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My starter motor was making a horrible din on every start so assumed the pinion gear wasn't returning properly. Every bit of research returned a mention of how horrible and difficult a job it is to remove is so I took on the challenge anyway. Well it's out and I can vouch that it is indeed one of the most difficult and unpleasant mechanical jobs I've ever done. I took the starter to my favorite auto electrician for a rebuild but it was beyond repair. The large plastic ring gear was broken, the solenoid was shot and the pinion gear worn badly. A new one is A$520 so a second hand unit it is. I'll pull it down before installing to check it's OK as I never want to do that job again.

For anyone contemplating this awful job, a number of posts have advised removing the alternator and oil filter which I did. Once the exhaust headers are disconnected and pushed up out of the way the starter can be dropped downwards so I can't see the point of removing the alternator though it does slacken the starter cables making them easier to remove. You may as well stick a new oil filter on while you are there so take that out anyway. You will need to modify a spanner to get the notorious 3rd bolt out, see photo attached. I can't remember where I got that photo but a thousand thank yous to whoever posted it originally.

The other approach is the advise from the auto electrician "should have taken it to a mechanic you don't like"!

'Just' got to put it all back together now.

The exhaust studs all came out with the nuts. The brass nuts are very tight on the studs so I'm thinking of bolting up the manifold by screwing them back as they are. Is this poor practice?

Mark
 

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Those nuts are only flashed with some kind of plating (copper maybe?) so they almost always end rusted up & seized to the studs. FWIW, I'd be happier to either remove the nuts and re-fit the studs, with a bit of thread lock, then fit new nuts. Any studs that won't play, fit new studs. The problem with just refitting them as they are is the not insignificant risk of cross-threading as you try to reassemble it due to the awkward/impossible location you are working in. You'll probably find everything conspiring against you getting them back true & square. While you have it apart, carefully inspect the manifold for signs of cracking as well - easy to sort while it's off.

If you do decide on new nuts & studs as required, I'd just buy some generic brass nuts as the genuine Alfa ones are a frankly absurd price, particularly since they are really single use as well. The studs are cheap enough at least.

New exhaust manifold gaskets as well of course....again, OEM ones are stupid expensive for what they are.

The 12V has a combination of studs & bolts. The bolts are helicoiled into the head. First time I took one apart I thought it was a repair job, but soon realised they came out the factory that way. Makes good sense to me.
 

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I basically agree with all of what Chris says HOWEVER IF that's the way it came out ,that's the way it goes back...E&OE apply...ESP IF twas fitted wrongly upside down Then I would correct.

I am assuming that you are on the CF2 engine where the nuts are relatively easy to get off WRT the CF£ and Vauxhall which like Treet Sweets have a coating on the outside...Those modern Copper coloured nuts jist disintegrate and are a real pain to get off and the wee amount that's left really holds the exhaust in situ.

IIRC In the guid old days a Motherwell Exhaust place substituted the brass nuts for mild steel and the original BRASS nuts were chucked in a bucket. When the bucket was full a visit to the scrappies and a load of readies followed....Hence even before them...Where there's muck there's BRASS. :rofl: I now stick on mild steel and change annually....Saves the grief and new swearies when trying to get it off again.

Further however the cost of those exhaust gaskets costa fortune (thon Spanish Holiday resort) and makes yer car a write off. :lol:

Was thinking about this the other day with TIa struggling to start ,before normal service restored, just how many years I had taken off the life expectancy of the starter motor.

Well done anyway.

Pomeo

Wonder who I can send mine to when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Chris, Pomeo, Pretty well what I thought regarding the studs. I priced the exhaust gaskets and you are right, $50 each!!! I can't find any aftermarket here in Oz so may have to get some material and make some myself, I need the car back on the road.

The starter hasn't arrived before the weekend so I can be getting on with a couple of prep jobs. I broke the hose that goes from the expansion tank to the heater hose. The join just pulled out of the heater hose leaving a hole. Not sure what I'll do about that. I'm loath to go into my local Alfa dealer for parts, the place always makes me feel underdressed with everyone wearing suits and ties, even the mechanics are dressed better than me. I suppose someone has to pay for the leather couches and pot plants. I also sheared an exhaust bolt so another fun job under the car. I want a hoist.

Mark
 

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It's almost worth buying an engine gasket set once you are looking at exhaust gaskets and maybe cam cover gaskets as well. Crazy prices, although there are some alternatives that aren't quite so daft.
 

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It's almost worth buying an engine gasket set once you are looking at exhaust gaskets and maybe cam cover gaskets as well. Crazy prices, although there are some alternatives that aren't quite so daft.
EXACTLY what Chris says above. Thought about that yesterday.
HOWEVER .EWE KEN ME.

When Lacey had the "COMMON" manifold I had it on and off a few times and reused the original gaskets with no problems at all. In fact I always reuse unless they are busted I have to try in some small way to save the planet. :lol: :rofl:

Thermostat gaskets are the top off a carry oot Chinese container lid...Til they went all plastic BUTT sum still do the metal foil bottom and cardboard lids.

Pomeo
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've retapped the exhaust manifold stud holes, cleaned up the studs and refitted them with Loctite. Having done this i can see how right you are Chris, it would have been a nightmare job trying to get those studs in straight with the manifold in place with so little working room. I'll reuse the gaskets as they're in good condition and they're all I've got.

I'm intrigued to read that some manage to get the exhaust manifold out. There is no way I could find to remove it either up down or sideways. Luckily it moved up far enough to get the starter out.

Still waiting for the replacement starter to arrive.

Mark
 

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EXACTLY what Chris says above. Thought about that yesterday.
HOWEVER .EWE KEN ME.

When Lacey had the "COMMON" manifold I had it on and off a few times and reused the original gaskets with no problems at all. In fact I always reuse unless they are busted I have to try in some small way to save the planet. :lol: :rofl:

Thermostat gaskets are the top off a carry oot Chinese container lid...Til they went all plastic BUTT sum still do the metal foil bottom and cardboard lids.

Pomeo
Pomeo, so glad to hear you are saving the world one Chinese container at a time. I:thumbup:
 
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