How to Change the Starter on a 2000 Ford Windstar

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wheel chock

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Memory saver device

  • Battery wrench

  • Socket set

  • Torque wrench

The year was 1985, and Ford had discovered the hard way that in order to beat the Dodge Caravan on its own ground, it had to play on the same field. The truck-based Aerostar van had some success in competing against similar truck-based offerings from GM, but the public had already decided it wanted a front-drive, car-based minivan. To that end, Ford slapped a separate body on its massively acclaimed Taurus chassis, and gave the world the Windstar. By 2000, minivans of all stripes were struggling to adapt to a changing marketplace; evidence the fact that the Windstar's top trim item that year was a flip-down LCD television paired with a VCR player. Still, though, the Windstar was the minivan to have for people who still wanted minivans.

Put the wheel chock behind one of the rear wheels, set the parking brake and then roll the floor jack under the front end of the Windstar. Lift the minivan with the jack and place the jack stands under the front frame on the right and left sides.

Install a memory saver device per the manufacturer instructions. This will retain your radio and computer settings. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal with the battery wrench.

Climb underneath the Windstar in the passenger-side front area. Locate the starter, which bolts to the side of the engine where the engine and transmission meet.

Disconnect the starter wiring with the socket set. Hold the starter up with one hand while you use the socket set to remove the starter mounting bolts with the other hand. You will need to completely support the starter during this step; never let its weight come down on the mounting bolts once they’re loose.

Lower the old starter down and insert the new one in the same orientation and position.

Hold the new starter motor in place with one hand while you thread the mounting bolts in and then tighten them down to 33 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. If you don't have a torque wrench, just hand-tight with a standard ratchet will suffice. Remember to never let the starter hang down on the mounting bolts.

Reconnect the starter wiring in reverse of removal. Climb out, reconnect the negative battery cable and then lower the Windstar off the jack stands.

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