I posted my 1996 850 starter replacement tutorial as an addendum to Tina’s out standing 1998 S70 starter replacement topic, which is outlined below. Plan on 3 hours, if you’re an average DIY mechanic like I am. You don’t need exotic tools, just 10mm-14mm ratchet, and a T20 and T25 Torx bit.
These Gen 1 cars are pretty much all the same. The difference might be slight — that’s why I’m posting this second VRD entry — different or more vacuum hoses on some models. But generally for any 850, S70, V70, XC70, or C70 from 1993 to 2000 model years, this Volvo Forum topic is going to be “it”.
850 Starter Replacement DIY — non-turbo Starter Replacement
I just accomplished this job, here’s how I did it. Please forgive my lack of knowledge of the correct names for many parts, I am a complete amateur and I stumbled my way through with the help of forum members!
For the purposes of this description, left and right will be relative to the person standing in front of the car facing the engine. Also “in front” will then refer to closer to the person.
Symptoms: Key is turned, click is heard but no attempt to turn over. Headlights bright. Jump starting does not coax even an attempt at turn over. ie. not alternator or dead battery, not fuel delivery as it would try to crank then. This car is a manual transmission so no PNP to worry about.
Tools: socket driver and extension, 14mm and 12mm sockets, torx drivers and a few other assorted sizes I did not measure. 2 nylon zip ties to replace the ones you cut. A large flat head screwdriver for prying stubborn connectors.
1. Loosen the clamp on the negative battery and remove it from the post. I used electric tape to fasten it out of the way. Loosen the clamp on the positive terminal and remove that cable too.
2. Pull up on the battery hold-down clamp on the left near side of the battery shelf, until it pops out. Pick up the battery be careful if it has leaked not to touch the fluid.
3. Remove the bolts that hold the battery shelf down. pull the shelf left and up to remove it from the side of the engine compartment. Pull up slowly as there are parts underneath. Disconnect the electrical connector and the vacuum elbow leading to these attached parts, and remove the battery shelf from the car.
4. remove the fresh air intake hose by disconnecting it first from the air box side, then slide it back and down to remove the hose from the fasteners at the front of the engine.
Although it is possible in theory to remove the starter without removing anything further, I found it impossible to get any purchase on the bolts with the very limited room. Instead I removed the fan shroud as recommended elsewhere on this site.
5. First, remove the torx screws show here. There are also 2 hex screws to remove about 3″ directly below the torx screws. Pull up sharply on the top shelf of the fan shroud to separate it from the fan shroud body and access the electrical connectors below. Disconnect those. Cut the zip ties that secure the cables to the fan shroud so the cables can remain behind when you pull the fan out. Disconnect all the cables that are shown in the picture. Basically you want to get them all off of the fan so you can leave them in place and take out the fan. The one labelled #5 is held on to the shroud by a metal bracket, once the hex screw (#2) is removed the bracket can be snapped off from the fan. Disconnect the rubber connector below the area held by the bracket.
6. Once the fan is disentangled from the cables you can lift it directly up, leaving the top part off to the side still attached to some connections. The hose at the left going into the box with the timing belt diagram on it can be detached close to that box. Remove the fan from the engine and set it aside.
Picture of the fan shroud and air intake hose out of the car.
7. Remove the plastic snap-on cover from the starter solenoid.
8. Remove the nut from the left of the solenoid and take off the 2 wires connected there. Put the nut back on the empty bolt to avoid losing it (in case new part does not come with it). Pull the additional wire off the solenoid located directly below the nut you just removed. Remove the wire/connector from directly below the nut that secures the bracket at the left of the solenoid.
Picture of the engine compartment with fan shroud removed and the top portion moved to the side, and the connections that need to be removed from the solenoid.
9. use a 12mm socket with extension and drive to remove the bolt from the starter motor bracket on the left side of the solenoid.
10. use a 14mm socket to remove the 2 additional bolts that secure the right side of the starter. These are accessed from the right side of the starter and there is very little space, but mine were not on too tight. The one on the far side did not have space for an extension on the socket due to other hoses in the way. These 2 bolts are located on the top far side and the bottom near side of the motor… look at the new motor to figure it out. The near top side has a dowel that sticks into a hole, no bolt.
11. With all the bolts off, you may need to wiggle the motor quite a bit to detach it from its position. I found that grabbing the large bracket and wiggling it up and down firmly was necessary to dislodge it. It can be pulled left and up once dislodged.
12. Place the new motor in the same orientation, first lining up the dowel with the correct hole, then hand thread all 3 bolts in place as far as you can. Tighten the bolts with the socket driver. Reconnect the wire to the plug below the bracket bolt, and the one that connects to the solenoid. Remove the nut on the solenoid, put the 2 wires that end in washer-like connections onto the connector bolt on the solenoid and refasten the nut. Your starter is replaced!
New starter going in
13. Now to put everything else back… place the fan back in place, setting it into the holes at the bottom of the radiator and lining up the air hose to the box with the timing belt diagram on it. Make sure no cables are trapped behind it, then re-align the top connector part that you left in the engine, replacing those connections. Thread new nylon zip ties through the holders where you cut the old ones off and refasten the cables in place. Push the top connector shelf onto the fan lining up the square slide-brackets on both sides. Reconnect the vacuum tube to the top of the fan area.
14. Re-fasten the torx screws at the top of the fan shroud. Plug back in all the connectors that you unplugged. PLace the cylindrical connector at the right back into its bracket, reconnect the hose beneath, and place the metal bracket back onto the fan, re-fasten the hex screw through the bracket. Refasten the left hex screw too. Double check with a flashlight to ensure there are no orphaned vacuum hoses or wires.
15. Replace the air intake hose, put the far side in below the air box to give you space to move, then pull the hose up into the connectors at the front of the engine, then line up the back of the hose with the air box and snap into place.
16. put the battery shelf back in place, reconnecting the vacuum hose and the electrical connection to the bottom. Push the 2 prongs into the holes in the right side of the engine compartment, replace the bolts that secure the shelf down.
17. Clean the battery cables and the battery posts with a wire brush, apply petroleum jelly. Place the battery onto the shelf, ensuring that the bottom lip is pushed under the securing lip of the shelf, and slide all the way to the right. Replace the hold-down bracket at the left near side of the battery. Replace the positive cable and tighten the clamp. Replace the negative cable and tighten the clamp.
18. Close the hood and ensure no pets or people are nearby, in case you forget something in the fan that could go flying. Start your car!