How to Change a Starter on a 1988 Chevrolet Blazer S-10

You can change the starter on your Blazer with a few simple tools. The starter is a small motor that is mounted on the engine. When you turn the ignition on, power is sent to the starter, where a small rotor called a pinion pushes forward to engage the engine's flywheel ring gear. The starter pinion then continually turns the ring gear until the engine starts; then it disengages itself. Damage to the starter most often occurs from a bad or loose power wire. Holding the key in the starting position after the engine is already running can damage the starter as well. Signs of starter failure can include the truck not starting at all or a loud winding noise when the ignition key is turned to start the truck up. The starter on your Blazer S10 is located on the lower left-hand side of the engine. It can be accessed without y raising the truck with a jack. You should be able to complete the repair within 45 minutes or less.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set, Black electrical tape, White painter's tape, Flat head screwdriver, Starter, Torque wrench

Change a Starter

Removing the Starter

Pop the hood on the vehicle and disconnect the negative cable from the battery with your socket wrench. Wrap the metal end of the cable completely with black electrical tape. Lay the cable away from any other metal under the hood. The negative post on your battery is indicated by a minus symbol on the top of the battery.

Follow the positive cable on the battery to the solenoid on top of the starter. Use a piece of painter's tape to label the positive wire on the solenoid. Label the other wire, which will be the negative wire, appropriately as well. Remove the securing nuts for each wire and place them in your pocket for safe keeping. Slide off and remove each of the solenoid wires.

Remove the two bolts at the rear of the starter that mounts it to the engine. Start with the bottom bolt first. Before you remove the top bolt support the starter with one hand. Although the starter is small it weighs 10 to 15 lbs. Carefully remove the starter from the engine and set it to the side of your work area.

Installing the Starter

Inspect the new starter for any signs of damage. Compare the old starter along side the new one to make sure both are identical. Make sure the solenoids and their connections are the same as well. Use a flat head screwdriver to carefully rotate the pinions gear on the new starter. If the gear does not rotate in both directions, the new starter is defective.

Place the new starter back into the exact position as the old starter. Start each of the starters securing bolts by hand to insure proper threading. Set your torque wrench to 31 ft.-lbs. Completely secure the bottom starter mounting bolt first followed by the top bolt.

Return the solenoid's positive and negative wires to their correct position. Return both wires retaining nuts. There is no specific torque setting but the wires should not be able to be moved by wiggling them. One half turn past hand tight should be sufficient enough. Remove the painter's tape from both wires.

Remove the electrical tape from the negative battery cable. Reconnect the cable securely to the battery post. Start the Blazer's engine to test out the new starter.

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