I replaced my starter motor last year, Its the LNQ model. Afterwards I did a post on the other forum. I have pasted a copy of the post below if anyone want to read it. Bye the way my car is a manual. Richy
Over the last 2-3 weeks my car has been jacked up on axle stands while I replaced the starter motor. It has been a bit of a drawn out process and I thought my experiences might be useful to the other keen forum mechanic DIYers out there as I found it really difficult to find any information on this topic.
To start with a bit of history, my car a 2012 2.2cdti 4x4 manual exclusive with stop start, engine code LNQ, always started but the starter always seemed lathargic and slow, a bit like the battery was down on charge and as a result I was always very conscious when starting of the starter appearing to struggle and wondered what this would be like in the winter, indeed wondered if the car will let me down at some point. The car has already had a new battery and the alternator output is high at up to 15v. Previous examinations under the car showed that the insulation on the positive power cables connected to the started had melted leading me to think that I had a bad cable but it was only where connected to the starter. Later I came to the conclusion that the melted insulation was due to the starter motor overheating. The starter is positioned at the rear of the engine above the transfer box, I did try to remove the starter without removing the transfer box but in the end came to the conclusion that the Transfer box needed to come out.
My process to remove the starter is listed below with some additional comments.
• Removed the battery, fuse box, battery tray and unbolted the rear coolant bottle to improve access to the cable passing around the gearbox. These items are not essential to access the starter but I recommend the battery is disconnected, also you need to remove the battery tray to refill the gearbox oil on the 4x4 derivative. 4 bolts secure the battery tray, I understand on 2wd the tray is welded in situ (edited)
• Jack up the whole vehicle and place on axle stands, I used 4 stands to lift the whole car. You need to ensure the car is safely supported as you will be working underneath.
• Remove the engine under shield.
• Drain the gearbox and transfer box oils, as the car was on my drive I didn't want any major oil spills, this proved essential in my case. I did this later in my process and wished I had done earlier.
• Remove the 4 bolts securing the underside chassis brace. needed to remove the exhaust.
• Remove the exhaust, 3 bolts at the engine. I removed the whole exhaust as the centre bolts were badly corroded, just pop off the rubber mountings.
• Remove the prop shaft, don't hang the prop shaft on the front universal joint as it can be damaged.
• Under the bonnet loosen the 3 nuts to the RHS front suspension strut approx 5mm, no not remove them, ensure they are still wound onto the threads.
• Remove the front RHS wheel, remove the strut cable bracket, remove the two nuts at the bottom of the strut and knock them out whilst supporting the hub, under the car knock the drive shaft off the RHS transfer box splines. I left one bolt in the bottom strut hole to the top hub hole to support the hub.
• Remove the transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel where the drive shaft is located. 5 bolts.
• Remove the rear engine mounting bolt above and behind the transfer box. I found I didn't need to re-support the engine but check before you remove this bolt, good idea to support the engine whilst this bolt is removed then gradually remove the support checking the engine is supported by the front and rear engine mountings.
• Remove the two bottom transfer box bolts to the gearbox.
• Remove the rear mounting bracket bolts 3 are M12, 2 are M10. One is bolted into the engine, the others are either through or into the transfer box. I found it easier to access 4 of the bolts from the RHS removed front wheel and the engine bolt underneath. Mark where the bolts came from as they are all different, The engine bolt is inside the bracket and difficult to access. Bolts are either 15mm or 18mm heads.
• With the mounting bracket loose to need to lift the mounting bracket clear of the top of the transfer box, this is awkward, you need to flex the harness cable above slightly to create clearance.
• With the bracket clear you can slide the transfer box towards the RHS front wheel to clear the gear box then lower out of the car. Beware you get oil spillage and at this point you realise what a good idea it was to drain the transfer and gear box oils.
• The starter motor bolts and power connectors can now be accessed.
• Reassembly is the reverse taking the following into account.
1. The manual recommends replacing the O Ring on the transfer box to gearbox shaft, this was available from Vauxhall approx £7.
2. The manual recommends the mounting bracket bolts are torqued to 90NM, I did this and stripped the M10 thread into the top gearbox mounting, requiring a helicoil repair, so be careful the manual can be misleading. This did my bolts to the following torques, guided by the manual. At your own risk, please consider this is my opinion only.
• M12 Main rear rubber mounting bolt 90nm
• M12 lower 2 bolts to mounting bracket 90nm
• M12 upper single bolt to mounting bracket 75nm
• Two M12 lower transfer box bolts 75NM (underside of transfer box)
• M10 Bracket Engine bolt and top transfer box to bracket bolt 60nm
• M10 5 bolts to transfer box support bracket by the RHS front wheel 60nm
• Rear prop shaft bolts 50nm, centre and front prop shaft bolts 25nm
3. When rebuilding I did all the main transfer box and mounting bracket bolts up lightly before finally torquing up.
4. Its a good idea to grease the engine undershield bolts before you put them back in, it stops them corroding.
5. I used EP75-90 gearbox oil for both gearbox and transfer box. I put 2.4 litres of oil in the gearbox and fill the transfer box to the fill plug (approx 0.8 litres).
6. I needed to replace the gasket on the exhaust flexible connection.
I couldn't find any thing wrong with the old starter, the brushes were little worn. I took it to a garage that specialises in starter motors and alternators and they tested it saying it was ok. I lightly reflatted the armature and then fully cleaned and rebuilt the starter before bottling it and buying a new one which cost me £200, it seemed sensible with the amount of effort required to strip and rebuild the car. After stripping down and removing the melted insulation on the cable I could find nothing wrong with the cable itself and after re insulating it returned it to the car. The new starter seemed the right decision, the car starts fine now
I think that is everything, if I remember anything else i will edit the text. Reply with any questions
Last edited by Richy; 27th January 2020 at 07:30.