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drop starter to remove/replace oil pan gasket?

2372 6
need to change oil pan gasket on my '05 Grand Caravan. didnt think it would be too big of a deal, but looked in the repair manual (hayes) and it says i have to take the starter off? crawled under the van and see no reason at all to do that. the starter is above the oil pan? cant see why it would need to come off. am I missing something??? oh, its got the 3.3 in it.