Replacing Starter On 1994 Ford Ranger
I would say replacing the starter wasn't too difficult with the right tools and patience. With that said, the hardest part of the project that I faced was getting the wiring back onto the new starter, which will be discussed later in this article. Previous to replacing this starter, I replaced the Solenoid, for the engine did nothing when turning the key. Battery was checked and good along with the alternator. Be sure to check out the hub on the solenoid replacement before going straight for the starter, unless undoubtedly you know the problem is indeed the starter.
Also as a note, this article is written assuming you (the reader) has a basic understanding of auto mechanics. This article is not intended to take the place of a professional mechanic nor guide you to be one. If you at any time feel uncomfortable, stop and just let a professional mechanic do the job. This job requires intermediate hands on experience, not for beginners.
There isn't too many tools needed for the replacement of a starter, and there are some tools that may be needed if the primary ones do not work out.
- Tire Block
- Sockets (10mm, 13mm)
- Torque Ratchet
- 6" Extension (Possibly a 4" per Scenario)
- 13mm Wrench (Maybe, for Battery Terminals)
- Breaker Bar (Maybe)
- New Starter
- Safety Glasses
There were some other tools that ended up being used in my scenario due to bolts not wanting to come loose and connecting the wire differently than the way it came off.
- Wire Stripper
- Air Impact ratchet ( Only for loosening bolts!)
Tools Needed (Minimum)
Secure Vehicle on Ramps, Remove Negative Battery Terminal
Before removing the battery terminals, if the vehicle still starts, it will be a lot easier to access the starter if the vehicle is on ramps or on a lift. In my case, I don't have a lift, so ramps did the job. Once the vehicle is securely on the ramps, be sure the emergency brake is engaged and place a block of a sort behind the rear tires for safety.
Another great tip is sometimes if the stater is stuck (will not turn over,) tapping on the starter with a hammer or such while another is attempting to turn the ignition switch may allow that one more time needed to get the vehicle to start so it can be moved. This doesn't always work, but its worth a shot, when turning the ignition, do not hold in the on position, just attempt to turn on for a second, release, all the while you will be tapping on the side of the starter. The internal gears sometimes release enough to kick over.
Once the vehicle is in place, remove the negative battery terminal from the vehicle battery. Never work on anything electrical related on/in a vehicle without disconnecting the battery.
Remove Negative Battery Terminal
Location, Removal, Replacement of the Starter
In my case, a 1994 Ford Ranger, the starter is located to the left side of the Transmission, which is more towards the passenger side of the vehicle (photo below.)
There are only three bolts that hold the starter to the side of the transmission (see video below.) They are long, and machine threaded so it will take a while to back them out with a ratchet. Suggest taking the two out from the bottom first then while holding the existing starter, remove the last bolt. the starter will pull loose, it is heavy for its size, be careful not to let it drop fast so you can remove the bolts that hold the wires in place.
My starter had a smaller red wire that was clipped on, where the new starter did not have this clip. It had a bolt post, so I had to strip the clip off and wrap the copper wire around that post. Then fastened it down with a bolt that came with the new starter. Starter models may vary in other words.
When you remove the old starter be sure to keep and clean the metal gaskets that resides between the starter and transmission housing. Mine was very dirty and grimy. You want a very clean, flush connection, so be sure to thoroughly clean this area.
In my case, it was much easier to attach the wiring before putting the mount bolts back in place.
When reattaching the starter, do not use any air tools to fasten, hand tighten only. The bolts need to be torqued to 16-20 foot pounds. Do not over tighten!
Ford Ranger Starter Replacement
Starter/Solenoid or Both?
© 2018 Ryan Hutzel