I cannot find the upper housing bolt for the starter

Tiny
ESRWARREN
  • 2002 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 12,700 MILES

The lower bolt (15 mm)came out easily enough. It seems like there is no second bolt, and the upper bolt - the only thing I can find is a nut used for a ground which is located by the bell housing bolt (18 mm). I looked at diagrams and it showed three bolts with two on top. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
thanks,
stephen

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 9:56 PM

23 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
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You have to be a contortionist to find the hidden one. You'll need a socket and an extension to get at it. It's there.

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 9:59 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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Ok, so the nut that is being used for the ground is not it and neither is the bell housing bolt. This is a you have to know where it is to find it kind of thing? Have a long and short extension, so will go hunting. But there are only two? Others I have done had three? Thanks for responding so fast

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 10:07 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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Also, is this bolt accessible from the top or from the bottom? Again thanks for your help

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 10:16 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
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I haven't done one on this exact make and model before. But have done them from underneath on Caravans. The first image below is for the 2.4 liter engine. The rest are for the 3.3 and 3.8

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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If you have the little silver Nippendenso starter, it only uses two bolts. It has a locating peg in its third hole. Don't install a used starter. The contacts in the solenoid commonly wear down and can be replaced inexpensively. A used starter is likely to have the same problem.

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Sunday, February 19th, 2012 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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I apologize for not saying sooner, it is a 3.8 liter engine. I am by no means an expert, but do have some experience with this, but I can only see the one bell housing bolt and the nut used for a ground. Have no choice but to figure this out. The third pic from above looks great, but can't see the bolt. Will be working in the am, but will attack with vigor after work tomorrow. Thank you guys a lot

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Monday, February 20th, 2012 AT 2:53 AM
Tiny
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My pleasure. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

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Monday, February 20th, 2012 AT 3:13 AM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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Ok. Good news and bad news. I attached a pic of the bolts I finally removed. The one is the ground for the wiring harness! And the upper housing bolt at the same time. Way weird. Bad news is once I got the new starter in, the solenoid connector didn't connect well and I squeezed it together and part of the casing attached to the starter broke off. The van starts but does so roughly due to the bad connection. Any ideas other than putting another starter on?

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 2:30 AM
Tiny
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You must have washed your hands before taking this picture. My hands have never been that clean after changing a starter on a Mopar product.

That depends on what broke. Is it the mounting tabs that secure the solenoid to the starter? On the solenoid or on the starter? If it's just the solenoid, you can replace the solenoid.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 2:41 AM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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LOL. No, I did not wash my hands. What broke was the casing that houses the terminal to which the solenoid connector connects to. It seemed to fit, and just pushed it in and snap, the housing kind of fell apart. I pushed it together and used electric tape (yes that is only a temp fix - wife needs van) the cheaper route is to take it off and get another one? Groan.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 3:04 AM
Tiny
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Can you get a picture of the broken part in the van?

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 3:06 AM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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Attached is the picture of the broken part. Van worked fine today with it taped together, but does not start smoothly - prob due to bad connection.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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This is a picture of what it looks like with the connection on. The inside of the connection is still clean and intact. I can push them together a little bit and use electric tape to hold together. Would this work or do I need to pull it off and get another starter?
Thank you so much for your help on this.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 10:34 PM
Tiny
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That's integral to the starter. Not sure exactly what kind of mechanical connection to the terminal is made, but an adhesive should be able to be used to keep the plastic parts together. And to seal the connection from the elements.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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Ok. I remember hearing about a lube that you can put inside of an outside connection to protect it. Would this be advisable and do you know what it is?

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 10:52 PM
Tiny
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Dielectric grease maybe. Not really. I'd see if the physical electrical/mechanical connection can be strengthened and then use a rubber adhesive to seal out water and grease.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 11:15 PM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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I have a tube of Automotive Goop. It looks like it would work but what if I needed to replace it later - does it come out? When you say to try to strengthen the connection, other than putting them as close as possible what can I do?

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 AT 11:50 PM
Tiny
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I think he's referring to silicone gasket sealer. I'm very familiar with two products from the Chrysler dealer. The gray stuff gets harder and will seal and bond even if there's some oil residue on the surfaces. That's good for oil and transmission pans. The black stuff stays more rubbery and will not bond through any oil residue. Either one will seal out moisture and hold the broken plug together. You'll be able to pull it apart easily the next time if you have to, and you can peel off the sealant.

I'm sure other dealers and auto parts stores have the same kinds of sealers with their own names on the tubes, but it's the Chrysler ones I'm familiar with. You might even ask at any dealership, if you can find a mechanic to talk with, if he has an almost-empty tube he will give you so you don't have to buy one. Once the tubes are opened, the stuff cures on its own after a few months so it's not something you want sitting around for those "just in case" moments. I use this stuff all the time to hold things together. If even works well for sealing arcing high voltage transformers in picture tube-type tvs!

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 12:13 AM
Tiny
ESRWARREN
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So, I should ask for a black silicone gasket sealer? Is there a brand name? I have Automotive Goop adhesive and sealant - would this work also?

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 12:20 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Anything that says "silicone" on the label will work. I use the gray stuff more because I have more of it. Rather than write up a bill for a minor radio repair, I ask for tubes of gasket sealer or other spray-can chemicals in trade. The parts guys just bill it to a shop ticket they turn in once a month for stuff used in the shop that doesn't get billed on a customer's ticket.

This stuff builds up like a ball of rubber and stays in whatever shape you make it. It's just like the caulk you can buy at Home Depot but it has to say "Silicone". You'll probably pay the same for a whole caulking tube as for a small tube at the dealer, but I'd rather see you get a quarter-full tube for free if possible. Just coat enough on the wire so it sticks when cured and coat enough on the plastic connector body, and run the two together. Think of it as gluing on a rubber band between the two parts; a really fat rubber band.

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 AT 1:01 AM

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