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Old 06-19-2013, 02:50 AM   #1
bobbyrae has a spectacular aura aboutbobbyrae has a spectacular aura about
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 445

1993 SL2
Default Starter rebuild for early S-series Saturns

Starter rebuild for early S-series Saturns

New Parts needed:

brush holder
drive gear (aka "bendix")
washer, snap ring, snap ring cover
lithium grease

Tools and equipment you will need:

10 mm socket
13 mm socket
15 mm socket
10 mm box wrench
channellock pliers
various socket extensions
set of 1/4" drive sockets
tool for removing plastic rivets
good work lights!
vise with at least a 2" opening
hammer and driver
penetrating oil
electric hand drill and drill bits

torque wrench
dremel tool and accessories
emery cloth

I found a guy online selling starter rebuild kits. His slogan is that if you can replace your starter with a rebuilt you can rebuild it yourself just as easy and save money. Well, not so fast! I could do it, but it took a lot more time and requires more tools. He provides a good video, BUT the starter he rebuilds in not quite the same as ours. I have provided the correct pictures and instructions here, but of course you will want to look at the video as well.

part1 part2 part3

Starter removal:
The starter will have to be removed and replaced of course, but that is not the focus here. Most of that procedure will be fairly self-evident, with the exception of the upper starter bolt. For that, you should build a socket and extension that is roughly 2" longer than the starter itself. From above the engine, you will place this assembly on the top of the starter so that the socket is on the upper bolt, and then crawl under the car and snap a ratchet on the extension where it extends past the starter. You will want to remove the manifold support bracket just before this.

One other thing: the terminal block on the solenoid is plastic and can be cracked if you over tighten. I get things snug. 'Nut driver tight'. No more than that.

This is the biggest difference between our starter and the one in the video. There are NO bolts or screws on our original starters solenoids! Instead, they used something called "divets" which seem to be metal plugs about the softness of aluminum or solder. Whatever it is, we have to drill it out to remove the solenoid.

It turns out that the starter housing opening for the solenoid is EXTREMELY tight, and I decided to open it up a little, simply so that I could slide the new solenoid into place without using a hammer!

The parts are shown here.

1. There are two long bolts that hold the motor to the housing. Note the end cover, which is held to the brush plate by two small hex head screws.

2. Remove the power lead from the lower solenoid connector, then remove the two small brush plate bolts, then the large bolts (10mm nuts). The end cover will come off and the motor will be loose. Remove it.

3. The motor can be separated from the magnetic casing.

4. The solenoid has the nasty "divet" thingys! Drill them out. I found that some of the material stayed behind and so cleaned it out using my Dremel tool. Put some penetrating oil on the solenoid where it enters the housing, wait a bit, then you put the solenoid in the vise and tap it off. Be patient!

5. Then the solenoid is off and the spring and slide are left hanging out of the housing.

6. You can now remove the drive mechanism from the housing. It will slide out. HOWEVER, please note that there is rubber grommet at the base of the solenoid that will slide out as well. Make a point of taking a good look at this thing, noting how it slides in. Above all, don't lose it! It could go flying if you yank on that drive mechanism!

7. Next you have to get the snap ring off so you can remove the bendix. This is where the video really shines. Basically, just remove the washer, tap the lower cover off the snap ring, then use channellock pliers to pry and slide the snap ring off the shaft.

8. Here's the gear reduction mechanism. Take it apart and clean it up. Then apply some good lithium grease and reassemble. This would be a good time to clean up that magnetic casing. Also, I used 600 grit sandpaper to clean the brush contact points on the stator.


Bobby Rae
Alameda, CA
1993 SL2 A/T, 80k miles, 22/33/43 mpg
1982 Accord 5-speed, 303k miles, 23/32/40 mpg


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