After some gentle persuasion, a good deal of WD40, the application of some heat courtesy of this lovely blow-torch-come-oversized-cigarette-lighter, and a good deal of hammering, I finally managed to remove the broken starter motor we reported upon yesterday, and replaced it with a shiny new one from the lovely folks over at Hamilton Auto Parts on the Hillhouse Industrial Estate.
After the AA man confirmed what we had suspected, that the van's starter motor had gone off to machine-parts-heaven, I set about removing various bits and bobs from the engine bay in order to gain access to the bolts so that I could remove said starter motor. Removing two of them was relatively hassle free, as you can imagine after presumably 10-15 years attached to the van without being touched, they were rather stiff. Nothing a food dose of torque couldn't fix - or so I thought, as I got to the third one, I ended up rounding the 8mm hex socket on the circular bolt head.
As it was almost dark by now, it would have to wait until morning. The next five hours (over morning and afternoon of the next day) were spent desperately attempting to remove the bolt. I tried my socket wrench, a hammer, various pliers and vice-grips, but nothing worked. Eventually and after some advice, I managed to pick up a butane torch from B&Q, and a nice set of allen keys from Wilko, with rounded heads on one end to fit into awkward or misshapen bolts.
After applying some heat, then removing the clutch slave cylinder (at least, I assume that's what it was) as the plastic casing that I thought was metal started bubbling , and applying a little more heat, I attempted to remove it again. Still it wouldn't budge, but at least, with the moving of the cylinder, I had straight access to the bolt without needing to come at it from a very slight angle (unless I used the smallest and most useless of my socket wrenches and extension bit). Thinking about it, this may have contributed to my difficulty in removing it in the first place, since it wasn't quite straight in the bolt.
Using the allen key, I tapped it into place with a hammer, and tapped on the other end of the key for a good couple of minutes. I applied a little more heat to both sides of the bolt and tried again. In frustration, I swapped the allen key to the flat end to give myself a longer handle, and belted it with the hammer. Would you believe it, I heard the bolt crack! In anticipation, I reached for the bigger socket wrench, gave a bit hard twist, and the bolt moved! Several minutes later, I had the bolt off and the starter motor was now dangling by it's electrical connections.
Within half an hour I had been to the Auto Parts shop, picked up the new starter motor and dropped in the old one as part-exchange, and had it on the van. Broom, broom, broom, she started instantly! In my excitement I had forgotten to re-start filming for the YouTube video I was making for this, but I'll make do. I'm just so glad the ordeal is now finally over and I can get back on the road and back to my clients!