How to replace the starter - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > OEM Issues

OEM Issues Original Equipment Repairs and/or Problems

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:53 PM
vandelay vandelay is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLE
Silver Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Grand Rapids,MI
Posts: 1
How to replace the starter

For those that have been looking for a how-to on this re:the 4.2L 6.

The starter is easily visible from the top. It's on the drivers side down low near the firewall. You can clearly see the electric connections on the solenoid.

1- Disconnect the battery Neg terminal (duh)

2- Disconnect the two leads that go to the solenoid. One is a 13mm nut for the main line and the other is an 8mm nut for the smaller wire (the other 13mm nug/line just goes to the starter body so leave it alone).

3- You can easily see the one bolt that holds the starter on, it's a 15mm bolt. Remove it.

4- Only one thing left and it's the only part that's difficult. The other side of the starter is not a bolt but a nut on a stud. It's also 15mm but you can't really see it. If you finaggle the loom that rests on top of the solenoid you can catch a glimpse of the nut with a flashlight(assuming you have your head cocked at the right angle ).

Anyway, with a 6" extension on a 3/8 ratchet and 15mm short socket you can do it by feel but it's a pain. If you slide the socket along the "valley" between the back side of the solenoid and the starter body it's maybe an inch above that straight up. I was able to wedge a small pen flashlight in a unique spot that held the aforementioned loom slightly aside so I could see the nut (barely) while I guided the socket onto the nut. I was in a strange contorted pose to pull this off but it worked, a helper probably would have made pretty quick work of it...I was not in possession of a helper.

5- Once that nut is off the starter actually comes right out the top, you just have to guide it past some flexible vacuum hoses near the brake booster and whatnot but it comes right out.

Installing the new one (I got a one at a scrapyard for $34) is simple other than the same nut that was a bastard to get off. Make sure you glue or otherwise secure the nut in the socket as you guide it back there (I wedged a bit of shop rag next to the nut in the socket and that worked fine). If you drop it back there you'll likely have to pull the starter back out to find it.

I did this in the parking lot of a grocery store in about 50 mins, it's an easy job other than that bastard nut.

Again, this is for the 6cyl, not the 8 which I understand is a sumbitch. Hope this helps.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2010, 05:29 PM
jakelock jakelock is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Summit White 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: ND
Posts: 8
Outstanding, the other instructions I'd seen on this involved removing some cross member. THANKS!
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2010, 02:04 AM
jakelock jakelock is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
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So yeah, that nut? Complete PITA... No offense, but you must have skinny arms! I tore mine up reaching down in there! But I got it done, thanks for the breakdown!
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2011, 08:42 PM
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Toti1972 Toti1972 is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
Dark Green Metallic 4.2L I6 2WD
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Ok, guys, I give up on the 2nd nut, I did all the job but spent a lot of time trying to reach that nut and there is no way. I secured very tight the first one and the starter got no movement at all. everything is working fine and the truck is now back in business. How did I remove the nut? well it seems that the starter was changed before and the person who did the job just left it loose, so i could remove it with my fingers. Is there any way I can leave it there just on 1 bolt and check it periodically?
Thanks
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:31 PM
BShif104 BShif104 is offline
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2007 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
Dark Gray Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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Hey great write up on how to remove the starter, thats pretty much the gist of it. The only thing that i had to do different was i took off the panel of four connecters right there in front of you as your standing on the drivers side, i just layed them down to get alittle bigger area to work. I also used a step stoll to get in a better position to reach down further to be able to work. It took about 20-30 mins and looked worse than it really was.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:05 PM
bumblebee bumblebee is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Liquid Silver Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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If you remove the front driver side tire you can get to the starter much easier then comming in from the top...its still cramped but now you can actually see the starter
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:43 PM
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rockanut rockanut is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Black 4.2L I6 4X4
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the info. Very Helpful. I removed the drivers side front wheel and inner wheel well which made it much easier. I was able to remove the inner mounting nut and replace it with my fingers and I have large forearms.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2013, 12:41 PM
raypla raypla is offline
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2005 GMC Envoy SLE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
If you remove the front driver side tire you can get to the starter much easier then comming in from the top...its still cramped but now you can actually see the starter
So I'm in the middle of this task and am trying to get the nut off in the back. Any tips??
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:07 PM
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Kristis Dad Kristis Dad is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
red 4.2L I6 4X4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raypla View Post
So I'm in the middle of this task and am trying to get the nut off in the back. Any tips??
haha..me too, just took it off and going to get a toughone reman at AdvanceAuto w/lifetime warranty for $150.00 after coupon code (huge50) anyways, carefully remove vacuum booster line at manifold nipple to swing up out of the way as well as starter leads and some sensor plug. I struggled big time until I removed lf wheel and lower jack to floor...1st time..reached down in and instantly found the nut with my socket/ext.!!! key is to remove wheel & lower front end cause it changes all angles of working to just about perfect..good luck!
Update; I used the 6" ext with a 15mm short socket and loaded it with wheel grease, then set the nut in and much to my surprise..I got! Its really an easy job and very straightforward just have to methodical as most everything is on these trucks..lol
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2013, 08:24 AM
04GREENZ71 04GREENZ71 is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
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Shop towel in the socket works very good to hold the nut in place.
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