now it's the starter....

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cory58
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

now it's the starter....

Post by cory58 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:05 am

Went to drive the car after fixing the most recent fuel leak (see "ANOTHER leaking injector" thread) and now it won't turn over. Battery is charged. I can hear the starter solenoid click but the starter doesn't move, so it seems like the starter has failed.

Thinking about changing the starter myself, even though I've read it's a PITA. Any tips for getting the top nut loose? Should I remove anything other than the #6 intake runner? Should I try to bend a wrench for the bolt head? Do I need to get a thin wall socket and/or modify a socket for the nut? Can I make it work with u-joint adapters or do I need wobble adapters? I've also read that half moon wrenches or the 17-19mm wrench from the trunk tool kit can be used to get the top nut loose. Anyone have experience with those?

Sorry for all the questions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Cory
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

brotherhay
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:40 am

Re: now it's the starter....

Post by brotherhay » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 pm

Its easy peas to get the starter out if you ask me.

Go check the tool box in the trunk, the bent wrench you are after is in there.

Its two nuts on the starter to get it out, that wrench will reach both. sure its tight, and you can only get maybe a 1/4 turn each time, but once the nuts are started off, should be able to do the rest with your fingers.

As for the starter being bad after just playing with injectors? I suspect something else has happened to make the starter not turn.

cory58
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: now it's the starter....

Post by cory58 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:12 am

brotherhay wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 pm
Its easy peas to get the starter out if you ask me.

Go check the tool box in the trunk, the bent wrench you are after is in there.

Its two nuts on the starter to get it out, that wrench will reach both. sure its tight, and you can only get maybe a 1/4 turn each time, but once the nuts are started off, should be able to do the rest with your fingers.

As for the starter being bad after just playing with injectors? I suspect something else has happened to make the starter not turn.
Thank you brotherhay! I was hoping the post I found on another forum about using the wrench from the tool kit was correct.

One follow-up question for the group. I've read that using the M30 starter from an E34 (Bosch SR441X) is a good upgrade because it's smaller and easier to work with. Any experiences or opinions on that?

Thanks, Cory
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

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Mike W.
Posts: 2444
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:12 am
Location: Sonoma County

Re: now it's the starter....

Post by Mike W. » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:35 pm

cory58 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:12 am
brotherhay wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 pm
Its easy peas to get the starter out if you ask me.

Go check the tool box in the trunk, the bent wrench you are after is in there.

Its two nuts on the starter to get it out, that wrench will reach both. sure its tight, and you can only get maybe a 1/4 turn each time, but once the nuts are started off, should be able to do the rest with your fingers.

As for the starter being bad after just playing with injectors? I suspect something else has happened to make the starter not turn.
Thank you brotherhay! I was hoping the post I found on another forum about using the wrench from the tool kit was correct.

One follow-up question for the group. I've read that using the M30 starter from an E34 (Bosch SR441X) is a good upgrade because it's smaller and easier to work with. Any experiences or opinions on that?

Thanks, Cory
It's very common in the E28 world where it's an even tighter fit than on E12s. With the gear reduction it's even more powerful along with being lighter and smaller. As long as a core charge doesn't kill you it's an easy choice.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter

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