Flywheel inspection shield

Simple question.

Does this car: a 2001 Cavalier 2.2 manual transmission 5-speed - have a flywheel inspection shield - and if it does, how many bolts are there holding it on and where are those bolts located? I am in the process of replacing the starter and can’t get a straight answer to this question.


Automatic transmissions have access plates so the torque converter hardware can be removed when removing the transmission/engine.


What are you looking for? If this is your transmission, it looks like there might be a small slot at the bottom that could give you a very limited view of the edge of the clutch disk and flywheel:

I have already removed something that was in the way - a steel bar below the starter that blocked the mounting bolts. A diagram online called it a “bending brace”. I have been driving around for the last week with it off the car, and as far as I can tell, it served no purpose at all. But now there is another 13mm bolt in the way, preventing me from removing one of the starter bolts. I figured it was for the inspection shield but I don’t see any other bolts to go along with it - and I am afraid to remove it without knowing what it is there for. I am annoyed at these two unplanned obstacles because all the instructions I have found online did not mention them and made it sound like you just disconnect the electrical connections and then 2 bolts for the starter and you’re done. That hasn’t been my situation.

Are you asking how to remove your starter? Have you looked for youtube videos?

There is no person on the planet who has spent more time looking at literally every single video, website, google-search, forum, discussion board, etc…over the last 5 months than I have. Believe me - my exact make and model is not listed anywhere nor are any of those videos what I see when I get under the car. I would love to find someone to provide the step by step instructions that go beyond what I have seen - which are all woefully inadequate and/or not applicable.


Disconnect negative battery cable. Raise and support vehicle. Remove flywheel access cover. Disconnect starter solenoid wiring. Remove starter assembly. Remove shims and note arrangement for reassembly purposes (if equipped).

According to my service information these are the instructions for starter removal for an 01 Cavalier 2.2 manual trans. I don’t know how much more clear they can be.

It’s kind of a given that you need to remove any items in your way.

Look at your replacement starter to show you the location of the bolts.

So back to my original question. And if I had a dollar for every time I found instructions like these, I would be very, very rich. Just saying “remove” something without answering the question on whether there is a difference between auto rans and manual and/or providing some indication of the location of the bolts in question - is nearly worthless. That is why I came to this forum.

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I know where the bolts FOR THE STARTER are. It is the other bolts in the way that I need information on.




Automatic transmissions have access plates so the torque converter hardware can be removed when removing the transmission/engine.


You can see why I am confused. Half the people tell me yes, and half tell me no.

The engineers thought that bending brace was important enough to be there. You may knowingly be damaging something by operating the vehicle by operating it without this component in place. It sounds like a structural part.


That could all be found in the factory service manual.

If only I had one.

Get a subscription to they have it online.


The starter removal instructions in the factory manual are as @asemaster posted above. However, the instructions make no distinction between auto or manual transmission. The illustrations accompanying the factory instructions seem to show an auto trans. application. Looking in the parts diagrams, manual transmissions do have what is called a “flywheel housing cover” (see #9 in pic below) . The U-shaped notch in it is where the starter goes. The cover is attached to the bottom portion of the bellhousing with 4 bolts. Looking at the video that @tester posted, the cover is visible at 3:08 (the thin plate between the starter and block), but it’s unclear if it really needs to be removed to remove the starter. It may have to be out of the way to allow the starter to drop down.

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Thank you. That is useful. I think part of what may be causing my problem is it might be that previous work on the car either/or starter and clutch - they didn’t replace all of those cover bolts -and that is why I can’t find more than the 1 problematic one - which I am guessing would be bolts 7 or 8 on that diagram. I figured the bolt wouldn’t cause a disaster if I removed it, but didn’t want to be under there and have something really heavy like part of the trans or engine fall down on top of me OR have a deluge of oil pour out. I would still love to know what this bending brace does.

Secures something that would otherwise get too much movement on it. Like a three legged stool is more secure than a two legged stool. (Do they still make those?)

I believe the brace being referred to is #5 in the pic below. GM calls it the “Transaxle Brace (Brkt to Trans)(Front)”. Since the trans. is mounted to the engine using only the top half (or so) of the bellhousing (or flywheel housing per GM), this brace stiffens the bottom part of the bellhousing. Note that there is another brace at the rear (#12).