97 saturn starter change or removal


Old 03-21-05, 06:41 PM
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Lightbulb 97 saturn starter change or removal

Here are some tips for anyone wanting to change their starter in a 1997 saturn SL2 with a manual transmisson. 97 97 97 saturn sl2 sl2 starter starter

First off disconnect the positive and negative leads from the battery.

Jack the front of the vehicle up and put it on jackstands.

My saturn did not have the heat shield or anything else attached to the starter if you have one remove it.

There are 2 bolts to remove, one you can easily see from below and one you can not see at all.

Remove the lower bolt with a 1/2 inch socket.

Use at least a 4 inch extension (or 2, 2 inch extensions) to find the top bolt by hand. It is at the top of ther starter and not to hard to find if you fiddle around with the extension and a 1/2 inch socket. ( this is contrary to what the haynes book says about it, they say you have to remove it from the top or the engine compartment). This is not true and you will be wasting your time trying to do it that way unless you pull the motor. If you have trouble finding the top bolt you can pull the plastic air intake off the motor easily by pulling the top safety cap off the clamp and then squeezing the clamp with a pair of pliers while you pull it off. This will let you see into the area you need to be in from the bottom. Use an assistant if needed. Under no circumstances will you be able to remove the top bolt from the engine compartment(top) unless you have the hands of a 2 year old and the dexterity of a monk.

Remove electrical hookups to the starter, there are two of them, one a small 10 mm nut and the other a larger 14 mm nut, remember that there are 2 connections to the larger 14mm nut post, one for the alternator and one for the main power from the battery. Reinstallation is the reverse of this.

I put this post up because the starter is really easy to change but when I looked at my Haynes repair manual I couldn't figure out how to do it since there was no heat shield and no possible way to get at the second bolt from above. Guess they screwed up on that one. Installation or removal should not take more the 5 mins. Hope this helps.

For anyone wanting to check their starter after removal here is something you can do.

Hook up jumper cables to a charged battery.
Clamp the negative battery cable to the starter body

Clamp the positive to the main power post and the solenoid post. The starter should now engage if its working.

97 ,saturn SL2 starter removal, replacement, testing. 97

Chris M
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Old 12-03-05, 09:33 AM
98' Saturn Ron
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Thanks for that description!

I've got a 98' SL2 and this helped me a LOT. It only took me about a minute to find the 'blind' bolt. so hopefully it won't take me more than 5 to find the hole when I get the new part to install.
Old 07-18-06, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Good Info.

I was using Chilton's, but your info filled in the void that it left out.

Still, I had tremendous difficulty getting access to the bolt just to remove it.

If anyone believes someone can replace a Saturn starter motor in just 10 minutes (5 in/ 5 out), I've got some land in Louisiana I'd like to sell you!

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