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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2007, 09:37 PM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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Angry 318is Starter Replacement - HELP!

I have read several threads here on replacing the starter on my 318. So far it seems to be a pain. Does anyone have some advise on how to replace??
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2007, 09:39 PM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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Very carefully.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2007, 09:00 AM
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+1000. The power given out by one of those bad boys could SERIOUSLY sting

Whats your email, i will send you something that might help
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2007, 07:35 PM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2007, 07:39 PM
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Disconnect the Neg battery cable and I found an offset wrench set quite useful for the nuts on the back as there will be little clearance.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2007, 10:43 AM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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Thanks! I have the battery out of the car. Do know if there is any instructions or manuals I could down load on how to take the manifold off??
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:33 AM
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Check you PM mate
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:36 AM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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Thanks for the help, but now I am really confused the service manual makes it sound as if you just loosen a couple of bolts and it will just come right out like a model A Ford. It's not that easy!

There is no way to get it from the bottom and I have to believe the intake manifold has to come off to remove the starter. Please let me know if anyone has done this procedure.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:28 PM
bmwizzle bmwizzle is offline
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royal PITA

I started working on my clutch on my 318i last weekend, and it took a day and a half to get the tranny off mostly because the starter was giving me hell. There are two types of starter bolt mounts, mounts that are threaded and only require removal of a bolt, and mounts that are not threaded and require you to remove bolt and nut. Most likely, you have the mount that requires nut and bolt. If you can get your intake manifold off, you can probably do it, but you have to remove alot of hard, hard to get to bolts to get the manifold off. I didn't have to remove the manifold (almost did, but someone with very small hands reached through and remove the nut for me) because I had the transmission off, and I doubt you want to go there.

It is not going to be an easy job by any means, especially if your DIY skills have been medium to hard jobs on domestics and easy jobs (like brake change) on your beamer.

A good mechanic, especially bimmer, can have that manifold off in about 15 minutes, have the starter off in 30, and the whole thing together and complete in about an hour and a half. Depending on what your time is worth, it might be better to just pay for the job.

Last edited by bmwizzle; 08-30-2007 at 12:29 PM. Reason: wups, intake, not exhaust manifold
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2007, 12:35 PM
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STOP !!!! Don't take the manifold off. I have two 318is' and have changed the starter multiple times. Patience, offset wrenches, and small hands are helpful. I can switch the starter out in about an hour
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2007, 04:29 PM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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I havn't taken the manifold off yet because it seems unbelievable to me that this car is engineered this way. I have looked at a new starter online just to see how it bolts on and I cannot even see the bolts to put a wrench on it in my car. Plus how would you re-attach the wires??
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2007, 07:19 PM
bmwizzle bmwizzle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-318 View Post
I havn't taken the manifold off yet because it seems unbelievable to me that this car is engineered this way. I have looked at a new starter online just to see how it bolts on and I cannot even see the bolts to put a wrench on it in my car. Plus how would you re-attach the wires??
Well, it is engineered like that. One of the quirky things about the 318. I'm sure with offset wrenches and a set of lady fingers you can feel things out down there, but that kind of stuff is rough. Go to www.pelicanparts.com, they have a pretty good tech tips book with alot of repairs in it. If you look online, you can see it online without having to buy the book.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2007, 08:54 PM
Nor-Cal-318 Nor-Cal-318 is offline
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Hey, thanks this is the best info so far. The Pelican web site is great and the pictures are extremely helpful. I'll let you know how it turns out!
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