Copy and paste this link to see a picture of the starter. It's not the best, but it will give you an idea of what to look for:
It sits right in front of the oil pan where the engine block connects to the transmission. It's just to the right of the oil filter. There will be a large red battery cable and a smaller brown solenoid wire attached to it. There's actually two different starters available. The Bosch starter has a round solenoid bolted to the starter motor and is held onto the transmission with three bolts. Those give almost no problems at all. I had that on my '88 Grand Caravan and replaced it with the more common silver Nippendenso starter. Those only use two mounting bolts. It has a large locating peg in the third hole and will bolt right up. The solenoid is built into the unit, and while the motor and gear reduction assembly hardly ever goes bad, the solenoid contacts cause a lot of trouble.
Here's a better picture:
Look at the two lower photos. The bottom one shows the gold colored five-sided cover to remove to see the solenoid contacts. There is a plunger with a shaft and spring to pull out. That plunger has the contact washer that turns on the motor after the drive gear engages. It usually doesn't have to be replaced. You'll see the two copper contacts and the area that is burned away on each of them. That's what causes the common no-crank problem.
Here's a link to see what they look like:
Look at the two top rows. Every starter will use the top left one for the "battery" terminal. You will have one of the other three for the second one. There is no way to tell until you take it apart and look inside. All three are the same except the top right one is symmetrical and the two in the second row are offset one way or the other. Once the starter is off, replacing these contacts only takes a half hour or less.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 AT 5:54 AM