GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Starter

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TESTING



See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Make the connections as shown in the accompanying figure.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Starter no load test connections

  1. Close the switch and compare the RPM, current and voltage readings with the following values, then use the test results as in the following steps:

    2.0L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-55-85 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    2.3L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-50-75 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    2.4L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-50-75 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    2.5L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-55-85 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    3.0L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-52-76 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    3.1L engine: (1994-95) No load test @ 10 volts-45-76 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-11,000 rpm
     
    3.1L engine: (1996-98) No load test @ 10 volts-55-75 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 6,000-12,000 rpm
     
    3.3L engine: No load test @ 10 volts-45-74 amps, RPM at drive pinion - 8,600-12,900 rpm
     

  2.  
  3. Rated current draw and no-load speed indicates normal condition of the starter motor.
  4.  
  5. Low free speed and high current draw indicates:

    Too much friction. Tight, dirty, or worn bushings, bent armature shaft allowing armature to drag.
     
    Shorted armature. This can be further checked on a growler after disassembly.
     
    Grounded armature or fields. Check further after assembly.
     

  6.  
  7. Failure to operate with high current draw indicates:

    A direct ground in the terminal or fields.
     
    "Frozen" bearings.
     

  8.  
  9. Failure to operate with low or no current draw indicates:

    Open solenoid windings.
     
    Open field circuit. This can be checked after disassembly by inspecting internal connections and tracing the circuit with a test lamp.
     
    Open armature coils. Inspect the commutator for badly burned bar after disassembly.
     
    Broken brush springs, worn brushes, high insulation between the commutator bars of other causes which would prevent good contact between the brushes and commutator.
     

  10.  
  11. Low no-load speed and low current draw indicates:

    High internal resistance due to poor connections, defective leads, dirty commutator and causes listed under Step 6.
     

  12.  
  13. High free speed and high current drain usually indicate shorted fields. If shorted fields are suspected, replace the field and frame assembly. Also check for shorted armature using a growler.
  14.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Starter motor noise diagnosis

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 3 through 7

Except 2.3L and 2.4L Engines
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Disconnect the electrical wiring from the starter, if accessible.
  4.  
  5. If necessary for access, unfasten the three dust cover bolts, then pull the dust cover back to get to the front starter bolt. Remove the front starter bolt.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rear support bracket.
  8.  
  9. Pull the rear dust cover back (if applicable) to gain access to the rear starter bolt and remove the rear bolt.
  10.  
  11. Note the number and location of any shims.
  12.  
  13. Push the dust cover back into place (if removed), then lower the starter (disconnect any wiring if previously inaccessible) from the vehicle.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Position the starter in the vehicle, connect the wiring, then install the rear starter bolt.
  2.  
  3. Install the front starter bolt, then tighten both bolts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm)
  4.  
  5. If removed, install the dust cover and the rear support bracket.
  6.  
  7. Connect the electrical wiring to the starter, if not already attached.
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle, then connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Once the vehicle is raised and safely supported, you will be able to see the starter motor



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Fig. Fig. 4: After disconnecting the wiring, remove the starter mounting bolts



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Fig. Fig. 5: When removing the starter, be sure to note the number and location of any shims



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Fig. Fig. 6: View of the starter mounting-3.1L and 3.3L engines

2.3L Engine
1988-89 (VIN D)
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the air cleaner to throttle body duct.
  4.  
  5. Label and detach the TPS, IAC and MAP sensor connectors.
  6.  
  7. Remove vacuum harness assembly and the MAP sensor vacuum hose from intake manifold, then position aside.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the cooling fan shroud attaching bolts, then remove the shroud (including the MAP sensor).
  10.  
  11. Remove the coolant fan-to-upper radiator support bolt, then unfasten the remaining upper radiator support bolt and the upper radiator support.
  12.  
  13. Detach the connector from the cooling fan.
  14.  

Because of the low clearance, be very careful not to damage the TPS lock tang with the fan bracket.

  1. Lift the fan assembly out of the two lower insulators. Rotate the bracket so the two lower bracket legs point upward. Move the fan assembly toward the left (drivers) side until the fan blade overlaps the radiator tank-to-core seam about 1 inch (25mm). Lift the fan assembly from the engine compartment.
  2.  
  3. Remove the harness retaining clip from the engine mount bracket stud. Unfasten the starter mounting bolts.
  4.  
  5. Tilt the rear of starter towards the radiator, pull the starter out, then rotate solenoid towards the radiator to gain access to the electrical connections.
  6.  

Be careful not to damage the crank sensor mounted directly to the rear of the starter. If it gets damaged, it must be replaced.

  1. Detach the electrical connectors from the solenoid.
  2.  
  3. Move the starter toward the driver's side of the vehicle, then lift it from the vehicle.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Insert the starter between the throttle body and the air cleaner housing, then move it toward the right (passenger) side.
  2.  
  3. Attach the solenoid electrical connectors. Make sure to properly position the plastic guard over the stud and nut for the battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the starter into the proper position, install any shims that were removed and secure using the mounting bolt. Tighten the bolts to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  6.  
  7. With the fan's bracket two lower legs facing upward, place the fan assembly between the throttle body and the radiator while overlapping the radiator tank-to-core seam with the fan blade by about 1 inch (25mm). Be careful not to damage the lock tang on the TPS.
  8.  
  9. Rotate the fan bracket, then place the two lower legs into the insulators.
  10.  
  11. Attach the electrical connector to the cooling fan.
  12.  
  13. Install the upper radiator support and the coolant fan should, then install the fan-to-upper radiator support mounting bolt.
  14.  
  15. Connect the MAP vacuum hose and the vacuum harness assembly to the intake manifold.
  16.  
  17. Attach the TPS, IAC and MAP sensor connectors.
  18.  
  19. Install the air cleaner to throttle body duct.
  20.  
  21. Connect the negative battery cable, then check for proper starter operation.
  22.  

1990-95 (VIN D), 1989-94 (VIN A), 1992-94 (VIN 3)
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. If necessary for access, remove the air induction tube.
  4.  
  5. Detach the coolant fan electrical connector, then remove the fan assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the oil filter, if necessary for access to the starter.
  8.  
  9. For vehicles through 1990, remove the intake manifold brace.
  10.  
  11. Remove the mounting bolts; some engines may have 3 starter mounting bolts. Pull the starter out of the hole and move toward the front or passenger side of the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the wiring from the solenoid.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Starter mounting for 2.3L engine-1990-95 models

  1. Remove the starter by lifting it between the intake manifold and the radiator.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Lower the starter between the intake manifold and the radiator, then connect the wiring to the solenoid.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the starter into installation position and install the mounting bolts. For vehicles through 1994, tighten to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm). For 1995 vehicles, tighten the bolts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  4.  
  5. If equipped, install the intake manifold brace and oil filter, if removed.
  6.  
  7. Install the cooling fan assembly, then attach the electrical connector.
  8.  
  9. If removed, install the air induction tube.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable and check the starter for proper operation.
  12.  

2.4L Engine
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the air inlet duct attached to the throttle body.
  4.  
  5. Remove the top starter bolt.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle securely on jackstands.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower starter bolt.
  10.  
  11. Position the engine wiring harness aside.
  12.  
  13. Position the starter for access to solenoid wiring.
  14.  
  15. Remove the wiring attached to the starter.
  16.  
  17. Carefully lower the starter.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Attach the wiring to the starter and position the assembly into place.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower starter bolt.
  4.  
  5. Reposition the wiring.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle and install the upper starter bolt. Tighten the bolts to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Attach the air inlet duct to the throttle body.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Detach the field strap/lead.
  4.  
  5. Remove the solenoid-to-drive housing retaining screws, then remove the solenoid by using a twisting motion.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Twist the solenoid into position, then secure using the retaining screws.
  2.  
  3. Attach the field strap/lead.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  

 
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