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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I replaced the starter on an '03 CR-V with only 125k on it and read this comment below (from an earlier forum thread) before I started:

"Take the upper radiator support off - it unbolts. You'll need to get one bolt near the bottom of the center support strut that may be a pain if it's rusted, and then detach the harness that is fastened to the support.
You may want to remove the hood latch / cable, but if you are careful, you can manouver the upper support out and lay it across the top of the engine with the cable still attached.
You can unbolt the throttle body from the intake and move it off to the side, so you don't need to drain the coolant. The throttle body gasket is a rubber o-ring, and while the manual will suggest replacement of the gasket, I've never had any problems re-using one. The intake gasket is rubber, and re-usable as well.
I know it looks daunting, but after you've done a couple, the whole job takes about 1/2 an hour start to finish."

I pretty much followed those guidelines by removing the bottom splash shield first (partly to see if I could get the starter out of the bottom as some say is easier) and part to remove the bottom core support 10mm bolt down there if not.

I removed the top shroud and unbolted the core support and moved it forward after removing the hood latch to give a bit more access (needed). Then I unbolted the throttle body and bungied it to the side out of the way before removing the intake manifold runners. Even then access was minimal, but with the runners then removed, it was a fight to get the starter bolts out (the 17mm bottom bolt required a 4ft pipe on the ratchet handle to break it loose, and the 14mm top bolt was damned tight as well, and that was with NO rust or corrosion-just T-I-G-H-T from the factory.).

As they say, reassembly is the reverse of disassembly, but even with a very complete and well equipped shop with a lift, I sure did not come anywhere CLOSE to doing the job in 1/2 hour. Just removing the splash shield and top shroud probably took that long.

Seriously, how long has it taken YOU GUYS to do a starter change on a K-engined Gen 2 or 3? Do I need to turn in my Man-Wrench-Card. I confess to it pretty much taking me a complete afternoon, in fact.

BTW, dropping the starter out the bottom as some dealers tell their techs, and as "Eric the Car Guy" suggests was a non-starter (no pun intended). Not enough room IMO to get to the long top starter bolt for one thing, then given the torque it took to break them free I doubt it would have been possible, and if it had been, re-insertion would have been awful.

I'm curious what a dealer would get for this job. I bought a genuine Denso remanufactured starter that was a bit pricey (But I didn't want to do the job over because of a "South of the Border reman from Autozone for $225, or a new Chinese unit for $65). Honda wanted $430 for their Honda branded reman or several times that for a new one (special order),

This is a job I would not want to do again tomorrow, but it was doable by just being methodical, but I'm wondering if there are any "tricks" that would make it easier when I do my 3rd Gen (2008) CR-V at some future point. Hopefully not anytime soon, however...

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