: Starter Replacement - It's not as bad as everyone thinks!



97EldoCoupe
05-08-10, 03:45 PM
I hear a lot of people complaining (non-Caddy people) about how with a POS engine like a Northstar, you have to tear the engine apart to get at the starter. Mechanics especially.

1. It's as simple as removing the intake manifold and
2. You don't need to remove the intake on 95-99's.

I just replaced one on a '98 STS and made record time (for me). 45 minutes start to finish.

How? Leave fuel lines connected. Leave the heated TB hoses intact. Brake booster vacuum line left intact.

Simply remove the intake bolts, the ground wire to the fuel rail, remove the bolt holding the fuel rail to the coolant crossover, and prop the one end of the intake up by the P/S pump. With careful hands and small tools you can have the starter out in 20 minutes, without damaging anything. Of course, disconnect the battery first.

All you have to watch out for is the intake ports- don't let any dirt, debris, or small parts fall in. And don't let the fuel rail/lines kink anywhere.

I've heard labor times of up to 9 hours. The day I'd pay someone $900 labor to replace my starter, is the day I will declare insanity.

Just a note to anyone who may need this done in the near future, beware of shops who charge too much (GM techs- I know the dealerships set standards and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone)- if you can't get quotes of 4 hours or less I'd say take a bit of time after work and do it yourself. An unexperienced individual could easily do it in 2 hours.

The guy I changed this starter for had his alternator replaced in St. Catharines Ontario and it costed him $1400.00. Liquid cooled, a bit of a pain, but still an insanely high price. I don't like to see people taken advantage of.

bigtone
05-09-10, 10:18 AM
I've replaced 2 intake plenums on 2000+ the same way, without removing the fuel rails, by swinging the passenger side of the intake up. I posted a few times about doing it that way, but it seems most guys would rather remove the rails.

Kick94sts
05-11-10, 01:22 PM
When my 94's starter went out it was like an hour labor at the mechs. I was afraid right away lol.

KHE
05-13-10, 12:36 PM
I was at a party a few years back and some cretin was carrying on how he got charged $1800.00 to replace his starter. He began to ridicule the location of the starter, etc. I asked him, "Where would you suggest that GM locate the starter" and he said, "In the normal location like on every other car. What were those idiots thinking?". I told him there was no room to package a starter in the conventional location in a FWD chassis. GM Engineers located it in the valley as it was free space. The additional benefits were that the starter stayed clean, cool, and dry since it was not located next to a hot exhaust manifold.

He didn't want to accept that and I told him that I removed the intake manifold on one of my Northstars in 30 minutes. If I had to replace the starter, figure an additional 15-30 minutes. I then told him the dealer saw him coming and ripped him off and the labor charge should not have been more than one hour. He shut his mouth after that...

TryMe96Z
10-28-10, 08:47 PM
When following this process is it necessary to replace the intake gasket?

My 96' STS runs like a champ at 209k, though it has a minor starting issue at the moment.

RippyPartsDept
10-28-10, 09:03 PM
i believe that N* intake seals are reusable if they're in good condition
so usually no replacement is necessary, i think

jimsbox
10-28-10, 09:59 PM
On my 00 DHS they are blue silicone, if they aren't damaged I'd reuse them.

bigtone
10-30-10, 07:40 AM
Both plenum replacements I've done I reused the intake gaskets. No issues.

Submariner409
10-31-10, 02:10 PM
New style intake manifold port seals...........

strabo40
02-17-12, 11:55 AM
I just wanted to say thanks and to bump this thread. I just finished installing a starter in a 1996 Cadillac Deville and would like to add a couple of things here. I tried to leave the fuel lines connected and the brake booster line and another harder vacuum line, but was not able to prop the intake up enough to get to it. The hardest thing to do on this was to disconnect the fuel lines. There was so much dirt and oil in there that the quick disconnect tool couldn't get all the way in to release the fuel line. I sprayed it with some degreaser/oil that I use on my bicycle and this helped.

I'm pretty well mechanically inclined, but far from a professional mechanic. This is the first time I've removed the intake, so it took a total of about 2 hours to remove enough stuff to be able to prop up the intake. This included removing the fuel rail. Removing the starter was no big deal once I could get my hands in there.

I put the new starter back on and buttoned everything back up. This took about 30 minutes. Putting it all back together was a piece of cake. If I have to do this again, I'm sure I can get it all completed in under an hour and half.

Thanks again to 97Eldo for the write up.

vincentm
02-17-12, 02:38 PM
" CAUTION: Do not replace the intake manifold gaskets after intake manifold removal. The gaskets are reusable. The gaskets should only be replaced if the plastic housing or rubber seals are damaged."

INFORMATION
Bulletin No.: 00-06-01-026C
Date: February 03, 2010
Subject: Intake Manifold Inspection/Replacement After Severe Internal Engine Damage
Models:
2010 and Prior Passenger Cars and Trucks (Including Saturn)
2010 and Prior HUMMER H2, H3
2009 and Prior Saab 9-7XSupercede:
This bulletin is being revised to include additional model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-06-01-026B (Section 06 - Engine).When replacing an engine due to internal damage, extreme care should be taken when transferring the intake manifold to the new Goodwrench service engine long block. Internal damage may result in the potential discharge of internal engine component debris in the intake manifold via broken pistons and/or bent, broken, or missing intake valves. After removing the intake manifold from the engine, the technician should carefully inspect all of the cylinder head intake ports to see if the valve heads are still present and not bent. Usually when the valve heads are missing or sufficiently bent, internal engine component debris will be present to varying degrees in the intake port of the cylinder head. If this debris is present in any of the cylinder head intake ports, the intake manifold should be replaced. This replacement is required due to the complex inlet runner and plenum configuration of most of the intake manifolds, making thorough and complete component cleaning difficult and nearly impossible to verify complete removal of debris. Re-installation of an intake manifold removed from an engine with deposits of internal engine component debris may result in the ingestion of any remaining debris into the new Goodwrench service engine. This may cause damage or potential failure of the new service engine.

postman2000
02-19-12, 09:17 AM
Why would you not change the intake manifold gaskets? Its beyond me...I did my intake plenum and i bought Felpro intake gaskets for $12 for the set of 8..Yes i understand they are reusable but thats if you dont wanna buy them..I see no advantage to reusing them besides saving a few bucks..

Shawney1986
02-21-12, 12:56 AM
I just wanted to say thanks and to bump this thread. I just finished installing a starter in a 1996 Cadillac Deville and would like to add a couple of things here. I tried to leave the fuel lines connected and the brake booster line and another harder vacuum line, but was not able to prop the intake up enough to get to it. The hardest thing to do on this was to disconnect the fuel lines. There was so much dirt and oil in there that the quick disconnect tool couldn't get all the way in to release the fuel line. I sprayed it with some degreaser/oil that I use on my bicycle and this helped.

I'm pretty well mechanically inclined, but far from a professional mechanic. This is the first time I've removed the intake, so it took a total of about 2 hours to remove enough stuff to be able to prop up the intake. This included removing the fuel rail. Removing the starter was no big deal once I could get my hands in there.

I put the new starter back on and buttoned everything back up. This took about 30 minutes. Putting it all back together was a piece of cake. If I have to do this again, I'm sure I can get it all completed in under an hour and half.

Thanks again to 97Eldo for the write up.

i replaced my plenum boot awhile back. i just took the fuel rail and propped it away far enough without damaging the lines. hooked a bungie cord to it and conncected to the hood strut! didnt bother with disconnecting fuel lines.. a tad easier i guess.

97EldoCoupe
11-25-12, 12:32 AM
Why would you not change the intake manifold gaskets? Its beyond me...I did my intake plenum and i bought Felpro intake gaskets for $12 for the set of 8..Yes i understand they are reusable but thats if you dont wanna buy them..I see no advantage to reusing them besides saving a few bucks..

It's an old thread, but Charlie you're right. The seals (blue in color from factory) tend to shrink over time. For the few dollars it takes, change them. On 95-99's the gaskets become hard/brittle. Definitely change those.

da324
06-01-13, 12:42 PM
Hi,
I see where you said 95-99's intake don't have to be removed. How do I get to the starter on a 96 Seville out without removing the intake? Isn't it inside the intake manifold? I'm comfortable with tools, but not sure how to take it out without removing the intake. Thanks, Donnie..










I hear a lot of people complaining (non-Caddy people) about how with a POS engine like a Northstar, you have to tear the engine apart to get at the starter. Mechanics especially.

1. It's as simple as removing the intake manifold and
2. You don't need to remove the intake on 95-99's.

I just replaced one on a '98 STS and made record time (for me). 45 minutes start to finish.

How? Leave fuel lines connected. Leave the heated TB hoses intact. Brake booster vacuum line left intact.

Simply remove the intake bolts, the ground wire to the fuel rail, remove the bolt holding the fuel rail to the coolant crossover, and prop the one end of the intake up by the P/S pump. With careful hands and small tools you can have the starter out in 20 minutes, without damaging anything. Of course, disconnect the battery first.

All you have to watch out for is the intake ports- don't let any dirt, debris, or small parts fall in. And don't let the fuel rail/lines kink anywhere.

I've heard labor times of up to 9 hours. The day I'd pay someone $900 labor to replace my starter, is the day I will declare insanity.

Just a note to anyone who may need this done in the near future, beware of shops who charge too much (GM techs- I know the dealerships set standards and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone)- if you can't get quotes of 4 hours or less I'd say take a bit of time after work and do it yourself. An unexperienced individual could easily do it in 2 hours.

The guy I changed this starter for had his alternator replaced in St. Catharines Ontario and it costed him $1400.00. Liquid cooled, a bit of a pain, but still an insanely high price. I don't like to see people taken advantage of.

JoeTahoe
06-01-13, 01:02 PM
You have to remove the intake as the starter sits below it

Ranger
06-01-13, 01:18 PM
Hi,
I see where you said 95-99's intake don't have to be removed. How do I get to the starter on a 96 Seville out without removing the intake? Isn't it inside the intake manifold? I'm comfortable with tools, but not sure how to take it out without removing the intake. Thanks, Donnie..
The starter is in the valley, UNDER the intake, not in it. If you read post #1 again you'll see that he is saying you can "lift" the intake and work under it without actually disconnecting the fuel line and removing it, but that was with the nylon fuel rails (most of which have been replaced with stainless steel.

da324
10-07-13, 03:26 PM
Mine has the stainless lines. Do those have to be taken off to get to the starter, or can they be propped up Thanks..

vincentm
10-07-13, 03:53 PM
Mine has the stainless lines. Do those have to be taken off to get to the starter, or can they be propped up Thanks..

I removed mine, just unseat it at the base of the injectors

wr eller
03-12-14, 06:35 AM
OK - This looks promising - I have a 2001 Northstar. a few questions... When you say "Remove intake bolts" Does that include the 3 bolts that mount the intake manifold to the aluminum throttle? What/where is the "coolant crossover". My fuel rail is black plastic/nylon with to steel leads at the end - does it apply to this thread (can I keep it intact)?
Thanks

maeng9981
03-12-14, 07:20 AM
Does that include the 3 bolts that mount the intake manifold to the aluminum throttle?
Thanks

For a 2001, the intake is held down by 10 bolts and the coupling with the throttle body is done by an "intake plenum" which is prone to cracking. It's unlike the previous Northstars, where the intake manifold is connected with the throttle body with allen key bolts, if I remember correctly. You can either remove the intake manifold leaving the plenum intact with the throttle body, or remove the intake manifold WITH the plenum by removing the mentioned three bolts. Your choice. I had to remove fuel rail + injectors on a 2000 (2001 the same) to get easier access to the intake manifold bolts.

http://i.imgur.com/gT8JC7v.jpg

wr eller
03-12-14, 07:49 AM
Wow - thanks for the quick response !!!

It seems that we (you and I) are unlucky enough to have the year(s) where the fuel rail + injectors must be removed :>(

I am a pretty decent "do-it-yourselfer" (changing Oil + Filter, rotors, brake pads, radiator, plugs, coil banks, etc) but, never before removed injectors + rail.

Any insight/help/instructions would be much appreciated - (i.e., how do I not spew gas everywhere, is there a specific order to the removal :>) ?

Thanks

Submariner409
03-12-14, 10:21 AM
Look through Cadillac Tech Tips down in Discussions or Google "cadillac forums 2001 northstar intake manifold removal".

It's not rocket science, but a couple of hoops to jump through. The manifold bolt torque is 7.5 lb/ft. Not much - get carried away and you crack the bolt bosses = new manifold. Smear a drop of engine oil on the upper and lower injector O-rings before you replace the fuel rail.

Replace the plenum at the same time. Google the same ^^^ except substitute "plenum". $16, with seals, from RockAuto. Dorman brand. A Cadillac dealer wants some ludicrous price for the seals alone - staggering ripoff. NAPA has them, too.

Pictures and part numbers in my 2 albums - the Community tab, Albums, the red Seville.

wr eller
03-12-14, 07:54 PM
Got it - I just put the new starter in - I will replace the rest tomorrow. It was not too bad - the key, disconnect wires from injectors, remove 3 bolts attaching intake plenum to throtle body. Fuel line lifts right off, Intake follows without much effort. Then you see in the cavity what you have been working towards for 2 days (the Starter). I changed that in 10 minutes

Thanks for everything

wr eller
03-14-14, 12:14 PM
Still screwed - replaced the started, all vacuum hosed - gas line, reconnected battery - etc, etc, etc --- Car won't start :>(. Turn the key - hear a click. Turn the key in the ignition setting, run the gear shift through all the settings a couple of times, retry to start - AI hear the starter kick in then, it doesn't turn the motor. A weeke ago, I could go through this cycle a few times and eventually it would start. A few days back - this approach no longer worked so, I assume the starter gave out. Replaced the starter, same thing as Monday. Battery at 13.4 volts. Can anyone advise me on this?

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OK - so I p[laced the car in neutral - turn the key - started right up. It has been starting in Park ever since. What is the problem? I also noticed a little gas leak from one of my injectors - Not enougfh oil on the injector O ring?

Submariner409
03-14-14, 02:18 PM
The engine should start in either N or P. maybe there's a glitch in the Internal Mode Switch (your 2001) or the main transmission wiring harness connector needs cleaning/drying. The large umbilical cord that loops out of the left (front) side of the transmission - down below the water pump cover area.

The IMS is inside the transmission, on the lower valve body, operated by a long shaft from the shift cable quadrant on the transmission top - in front of your gas pedal foot.

wr eller
03-14-14, 04:26 PM
Well - at least I got the injector to stop leaking :>) I have never played with the trannie so, I will have to try to find what this harness looks like - It sounds like this will be the easier of 2 things to check. How do I get to the IMS?
Thanks

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When I turn the ignition key, the console lights dim but all I hear is a faint click. When I run the shifter through all the gears, the (new) starter sometimes engages but, never fully turns. I keep at it in that fashion (run the stick through all the gears) and eventually it starts. Starts a few time without this approach then, when I turn it off (w/o notice, warning) – it just won’t start again.
My mechanic told me to change the starter (instead of paying him $600). It did not help

devilledts
03-22-14, 01:07 AM
Check your battery connections and battery voltage a weak battery or battery going bad gives these symptoms i seen it before with the Cadillacs I own did you bench test old starter after you removed it

wr eller
03-22-14, 10:32 AM
Found problem !!
There is a "Starter Relay" which I changed (no help or change) and, there is an Ignition "IGN1" relay - which, when I replaced - started right up. Been working ever since. Well, I now know how to:

Change fuel line, Remove intake plenum, replace starter, change relays !!

Thanks for all the help!!