- Category: Troubleshooting & Repair
- Created on Thursday, 23 September 2010 16:24
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 21:35
- Hits: 1347
Text by Ken Daugherty, Geoff Fleming, Ray Knight, and Dave Wildrick — with helpful input from Al Zim
[Ed: Removing the 356 starter with the engine in the car can be tricky. Here several experts describe their techniques. Be sure and view the photos at the bottom of the page of Ab Tiedemann's custom modified bolt head.]
Ray Knight: Use a ratcheting box end wrench( 17mm or 11/16") on the engine side nut (feel for it behind the fan shroud, can't really see it). From below I use a magnetic holder for the one on top of the starter (my hands are big but my arms long), so the only way I can reach it is to reach over the top of the trans, this is surprisingly easy for us tall long armed guys. You can also us a box end wedged on the engine side, and a socket and long extension from atop the starter. But the best for the next time is to modify the engine side bolt so it won't turn; weld a tab on the side of the head, clamp a small hose clamp on the head, or buy the modified bolt that Ab Tidemann sells. Then you only need the ratcheting box end from the engine side.
Dave Wildrick advice is to: "clamp a Vise Grip wrench onto the nut behind the fan shroud. Go under the car with your 17mm socket. Attach it to both a 3" and 6" extension (both 3/8") interlocked and reach up over the starter to the bolt head. Remove bolt with standard 3/8" ratchet wrench. The vise grips will fall off with the nut attached."
Ken Daugherty uses a special tool: "There is a 'Magnetic Box Wrench' available to hold the top bolt head. A current source is Mid America Motorworks. They call it a "17mm 'V' wrench" part number 113-046. The photos below show a similar tool I bought long ago. Note the extra notch I ground in it. That expands the tools usefulness by allowing it to be used to hold the middle lower case bolt head as the case acorn nuts are torqued. The Magnetic Box Wrench is used on the starter bolt head end (transmission side). When it is out, some folks will modify the end of the bolt by welding a small bar on the head to prevent it from turning 'next time'. Ab Tiedemann offers a modified bolt" (shown farther down this page).
Photo by Ken Daugherty
Photo by Ken Daugherty
Geoff Fleming: The problem with the Magnetic Box Wrench is getting it in place. For an experienced person it can be a tight fit, and for someone unfamiliar with the placement, affixing the magnetic wrench to the bolt head might be beyond their patience level. I got mine when I found it on an engine I removed for a friend. It had probably been there for years, judging from the buildup of dirt and grease.Ab Tiedemann: Afterwerke manufactures a custom modified "helper" bolt, as shown in this phto. Read a detailed description of Ab's method of starter removal here.