OK, apparently I'm the only guy who ever removed a 2.2 JTS starter. I decided not to wait any longer for my questions to be answered and went ahead and did the starter job this morning. Here's what I learned.
Yes, you can remove it from the top if you're pretty handy with tools. But if I had to do it again, I might put the car up on stands and remove the belly pan to make the job easier. If you drop something working from the top, it won't fall out the bottom and you might have to remove the belly pan anyway.
The Spider workshop manual (and the 159 manual) both show a three bolt starter with a stabilizing bracket but mine is a two bolt affair without any bracket. R&R is pretty straightforward without any surprises. It's tight and I'm sure I'll have purple bruises on my forearms tomorrow.
My starter looked to be in pretty good shape. I cleaned it up and greased the appropriate places. I removed the solenoid, but unfortunately I could not gain access to the contactor inside the housing. I did a little tapping and exploring, but I think the housing containing the windings is crimped onto the plastic end which houses the actual switch, so flipping the copper disk over, assuming that's what inside there, (the actual job I hoped to do) was impossible.
So, after inspecting and cleaning the parts, I put everything back together. There's no way to get my large torque wrench in from the top and my short torque wrench isn't powerful enough, so I used some Locktite on the mounting bolts and used my experience to approximate the proper torque. This ain't my first rodeo, as they say, but rank amateurs should use care not to under-tighten the mounting bolts. It's doubtful if anyone could over tighten the bolts using a short wrench from the top.
The starter works and only time will tell if will let me down in the future.
Does anyone know if I can buy the solenoid alone without also buying a starter?