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How to Change the Starter on a Ford 7.3 Diesel

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Battery wrench

  • Jack stand

  • Socket set

The starter motor on a Ford 7.3 diesel is one of the heaviest starters in the Ford fleet, requiring good upper body strength to change. The starter motor hangs on the side of the engine, near the transmission bell housing. When you turn the ignition to the start position, you close the starter circuit, which turns on the starter motor. This spins the motor internally and ejects the bendix gear from the nose of the starter, which contacts and turns the 7.3’s flywheel in order to start the diesel engine. If you’re physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds and have basic auto repair skill, you can change this starter.

Open the Ford’s hood to expose the 7.3 diesel engine. Unbolt the 7.3’s negative cable from the battery on the driver’s side of the engine well using the battery wrench.

Climb under the Ford truck’s passenger side just behind the front tire with the jack stand and socket set. Place the jack stand directly under the belly of the starter and lift the jack stand head until it’s touching the belly of the starter.

Unbolt the starter wiring from the back of the Ford truck’s starter using a socket set. Disconnect the ground wire from the starter with the socket set.

Extract the bolts holding the starter to the engine using a socket set. Lower the starter off the jack stand with both hands; use caution as the starter weighs approximately 45 pounds.

Set the replacement starter onto the jack stand with both hands. Slide the starter against the backside of the engine, making sure the holes in the starter flange align with the mounting holes in the engine block.

Thread the starter bolts through the starter flange and into the engine block by hand. Tighten the bolts with a socket set. Connect the starter ground wire and starter circuit wiring with the socket set.

Remove the old starter, jack stand and socket set from under the truck. Bolt the battery cable back onto the driver’s side battery using the battery wrench.

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