GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Starter

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TESTING



No-Load Test

See Figure 1

Make the connections as shown in the illustration. Close the switch and compare the rpm, current and voltage readings with the specifications found in the chart located in this section.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Proper connections for the starter no-load test



Current draw and no load speed within specifications indicates normal condition of the starter motor.
 
Low free speed and high current draw indicates worn bearings, a bent armature shaft, a shorted armature or grounded armature fields.
 
Failure to operate with high current draw indicates a direct ground in the terminal or fields, or frozen bearings.
 
Failure to operate with no current draw indicates an open field circuit, open armature coils, broken brush springs, worn brushes or other causes which would prevent good contact between the communtator and the brushes.
 
A low no load speed and low current draw indicates high internal resistance due to poor connections, defective leads or a dirty commutator.
 
High free speed and current draw usually indicate shorted fields or a shorted armature.
 

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1982-83 1.8L (VIN G & O) and 2.0L (VIN B) Engines

See Figure 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. If necessary for access under the car, raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. From under the vehicle, label and disconnect the solenoid wires and battery cable.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rear motor support bracket.
  8.  
  9. If equipped, remove the A/C compressor support rod.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Starter motor mounting - 1982 1.8L and 2.0L engines

  1. Working under the car, remove the two starter-to-engine bolts, and allow the starter to drop down. Note the location and number of any shims. Remove the starter.
  2.  
  3. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten the mounting bolts to 25-35 ft. lbs. (34-47 Nm). Check the starting system for proper operation.
  4.  

1984-86 1.8L and 2.0L Engines
EXCEPT 1.8L (VIN O) ENGINE
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery, then remove the engine harness bracket from the motor mount brace.
  2.  
  3. Remove the upper starter bolt.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the fuel lines from the bracket, then loosen the fuel lines at the fuel regulator.
  8.  
  9. Remove the rear starter bracket.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the cover and wiring to the solenoid and the negative battery cable grounding bolt.
  12.  
  13. Unfasten the lower starter bolt, then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, then install the lower starter bolt.
  2.  
  3. Connect the wiring to the solenoid, then install the cover.
  4.  
  5. Install the rear starter bracket and the bolt for the negative grounding cable.
  6.  
  7. Fasten the fuel line support bracket, then connect the fuel lines.
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Fasten the upper starter bolt, then fasten the engine harness to the motor mount brace.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

1.8L (VIN O) ENGINE
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wiring harness clamp at the motor mount.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the upper starter-to-engine block bolt.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, disconnect the speedometer cable, then remove the transaxle rear strut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the throttle cable bracket.
  12.  
  13. Unfasten the rear starter brace bolts, then remove the brace.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower starter-to-engine block bolt.
  16.  
  17. Detach the starter wiring, then remove the starter by nosing it down between the transaxle and sway bar. It may be necessary to pry the engine forward or detach the sway bar to remove the starter.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter, then install the lower mounting bolt.
  2.  
  3. Attach the starter wiring.
  4.  
  5. Install the throttle cable bracket.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with an automatic transaxle, install the transaxle rear strut and connect the speedometer cable.
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Install the upper starter-to-engine block bolt.
  12.  
  13. Fasten the wiring harness clamp at the motor mount, then connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

2.0L (VIN K & M) Engines

See Figure 3

MANUAL TRANSAXLE
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wire loom strap from the upper starter bolt.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the shift and selector level cables at the external selector lever.
  6.  
  7. Remove the upper and lower transaxle control lever cable bracket and cables.
  8.  
  9. Remove the drive axle support brace.
  10.  
  11. Detach the starter electrical connectors, then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, then attach the electrical connectors.
  2.  
  3. Install the drive axle support brace.
  4.  
  5. Install the upper and lower transaxle control lever cables and brackets.
  6.  
  7. Connect the shift and selector lever cable bracket and cable.
  8.  
  9. Fasten the wire loom strap to the upper starter bolt.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: When removing the starter, be sure to note the location of any shims that may have been used - 2.0L (VIN K and M) engines

AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Remove the blower motor. For details, please refer to the procedure located in Chassis Electrical of this repair guide.
  4.  
  5. Label and detach the starter electrical connectors.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rear starter brace.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the wire loom from the upper starter bolt.
  10.  
  11. Unfasten the upper starter bolt, then remove the transaxle strut.
  12.  
  13. Unfasten the lower starter bolt, then remove the starter from the vehicle through the blower motor opening.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, then secure with the lower starter bolt.
  2.  
  3. Install the transaxle strut.
  4.  
  5. With the aid of an assistant, secure the upper starter bolt, then connect the wire loom to the upper bolt.
  6.  
  7. Install the rear starter brace.
  8.  
  9. Attach the starter electrical connectors.
  10.  
  11. Install the blower motor, as outlined in Chassis Electrical of this repair guide.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

2.0L (VIN H) Engine

See Figure 4

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Remove the upper starter bolt.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. For vehicles equipped with an automatic transaxle, detach the starter electrical connectors.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the engine ground cable at the engine.
  10.  
  11. Remove the rear starter mount.
  12.  
  13. For vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle, detach the starter electrical connectors.
  14.  
  15. If equipped, unfasten the lower starter bolt, then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  16.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Removing the starter on a 2.0L (VIN H) engine

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, then secure using the lower retaining bolt.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with a manual transaxle, attach the starter electrical connectors at this time.
  4.  
  5. Install the rear starter mount.
  6.  
  7. For vehicles with an automatic transaxle, attach the starter electrical connectors at this time.
  8.  
  9. Connect the engine ground cable to the engine.
  10.  
  11. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Install the upper starter bolt.
  14.  
  15. Connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  

2.0L (VIN 1) and 2.2L (VIN 4 & G) Engines

See Figure 5

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. For vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle, remove the bending brace from around the starter.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the starter motor-to-engine bolts, then carefully lower the starter. Remember, the leads are still attached to the starter.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nuts/bolts that hold the starter bracket to the starter and engine.
  10.  
  11. Detach the electrical leads, then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Removal and installation of the starter - 2.2L engine shown, 2.0L (VIN 1) similar

To install:
  1. Raise the starter into position, then connect the electrical leads. Tighten the "S" terminal to 22 inch lbs. (2.5 Nm) and the battery terminal to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Secure the starter using the retaining bolts. Tighten to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm). Install the nuts/bolts that hold the start bracket to the starter and the engine. Tighten the bracket-to-engine bolt to 24 ft. lbs. (32 Nm) and the brace-to-starter motor nut to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  4.  
  5. If equipped with a manual transaxle, install the bending brace.
  6.  
  7. Carefully lower the vehicle, then connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

2.8L (VIN W) and 3.1L (VIN T) Engines

See Figure 6

On 3.1L engines, an "Idle Learn" procedure must be performed which requires the use of a scan tool. You may wish to have the starter replaced at a proper service facility.



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Fig. Fig. 6: Removing the starter - 2.8L and 3.1L engines

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the starter motor-to-engine bolts, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Detach the starter electrical leads, then remove the starter from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, then connect the electrical leads.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, then install the starter-to-engine bolts and tighten to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable. Tighten the cable to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm). Be careful not to over-tighten.
  8.  

On 3.1L engines, this test must be done before the engine is started and requires the use of a Tech 1®or equivalent scan tool.

  1. If equipped with the 3.1L engine, perform the idle learn procedure to allow the ECM/PCM memory to be updated with the correct IAC valve pintle position and provide for a stable idle speed.
    1. Install a suitable scan tool.
    2.  
    3. Turn the ignition to the ON position, engine not running.
    4.  
    5. Select IAC SYSTEM , then IDLE LEARN in the MISC TEST mode.
    6.  
    7. Place the transaxle in park or neutral, as applicable.
    8.  
    9. Proceed with idle learn as directed by the scan tool.
    10.  

  2.  

SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



See Figure 7



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of a late model starter assembly, including the solenoid

Most vehicles covered by this information are equipped with replaceable solenoids. In all cases, the starter must first be removed from the vehicle for access.

  1. Remove the starter and place it on a workbench.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the heat shield.
  4.  
  5. Detach the field strap/lead from the solenoid.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the solenoid-to-drive housing attaching screws, motor terminal bolt, and clamp (if equipped) then remove the solenoid by twisting.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Twist or place the solenoid in position.
  2.  
  3. Secure the solenoid using the retaining clamp, bolt and/or screws, as applicable.
  4.  
  5. Connect the field strap/lead to the solenoid.
  6.  
  7. Install the starter into the vehicle, as outlined earlier.
  8.  

 
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