Originally Posted by thejoshfromtn
The year model is a 2000 and its a 4x4, v6 4.3. I cant seem to find, online, a good source detailing how to do this. I know to unhook the positive wire from the battery. I get under the car and can see 2 bolts but I cant access the top of the starter it seems without removing the alternator. I'm ordering a Haynes manual but that most likely wont be delivered for another few weeks. If anyone can help with good detailed instructions(pictures, videos, walk throughs etc), it would be greatly appreciated and I'll give five stars to the person that does.
Reach through the fender well with a 1/4" ratchet and 8mm and 13mm sockets and removed the wires. Then used a 1/2" ratchet and 13mm socket from under the jacked up vehicle to remove the 2 bolts. Pull it out of the bell-housing and rotated it 180 degrees and it slid right out. Don't try pulling it out gear end first, will not work. After figuring out the process, it only takes another half hour to do the reverse and get it back together.
The long version
The factory starter is very difficult to remove from this vehicle. I'm sorry to say there is no "easy" way to do it.
You will need to remove the two main starter bolts first. On some there is also a small bracket attached to the rear of the starter that also will need to be removed from the starter as well as disconnected from the vehicle. Do not remove the transmission lines. This will cause more problems for you then it will solve.
Once all bolts and brackets are removed you will need to spend some time carefully rotating and repositioning the starter in order to get at the wires for removal. I believe you need to rotate the starter to the left and then angle the rear end up into the engine compartment in order to expose the wires.
This is no easy task, it takes some time and patience (and small hands) as the wires are short and rather stiff with obviously not much room to work in.
You will not be able to get a wrench in there to remove the wires. A long extension on a socket wrench and perhaps a u-joint swivel is the only way.
The other way to disconnect the starter wires is to remove the front wheel and go through the fender well by flipping up the splash guard up so you can undo the wires before you remove the two starter bolts.
Once you finally get the wires disconnected you will have to spend several more minutes rotating the starter around to get just the right angle to get it out. If I recall correctly it will need to be both rotated as well as angled up into the engine compartment before you will be able to get it out of the very small hole that you have to work with.
It will take a while and can be a very frustrating task getting it positioned and turned around just right.
On the up side. The aftermarket starters are smaller and pretty much slide right in without much effort. Though the wires are still a bit of a pain to get reattached. Also not that if the starter does not line up to the flywheel, your going to have to use shims to ensure that you don't eat up the new starter gear.
Good luck and keep us posted.