BMW 533i Starter
Two bolts secure the starter to the area
where the bell housing and engine meet. Follow service
manual instructions regarding ancillary systems that need
to be removed to provide access to the starter bolts. The
reserve/overflow tank for the engine cooling system and
several heater hoses on the firewall are best removed.
The bolt heads are in indentations
on the starter. Try your wrenches or sockets on the
replacement starter with an extra 10mm shaft bolt (17mm
head) to learn what will fit.
I used a Craftsman 17mm
Socket, 6-point Universal Flex (Item #:
00943208000) with several extensions and a breaker bar
for the lower bolt. This is a shallow socket combined
with a 3/8" universal. It is difficult to keep the
socket on the bolt but it can be done. If I had it to do
again, I would use a solution similar to that I used for
the upper bolt.
Use the Heyco 12-point 17mm x 19mm flat thin box wrench
included in the BMW trunk toolkit. Purchase a heat
treated 8.8 (hardened) 12mm shaft bolt and nut. Both the
bolt and nut should measure 19mm on the surface of the
hex. Obtain another 19mm box wrench with as little offset
Place a light at the driver side center firewall facing
the area under the #6 cylinder intake manifold. Looking
from the passenger side through the space between the 5th
and 6th intake manifold, you will see the upper starter
I used a cut wire coat hanger and air compressor with
hose airjet attachment to clean the bolt head area so I
could fully seat the Heyco wrench on the bolt head. My
wrench seems to have a very slight bend at the box so I
had best range with "Heyco" facing the firewall.
Try the wrench on the bolt at various clock positions to
determine available range. Make certain the wrench is
fully seated on the bolt head.
Now fully seat the wrench
in the right most
position as you will be turning it counterclockwise. Fully seat the
nut on the 12mm shaft bolt that you obtained
for the project. Put the 19mm bolt head in the Heyco wrench
with the bolt stub toward the firewall and place the other
19mm box wrench on the firewall side of the Heyco
wrench while engaging the exposed nut. Again make certain
the Heyco wrench is fully seated on the starter bolt
and that the wrench shaft is pressed against the intake manifold
near the 19mm end. Now using your 19mm wrench
for leverage, carefully with increasing pressure pull the wrenches
so the bolt is rotated counterclockwise.
If you have fully tightened the extra bolt and nut, all
your initial effort will be transfered to the starter
bolt. Mine came out with little effort.
many alternative approaches and purchased various special purpose
tools. The key is well seating the Heyco wrench and
adding effective stable leverage by using an extra bolt/nut to add a
second wrench. I normally would have used a cresent
wrench as a cheater but I was extremely concerned about
stripping the bolt head.
Breaking the starter free:
I tapped the starter with a pipe near the end
farthest from the firewall. I then used a flat bar to pry
the starter away from the engine. It came free easily
despite 22 years and almost 170,000 miles on the Maine
Remember this article documents my
experience and frustrations. I take no responsibility for
the ill advised activities of others.