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Starter R&R

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by jjbmoto, July 4, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. jjbmoto

    jjbmoto New Member

    October 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    City, State:
    Madoc, Ontario
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2001 Explorer Sport
    I thought I would post my "fun" I had with replacing the starter on my Explorer.

    So some initial information; 1998 Explorer Sport, V6 SOHC, automatic, 4WD.

    Issue; after a visit to my grandmothers the truck would not start. It would click when the key was turned to start but would not roll over. Would not take a boost and even tried in desperation to hit the starter with a hammer to no avail. So the tow truck was called and home it went.

    I read a few posts on here and got a basic idea of what I was in for. I should note that my truck did not have a fender mounted solenoid but had the relay in the fuse panel. I swapped out the heater relay to test it and nothing changed. at this point I was 100% sure it was the starter.

    Here is the procedure I used to R&R the starter.

    1. Sprayed the starter and front drive shaft fasteners with WD-40. Actually I did this a lot for the first evening and then started the actually removal process the next morning.

    2. Disconnected the battery terminals and removed the battery.

    3. Jacked the front of the truck up and removed the front drivers side tire. Secured the truck with 2 jack stands.

    4. Removed the rubber cover on the driver side inner fender to allow access between the frame and inner fender.

    5. Used a #30 torx bit and removed the four bolts and retainers for the universal at the front differential. I used a this long screwdriver to keep it from rotating while undoing the bolts.

    6. Carefully pried the universal loose and then supported the drive shaft on top of the torsion bar and secured it with a zip tie.

    7. I realized right away after using a small screw driver to remove the red rubber cap that the electrical connections were not going to be easy so I left them for now.

    8. Using a 1/2" deep socket I removed the ground cable from the lower started bolt and moved the cable out of the way.

    9. This is the most annoying part and the one that caused the most colorful language. I manged to get a deep 1/2" socket with a 1" extension on the upper starter bolt them had my son hold a flexible head 3/8" ratchet through the inner fender opening while I wiggled my hand up and attached it. This is not an easy task and the helper really worked out for me. I then held the socket in place while he, with considerable force got it to turn. there is only about a 1 degree turn available!

    10. After the upper bolt was loose I cracked the lower one to make sure it would move then went back to the upper one, this time with a short handled ratchet. It takes a while, be patient there is not a lot of room to turn the bolt.

    11. Removed the lower bolt.

    12. Remove the starter from the bell housing by moving it forward and then pull it reward as far as possible.

    13. Using a 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratchet I removed the signal wire.

    14. Using the same 1/2" deep socket and short ratchet for the started bolt I removed the positive cable from the starter.

    15. Bring the starter backwards over the differential and wiggle it out. It actually came out better than I though it would.

    16. Essentially the installation of the new one is the reverse of this. I found a used one at an auto wreckers for 1/2 the price of a rebuild and it had a 90 day warranty.

    17. I found out right away because of it being jacked up that I needed to do the all the way to the left all the way to the right with the steering wheel to get the truck to steer normal again.

    So far the truck is starting well and have no issues!

    I would like to thank this forum for the help and hope this helps someone else at some point.
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  3. d_r_young

    d_r_young New Member

    October 6, 2010
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    City, State:
    Sheffield Village, Ohio
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1998 2-D Sport
    Starter bolt removal alternative method

    For future reference...

    I found that since the second (upper)bolt was so tight and inaccessible, that you can remove the two rear (long) screws that hold the starter motor to the starter gear case. This allows you to remove the motor portion of the starter which provides a decent hole for you to get a 1/2" drive ratchet to access the second mount bolt. I was actually able to get my 1/2" drive torque wrench in there to break the bolt loose. Good luck.

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