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Old 07-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #21
Waiex191
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

I undo the wires first. Then take the top bolt out. The easily accessible lower bolt holds it in place. Then you can easily remove the lower bolt and get the starter off. I put it back on in reverse order. Use the visible lower bolt to get it fastened. Then put in the top bolt. With an extension it is easy to get the top bolt.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:02 AM   #22
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

I'll add:

Don't tighten the lower screw fully until the upper one is in and tightened.

The original starter on my '94 was bigger in diameter and length than any of the replacements I have used (like from DB). If you are taking out one of the old big ones, don't be too discouraged about the re-install; the new one will probably be smaller and easier.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:10 AM   #23
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Dizzy Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

I just viewed Richpin's video on starter replacement, it was wonderful and very informative.

Has anyone tried the "Ultima Select" starter from O'Reilly Auto Parts? My starter went out a day or two ago (2001 SL2 manual) and the bolt holes on the O'Reilly starter are closer together than the holes in the engine block!

Finally, and after much frustration, I got underneath the engine and held the starter snugly in position. I pointed a "gooseneck snake-camera" through the right front wheel well and bent it around so I could see the camera from under the car. I saw that the holes were not going to line up. That's when I confirmed this starter isn't going to work.

Do I have to buy another "VALEO" starter exactly like the car received at the assembly line to be sure it will work?

How do things like this get past the "quality control" department at auto parts manufacturers? Has anyone else used O'Reilly's brand of starter successfully?

Last edited by CM400T; 08-02-2020 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

I have not done a Saturn starter, but in my limited experience, and reading of others experiences, parts store starters aren't the best. On this forum, people tend to order a brand right through the companies website,,,,, I think its DB Electrical.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:16 AM   #25
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

$44.61 with free ~2-day delivery.

https://www.dbelectrical.com/product...02-saturn.html

I've used dbelectrical starters and alternators on my saturn and non saturn vehicles for years.

Great quality, and i have never had one of their units go bad since replacement.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:12 PM   #26
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

DB all the way! Until it comes just park on a hill or a clear area and you are set. Easy car to bump start.

Long live the manual transmission!
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Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:12 PM   #27
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Default Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

The upper bolt - the one you can't see (unless you are an alien with eyes on stalks) is a pain.

Best solution I found is electrical tape.

Clean the bolt head, the socket and the extension (3/8) with an aggressive degreaser like MEK. Cut a small piece of electrical tape and put it on the top of the bolt head and force the socket onto the bolt head. Do the same to the extension.

This holds the bolt firmly in the socket, and the socket to the extension.

Now when you try putting that bolt in - it won't fall off and getvstuck between the starter and the engine block.

This method gets used anywhere where "dropitis" is a possibility....
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:38 AM   #28
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Happy Re: Changing a starter on 97 Saturn

Bump start? Um, no. I don't want the car to "get away from me", plus I already tried that trick right there in the grocery store parking lot. My insurance will pay me back for the towing charge. Besides, I'm 54 years old and facing some problems with my right leg over the last 60 days.

I put together an interesting solution, but I have to cut down the size of my JPEG to post it here, and I'm too busy to do that right now.
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