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Replace Starter on
C Class vehicles 2001-2007
M111 M271 Engine
By C230 Sport Coup Mbworld.com
Special thanks to Karo for providing much needed do cumentation
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1. Tool s- You will need a set of Inverted Torx socket s, and torx drivers. A ratchet, ½” or 3/8”
doesn’t matter. You will also need an approx 3.5’ t otal socket extensions. I bought a 20” ½”
extension, but added to it the 1’ I had already + a ½ to 3/8 converter and a couple of short 3/8”
ones. At the point where you put the socket on the bolt, it helps to have 3/8” vs. ½” and the
little bit of slop in the extensions helps to get i t straight on the bolt so you don’t strip the head,
which would be a disaster. Seriously, you’d be scr ewed….uh gee a punny.
2. So, jack the car waaaaay up on all 4 corners, or if you have a lift available, that would be best.
You’ll be spending some time under there so get com fortable. In fact, you may wasn’t to
consider replacing the tranny fluid &replacing the filter, or changing the oil while you’re at it.
3. Remove the bottom plastic pans.
4. Note the position of the starter on the left side o f the car (drivers side here in the US) directly
under the intake manifold.
5. If you have electric seats, move the steering colum n to the fully extended position, per the WIS.
With manual seats, just pull it back, lock it.
6. REMOVE THE KEY! Never leave the key in the car with the battery disconnected, you might end
up needing a new ignition/ security switch. It’s ca lled the EIS and is not a DIY job, only
authorized dealers and indies can do, and it costs a lot, at least 500. So just take the key out.
7. Make sure the wheels are facing straight forward an d make sure the steering column locks.
Remove the left front wheel to get a little more ro om to move, but not necessary, just seemed a
little less claustrophobic to me.
8. Climb under the car, and note the steering column c oupler. And note the one bolt #2 that holds
it to where the column goes into the passenger comp artment. If the bolt is not accessible, turn
the wheel or try using your hand to turn it by grab bing the column. You’ll get a little bit of
movement. DO NOT TURN THE STEERING WHEEL INSIDE THE CAR ONCE THE COLUMN IS
DISCONNECTED. According to the WIS, you will “Destr oy the clockspring contact.”
9. Once you are sure you can access the bolt (13mm I r ecall) disconnect the battery ground at the
chassis. Make sure it can’t make contact with the c hassis, use a little electric tape around the
grommet to be sure.
10. Remove the bottom bolt from the starter. This can b e done without extentions, just a 3/8”
rachet and an inverted torx socket (sorry didn’t no tice what size).
11. “Dismount the refrigerant line”. Remove the bottom bolt from the starter, and the clip from the
bracket that hold the 12V power wire, and the wire for the 02 sensor. Supposedly you can
unbolt the lines from the bracket that’s not how I did it
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12. Move the refidge lines out the way. Put the bottom bolt back in finger tight to support the
starter when you pull the top bolt out so the top b olt will turn easily, not supporting the weight
of the starter.
13. Remove the bolt where the column goes into the pass enger compartment #2 above. Grasp the
rubber boot where the steering column goes into the passenger compartment and push UP. This
is where I went crazy. Even once I got the WIS documents, it failed to men tion to PUSH UP. It
just isn’t obvious. I made a video of this and will post it later on.
14. Push the steering column extension aside. Now that there’s room to get your hand in. WITH THE
BATTERY DISCONNECTED, disconnect the 2 nuts holding the wires to the starter. It’ s not
necessary to disconnect the bottom one, that just s end the power from the solenoid to the
15. Here’s a pic.
16. Now to the top bolt holding the starter in. With yo ur hand, reach up and find the head of the
bolt. This is your target. Get all your extensions, ratchet and the inverted torx you used for the
bottom bolt. From the rear of the transmission, nea r the driveshaft, fish the extensions up
towards the top of the trans tunnel, and push them all the way to the front of the car.
17. Reach up with one hand to guide the socket to the b olt and add or subtract additional
extensions as needed to get it just right, so you c an work the wrench. Now comes the fun part,
holding the socket to the bolt with one hand, and t hen 3-4’ away, working the wrench. Make
sure the socket is squarely on the head of the bolt , stripping the head would spell disaster. I
used a 3/8 adapter, and a 4” extension right at the point where the socket reached the head to
give a little wiggle room to push the whole mess up and straight onto the head.
18. Success! You got the bolt loose and it’s coming out ! YEAH!!!!
19. Remove the loose bottom bolt with your fingers whil e supporting the starter with your hand,
and fish it out.
20. Woo Hoo! I just saved you from the misery that I we nt through, and the crappy WIS document
that so poorly explained the process.
21. It is not necessary to remove the intake manifold, and from I can see, it would not be necessary to
remove the supercharger intake muffler as shown in the WIS for M271 1.8L cars, but I guess we’ll
find out when someone tries to do it. Everything is accessible once the refridge lines and the
steering column are out the way.
22. At this point, it’s up to you as to whether just th row a rebuilt starter in (easiest) or to work with
the one you have (less expensive). In my case, I to ok the thing apart, and it was incredibly filthy.
The carbon from the brushes had just caked up and w as pressed into every nook and cranny tight.
I took some electrical contact cleaner (open a wind ow, this shit stinks) and cleaned it up. I had
attempted to buy some brushes in advance to solder myself, but they were not the right size. I
also had planned to replace the solenoid, but once I had it cleaned up, it seemed fine, new one
didn’t fit either.
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23. Take it to an electrical repair shop, like Pacific Auto Electric in Sunnyvale, Ca. PAECO put new
brushes in my starter for $15, tested it, and gave it a clean bill of health.
24. Here is a breakdown the starter from the
Mercedes EPC. http://epc.startekinfo.com/epc/
Here is follows a recommended procedure for disass embly as recommended by Herr Glyn of South
Africa, where live parrots come from. This isn’t entirely accurate, there was no circlips or anything
like that I needed to remove, so don’t. Mine was a ctually mfg’d by Magnetti Marelli but most are
1. Unscrew the two small screws on the commutator h ousing (back) this
releases the brush holder.
2. Unbolt the two studs in the back. Now the commut ator end comes off after
removing a circlip on the end of the shaft, and the rotor is loose, but
don't pull it off yet.
3. Loosen the 3 screws holding the solenoid to the front housing.
4. Between the solenoid and the starter motor is a small rubber piece. See
if you can loosen it. Carefully wiggle and separate the front housing.
5. Solenoid and starter can be separated at the sol enoid end. Take off the
solenoid. (To prevent binding wipe off any dirt or corrosion on the solenoid
plunger before reassembly)
6. Determine shape of bushings. The gear end bushin g is in the bellhousing
on starters for transverse engine models, and in th e front housing on
longitudinal engines. Replace front and rear bushin gs if worn.
7. To get at the middle bushing remove the ring and c-clip in front of the
gear. Slide off gear assembly. Take out plate holdi ng middle bushing.
Replace if worn.
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8. Check brushes. New brushes have about 8mm between the tip and the copper
braid. I'd replace them if they are more than half worn. Also if the
bushings were really bad the starter shaft has been riding out of center,
and the brushes have been wearing irregularly and n eed replacement.
9. Snip off the braided copper holding the old brus hes. Don't lose the
springs! File off any remains from the brush holder . Solder on new brushes.
Make sure they are soldered well. Each brush will p ass 100's of amps at
10. Inspect the commutator. If pitted (from arcing) file down until clean
copper. If out of round use a lathe.
11. Assemble the parts. Grease bushings and gears l ightly. You don't want
grease on the commutator or too much so that it can spatter on the clutch.
Your choice on Solenoid replacement. Check it out. Obviously check all other components for breakage o r
undue wear. If you don't mind the effort you can do this really cheaply & effectively
25. Also, there is a very good DIY for rebuilding a sta rter from a honda on Alldatadiy.com in the sample
data area, where they try to sell you a subscriptio n. I subscribed and no such document existed for
the W203 Mercedes, and I got a refund. There are so me good similarities. The brushes and brush
holder are nearly identical, and it’s a great guide you can adapt. I used some 1500 grit to light sand
the commutator as they suggested.
26. Copy and past the link below, or surf to their samp le vehicles and drill down.
27. I highly recommend using some threadlocker, or lock tite on the bolts on reassembly. The nut on
the steering column is supposed to be replaced, but I just used locktite and it seems fine. Of
course there are recommended torques on each bolt, but good luck getting a torque wrench in
28. Replace everything in reverse order. Make margarita ’s with some good tequila. Pocket $685 ($700
was quote I got) savings, throw a party and invite me! Woo Hoooooooooo!!!!!!!!
2002 C230 2002 C7 Orion Blue 2.3L C230 Coupe 240HP
Auto-Pano-Oyster Leather-Audio 10 AMG Front bar 22mm-17" Wheels- C32 Brakes- H&R 19mm rear sway
ASP Pulley-Supercharger Muffler Deleted- NGK BCPR7EI X-11
Supersprint Header-Magnaflow Cat- AR20 Resonator- R emus Muffler
MAF Screen Delete- TB Screen delete
TEIN SS Coilovers -
Clear sides- 2005 tails, Blinkers & Grill- Tinted W indows
Bi-Xenons-Clear Fogs- Clear Side/Stealth Bulbs