Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
2002 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those that have been looking for a how-to on this re:the 4.2L 6.

The starter is easily visible from the top. It's on the drivers side down low near the firewall. You can clearly see the electric connections on the solenoid.

1- Disconnect the battery Neg terminal (duh)

2- Disconnect the two leads that go to the solenoid. One is a 13mm nut for the main line and the other is an 8mm nut for the smaller wire (the other 13mm nug/line just goes to the starter body so leave it alone).

3- You can easily see the one bolt that holds the starter on, it's a 15mm bolt. Remove it.

4- Only one thing left and it's the only part that's difficult. The other side of the starter is not a bolt but a nut on a stud. It's also 15mm but you can't really see it. If you finaggle the loom that rests on top of the solenoid you can catch a glimpse of the nut with a flashlight(assuming you have your head cocked at the right angle :D).

Anyway, with a 6" extension on a 3/8 ratchet and 15mm short socket you can do it by feel but it's a pain. If you slide the socket along the "valley" between the back side of the solenoid and the starter body it's maybe an inch above that straight up. I was able to wedge a small pen flashlight in a unique spot that held the aforementioned loom slightly aside so I could see the nut (barely) while I guided the socket onto the nut. I was in a strange contorted pose to pull this off but it worked, a helper probably would have made pretty quick work of it...I was not in possession of a helper.

5- Once that nut is off the starter actually comes right out the top, you just have to guide it past some flexible vacuum hoses near the brake booster and whatnot but it comes right out.

Installing the new one (I got a one at a scrapyard for $34) is simple other than the same nut that was a bastard to get off. Make sure you glue or otherwise secure the nut in the socket as you guide it back there (I wedged a bit of shop rag next to the nut in the socket and that worked fine). If you drop it back there you'll likely have to pull the starter back out to find it.

I did this in the parking lot of a grocery store in about 50 mins, it's an easy job other than that bastard nut.

Again, this is for the 6cyl, not the 8 which I understand is a sumbitch. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
8 Posts
Outstanding, the other instructions I'd seen on this involved removing some cross member. THANKS!
 

·
Registered
2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
8 Posts
So yeah, that nut? Complete PITA... No offense, but you must have skinny arms! I tore mine up reaching down in there! But I got it done, thanks for the breakdown!:thx
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
15 Posts
Ok, guys, I give up on the 2nd nut, I did all the job but spent a lot of time trying to reach that nut and there is no way. I secured very tight the first one and the starter got no movement at all. everything is working fine and the truck is now back in business. How did I remove the nut? well it seems that the starter was changed before and the person who did the job just left it loose, so i could remove it with my fingers. Is there any way I can leave it there just on 1 bolt and check it periodically?
Thanks
 

·
Registered
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hey great write up on how to remove the starter, thats pretty much the gist of it. The only thing that i had to do different was i took off the panel of four connecters right there in front of you as your standing on the drivers side, i just layed them down to get alittle bigger area to work. I also used a step stoll to get in a better position to reach down further to be able to work. It took about 20-30 mins and looked worse than it really was.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
1 Posts
If you remove the front driver side tire you can get to the starter much easier then comming in from the top...its still cramped but now you can actually see the starter
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
1 Posts
:hail:Thanks for the info. Very Helpful. I removed the drivers side front wheel and inner wheel well which made it much easier. I was able to remove the inner mounting nut and replace it with my fingers and I have large forearms.:thx
 

·
Registered
2005 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
7 Posts
If you remove the front driver side tire you can get to the starter much easier then comming in from the top...its still cramped but now you can actually see the starter
So I'm in the middle of this task and am trying to get the nut off in the back. Any tips??
 

·
Registered
2002 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
249 Posts
So I'm in the middle of this task and am trying to get the nut off in the back. Any tips??
haha..me too, just took it off and going to get a toughone reman at AdvanceAuto w/lifetime warranty for $150.00 after coupon code;) (huge50) anyways, carefully remove vacuum booster line at manifold nipple to swing up out of the way as well as starter leads and some sensor plug. I struggled big time until I removed lf wheel and lower jack to floor...1st time..reached down in and instantly found the nut with my socket/ext.!!! key is to remove wheel & lower front end cause it changes all angles of working to just about perfect..good luck!
Update; I used the 6" ext with a 15mm short socket and loaded it with wheel grease, then set the nut in and much to my surprise..I got! Its really an easy job and very straightforward just have to methodical as most everything is on these trucks..lol
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2005 gmc envoy_sle_xl
Joined
·
5 Posts
Yes, that top nut is a major pain! We took the driver wheel off and still had hard time getting to it. If it wasn't for the plastic wire harness running along the frame definitely would be easier to see. Once I was able to actually see where it was at from top by pushing harness a little, I was able to get to it with a long 15mm socket and 5" extension like everyone said. Only I did it reaching up from bottom with guidance from a helper looking through wheel well. Definitely easier to pull out through top if you remove booster hose. Used the paper towel in socket trick that was mentioned to get it back on.

Thanks everyone for all the tips. I've used this site not only for this but also to diagnose engine whining (idler puller) and replace. Also replaced thermostat. I would have never considered doing these things myself if it wasn't for this forum. I don't know a heck of a lot about vehicles, but I've been able to save myself a lot of money and have the satisfaction of knowing I was able to do these things myself. Glad I found this site as I will be doing other projects in the near future on our 05 Envoy XL with help from this site.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_slt
Joined
·
38 Posts
I just replaced the start a few weeks ago and agree it was a pain but is doable if you have the right tools. Lucky, I had an air ratchet that made getting the top nut out. To put the nut back on, I put one layer of electric tape on the nut, tight fitted my socket on it and that let me secure it enough to get it to thread. After it took, I put the air ratchet on it.

The job took me about an hour to complete.
 

·
Registered
2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
2 Posts
First post here..... Thanks a lot for the information on replacing a starter. It took me almost an hour to get the back bolt off(lack of tools). If you are doing this at home, I suggest you have the right tools. If not, you wind up like me trying to replace my starter for 2 and a half hours.
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi all!

I am a mechanic, have done these before, and I just replaced one of these starters, so let me give my own take that I think will make this process a whole lot easier:

1. DEFINITELY do this by feel. Run your fingers (with the engine cool) along the top of the starter solenoid, toward the engine, and you will feel the nut. Then, just guide your socket/extension toward the nut using your left hand. Do this, and you won't need a jack, lug, wrench, or to remove any part of the truck, except for the booster hose. It's one quick clamp, and the booster side is a plastic fitting inside a grommet. Just pop it out. Use the same process with the aforementioned paper towel jam to get the nut back in. Remove the nut before the bolt, and install the nut after the bolt. It will make life easier.

2. Use a telescoping magnet. Get the nut loose, and you can thread it out by hand. When it gets close toward the end of the threads, use your left hand to put the head of a telescoping magnet right near the end of the stud. When the nut comes loose, you don't have to fumble to catch it, because the magnet will suck it right off. I use a 5 lb. rated telescoping magnet from Harbor Freight. Use this same process to catch the little washers on the starter connections after you remove the nuts.

3. Have a crate or something to stand on by the driver's fender. It will make it a lot easier to reach down toward the starter. I didn't use one this time, but it definitely would have helped, even though I'm 6'1". If you are shorter than me, or have shorter arms, you want a step. Trust me.

3. If your truck happens to have an aftermarket starter, the largest nut on the starter solenoid will likely be a 14mm. Have one ready just in case.

4. Most new starters relocate the smaller connection on the starter solenoid from the engine side, to the outboard side, making reinstalling that connection simpler.

5. Use a ratchet with a shorter handle. A long handle ratchet will be a pain in the ass to maneuver past the other wires and connections down there.

6. Secure the battery negative terminal after removing it. some have a tendency to try to return to their natural position after being removed.


Heed this advice and you'll wonder why everybody makes a big deal out of this. :thumbsup::cool:
 

·
Registered
2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
2 Posts
Count me as another grateful beneficiary of this community! Following the advice in this thread prepared me for the task, and I was mentally ready for the top/back nut. I went the route of going through the front driver's side wheel, but did some of the work from the top. In hindsight, I could have done it all from the top really. On the plus side, it was an excuse for me to break down and buy a decent hydraulic jack. Thanks all!
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
3 Posts
Did the rag in 15mm socket trick cause you dont want to lose it back there. One thing I did that no one has mentioned is got familiar with the starter ear that mounts to the stud so I had a good idea where to poke. Vandelay said slide your socket/extension along the valley between the starter and solenoid which is about the same thing. I had wifey slide the socket in slowly from up top while I guided it onto the nut from wheel well area. Done a lot of starters-this was one of the worst. just wondering if toti1972 had any issues with only one ear buttoned up? Good luck to all with your Trail/voy projects!
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
9 Posts
replaced starter yesterday and today was total about 3-4 hours...

The Bad: the extension + ratchet needing to 'thread through' the metal pipe (also the starter motor ground wire) and bundle of wires trying to find the back bolt was insane.. I went through the top because of the snow jacking it up was something I didn't want to do
without seeing or being able to feel the back bolt .. I took the naked socket and put in on the nut then pushed my ratchet and extension on the back to get to it.. VERY tight behind there

The Good: Luckily the stud was short enough that my shallow 15mm socket was able to loosen that back nut up and after it 'broke' you can pull it off by hand for the most part.. Installing it was very VERY easy .. took me about 25 minutes tops ... I used some masking tape w/the sticky side on the nut then squeezed the socket in and with my fingertips used the socket without the ratchet to get it threaded in and then attached the extension on

Tips:
I put my curved shovel under the starter to catch the nuts, washer, bolts, etc that would drop when i tried to fumble back there and finger tighten or screw things on. when they dropped just pulled shovel out and picked up the part

Disconnect that vacuum booster hose as recommended.. the extra space is priceless

Save your old nuts because some aftermarket nuts are different sizes (my pos bat wire connector was 15mm.. the OEM is 13mm)

I plan on testing my old starter using jumper cables this weekend to 100% confirm it was the cause and not something else.. there is a youtube video about this called "How To Test A Car Starter With A Screwdriver And Jumper Cables!"
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
9 Posts
Good News: went ahead and tested the old starter since I was already greasy dirty and bruised up from swapping the starter out today.. the old one failed.. miserably... could not get pinion/billex or motor to pop or spin.. maybe was bad ground on the starter from my end so I will try again ... if you do not hear from me in this thread it failed and was confirmed bad ...

to all those looking to make this repair.. we feel for you good luck and follow all the numbered directions above and good luck!!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top