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WTF!?!? Starter Solenoid committed Suicide

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So my car wouldnt start the last couple days and I thought my battery was low... since the red L light has been coming off and on while driving... probably loose/bad wire somewhere....

I charged the battery all night and went to start it... Everything comes on and I can see the volts dip on my guage when I try to crank it... but nothing...

I examine the wires and while they are certainly old and dirty... everything is connected... or so it appears.... I push on the solenoid wires and the solenoid has busted itself in half!!!! WTF!?!

Has anyone ever seen or heard of this before? My starter must be original... I already have a replacement from an E21.... but now I need to find someone to install it. I thought about diy when I had a starter problem with an E21 but it's in the worst place in the world while in the engine bay... it might be easier to pull the whole motor and do the mounts at the same time...

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Compared to a 320i...doing a starter in a 2002 is like getting a sensual foot massage from a Playboy Bunny (Hey Otis! What's that REALLY like?) . It's a CAKEWALK compared to 320i starter HELL. Even with a 320i motor on a hoist, next to the car - the starter was a PITA!

17mm / 10mm / 13mm wrenches, patience, a disconnected battery and strong flexible fingers. On a tii it's easy to remove #3 and #4 intake runners for better access if you desire.

I've had selenoids fly off starters - due to failed screws holding them to the main starter body. (a local rebuild at fault both times...never from a real Bosch rebuild).

HTH!

Paul Wegweiser

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yes I could see that it is in fact an easier job than the E21 version.

I have sidedraught webers.... I tried to remove the one in the way but the bolts on the underside have proven very difficult to get a wrench on.

I might try an extension tonight or tomorrow...

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starter bolts are super stuck =(

sprayed ridiculous amounts of lube on them... maybe they'll be friendlier tomorrow

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