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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Fri, Aug-26-2016, 11:21:36 PM   #1
NolliM3
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Default Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

I have wasted the day trying to remove the starter on 1995 M3 to install a new one...stubby swivel is too short and can't break bolt. Approaching it from under the car leads to can't see sh*t. The E12 socket won't stay on making it easy bugger up, and the wobble extension really offers no ease. If I ever catch the fellows who designed the car, I'll let everyone in the world spank them...I am that angry and frustrated with the car. Is it an E12 or E13?
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1995 Alpine White...X-Brace, Fan delete, Cold Air Intake

Last edited by NolliM3; Sat, Aug-27-2016 at 02:09:14 AM.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 12:35:03 AM   #2
englishtom1596q
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

Don't remember the size but with an extension they shouldn't be that hard to get off. If worst comes to worse you'll have to pull the manifold. I did mine from the bottom and you can gain a bit more space by unbolting the trans brace (with support) and lower it about 1"
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 12:53:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

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Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
Don't remember the size but with an extension they shouldn't be that hard to get off. If worst comes to worse you'll have to pull the manifold. I did mine from the bottom and you can gain a bit more space by unbolting the trans brace (with support) and lower it about 1"
I already took the manifold off in about 1/2hr and spent the rest of the day trying to get those torx...the E12 doesn't fit all the way but what I bought at harbor freight doesn't have an E13...only E14. Those damn video...they only show after the bolts undone.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 01:22:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

In a pinch, a ratcheting wrench will fit ok on some size torx to loosen or tighten. Can be worth trying if you have one that fits. Now that you have the intake off you should have no issue. With 2 people, you can guide a torx socket on and one can hold it on while the other turns from below. Extensions or wobble extensions or ujoints may be needed, as much as 2+ feet.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 02:12:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

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Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
In a pinch, a ratcheting wrench will fit ok on some size torx to loosen or tighten. Can be worth trying if you have one that fits. Now that you have the intake off you should have no issue. With 2 people, you can guide a torx socket on and one can hold it on while the other turns from below. Extensions or wobble extensions or ujoints may be needed, as much as 2+ feet.
Yes, that's what I might need to do...get a helper. Lowering the transmission is intimidating because the car is at an apartment that has slight sloping pavement.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 04:49:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

You could loosen motor mounts, pull trans support bolts, let motor fall back 2 inches until head hits firewall, then more easily access bolts. I usually do thhs.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 12:27:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

I did starter motor job back when I had 318is. It sucked ass balls even though the engine was smaller being 4 cylinder.
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Car history: E85 Z4 3.0i smg//Current: 98' E36 M3 evo
Current setup:Bilstein clubsport coilover// E46 M3 front Brembo 4P & M perf 2P rear //Recaro SPG, SR-2 bucket seats//Sparco 35cm steering wheel//17 inch 8J BBS RX204 front & 9J rear ATS//GruppeM intake system//LTW style rear spoiler//Hella headlights
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 01:27:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

Etorx need to be used correctly, not rigged by going a size up. If the E12 goes on half way, it is the CORRECT socket and you must finish pushing the socket up the bolt head. They are a tight fit. If you fail to do this or go up a size, you will ruin the bolt head.

You need to use 1/2" if you are finding break away torque too high for your current hand tools. The more extensions and swivels you add, the more effort is required. Assuming you are using 3/8", 1/2" will transfer more if your force into the bolt. Or use a longer breaker bar with 3/8".

Getting to the starter is quite easy. The whole 5-speed trans is easy to work around for that matter.
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 09:58:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
Etorx need to be used correctly, not rigged by going a size up. If the E12 goes on half way, it is the CORRECT socket and you must finish pushing the socket up the bolt head. They are a tight fit. If you fail to do this or go up a size, you will ruin the bolt head.

You need to use 1/2" if you are finding break away torque too high for your current hand tools. The more extensions and swivels you add, the more effort is required. Assuming you are using 3/8", 1/2" will transfer more if your force into the bolt. Or use a longer breaker bar with 3/8".

Getting to the starter is quite easy. The whole 5-speed trans is easy to work around for that matter.
Thanks Braymond141...I got the lower bolt out by doing what you said of going with 1/2 and tapping the E12 on for proper seating. The upper one however, we (me & helper) couldn't get it in time before the rain closes the show. Any hint on the last one appreciated!
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Old Sat, Aug-27-2016, 10:51:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy!

Lower the trans tail as Tom suggested. You'll get more room to get your hands up there and seat the socket. Just be sure to properly support the tail as you do this and don't come down too much. Mechanical fan will hit the shroud and the motor will hit your blower fan cowl cover.
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Discussing Any Starter Removal and Install Tips...Easy! in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)