Vauxhall 2006 1.3 Diesel Combo Van Starter Motor Removal

20 Jan 2012
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United Kingdom
Hi Where is the second upper Starter Motor bolt located on a 2006 cdti 1.3 Vauxhall Combo Van and how do I get to it. Somebody suggested removing the battery and the the battery tray. I did that but it is solid metal under the battery tray.
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Thanks for the suggestion Mursal Still can't locate it ,I just cannot feel the head of the bolt. According to pictures of the starter motor it is 180 degees from the bottom bolt,tried to see it with a small mirror. It just does'nt seem to be there .It looks like it may be bolted on from the other side(bottom bolt goes from the back and the top goes in from the front).Any other suggestions please. If not I will have to put it in the garage
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Signed up just to post some info on this for when others google the same issue and click on this link.

Ok.. Info

There ARE two bolts used and the top one hasn't been sheared off (unless it actually has !!)

To get to the top bolt you will have to move the radiator expansion tank and the diesel filter.

Stop whingeing about that and just do it.. There is NO other way. (It's not difficult to remove those but be careful when pulling out the diesel feed pipes and clamp the top water pipe you will have to remove from the expansion tank.

Naturally you will have already disconnected the battery !

ok.. Now the Dog can see the Rabbit.. Except you can't. If you walk back about ten feet and then run and dive head-first into the engine bay you may possibly get a glance of the inspection port on the back of the bellhousing where that top bolt resides !! (just before you knock yourself unconscious)

Pic.. 1:

Here's a pic of the back of the starter before we got it off


The vehicle in question (with my missus trying to get the damn thing off)


The damn bracket after we dismantled in situe and beat the crap out of it.


I'll edit this tomorrow as I've got to go to work now.


Ok..Tomorrow has arrived !!

It really might be worth going and buying the correct tool from Vauxhall/Motor factors before attempting this but I am going to assume you wont !

You will need a very thin extension bar/s (1/4 drive) and tape the joints together. You will also need a socket taped on the end with the correct size Torx "key" in it .. Also taped on.

Why taped on ?

Well, you are going to be "stabbing in the dark" trying to find that bolt and you really don't want to be dropping any bits in there !

You need the quarter drive instead of 3/8th because it needs to be thin to give you enough clearance to insert straight. Any bigger and the bellhousing gets in the way.

So where is the perpetrator bolt in my pic of the inspection port ?

EXACTLY !!. It IS in there (We took that pic after bolting the starter back in.) It's actually in the very top left of the port.

Question "So how did you get it out?
Answer We didn't. Not the manufacturers recommended way anyway !!

Because when I removed the bottom bolt (the easy one) the starter immediately wiggled like a very loose tooth I (wrongly) assumed the top bolt must've sheared or something (there's an ASS in Assume - I guess that was/is me). I couldn't see the inspection port as I hadn't removed the diesel filter and googling had brought up diddly squat (hence why I'm writing this).

So.. As we already had a new replacement starter we decided to dismantle the old starter whilst still attached and see if we could get the bugger out that way.

Basically...You cant !!

After dremelling and beating the crap out of it (no swing room so it was akin to hitting it with a tiny toffee hammer) I got the biggest, sharpest drill bit I had (now on Day 2) and drilled straight through the remaining alloy starter case (the part that attaches to the bellhousing) aiming to drill at least half of the top mounting bracket off.

That worked but the bugger still hung on for grim death.

I eventually discovered I could feel the bolt with a finger and move it tiny amounts in the half broken bracket. So bit by tiny bit I unscrewed it until it eventually fell off !!

YAY !!

NOW we could see daylight inside the bellhousing which led us to remove the expansion tank & diesel filter and find the inspection port !!

Now the trickery bit (after cleaning all the debris/shavings away)

I removed the top bolt and attached it to a 3/8th drive extension & bit and went to re-insert via the inspection port.

No go. You just couldn't get the angle right, not even with my guiding it back in place under the car (finger in the starter housing) and my brother via IP port. This is when we discovered we would need the 1/4 drive and extensions.

Once located, the new starter was offered up and locked in place within ten mins.

On analysis we came to the conclusion that whoever put the new clutch in it had had 6 months prior had slipped off the top bolt whilst doing it up and couldn't "re-find it" to nip it up tight.

So left it !!

As you all know a starter motor has terrific torque And we suspect the loose top bolt enabled the starter to "flex" in it's mounting which in turn made the bendix operate "out of parameters" which caused it to fail.

Hope you all had a good laugh and won't make the same mistakes we made..Or at least have prior knowledge now as to what to expect.