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How to Replace a Starter in a 2001 Ford Expedition

by Allen Moore; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Ramps

  • Battery wrench

  • Socket set

  • Replacement starter

The 2001 Ford Expedition, like most modern production vehicles, needs a starter motor to start the engine. The starter motor ejects a small gear that spins the flywheel and starts the engine. A damaged flywheel or normal wear and tear can ruin a starter motor. If you turn the key in your Expedition and hear the sound of an electric motor running but the engine is not cranking over, odds are you have a faulty starter motor.

Drive the Expedition’s front wheels onto the ramps. Set the parking brake and open the hood.

Disconnect the negative battery cable using the battery wrench and move the cable to a position where it cannot accidentally come into contact with the negative battery terminal until you are ready to reconnect it.

Slide under the passenger side of the Expedition and locate the starter, which is mounted alongside the engine where transmission bell housing bolts to the back of the engine.

Unbolt the starter wiring using the socket set. Support the starter body with one hand and remove the starter bolts with the socket set. The starter is very heavy, so be prepared to support the full weight when the bolts are removed. Allowing it to hang from either bolt can lead to damage to the starter, the truck or you.

Compare the old starter to the replacement unit and make sure they are identical in design, length and girth.

Hold the replacement starter in position and thread the bolts in with your other hand. Once the bolts are in, tighten them down with the socket set. Do not stop supporting the starter’s weight until you have both bolts tightened down.

Reconnect the wiring to the starter in reverse of how you removed it.

Reconnect the negative battery cable and start the Expedition. Release the parking brake and drive it down off the ramps.

Tips

Don’t forget to take your old starter back for a core charge refund from the place you purchased the replacement starter.

Avoid purchasing rebuilt starters; opt for re-manufactured units instead. Re-manufactured starters consist of a used casing with all new internal parts. Rebuilt starters are simply repaired used starters, so you may get one new part, but the rest of the assembly is as old as the part that broke initially, which means you won’t experience the lasting service a new or re-manufactured starter will provide.

About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for RF365.com and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.

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