Starter motor removal to get to freeze plugs

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by tomnj, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. tomnj

    tomnj Old fogie stogie

    Scotch Plains, NJ
    Well, as it turns out, the PO of the 850 Coupe I purchased over the summer was running straight water in the radiator, which I never checked. Then came the polar vortex last week which plummeted temps close to zero in New Jersey and I found out yesterday in our 50+ degree weather that a freeze plug popped out from the motor, water gushing out when I started it...

    Ok, so now I need to install a new freeze plug. I know I need to dismantle the generator, but it looks like the starter will be in the way too, so the question is, can the starter be removed by loosening the 2 mounting nuts from within the engine compartment, or do I need to get a wrench on the rear side where the trans is to hold it? Is this something that is normally done with the engine installed, or do people pull the engine out first to remove the starter?
  2. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Albuquerque NM
    If memory serves me correctly you can pull the starter from the top. You certainly don’t need to pull the engine. There are 3 bolts holding the starter on.
    kmead likes this.
  3. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    3 nuts on studs. On a coupe it is easier to remove the radiator in my experience to gain better access.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  4. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Eugene, OR
    hope you have better luck then I did years ago. (cracked the block before it pushed the freeze plug)
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  5. Frank L. Di Gioia

    Frank L. Di Gioia True Classic

    las vegas, nevada
    POSSIBLE help on pulling old freeze plug is to drill a hole in it and insert sheet metal screw leaving "grip" room between head of screw and plug.
    Then put a wood block to spread stress and use claw hammer or nail puller to apply pulling force to plug. This assumes the plug is still wedged in the block and water/ice escaped around edges. Of course this was done by me on an engine stand in a warm garage. Good luck!
  6. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Albuquerque NM
    Good tip Frank. I used the screw method and a slide hammer but there is probably not enough room with the engine place.

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