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How do I Replace a Ford E-350 Econoline Solenoid?

by John Rose

When the solenoid goes bad on your Ford E-350 Econoline, you'll hear a rapid clicking sound when you turn the key to the start position. If the solenoid is completely dead it will do nothing at all. Even if it isn't completely dead, you need to replace it as soon as possible so you aren't left stranded. There's no need to take the van to a mechanic, however, because the process to change the solenoid isn't difficult, and someone with no experience can complete the project in two hours or less.

Open the engine compartment and disconnect the negative battery terminal using a wrench to loosen the nut. Place the wheel chocks behind the back tires. Raise the van on the driver's side using the automobile jack.

Place a jack stand under the van near the jacking point and raise it up to the frame of the vehicle.

Label the wires on the starter using the masking tape and marker, noting the proper location of each one of them. Disconnect the wires using a wrench to remove the nuts. Unplug the wiring harness from the starter.

Remove the starter mounting bolts using a socket and ratchet. Pull the starter away from the engine.

Remove the solenoid from the starter using a screwdriver to remove the screws. Put the new solenoid in place of the old one and tighten the screws with the screwdriver.

Put the starter back on the engine and tighten the bolts with the ratchet and socket. Connect the wires using a wrench to tighten the nuts and plug the wiring harness back in to the starter. Remove the jack stand from under the van.

Lower the van to the ground and reconnect the negative battery terminal. Tighten the nut on the terminal with the wrench. Start the van to test the solenoid installation.


  • Failure to disconnect the battery terminal as instructed in step 1 will result in electrical shock.

Items you will need

About the Author

John Rose has been writing professionally since 1981. Now contributing to various online publications, he specializes in auto repair, home maintenance and similar topics. Rose studied English at Frostburg State University.

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