Horrible predicament! Honda Element starter rear 14mm bolt lodged!

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> remove the "T" frame from the front of the radiator aka the "core support" mentioned in the instructions. If the starter can't be pushed down squarely into where it needs to be it can't be bolted in place. Like you said that will just cause further damage.
 

Garyd

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Originally Posted by mk378
> remove the "T" frame from the front of the radiator aka the "core support" mentioned in the instructions. If the starter can't be pushed down squarely into where it needs to be it can't be bolted in place. Like you said that will just cause further damage.
That's what I figured. I thought you meant just the support bracket on bottom of the manifold. That is all you need (except for everything before that) to remove on the 03-06 Elements without that resonator to get the manifold out. Taking the starter out from the bottom was pretty quick. My neighbor had it out in about 30 minutes. He just had this hiccup (big hiccup!) of dropping that bolt when he was putting it back in. Without that happening, he would have had it back in in about the same time. I think now though, we are going to have to go in from the top to try to dislodge this mounting bolt and/or the starter to get it properly mounted.
 
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I replaced the starter in my 05 Accord 2.4 from the top. Taking the intake manifold off wasn't that big of a deal. I would take the time to get the bolt out for your own piece of mind.
 
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Originally Posted by 2010Civic
I replaced the starter in my 05 Accord 2.4 from the top. Taking the intake manifold off wasn't that big of a deal. I would take the time to get the bolt out for your own piece of mind.
If I'm understanding you correctly, someone is putting starters in bad places on 4 cylinder engines as well???
 
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Guilford, CT
Originally Posted by zzyzzx
Originally Posted by 2010Civic
I replaced the starter in my 05 Accord 2.4 from the top. Taking the intake manifold off wasn't that big of a deal. I would take the time to get the bolt out for your own piece of mind.
If I'm understanding you correctly, someone is putting starters in bad places on 4 cylinder engines as well???
As well as what? The OP's engine is a 4 cylinder.
 
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Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted by exranger06
Originally Posted by zzyzzx
Originally Posted by 2010Civic
I replaced the starter in my 05 Accord 2.4 from the top. Taking the intake manifold off wasn't that big of a deal. I would take the time to get the bolt out for your own piece of mind.
If I'm understanding you correctly, someone is putting starters in bad places on 4 cylinder engines as well???
As well as what? The OP's engine is a 4 cylinder.
I thought that the whole starter under the intake manifold (meaning removing the intake manifold) was only on some V6 and V8 Toyota's and Honda's.
 

Garyd

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Update: The way the bolt fell, it is lodged behind the starter cross ways with the flange just at the bottom back of the starter so that is what is preventing the starter from being pulled back out. I don't think that even opening things up from the top will make it possible to dislodge the bolt or the starter. From looking at it with an endoscope camera, it looks like the starter is flush against the bell housing. So our options are to get another mounting bolt and bolt that in and just leave the stuck bolt and hope that the starter IS properly mounted straight in the bell housing or get a long narrow hacksaw and cut the stuck bolt which should free the starter to be pulled back out of the bell housing and the bolt to be removed. The mechanic had the starter in the bell housing with the front mounting bolt snugged when he dropped the back bolt so it should be in there straight. Either way, we have to get another mounting bolt.
 
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If at all possible, you may want to have it towed to a professional mechanic and tell him what happened. At this point, no permanent damage is done. If you proceed and leave the bold as is you may do some serious damage. I don't know your full situation, so this is just a suggestion.
 

Garyd

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Originally Posted by terry274
If at all possible, you may want to have it towed to a professional mechanic and tell him what happened. At this point, no permanent damage is done. If you proceed and leave the bold as is you may do some serious damage. I don't know your full situation, so this is just a suggestion.
Yeah, I think that will be the next step if cutting the bolt doesn't release the starter. The top of the bolt is wedged into a notch in the metal surrounding where the starter is and the flange on the bolt is what is wedged into the back bottom of the starter with the bottim of the bolt wedged into another lip below the starter. The bolt is acting like a cross brace behind and under the starter. We think cutting the bolt in half (there is room to get a narrow hacksaw in there) should relieve that brace effect the bolt now has on the back of the starter. If it doesn't, then it's off to a pro mechanic. Even though it looks like it's properly fitting into the bell housing, it's just too risky to assume that it is with that bolt possibly causing it to be a hair off.
 
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Northeast Georgia
Which direction does the bolt need to go to be dislodged? Up? Down? The reason I ask, is there no way to get an object such as a large pry bar on the bolt and give it a good smack with a hammer? It's hard to visualize what you're seeing. If the bolt fell into position, it should come out. The issue being it would need to go in perfect opposite direction as it went in. You said there's enough room to get a small hacksaw blade on the bolt. Seems like that should be enough room to get a blunt object in contact with the bolt to force it out.
 
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PEARL River la
Originally Posted by Garyd
Update: The way the bolt fell, it is lodged behind the starter cross ways with the flange just at the bottom back of the starter so that is what is preventing the starter from being pulled back out. I don't think that even opening things up from the top will make it possible to dislodge the bolt or the starter. From looking at it with an endoscope camera, it looks like the starter is flush against the bell housing. So our options are to get another mounting bolt and bolt that in and just leave the stuck bolt and hope that the starter IS properly mounted straight in the bell housing or get a long narrow hacksaw and cut the stuck bolt which should free the starter to be pulled back out of the bell housing and the bolt to be removed. The mechanic had the starter in the bell housing with the front mounting bolt snugged when he dropped the back bolt so it should be in there straight. Either way, we have to get another mounting bolt.
The original problem was he "snugged" the first bolt until starter didn't move. What does that mean? Unless both bolts are started the starter holes are aligned so when he went to start hard to get to bolt it didn't have a complete hole and he dropped it. This is just my observation.
 

Garyd

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Wheat Ridge Colorado
Originally Posted by tiger862
Originally Posted by Garyd
Update: The way the bolt fell, it is lodged behind the starter cross ways with the flange just at the bottom back of the starter so that is what is preventing the starter from being pulled back out. I don't think that even opening things up from the top will make it possible to dislodge the bolt or the starter. From looking at it with an endoscope camera, it looks like the starter is flush against the bell housing. So our options are to get another mounting bolt and bolt that in and just leave the stuck bolt and hope that the starter IS properly mounted straight in the bell housing or get a long narrow hacksaw and cut the stuck bolt which should free the starter to be pulled back out of the bell housing and the bolt to be removed. The mechanic had the starter in the bell housing with the front mounting bolt snugged when he dropped the back bolt so it should be in there straight. Either way, we have to get another mounting bolt.
The original problem was he "snugged" the first bolt until starter didn't move. What does that mean? Unless both bolts are started the starter holes are aligned so when he went to start hard to get to bolt it didn't have a complete hole and he dropped it. This is just my observation.
What I mean is; he placed the starter into the bell housing and he put the first bolt in and tightened it up just enough to hold the starter in place. When he went to put the back bolt in, he dropped it while trying to put it into the hole. The holes would have been aligned with the front bolt being in. You have to try to put the back bolt in blind because you can't see it and there is barely any room for your fingers.
 

Garyd

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Wheat Ridge Colorado
Originally Posted by GoldDot40
Which direction does the bolt need to go to be dislodged? Up? Down? The reason I ask, is there no way to get an object such as a large pry bar on the bolt and give it a good smack with a hammer? It's hard to visualize what you're seeing. If the bolt fell into position, it should come out. The issue being it would need to go in perfect opposite direction as it went in. You said there's enough room to get a small hacksaw blade on the bolt. Seems like that should be enough room to get a blunt object in contact with the bolt to force it out.
Instead of the bolt being horizontal with the starter like it should be, it is lodged vertical across the back of the starter with the flange against the rear bottom of the starter. I think the mechanic's attempts to get it out caused to to fall and turn even further and then trying to back the starter out lodged even worse, to the point that it is totally stuck.
 
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Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted by grader
if the bolt can be seen then a saws-all with a long metal blade will cut it quick.
Sawzalls are horrible at cutting hardened metal. You would be better off with a hacksaw, then you can get some pressure on it.
 
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Is the space too tight for a Dremel type tool? Cutting the bolt bit by bit might be enough to free it. This is where a pic might be helpful.
 
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