With the cold weather it seems like a lot of folks have been posting about starter issues. I had greased my starter shaft last winter, which fixed it for a while, but the noise is back, along with some sticking and grinding, so I decided to open it up and give it a thorough greasing. This worked great for me, but undertake at your ow risk. I was ready to buy a new starter so I had nothing to lose.
3/8 socket driver
two standard socket extensions
12mm socket or wrench
8mm socket or wrench
file and sandpaper
For folks that haven't R&Red a starter, its pretty straight forward.
First remove the intercooler and disconnect the negative side of the battery.
The starter us held in by two 14mm bolts. The top bolt is longer and also has a ground attached to it.
The bottom bolt is a little harder to get to, I actually like to put the car up on ramps, its much easier to get to from the bottom, although I have done it from the top. Two standard socket extenders will give you just enough room to torque it and also get a good rotation on the bolt.
Once both bolts are out, the starter should slide out of the bellhousing fairly easily. So you have two choices here, you can go the easy way and just grease the shaft with the electricals still connected, this might work fine. But there's also some benefit to tearing the whole thing open, greasing the internals and also cleaning your wire contacts etc.
So if you are going all the way, next you remove the small wire rectangular electrical connector, it doesn't have a clip and should slide off. Now you can rotate the assembly up to easily get at the main power line. Pull back the rubber cap and undo the 12mm bolt.
So here is the starter gear.
and here engaged, just by pushing it forward with my finger.
If you are just greasing the shaft, apply grease to the shaft and work the gear back and forth until it distributed and the gear moves freely in and out.
I went for full surgery.
First, undo the two 8mm nuts at the back end of the starter and remove the brass colored brace.
once that is removed, undo the other two long 8mm bolts holding the starter motor to the assembly.
Now undo the 12mm bolt connecting the woven bare wire to the solenoid from the starter motor. At this point you should be able to slide the motor off the main assembly. You will then see the three gears driven by the motor. Mine were pretty manky and the grease was dry.
Slide those gears off their posts, I put them into some starter fluid to soak.
Next I gently worked the entire shaft/gear assembly out of the housing. Now do this carefully, there are some tiny needle bearings at the very end of the starter shaft that if lost, will pretty much mean you are buying a new starter.
Mine stayed in place just fine. The only thing really holding the assembly in will be gunk, and the rubber seal at the solenoid part of the housing. There are two tangs under the rubber, which also aligns the assembly (circled in red).
Be careful, some of those internal parts are sharp, particularly the outter part of the shaft gear housing assembly. Definitely cut myself pretty good on that.
and here it is pulled out of the housing
There's a fork inside the assembly that prevents the whole thing from coming out all the way, but once pulled back you have enough room to get at the spiral gear. I used a chopstick to get some grease down in there.
Now also grease the shaft on the main gear side and work it back and forth.
Once everything is lubed and moving smoothly, you can reinsert the gear/shaft assembly back into the main housing. Make sure you line up the tangs with housing (picture with red circles above). I used a small screwdriver to lift the rubber up and slide the tangs underneath. Make sure the subassembly is all the way back into the main housing.
Next I cleaned out the area where the three gears were, greased the posts, and the gears and reinstalled them.
While the the motor was off the starter assembly I also took some sandpaper to both the small terminal connector (which had some seriously congealed dialectric on it) and both copper terminal posts, cleaned them up to bare metal.
Next, put the motor back into the main housing, make sure it lines up with the bolt holes and your power wire is on the solenoid side. Tighten both bolts barely snug and then alternate back and forth until they are good and tight.
Now install the brace and the two 8mm nuts.
Reattach the lead between the solenoid and the motor and you are ready for reinstall in the car.
At the car, reattach the main power wire from battery. I also used a small jewelers file and some starter fluid to clean up the small single wire terminal which was totally gunked up and corroded.
Next insert the starter into the bellhousing, exposed side of the starter gear facing the middle of the engine/tranny.
Snug the top bolt hand tight to hold everything in place but still loose enough to move align the bottom bolt hole.
If you want your car to work right, MAKE SURE YOU REATTACH THE GROUND!
Insert the bottom bolt, tighten with socket, then snug the top. I retorqued both top and bottoms bolts one more time just to be sure, you don't want to starter working itself off the engine. Torque to 37 ft/lb.
I have only started the car a couple times since doing this, but it sounds 100% better. Hope it works for you. I will update after the first ultra cold morning start.