How to Replace a 2001 Ford Taurus Starterby Tim Petruccio
The Ford Taurus debuted in 1986, and has been in production every year since then. The 2001 Ford Taurus came with two different engines in the U.S. models. Both were 3.0-liter V-6s, but one engine (VIN: U) is a standard electronic fuel-injected engine, while the second engine (VIN: 2) is a flex-fuel overhead valve engine. The starters on both of these engines mount the same, with the exception of the mounting bolts themselves. The standard 3.0-liter "U" engine has bolts that mount and dismount horizontally on the transmission. The flex-fuel "2" engine has bolts that mount and dismount vertically on the transmission housing. The eighth digit of the VIN is the referencing digit.
Lift the hood of the Taurus. Remove the positive battery cable using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set to loosen the nut on the cable. Remove the battery cable by hand once the cable nut has been loosened.
Lift the front of the Taurus using a 2-ton jack or one with greater capacity. Place jack stands beneath the front sub-frame or "K-frame." The sub-frame is the narrow frame that holds the engine and transmission in the vehicle.
Lie beneath the front bumper so that you can physically access the area just behind the front bumper. Remove the splash shield tabs from the shield behind the bumper. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pop the tabs out. Removing this shield will give you greater access to the starter.
Remove the positive (thick red) cable from the starter by removing the hold-down nut using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket, then remove the wire by hand. Remove the negative lead wire from the starter by removing the hold-down nut with a the ratchet and socket. Adding a 6-inch extension will give you greater maneuverability and reach when removing the hold-down nut on the negative post. Remove the negative wire by hand.
Remove the two starter mounting bolts from the engine block using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet, socket, and extension. Remove the starter mounting bolts by turning them counterclockwise. Remove the old starter by moving it horizontally off the flywheel, then pulling it out from underneath the Taurus.
Hold the new starter near the mounting hole on the front of the transmission. Set the starter in position by installing it horizontally into the starter mounting hole.
Install the starter mounting bolts by hand and turn them a few times into the engine to get them started to take the majority of the weight off your arms while you finish the installation. Tighten the starter mounting bolts using a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench and socket to between 16 and 21 foot-pounds of torque. If you are using an inch-pounds torque wrench tighten the bolts to between 192 and 252 inch-pounds.
Install the negative wire lead onto the new starter and tighten the hold-down nut. Do not over-tighten this nut. Snug the nut with a ratchet and socket, then turn the ratchet one quarter-turn. The torque specifications for this nut is only 1.2 foot-pounds. Install the positive lead to the starter and tighten the hold-down nut, using the same "snug-and-a-quarter" turn method.
Reinstall the plastic splash plate underneath the front of the Taurus, just behind the front bumper. Align the mounting holes and push the mounting tabs in with your fingertips. If you run into any resistance with a tab, remove the tab and double-check your alignment. If the tab still produces resistance, use the handle end of a screwdriver to tamp the tab into place. Make sure you reinstall all of the tabs that came out of the splash guard, or the guard can fall off while you are driving.
Raise the front of the Taurus off the jack stands and remove the jack stands from beneath the car. Lower the Taurus to the ground. Reinstall the positive battery cable to the battery and tighten the cable using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet on the cable tie-down nut.
Things You'll Need
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set, with 3-inch extension
- 2-ton or greater capacity floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- New starter
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Never lift a vehicle on uneven ground or a slope. Raising a vehicle on uneven ground can cause jacks and jack stands to collapse. Failure to adhere to this warning could cause vehicle damage, personal injury or death if the vehicle collapses on you.
Tim Petruccio is a professional writer and automotive mechanic. His writing combines more than 20 years of mechanical experience in automotive service, service management, automotive education and business ownership. He assisted in the automotive beta, which launched March 2011.