Hey guys, did the job yesterday before reading any of this and it worked like a charm. Before it was taking 3-6 key turns before it would fire up (usually just clicking, occasional whine), now it fires up every time on the first crank.
Just replaced the contacts and plunger (these were in rough shape), as well as cleaned it up (looks like-new now).
Job didn't need anything other than a few different ratchets and extensions.
My experience was pretty simple and went like this:
-Disconnect negative battery terminal
-Jack up vehicle on stands
-Disconnect both pos and neg terminals on the starter (two different sized nuts, both metric)
-Remove knock sensor shield to make wiggle room (two nuts)
-Using extensions, loosen starter-to-block bolts (15mm by my recollection). Make sure to keep a hand under the starter as its heavier than it looks.
-Slide the starter out with a little maneuvering.
Could be different on other MY's, but this was pretty straightforward. The starter to block bolts took some thumping to come loose with my 1/2" ratchet. No need to remove the knock sensor electrical connector as the shield removal made enough room.
Always satisfying when a job goes like this, and for a mere $14.