How to Replace a Starter in a 1997 Ford F-150

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 Jack stands

  • Battery wrench

  • Socket set

1997 Ford F150s need a starter in order to get the engine running. When you turn the ignition key to the start position, it closes an electronic circuit, which turns on the starter. The motor ejects a gear from the nose cone, which spins the flywheel on the engine. If all else is working properly, the engine will start and stay running. If you hear a whirring noise or a grind when you turn the key or no sound at all, odds are you have a faulty starter motor. Anyone with basic automotive repair experience can replace a starter in about an hour.

Raise the front end of the F150 off the ground with the floor jack. Place the two jack stands under the front portion of the F150’s frame and then lower the truck onto the jack stands.

Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable end from the battery using the battery wrench. Push the cable off to the side where it can’t accidentally contact the battery during the repair process.

Climb under the front passenger side of the F150 with the socket set. Locate the starter, which bolts to the side of the engine, where the transmission bell housing meets the back side of the engine block.

Unbolt the starter ground wire and wiring harness using the socket set. Move the wires aside.

Hold the body of the starter with one hand while removing the two starter mounting bolts with the other, using a socket set to do so. Never let the weight of the starter bear down on the loose bolts.

Pull the starter out by hand once you have removed both of the mounting bolts. Compare the old starter to your replacement, making sure they are physically identical before proceeding with the installation of the replacement unit.

Hold the replacement starter in position and thread the mounting bolts through the starter flange and into their mounts. Tighten them down with the socket set. Remember to never let the weight of the starter hang on the loose bolts.

Attach the ground wire and starter wiring harness in reverse of disconnection.

Lower the F150 off the jack stands with the floor jack and then reconnect the negative battery cable using the battery wrench.

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