CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Starter Help

So I have a 1996 Mighty Max beat up to heck and such but still works (No I did not buy her I just got her as I am a teen needed a car to get to school early for help and such so was just given the beat up fix if you want to car) and well the starter died so I took to my Auto Class and a group of four of us are trying to get a bolt out from the starter and we can not get to the bolt we have tried from up top and bottom yet we still are un-able to get ratchet on the bolt and when we are able to get the head on we cant re-attach ratchet
Any ideas on how to get bolt out would be a wonderful Help

Perhaps a set of wobble extensions or flex-sockets would allow you to reach and remove the bolt in question…They make special tools to solve virtually any access problem…

There are all kinds of “weebles” and specialty tools. A weeble is essentially an extension with a U-joint incorporated into it. There are some very small headed ratchets and sometimes you can get the bolt loose with a breaker bar. There should be an instructor in the class to steer you in the right direction.

There are speciality tools that are made just for this situation. There is a starter wrench that is shaped like a C that has a 12 point box wrench on the end. It reaches around the starter to get at those hard to reach bolts. Usually once the bolt is loosened, you can finger twist it out the rest of the way. Otherwise it is a long slow process of a 1/12 of a turn by 1/12 turn.

The right tool turns a DIYer into a professional (at least a pro can afford to buy the tool off the SnapOn truck). Check with a well equipped Napa, Sears, Autozone, etal. store. You might call around to see if any parts stores will loan out the tool.

Hope this hellps.

I think @researcher is talking about interference wrenches. You don’t need them all the time but you’ll be a very happy camper when you do need them and have them in your toolbox.

Visit your local Harbor Fright. These tools are not the greatest but are okay for occasional use:

These ratchets are pretty handy for weird situations:



http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-ratchet-with-indexable-head-96092.html

Sometimes you just need a shorter handle ratchet, or one of those u-joint adapters that bends. In situations like this though, the first thing I try is an adapter gadget I purchased at Harbor Frieght that allows me to use a n ordinary box wrench to turn the socket, rather than using the ratchet. If you have enough clearance to put the socket on the bolt, but not the ratchet too, this technique may well work for you, and the adapter set is quite inexpensive. I can’t recall what this adapter is called, sorry. But I expect the staff at Harbor Freight (or probably any other well stocked tool store) or maybe somebody here would know.

There are many specialty wrenches for specific purposes, Ford starter wrenches comes to mind, as does the nightmare of removing the starter from a Chevette, requiring a long extension, a swivel joint, deep well socket and a wire to guide the socket onto the mark. I have a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of combination wrenches that have been cut down and/or heated and bent to enable turning a bolt or nut in a tight space. It could be worth the $20 to get Alldata DIY on line as there is likely a specific sequence required to remove the starter.