While replacing the starter on a F-150 is not difficult, not having the right tools will make the process a nightmare. One of the reasons for this is because of the location of the top mounting bolt. Because of little room and a nasty location, this bolt will require a certain length extension and socket in order to be removed. Everything else is straight forward. This guide applies to both the 4.6L and the 5.4L engines as well as the 4.2L V6.
- 2004 Ford F-150
- 4.6L V8
- ~61,000 miles
Removing The F-150 Starter
1. The starter is located on the passenger side of the engine bay, right under the exhaust manifold. There is a good access spot when you lift one side of the truck up. Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery. Continue by removing the starter wires. Two of the big nuts are 13mm and the small one is 10mm.
2. Remove the wires and set them aside. Remove the first mounting bolt. All of the mounting bolts are 13mm.
3. Follow the starter counter-clockwise and remove the second bolt
4. The third bolt is located on top of the starter. You will have to feel it with you hands. Use an extension to reach it. You may also get to it through the wheel well by using an extension and a swivel. To show you the location, here is a picture with the starter removed. Models that have 4.2L V6 engine do not have the 3rd bolt.
5. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the starter mounting bolts to 18 lb-ft. Reconnect all of the starter cables. Reconnect the battery cable.