How to Change the Starter in a Ford E-150

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Battery wrench

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Creeper

  • Socket set

The Ford E-150 van is the 1/2-ton Econoline full-size van. The van’s engine needs a starter motor to turn the flywheel in order to start the engine. The starter itself ejects a gear from its nose cone, which lines up with the teeth on the outer rim of the flywheel. As the starter motor spins its gear, that gear in turn spins the flywheel which allows the engine to start. If the starter motor seizes or fails to eject the gear from the nose cone, you will have to replace the starter before you can move the E-150 under its own power again.

Open the hood on the E-150 and unhook the negative battery cable where it connects to the battery using the battery wrench. Chock the right-rear wheel and then lift the right-front with the floor jack. Lower the E-150 onto a jack stand, positioned under the right-front frame.

Put the creeper on the ground near the passenger side, lay down on it and slide underneath just behind the right-front wheel with the socket set and remaining jack stand.

Unbolt the starter wiring from the back of the starter using the socket set. Move the wiring aside so it doesn’t interfere with starter removal. The starter is alongside the transmission and engine—where they bolt together—on the passenger side.

Support the weight of the starter with the other jack stand, then remove the starter mounting bolts with the socket set. Hold onto the starter with one hand as you pull the bolts out with your other hand.

Take the starter down from the jack stand and roll out from under the E-150 with it. Compare it with the replacement starter to make sure the replacement is physically identical to the old one. If not, take them both to the auto parts retailer and exchange the replacement for one that matches the old starter.

Roll back under the truck with the replacement starter. Position it in place, holding it there with the jack stand, and thread the mounting bolts into position by hand. Tighten the mounting bolts with the socket set.

Move the jack stand out of the way and then reattach the starter wiring with the socket set.

Lower the truck back to the ground after removing the jack stand. Reconnect the negative battery cable, close the hood and remove the wheel chocks.

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