How to Replace a Starter in a 2001 Dodge Ram

by Gregory Crews
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red truck engine image by Christopher Nolan from

The Dodge Ram--Dodge's workhorse pickup, known for its horsepower, ruggedness, and perceived ability to get a job done--is a traditional pickup: It has body-on-frame construction, a conventional gasoline or diesel combustion engine, and time-tested mechanical components such as a starter motor to get the big Ram's engine running. The starter, powered by the battery when you turn the key in the ignition, engages the flywheel to set the crankshaft in motion, starting the engine. The starter on the 2001 Dodge Ram, like the starter on virtually any domestic automobile, wears out over years of use. Replacing the starter, though, is a routine job that can save you money if you do it yourself. Changing the 2001 Ram's starter should take only about a half-hour to complete.

Removing the Starter

Step 1

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Disconnect the battery by removing the negative and positive cable clamps from the battery posts.

Step 2

Slide under the Ram and locate the starter. The starter is on the passenger side of the truck between the engine and the transmission, just behind the oil pan. The starter is mounted to the frame by two bolts. Depending on the ground clearance of your Ram, you might be able to reach the starter without raising the truck; if not, you'll need to raise the front end with a jack and place the Ram on jack stands under the frame rails on either side.

Step 3

Disconnect the wires on the back of the starter by unscrewing the bolts on the studs. Slide the wire off the studs. There will be a stud for the positive wire and one for the negative wire.

Step 4

Unbolt the two bolts holding the starter to the frame with the socket wrench. There will be a bolt to the top and one to the bottom. Support the starter with one hand as you reach the point of removing the bolts. The starter is heavy.

Pull the old starter down and remove it from your work area.

Installing the New Starter

Step 1

Push the starter up to the frame rail. Thread and hand-tighten the bolts to secure the starter in place. Then tighten the bolts securely with your socket wrench.

Step 2

Push the negative and positive wire on the studs of the new starter. Tighten the bolts on the studs to secure the wires.

Step 3

Connect the negative and positive cables to the battery. Tighten the clamps by securing the retaining bolts with the 7/16-inch wrench.

Start the Ram to ensure it starts without hesitation.

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