it off the jack stands with the jack. Remove the jack stands from under the car and lower the car to the ground.

Connect the negative battery cable end to the negative battery terminal. Tighten the clamp bolt on the cable end with a wrench. Test the repair by starting the car.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

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