OK First off I have to say this was the hardest starter job I have ever done, perhaps one of the harder jobs ever. It officially was done in about 6 hours over 2 days where a normal starter job would take me 15-30 minutes. I've replaced clutches on FWD vehicles faster then it took me to remove the two blots off the starter and the three wires then to replace the worm unit. This job is not for the light duty DIYer nor the impatient!
Well the conditions for this job were hovering around 15' F windy and bitter dry. The next recommendation is that if you have to do this job (God bless your soul) you do it in a warm environment. My starter was erratic when it wanted to start. I had a hammer with me and would tap the starter to get it to turn but it was getting worse fast. I was hopping to make the little bugger last till spring... It finally seized to function and I was forced to do my starter in these brutal conditions (my garage is and was currently occupied by my slumbering Miata).
First off your going to need a 10mm, 13mm, 15mm, 17mm and 19mm sockets with 17mm wrench to remove all the bolts that hold the things in your way together. You will also need a flashlight, flat head screw driver, ratchet, a couple of extensions, a crowbar, a bottle jack (to move the tranny up and down) and this device that I created on the second day to get to the exceptionally hard starter bolts.
This thing made the job way easier and probably shaved 3 hours off my project time. It's made up of a ratchet, 4 wobble tip extensions, a u-joint extension and a small thin walled 17mm socket. It can bend up to 90 degrees.
First step is to jack the car up... Your going to have to learn to be a contortionist for this job and you need to be able to attack at every limited angle that you can. Make sure you use jack stands!
Second step is to remove the Battery! Very Important! When you remove the battery make sure to clean up the terminals and the battery posts! This requires a 13mm ratchet for removal.
Now look into the void that is the dwelling of the Starter... Want to shoot your self yet? You will in a few hours.
Next step is to accesses the tranny cross member and remove the two 13mm bolts that hold the tranny in place. Your going to have to have to swing the tranny up and down with the bottle jack in order to reach certain bolts. Make sure you disconnect the exhaust bolts too! I'm pretty sure they are 13mm as well.
Now we have to gain access to the starter but we are going to have to remove a few things things to be able to do so. (personal note: it took me the whole first day to remove all these things). Well first your going to have to remove The air box. Your going to need a 10mm socket to do this. After removing the air box your going to have to remove the MAF, the intake plenum and all the vac lines attached. You will only need a flat head screwdriver to unfasten all of the hose clamps. I left the MAF attached to the top side of the air box for convenience. Next step is to remove the throttle body. You will need a 10mm socket with wobble bar extensions to remove the four throttle body bolts and the flat head screwdriver to remove the hose clamps. There is 2 vacuum lines one small one that goes to the Carbon canister and one big one that goes to the valve cover. There is also 2 coolant lines that hook into the throttle body to help heat the intake air for better fuel atomization. (You can bypass these lines with a brass fitting I've always noticed a slight increase in power after doing this mod on several cars). Don't forget to remove the throttle cable and the clip for the TPS. Now you can remove the TB. I also removed the vacuum line for the brake booster, The main fuel line and a clip holding a large wiring harness. This is what it looks like after your done.
Next step is to remove the Heater core coolant lines... One of the easier steps..
Now remove a bracket that holds two wire clips to the motor directly behind the starter motor. You have to remove the right clip before you can access the 19mm bolt. Your going to have to use the tool I created to loosen that bolt.
NOW WE CAN START WITH THE STARTER!!!
First remove the three wires from behind the starter solenoid, There is a thick Black one, a thick Red one and a thin Black one with a yellow stripe. The thin one just slides out off the clip, the other two need to be removed with a 10mm socket DON'T LOSE THE BOLT!
Now have the tranny jacked up all the way with the bottle jack. Now you can gain access to the TOP starter bolt on the tranny side. Slide the open end side of a 17mm wrench onto the starter bolt then secure it. Now snake the tool I created onto the 17mm nut on the starter side. It may take some time to get the tools into place but you should be able to loosen the nut and bolt. Leave the bolt in place DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM THE TRANNY!!! You will never get it back in if it falls out. I wedged the crowbar to hold in place when I reinstalled.
Now drop the tranny out slowly and let it hang, you now have enough room to slide a 17mm wrench on the BOTTOM starter bolt. Now contort your self into a painful position and snake the tool I made onto the the starter nut. The positive side of this nut and bolt removal is that it comes out way easier but your in so much more pain when you do it... Once again leave the bolt in.
Now slide the Starter out!
Here is the old starter next to the Bosch re-manufactured one.
To reinstall, slide the new lighter and less awkward starter onto the starter bolts. Be careful not to lose the starter bolts hand tighten the nuts till you need the ratchet and then reinstall everything backwards to this write up.
Remember to tighten all the hoses and replace any broken vacuum lines! I forgot to tighten a coolant line and coolant went spewing every where! Also had a stalling problem and thanks to Whiteshark I double checked my vacuum lines and found some nasty leaks. Replaced the damaged vacuum lines and tighten all the clips. Now the car STARTS and runs.
Hope this was helpful!