How to Replace a Starter on a 1990 Nissan Pickup

by Gregory Crews
under the hood image by Lucy Cherniak from

The starter on a 1990 Nissan pickup is mounted to the transmission housing and can prevent the truck from starting when it goes bad. The starter can be removed and bench tested to ensure it is faulty before spending a lot of money on a replacement starter. The bench test can be done at most automotive parts stores. Most stores sell brand new starters and remanufactured starters. The latter are rebuilt and cost less than a new starter.

Removing the Starter

Step 1

Open the hood to disconnect the battery. Unbolt the negative and positive cable from the battery with a socket wrench. This will isolate the electrical power from the vehicle.

Step 2

Chock the back wheels and ensure the parking brake is set. This will prevent the truck from rolling back when it is raised.

Step 3

Place a jack under the front crossmember. Raise the truck high enough off the ground to place jack stands under the front doors. Lower the truck onto the jack stands.

Step 4

Crawl under the passenger side of the truck and locate the starter bolted to the transmission bell housing. The starter is secured by two bolts.

Step 5

Unbolt the two bolts with a socket wrench, freeing the starter from the truck. Tap the starter with a hammer to free the seal created from being mounted to the truck.

Unbolt the positive and negative wires from the top of the starter with a socket wrench. Wrap masking tape around the positive cable to help identify the correct wires during installation.

Installing the Starter

Step 1

Bolt the positive and negative wires to the battery. Tighten with a socket wrench to ensure the wires are securely mounted to the starter.

Step 2

Position the starter to the truck. Start both bolts by hand. Do not tighten either bolt until both are started.

Step 3

Tighten the bolts with a socket wrench. Ensure the starter is tight by shaking it by hand to ensure it is secure.

Step 4

Raise the vehicle with a jack to remove the jack stands. Lower the truck to the ground once the jack stands are removed.

Step 5

Connect the battery by bolting the positive cable to the positive terminal. Bolt the negative cable to the negative terminal.

Start the truck to ensure the starter is working adequately. Close the hood.


  • Place the old starter in the box the new starter was purchased in. The old starter will need to be sent back to the automotive parts store to receive a "core" credit. This credit was charged to the original invoice to ensure the old starter will be returned to the store.


  • Use caution when working around electrical components. Always make sure the battery is disconnected to prevent electrical shock.
  • Use caution when working under a raised vehicle. Always chock the wheels and set the parking brake to prevent the truck from rolling back while raised.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Hammer
  • Masking tape

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