How to Replace the Starter on a Ford Ranger

by Gregory CrewsUpdated July 05, 2023

The Ford Ranger uses an electric starter to engage the flywheel. This is the first process in the complicated inner workings of an internal combustion motor. The flywheel engages the crankshaft, which sets the spark that causes acceleration. Replacing a faulty starter will ensure that this cycle continues to be consistent and helps keep your Ford Ranger running for many miles to come. Replacing one is straightforward and should take very little time to remove and reinstall.

Things You Will Need:

  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set

Removing the Starter

  1. Isolate the electricity. Remove the negative and positive lead on the battery.
  2. Locate the starter under the vehicle. The starter will be located to the right of the motor on the bottom. Access the bolts comfortably from underneath the truck.
  3. Remove the bottom bolt with a socket wrench. The ground cable will be attached. Save the bolt for reinstalling the starter.
  4. Unbolt the positive cable on top of the starter. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolt.
  5. Unbolt the top of the starter with a socket wrench. The starter will be loose.
  6. Pull the starter straight out. Use both hands to pull out and forward as the starter is heavy. Pull forward and lower to the ground.

Installing the Starter

  1. Position the new starter in place. Match up the starter to the designated bolt holes on the mounts.
  2. Start the top bolt. Turn the bolt clockwise but do not tighten the starter down.
  3. Start the bottom bolt. Ensure the negative cable is run through the bolt before starting. Do not tighten the bolt.
  4. Tighten the top bolt with the socket wrench. Tighten it snug. Repeat the same for the bottom bolt. Ensure both bolts are tight.
  5. Tighten the positive cable to the starter. Ensure the cable is snug to the fitting.
  6. Connect the terminals to the battery. Ensure the vehicle cranks. The starter will engage without hesitation if done correctly.

Tips and Warnings

Save your old starter. The parts store will charge you a core fee. You will receive the core fee back when returning the old starter with the receipt. Some companies rebuild the old starters and sell them at a cheaper rate. Also ask about warranty information. You may be able to purchase a lifetime warranty on your starter for a little extra money.

Always isolate the electricity when working on automotive electrical systems. Not doing so could result in shock.

Work on a flat, level surface.

Video showing how to replace a Ford Ranger starter:

Comments on this video:

  • If you want a little more room to work with and are on a lift you can drop/move aside the front driveshaft/differential, extra 10-15 minutes for 2x the room. :)
  • Great video...don't have 4wheel drive so I'm hoping it will be a bit easier. Thanks for the instructions.

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