How to Replace a Starter in a 1998 Jeep Wranglerby Jody L. Campbell
The starter on a 1998 Jeep Wrangler cranks the flywheel of the engine in order to start the vehicle. The battery provides portable power to the starter to give it enough voltage to engage it. If the starter fails (and they all do eventually), the battery in the Wrangler will not be able to engage the starter, rendering it dead until the starter is replaced. There are two available engines in the 1998 Wrangler: the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and the 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Either engine has a very similar starter replacement procedure.
Drive the Wrangler up onto two vehicle ramps or use a floor jack and two jack stands to raise and support the front of the Jeep. Apply the parking brake after driving it up onto the ramps or before lifting it with the floor jack.
Place a wheel block behind one of the rear tires.
Put on safety glasses then open the hood. Disconnect the negative battery terminal clamp by loosening the retaining nut and bolt with a closed-end wrench then lifting it off the negative battery terminal post (indicated by a minus sign stamped on the battery housing).
Crawl under the front of the Jeep with the remaining tools and replacement starter. Locate the starter on the low end of the transmission bell housing then disconnect the starter solenoid harness connections with a closed-end wrench.
Remove the two starter retaining bolts with the ratchet and a Torx-head (male) socket. Remove the starter.
Install the new starter by reversing the removal procedure. Be sure to remove the wheel block before driving the Jeep down off the ramps or before moving it.
- In the event the Torx-head bolts are stuck on the starter (considering the age of the Wrangler and the last time the starter was replaced), a bolt extractor set may be required to effectively remove the bolts. To prevent this problem in the future, replace the bolts with new ones.
Things You'll Need
- 2 vehicle ramps or a floor jack and two jack stands
- Wheel block
- Safety glasses
- Closed-end wrench set
- Ratchet and Torx-head (male) sockets
- Replacement starter
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.