GM Lumina/Silhouette/Transport APVs 1990-1999 Repair Guide

Starter

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TESTING




CAUTION
Never operate the starter motor more than 30 seconds at a time. Allow it to cool at least two minutes before cranking again. Excessive cranking can cause serious damage due to overheating.

Before diagnosing starter problems, make sure the battery is good and fully charged, inspect the wiring for damage. Inspect all connections to the starter motor, solenoid, ignition switch, and all ground connections. Clean and tighten connections as required.

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 1: Starter motor noise diagnosis



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Fig. Fig. 2: Diagnostic flow chart for a no crank-no start problem



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Fig. Fig. 3: Diagnostic flow chart for a slow crank, click or chatter, starter problem

The most common scenario that occurs with starting problems is an audible clicking sound or a slow crank where the engine may or may not start. In either case, a fast test of the starter system is possible with a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter).

  1. Make sure the battery is good and fully charged.
  2.  
  3. Disable the fuel delivery system if possible (pull the fuel pump fuse, disconnect the relay) OR
  4.  
  5. Disable the ignition system- disconnect the positive lead into the coil pack
  6.  
  7. Hook up the DVOM across the battery and set the meter to a 20 volt scale
  8.  
  9. While cranking the engine, read the meter. If the meter drops below 9.6 volts (10.5 volts is a good reading) on a nice day (70°F), then the starter draw is too high.
  10.  


WARNING
Do not crank excessively if you could not disable the fuel system. Fuel is delivered to the cylinders each time the engine is cranked.

REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION



3.1L Engine

Besides regular hand tools, a special oil pressure sensor socket will be necessary to complete this operation.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the A/C compressor brace (if equipped).
  6.  
  7. Extract the wiring harness from the retainer and position it out of the way.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cover from the starter wiring.
  10.  
  11. Remove the outer nut and disengage the wiring from the starter solenoid.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the electrical connector from the oil pressure gauge sensor.
  14.  
  15. Using the special socket, remove the oil pressure gauge sensor.
  16.  
  17. Unbolt the starter from the engine. Retain any shims.
  18.  

See Figure 4

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Fig. Fig. 4: Starter mounting found on 3.1L engines

To install:
  1. Install the starter to the engine, reuse any shims that were removed. Tighten to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Connect the wiring to the solenoid and install the outer nut.
  4.  
  5. Place the cover over the starter wiring.
  6.  
  7. Replace the oil pressure gauge sensor using the special socket.
  8.  
  9. Plug the electrical connector onto the sensor.
  10.  
  11. Mount the harness to the retainer.
  12.  
  13. Install the A/C compressor brace (if equipped).
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  

3.4L Engine

This starter is serviced only as a complete unit.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the electrical connectors at the starter.
  6.  
  7. Remove the converter cover.
  8.  
  9. Remove the starter motor mounting bolts, and remove the starter.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the starter motor to the engine using the mounting bolts. Torque the bolts to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the converter cover.
  4.  
  5. Reconnect the electrical connections to the starter.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable.
  10.  

3.8L Engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cover from the starter wiring.
  6.  
  7. Remove the outer nut and wiring from the starter solenoid.
  8.  
  9. Remove the screws retaining the wiring harness clips and position the harness out of the way.
  10.  
  11. Take out the screw that retains the plastic flywheel cover and remove the cover from the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolts retaining the starter to the engine block, and remove the starter from the vehicle.
  14.  

See Figures 5 through 10

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Fig. Fig. 5: Loosen (do not remove) the starter bolt on the right side of the engine



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the starter bolt on the left side of the engine-slide any starter shims out and save them



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Fig. Fig. 7: Now, remove the right side starter bolt. Don't let the starter drop



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Fig. Fig. 8: It's easier to disconnect the wire leads to the solenoid once the mounting bolts have been removed, and the starter is partially lowered



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Fig. Fig. 9: Inspect the teeth of the starter drive for chipping and wear



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Fig. Fig. 10: Starter motor mounting-3.8L engine

To install:
  1. Install the starter and tighten the bolts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the plastic flywheel cover and screw
  4.  
  5. Reposition the wiring harness, and screw in the retaining harness clips.
  6.  

Check the inner nut on the solenoid for tightness.

  1. Reconnect the wiring to the solenoid and install the outer nut.
  2.  
  3. Replace the cover over the starter wiring.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

SOLENOID REPLACEMENT



If a starter motor condition of no crank and no sound exist, it may pay to check the solenoid before dismantling. The solenoid can be checked for proper operation without removal of the starter. Use the following procedure to remove the solenoid from the starter.]

  1. Remove the field lead attaching screw from the solenoid terminal.
  2.  
  3. Remove the solenoid attaching screws.
  4.  
  5. Remove the solenoid from the drive end housing of the starter.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the solenoid to the drive end of the starter.
  2.  
  3. Install the solenoid attaching screws.
  4.  
  5. Attach the field lead attaching screw to solenoid terminal
  6.  

 
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