#$%@ Starter Bolts!!!!

Discussion in 'SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech' started by Mike94ZLT1, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Hey guys, I'm helping my friend change his clutch on a 99 GT. I have NEVER worked on a Mustang newer than 1989 before, so this is an absolute nightmare. I have all the bolts for the bellhousing off, and 2 of the starter bolts off. There's one bolt at the top, and the only reason I know its there is because I went to Auto Zone and looked at a 4.6 starter. I cant reach it, I cant feel it, hell I cant even see it. How do I get it off??? Thanks a million!!!
  2. swives and alot of praying
  3. you can take a long ext and reach the top bolt it is not hard to get
  4. Is it a 13mm like the other starter bolts?
  5. Mike, I just changed my starter yesterday, and I feel your pain. The engineer who designed this thing should have sensitive parts of his body put in a vise, Joe Pesci-style. And the brain trust who wrote the directions in the Haynes manual should be right behind him. Haynes shows 3 pictures how to remove a friggin battery, and only ONE of the starter. And that pic doesn't even show where the hidden bolt is. No diagram, descrip, nada. In fact, the caption says the top bolt is "hidden from view" followed by about 5 sentences of instructions that go something like disconnect battery, remove bolts, install. Thanks for the obvious, MENSA candidates. But I digress. Here's how I did it (with help from a very good friend).

    * 13 mm socket
    * 3/8" drive socket
    * an assortment of extensions (not trying to be vague, but I'm not sure what you have. I would recommend using a couple of the short extensions on the end closest to the socket to give some wiggle room for the offset.)
    * universal joint

    I wish I had a picture of the setup of extensions used, but we were celebrating getting the bolt off, so I forgot. It seems like it went: socket, universal, long extension, med extension, two short extensions, socket. Play around with it.

    Where to find the bolt:
    1. Get under the car (safely jacked up, wheels chocked and supported by multiple jack stands, of course).

    2. Take your right arm and snake it up the space between the mid pipe going to the exhaust header and the bellhousing of the transmission.

    3. This is the part that is like foreplay for a 15 year old drunken blind person (no offense to the blind or to drunks). Curl your fingers over the top of the bellhousing. There is a rough, squarish feeling part of the housing on the top. If you curl your middle finger over the top of this rough-feeling squarish thing, you will feel the bolt. That squarish thing is like a hood and the bolt is recessed underneath. It may take some groping, but it's there. Hope this descrip helps. Now . . .

    Getting the @#$& thing off:
    1. Once you've found the bolt, keep your finger on it and have your friend feed the socket through the engine. Where in the engine? There are about 3 narrow gaps you can try. We went through the one that goes over the engine mount. The extensions should end up on top of the starter.

    2. What you have to do is guide the socket onto the bolt. I used my index and middle fingers. It is difficult, but do-able.


    1. One thing that helps is to disconnect the passenger side o2 sensor (carefully). That will give you some room. OR

    2. Take of the mid-pipe. This is extreme, but I was going to change mine anyhow, so this worked out. Also, if you have bigger arms or hands, this helped out a LOT. The header bolts on this side are tough, but nothing is that bad compared to the top starter bolt. PB Blaster is your friend. Removal of these bolts takes a deep or medium well 15MM socket, socket, universal, and some extensions (play w/ arrangement).

    3. On the forums, there is debate on whether to replace that top bolt. Since I just did mine, I can't say which is better. I made a half-@**ed attempt and then said forget it. If I can't torque the bottom two bolts enough to hold it on, then I need to get a Metro.

    4. If the universal joint flops too much. Wrap a little duct tape around it to limit its movement.

    Best of luck. Hope this helps.
  6. that would be Iacocca and his falcon chassis

  7. Well. the chassis yes but I doubt Iacocca had anything to do with the starter bolt placement on an engine made over 30 years after he left Ford!

    edit: you guys rock by the way, I appreciate the help!
  8. but they loved him so much they didn't care for a redesign to compensate for an OHC engine :D

    good luck :cheers:
  9. donno whats better. Have LT like me and remove passenger side header out to take trans out every time, but have no issue with starter top bolt, or have shorties, and don't have to take shorties out, but to deal with this starter bolt issue with K-member in place...
  10. hehe i can get mine out easy now :)
  11. u got tubeler K-member?