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2002 Ford Explorer 4x4 XLT_How can I remove the starter


2ndcovenant

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Hello folks,

My XLT has a no crank, no start problem. I tested the gas pump, which was replaced back in January 2016, and it seems fine. The relays are fine too. The alternator had gone bad (electrical shorting even showed black charring on it's outside) according to Pep Boys, so I replaced the alternator hoping that would solve the problem but it still only makes that fast clicking noise when I try to crank it. From everything I have read so far, next is to replace the starter. It was a pain in the tuckas to unmount but I have both electrical wires and the two mounting bolts off. Here's the catch though. I could not work on the starter from the top of the engine because it was so deep towards the bottom of the engine so I had to work on it from under the truck. The biggest problem there is that the truck died on an incline before I could get it to reach the ramps that I was trying to drive it up on and I can't get it to budge from the incline. Being on an incline also means that I can't get it up safely on jack stands without a Huge risk of the stands slipping. Sooo, I am having to work on the truck with my back on the ground and not much room. So far, I *have had enough room to do what I need to do luckily.

On to the actual problem. As I mentioned, I have the starter completely loose, BUT there is an engine mount directly under the starter, or at least that is what someone else here on the forums said that they thought it was. I can't figure out how to get it past the mount. It's really frustrating being *this close to being done and making my wife happy with a working truck again (lol) but a large metal shaft is in the way.

In another message someone mentioned possibly lowering the motor mount but I don't have tools to do that and I don't have another vehicle to get me to a store readily available.

If anyone has a suggestion on how to get this starter out through the bottom of the engine, I would greatly appreciate it. My arms aren't long enough to reach the bottom of the engine, and the starter, from the top of the engine and I have to put the wiring on to the new one from below the engine anyhow.
 


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2ndcovenant

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2002ExplXLT 4x4 4.0L 6cyl
Hello folks,

My XLT has a no crank, no start problem. I tested the gas pump, which was replaced back in January 2016, and it seems fine. The relays are fine too. The alternator had gone bad (electrical shorting even showed black charring on it's outside) according to Pep Boys, so I replaced the alternator hoping that would solve the problem but it still only makes that fast clicking noise when I try to crank it. From everything I have read so far, next is to replace the starter. It was a pain in the tuckas to unmount but I have both electrical wires and the two mounting bolts off. Here's the catch though. I could not work on the starter from the top of the engine because it was so deep towards the bottom of the engine so I had to work on it from under the truck. The biggest problem there is that the truck died on an incline before I could get it to reach the ramps that I was trying to drive it up on and I can't get it to budge from the incline. Being on an incline also means that I can't get it up safely on jack stands without a Huge risk of the stands slipping. Sooo, I am having to work on the truck with my back on the ground and not much room. So far, I *have had enough room to do what I need to do luckily.

On to the actual problem. As I mentioned, I have the starter completely loose, BUT there is an engine mount directly under the starter, or at least that is what someone else here on the forums said that they thought it was. I can't figure out how to get it past the mount. It's really frustrating being *this close to being done and making my wife happy with a working truck again (lol) but a large metal shaft is in the way.

In another message someone mentioned possibly lowering the motor mount but I don't have tools to do that and I don't have another vehicle to get me to a store readily available.

If anyone has a suggestion on how to get this starter out through the bottom of the engine, I would greatly appreciate it. My arms aren't long enough to reach the bottom of the engine, and the starter, from the top of the engine and I have to put the wiring on to the new one from below the engine anyhow.
Addition: it's a 4.0 liter 6 cyl sohc engine
 




XploX

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I suggest blocking the rear wheels and putting it on stands provided it's safe to do so. The truck can also be pushed to a more level surface to get it up safely.
There shouldn't be anything blocking the starter. There are the two bolts holding it on. Once those are removed, it should be able to drop out.
 








2ndcovenant

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The battery is brand new, only a few months old, but I took it to the selling store last weekend and they said it was a great battery, it was fully charged.

As for the starter again, I have it completely loose but I still cannot figure out how to pull it out of the engine area. Above the starter is the bar that goes from the steering wheel to the drive down below, which has just enough space between itself and the engine block to *Not* let the starter through the top of the engine area. Below the starter is a large metal shaft going from the front axle of the vehicle to the back axle, so it is immovable, it won't shift left or right or up or down. I was able to try to move the starter by hand in a lot of different directions, trying to get it through every nook and cranny to remove it and I just can't find out how to get it out. I am extremely frustrated. I don't know what to do at all now. The next step in fixing the explorer is getting the old starter out and putting the new one in its place and there are no steps to take until that is done, so I am at a complete loss. This is my only vehicle right now, so I can't go to the grocery store, I can't go looking for another job (which I need badly), and my wife needs to see a doctor for a disc in her neck and we have no family anywhere near us in the entire state. Aargh. I could really use some more advice. It would be appreciated a lot. As for getting the truck on jacks, as I mentioned, I can't do that. The truck is on an incline. The incline is about 35 degrees up the side of a hill. I don't have access to chocks. I bought some back in December but they went missing along with some other things from my shed and I can't get anywhere to buy new ones. What I have here is what I have sadly. It's a good idea, it just won't work right now. Believe me I tried lol. Funny thing about that is, I have some ramps and placed them higher in my yard, on level ground. About 7 feet away from where the front of the truck is now, but the truck's engine cut off just after getting onto the dirt from the driveway and I couldn't reach the ramps and now I can't push the truck because the incline is steep enough that if I tried to push it, it would run me over and kill me. I don't have anyone that can step on the brakes as I push. Lol, it's one gigantic conundrum. Oh,and the truck, as mentioned, cut off with the left side of the truck off of the driveway and the right side, on the drive way; the side that is off of the drive way is about three inches lower than the drive way, so the truck is tilted toward the left side.
 




fordysenior

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I feel your pain, but I haven't had to remove the starter on mine yet. So actual experience I don't have. But usually starters are really easy to remove. I checked my Chilton manual, they show nothing tricky about it. Have you checked You Tube for a video play by play.?

Have you beat on it with a hammer (with the starter installed properly), the solenoid included, to see if that will kick something loose? Maybe take a heavy screwdriver and connect the two leads of the solenoid together to fire up the starter (it's been a long time since I've done that, it may cause other damage on these newer vehicles, but someone with more repair knowledge than me might chime in). At least then maybe you could park it somewhere where it's easier to work on.
 
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2ndcovenant

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Hi Fordysenior. That's the really odd thing...I have the Chilton's guide and have search on the official Ford site and both say, as you mentioned, that once the two wires and two bolts are removed, that you just take the old starter out and put in the new one, lickity split, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. I read both before I started and figured this would be easy so I jumped right to it. Honestly, going from under the truck and reaching my hand around the driver's side of the starter, it was easy to put a 13mm socket onto the top bolt and little by little ratchet it out; so even the top bolt was no problem for me. Getting it all loose was a breeze lol. But what I read a little while ago was that I needed to lower the front differential which would give me plenty of room, they say, or removing the driver's front wheel, then the wheel cover and bring the starter out that way (that was on a 4x4 ford ranger though). I was looking for a video that shows how to deal with a front differential on a 2002 ford explorer 4x4 xlt 4.0 liter 6cylinder but couldn't even find one for a ford explorer. One gent on youtube tried to show putting in a new differential but he didn't have a light below the truck so I couldn't see anything but complete darkness. Thanks for the reply. My father, who just had hernia surgery and is in his 80's, is going to try to come down and help me figure this out in around a week and a half but my wife is in a lot of pain. Honestly, I have tried to get her to just call an ambulance and go to the hospital but her insurance has a $7000 deductible and although she hurts like the dickens she refuses to put that kind of bill on us. Aargh. Oh to be blessed with one week where everything was outstanding :).
 




XploX

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All I can say is...wow.
There are qualified technicians, you might want to locate one.

One hour job, and that includes clean up.
 




Kilenem-Daily

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i changed my starter a while back, it is fairly simple but i had help from a friend; what we did was jack up the truck i got under the truck and removed the bolts holding in the starter then i angled it up to him and we maneuvered it around until we could get it out, then repeat. it took us about 20 - 30 minutes and everything was fine... i bought my starter at autozone for about $100
 




TechGuru

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i changed my starter a while back, it is fairly simple but i had help from a friend; what we did was jack up the truck i got under the truck and removed the bolts holding in the starter then i angled it up to him and we maneuvered it around until we could get it out, then repeat. it took us about 20 - 30 minutes and everything was fine... i bought my starter at autozone for about $100
Sounds great until you mentioned the AutoZone starter, lol. I'd stick with Bosch or Motorcraft only.

$101.79 for a brand new (not remanufactured) Bosch Starter at RockAuto: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=501192

BTW, if anyone wants to know, OReilly's has the Remanufactured Motorcraft for $170.99

Edit: Just realized the new Bosch is for Manual Transmission and Bosch does not offer a new for the Automatic. So for a new starter for a Automatic I recommend REMY for $100.79 and it has a lifetime warranty.

REMY 97100 | $100.79 | http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=474497
 
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Harpua216

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Just did this job. you have to tilt the starter towards the driver side, turn it a half turn and slip it out. if you try it in reverse you cant get the ass-end of the starter out.

also, i am not sure if your starter came with a wire to attach, but use it if you can because the other one is usually brittle and the connector breaks. I had to do it twice because i left the old ground wire on and the connector snapped.
 




2ndcovenant

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Now, this is exactly where I currently am at and I am so glad that you mentioned more detail on what I am currently trying to do. The problem that I am having with this is two fold: 1) First, I *was trying to bring it out ass-end first and as you noted, that will not work, so thank you for pointing that out (it seemed easier because I can get such a much better grip on that end) and 2) Second, the steering shaft, going from the steering wheel down into the depths of the engine is in the way and I can't get the starter past it. I actually bruised one of my right ribs on the side of the truck, reaching into the depths of the engine to pull the starter out, ass-ended and past that shaft. I am about to go out to the truck right now and give your plan a go. Thanks. I really hope that works. Good Lord do I hope that works lol.

Just did this job. you have to tilt the starter towards the driver side, turn it a half turn and slip it out. if you try it in reverse you cant get the ass-end of the starter out.

also, i am not sure if your starter came with a wire to attach, but use it if you can because the other one is usually brittle and the connector breaks. I had to do it twice because i left the old ground wire on and the connector snapped.
 




2ndcovenant

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Aargh.Thanks to Harpua216, I was able to get the old starter out and it took three of us to put the new one in place but once in place, I tried to start the truck and the motor would not turn. So basically, from what I understand now, the teeth on the starter are not engaging the fly wheel teeth. The starter rotor teeth do turn when the key is turned in the ignition switch and the dashboard and air conditioner do have power. Using a volt meter, I placed the red lead onto the small wire going to the starter's nut and used the black lead to ground, with the meter set to 12v; and the meter read 0.00. It's a brand new starter and the paperwork that came with it said that it tested well before it was sent to us. From what someone told me, basically the teeth are not engaging in the fly wheel which means that either the solenoid on the brand new starter is bad or the fly wheel is missing at least one tooth. Another option, one that I am hoping someone here can give me some insight on, is: could it be that the new starter is not seated properly, or bolted properly, into the fly wheel??? A friend who has long skinny arms was the one who was able to get in and tighten the mounting bolts but he easily admits that he has no idea what he is doing with car mechanics so maybe he could have not tightened them all the way? He said that they were tight when he was done with them but after the motor would not turn, even he wondered if the starter wasn't tight enough. In good news, with three of us here for once, we were able to push the truck down to the road (ie level ground) and get a jack and jack stands under it. That's good news at least. As always, any insight would be greatly appreciated. Without the insight that you folks have given so far, I would not have gotten this far. Oh, I would have tested the tightness of the mounting bolts but to be completely honest, thanks to working on this truck, I have a bruised rib that is hurting worse and worse each day. I don't see bruising so I am sure that it's not broken, but it hurts like the dickens; and working on the truck for 6 hours straight just to have the motor not turn over was a bit much so I needed to stop for the day.
 




TechGuru

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Three Possibilities.

1. The New starter is defective.

2. The new starter is not properly seated.

3. You installed the wrong model of starter. Did you compare them before installing? The manual and automatic transmission explorers use different starters.

 




2ndcovenant

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Oh good Lordy, my wife ordered the starter which according to the web page said that the new starter was for my truck but it did not say that there was a difference between an automatic and a manual starter. From just the pictures, it looks like we may have gotten a manual starter for our automatic truck! I will have to go confirm that... it came with detailed paperwork on how well it tested before it was sent to us so it may say there. We only have a very limited time to replace it, which was eaten up by not being able to get the old one out. I hope that we haven't run out of time to exchange it, if it is the wrong type.
 




TechGuru

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Where did you get the starter from?

AutoZone:
Automatic P/N's: DLG3244S, DL3265S, 3265S
Manual P/N's: DLG3232S, DL3262S, 3262S

OReilly's:
Automatic P/N's: N613201A, R613201A, SA860RM
Manual P/N's: N613188A, R613188A
 
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2ndcovenant

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My wife ordered it from an online dealer. Yep, it's a manual starter. She is working today but we are going to see if the seller will exchange it for an automatic.

Where did you get the starter from?

AutoZone:
Automatic P/N's: DLG3244S, DL3265S, 3265S
Manual P/N's: DLG3232S, DL3262S, 3262S

OReilly's:
Automatic P/N's: N613201A, R613201A, SA860RM
Manual P/N's: N613188A, R613188A
 




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2ndcovenant

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$45.00 but I don't know who she bought it from. Honestly though there is a place in west Ga called discount starters and alternators that only sells surplus but new alternators and starters. I bought an alternator from them a while back that works like a charm and it comes with a one year no hassle replacement or money back that I really like. They charged $47.00 for my alternator and had free shipping and since I live in Ga, it was here in less than 48 hours. They say that they try to ship the same day that the payment processes.

How much did you pay?

If I ever need one I will be getting this 100% New REMY for $100.89 from RockAuto: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=474497
 


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2ndcovenant

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I ordered a new automatic starter this morning, hopefully it will be here within 2 days and I can go from there.
 




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