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95 Chevy Lumina Starter Bolt

I’m trying to remove a bad starter off of my car, but there’s one last bolt on the side furthest from me and in such a tight spot that we can’t seem to get it off. It’s so close to the engine that there isn’t enough wiggle room to move any type of tool to get the bolt off. Help!
Engine: 3.1

p.s. I’d like to avoid having to move the engine or anything crazy like that at all costs. Thanks.

The starter bolts up from below.

You can’t get socket on an extension on the bolt to remove it?


We can’t see you so we don’t know which bolt you mean.

However, YouTube can show you lots of things, including starter removal. This vid is for a 97 (should be close) with a 3.1 V6. You didn’t say which engine you had - that’s a really important piece of info to omit!
So good luck and good viewing;

The space is so limited that we can’t seem to get one on there, even with extensions and swivel sockets.

That video was less than awe inspiring. He thinks you can get electrocuted from 12 Volts, doesn’t know what a pittman arm is and didn’t actually show anything being removed.

He only tried the original starter with an 11 volt battery so we are not even sure the starter needed replacing.

He thinks the oil on the starter might have killed it but he didn’t even suggest fixing the leak.

On the other hand, if he can do it, probably can.

i pulled the trans on a similar gm car and really had a hard time with 1 bellhousing bolt
that was on rear of motor between firewall/motor
seems you take off pass tire and use a 30" extension to remove it.
i have a 24" and a 12" extension. ever hear of a torsion bar? lots of twist
the starter was installed at factory. with motor/trans out of car?
pretty sure the engineers designed it too come out later in life

I’ve never worked on a Lumina, but I had similar difficulty getting access to the bolts when replacing the starter on my Corolla one time. I had to experiment around with tool configurations using various length extensions to finally figure it out.

If you don’t mind a little story OP, one time my golf swing went to pot so I took a golf lesson. The instructor watched me a while taking swings, then said “George, there’s a lot of rules in golf telling you to not do this, and not do that, but one thing you are still allowed to do is aim.” Turned out my problem was I was concentrating on what not to do rather than what TO do. All I had to do was adjust my body position to aim where I wanted the ball to land, and that corrected my swing problem. lol … What I’m saying is that when working on cars to remember you are allowed to remove the wheels and turn the steering wheel to get access to the bolts. Even remove the axle shafts if you have to. In the case of my Corolla, in addition to the right length socket extension, which was different for some bolts than others, also I had to remove some of the under-englne shields, and turn the steering wheel in various direction to move stuff out of the way of where I wanted to place the ratchet.

According to what I’m seeing, for a Lumina w/the v6 3.1 L, the recommend procedure is to

  • remove air cleaner ass’y
  • remove oil filter
  • re-position hose adjacent to starter
  • disconnect starter brace from AC compressor
  • remove brace
  • remove flywheel inspection cover

At that point you should be able to access the starter bolts. Apparently you lower the starter a little first, then you have access enough to disconnect its electrical harness. Note that there may be shims installed, so watch for those and make sure to put them back where you found them on re-install. Best of luck.