Wednesday, August 24, 2011

'98 Ford F-150 won't start, part II

Yesterday my truck wouldn't start again. All the lights would come on, but it would just do a heavy "click" when I tried to start it.

Going through the steps from last time, I quickly narrowed it down.

Bad starter.

A few tips for those trying to change a starter on this type of vehicle:

  • This is not an easy job -- maybe 3x harder than changing a battery. If you have the right tools, though, it's a lot easier. You'll need:
    • jack and jack stands
    • pneumatic socket wrench (otherwise you'll loosen and tighten the nuts one 16th of a turn at a time)
    • regular socket wrench (since pneumatic ones can't fully torque the starter bolts (at least mine can't))
    • 13mm socket (for the starter mounting bolts)
    • 13mm DEEP socket (for the starter mounting bolt that has the ground attached)
    • 10mm wrench (for the relay lead)
    • 8mm socket (for the battery -- yours may be different)
    • 3" and 6" socket extensions
  • Be sure to disconnect the battery first.
  • The starter is wedged up to the right of the oil pan, and looks sort-of like a large soda can with a large spice container attached.
  • There are two bolts that you can't see, and that are very hard to get to. Use the standard socket wrench with 13mm socket on a 6" extension to break those loose, then use the pneumatic wrench to get them out.
  • The rest is fairly intuitive...
  • Except don't tighten the nuts on the leads too tight when installing the new one! I snapped off the back of the new starter relay and had to start the whole process over again!

Hope someone benefits from my experience.

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