Ford F-150 11th Generation – Starter Replacement
2004 – 2008 Ford F150
Vehicle In This Guide:
2004 Ford F150 / 4.6L V8 engine / 161,000 miles
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.
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.
Thank you for info but still couldn’t get third bolt. Note a mechanic said get along extension do from top of engine. Is that true. Help.,
Never tried it from the top so I can’t confirm if that will work but I guess anything is possible with a long enough extension. Most people go through the wheel well when they can’t get to that bolt.
I took mine out from the top with a wrench, not very hard to do at all.
My 2006 F150 with 4.2 V 6 only had 2 starter mounting bolts. Easy to see. But I relpaced stater once before in 2012 and now again in 2022. The problem was the top bolt head was starting to get rounded off. Due to 2012 removal and now again on 2022. The closed end 13 mm wrench slipped to easy. Then I remembered from 2012 I used a 1/2 in wrench. So I put a 1/2 wrench on it and it was tighter. I then put very slight pressure forward and then reverse and forward and then reverse but not much pressure. Then I used hammer and cold chiesal tapped a notch and very slight tried to apply small taps to turn to counter clock wise .and tap 90 degrees to bolt head. It came out with wrench. Buy new bolts before you start.
First THANKS for the info and pix, got me thru in good shape, I took off the front tire, used my 20″ extension,a wobble joint and short 13mm socket to remove top bolt. Going back put the bottom stud in not tight(just able to wiggle starter), then put one layer of plastic tape around the wobble joint continued down socket, put the bolt in the socket and took a wrap on the flange of the bolt. this held bolt in socket and made wobble joint a little stiff, put top bolt in and tightened, then did the same for the middle/side bolt, back under truck and finish. Thanks again for the info, as I was stumped till I found this site.
I too had difficulties when using a 1/4″ socket wrench because the 3 extensions I had were either too short or too long. Once I switched to a 1/2″ socket, the extension was perfect and it was a breeze getting out the top bolt without removing the tire (via going through a wheel well). Exchanging the starter took me about 45 minutes, including reconnecting the leads. Mind you, I didn’t even have a lift or creeper. I just laid in my back and scooted under my E-350. Thanks for the advice because having the right tools fir this and any job is essential.
Not true a 3 inch extension and a deep well 13 reaches it with my snap on set
Bottom and side bolts were simple and easy. Top bolt was very difficult. After some time fighting with and some choice words. I found it worked to use a 1/4″ rachet and socket….some calls for 13mm socket but mine was 1/2″ socket. A short extension with a u-joint to give a little flexibly. Work from top in wheel well. Look for the top bolt with flashlight to get idea where it’s at then go in blind and feel for it with the socket, push socket on to bolt and hold it while you use other hand to work the ratchet with u joint on end of rachet push into socket start cranking with one hand keeping socket tight on bolt..Only issue is you will only have short turns due lack of space to make full turns 1/4 turns is most you can do seemed like it was taking forever to get it out, my son in law held starter up in place to release any pressure on head of bolt little by little it came out….Maybe you or someone may discover a trick to take it out faster. If you do let me know so I can pass it on to others in my family whom are all pretty much Ford country..
Great help on my 99 V6. Everything is unbolted, but cant flippin remove it from the space due to the tranny fluid lines.
Why not take that bolt out first
My 4.2 has the 3rd bolt. I can’t get the second bolt undone cause lack of room. My cat is in the way
Interesting. What year is your F150? You take the second bolt out the same way as you would the 3rd – with an extension. The tricky part is finding the right length extension.
I had a HELL of a time with the top bolt on mine. Needed a six inch and 1 1/2 inch extension and got it from underneath but it was not easy…hopin i never have to do it again!!!!!
I used 2 long extensions with a swivel in the middle and had mine replaced in 30 minutes
I will be changing mine today. At least it died in my driveway. Forecast to warm up to 15 F degrees, which is warmer than the past few days. I need this to go as fast as possible!
I wanted to thank you for the pictorial, glad to know where the top bolt is.
Nothing worse than working on your car/truck in the cold. Hope it goes well for you.
Thanks for the great tutorial. I’ve been wrenching a long time, but still review every job before hand. Even simple things like starters. You just never know what kinds of changes have been made in the factories & you may come into something new.
It never hurts to keep fresh.
I too have to change my starter in the cold today. lol supposed to get up to 17*F. I’m not a penguin and don’t want to be out in the cold any longer than I must. lol
I do the same thing. There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to wrenching. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for the tutorial/pics, it helped! The third bolt wasn’t easy at all! Got the new starter installed; but it started right up…after about 30 seconds it began to emit a whining and I shut it off. Checked my bolts and wire connections, looked good and all. Now all it does is whine, won’t even act like it wants to start… The starter was brand new too. Any suggestions, advice??? I am not a mechanic by the way, I build houses!
If it is whining but not starting then it sounds like the starter drive gear is not engaging
the flywheel. I would double check the wiring and make sure your battery is good. If you are near an auto parts store like NAPA you can take the starter there to get it bench tested. My guess is it is a bad starter, even if it was new – it happens. I would also ask around on the F-150 forums. You will get more help on there.
Hope you get this figured out!
check the wiring on the relay on the firewall, follow the + cable to the first connection should be a “Y” on the end of the cable 3 posts at that connection, red large wire, going into wire harness on firewall second wire going to the alternator, small wire going to firewall also, now both the larger wires have to be on the bottom post, NOTHING, but one side of the “Y” on the top post, if the 2 big wires are split up you will get power to the starter ALL the TIME, now it is free spinning(Whinnying), lol just went thru this and had to replace the starter, had helper helping, lol
Sounds like the cold is affecting a lot of us with starter issues. That being said for us with 2002 trucks, if the starter needs to be replaced is that an indication the rest of the truck is about to go too? I rather not start dumping money into a starter if everything is going to need to be replaced.
A bad starter is not an indication that the rest of the truck is about to go. The starter is a regular wear and tear item. In my experience they tend to go bad between 130,000 – 160,000 miles. It all depends on how often you use it.
I see you saying 130k- 160k but what about 53k. I called into my dealer, and my service guy said they need to catch the truck in the act of not wanting to stop turning over, well I have news for them its not like clock work, doesn’t happen all the time…
I’m tired of not knowing if the truck will start right up or have to try it a few times, so is it the starter or sylonoid or both? my serv guy did say thetre is alot more to it then say stater-sylonoid.
First it was my backup camera not wanting to work, after 6 attempts 2 cameras, finally the serv guy that I did have before he left, did some research for 1-2 wks got back to me with replacing the rear view mirror, warranty thank goodness 800 part. then the transmission needs to be reset.
I’m ready for any advice ! my wife still says I should’ve
Thx for info. This will be my 3rd one in 9 years. 1st one a dealer did in ’05 for about $400. Next one I did in ‘o8. Part cost me almost $150. Tomorrow I’m putting in the 3rd one. ( in the garage where its warm). Autozone quoted me $120 on a new one w/lifetime warranty. Not looking fwd to 3rd bolt. Barely use the darn thing but other day drove it to work because of weather and all it did was click after sitting in cold for 6 hours. Was getting ready to hv it towed when tow driver suggested tapping on starter while I tried to start. Sure enough it started. Must have a flat spot somewhere but not up to rebuilding it. Thx again for pics – its been awhile since i’ve been down there.
Ha! I had the same advice and sure enough it worked. Road side assistance said that it typically works but once you start having to do that then it’s a sign that the starter needs to be replaced.
My Starter went in my F150 sometime this weekend. A few hrs before leaving for work, found out it’s kaput. Now to find one for a reasonable price and attempt an install, in my drive, in -5 c. Fun, fun, fun… This helps alot, thanks for the tutorial.
Hi I was wondering if you have heard of the housing that you attach starter to cracks a piece actually broke out. I never tightened it that much . Its a 2001 f150 4.6 ltr . Its a three bolt starter and its the middle one.
Never heard of that one. That is part of the transmission bell housing and its cast aluminum so cracks are a definite possibility. Maybe previous owner over tightened it?
While I was replacing the starter one of the rubber pegs came off. Will this cause an issue?
I have a 2000 f-150 4.6 v8 i got the truck from a guy and he said the starter went up so did the battery so i jumped started it and it started up so i let it run for awhile and then i turned it off and tried to start it again with out using the jumper cables and it would not start do u think it could be the starter
In your first message you said you heard clicking – that is usually caused by a battery that is low on charge. First thing to do is get a new battery or get your current battery tested. You can always try to jump it again to see if it will start. I would look at the battery first and then move on to the starter.
where do i get buy the bolt that holds the ground cable ?? in in huntley/hampshi re Ill HELP .. ohh i tried the dealerships around here!!!
I have took off all 3 mounting bolts and it seems like something is still keeping my starter from coming. Should I try taking a hammer to it or is there another trick to getting it off.
Not a big deal, try tapping it with a hammer. It should break free then.
I have tried hitting it with a hammer and I took a pair of 460’s and it won’t come off. Any ideal of what might be keeping it from coming off.
Is it ‘springy’, or a hard stop from moving?
did you remove all the wires from the starter?
the harness containing those wires is attached to the frame near the wire ends on my 4.6L, and that MIGHT prevent the starter from moving back enough to clear the bell housing opening.
Not sure. Just a maybe.
Mine is stuck to ugh this really upsetting!
Once I got the THREE mounting bolts off and freed up the harness, mine came out, bringing it to my neighbor to test……….I needed about 20-inch of extension to get at that top bolt. I have to admit to not looking forward to the installation on Monday.
Replaced starter on 2001 F150 Supercrew 3/28/2014. Combination of 3/8 and 1/2 drive sockets, extensions and one knuckle each and plenty of liquid wrench to soak bolts. Accessed side and upper bolt from wheel well (wheel removed). If you don’t have a socket knuckle and several extensions (about 2 feet worth) then don’t even attempt the removal of the upper bolt. For me, the side bolt was worst than the top bolt because you just can’t get the motion of the socket to move and the extension with knuckle was tough. The lower two bolts took me longer than the top because they are exposed to the elements and rust more than the top bolt. By any stretch this effort is a pain to replace the starter but the satisfaction of not paying a mechanical was worth the 2.5 hour ordeal. Make sure when you install the new one to have some help. One person under the truck and another through the wheel well worked out for me; my 15 year old son who learned a little something and a few new choice of words I’m not proud of. Happy wrenching!
Hi I removed my top bolt with 1/4 drive ratchet 6 inch extension used small pipe for extension over handle to break hold steady strain one hour to remove starter. Installed bottom bolt first not tight to keep in place then top tight then side. attached wires negative battery cable. 2 Hour’s all together it was a challenge but cleaned all bolts very good before installation .
I need to know which wires are which in the second picture. I am having a short when connecting the battery cables. I know where the small one goes but I cant seem to get the other two right?
The thick wire on the bottom is the ground wire. You can tell that one apart because its terminal is bent at almost a 90 degree angle. The other thick wire is the positive cable.
Well, first, thanks for the tutorial. the pictures were very helpful. I was able to get to the top bolt pretty easily by removing the wheel. The truck on jackstands, and there was plenty of working room. I used a 3/8 ratchet that has a head that can flex up to 90 degrees, a short well socket and a 6 inch extension. With the wheel off, you can get your hand up in there pretty good.
Anyway, we got the thing off, looked at the gears (a little chewed) looked at the fly wheel, looked “OK”, and put the new one on.
Cranked and I can hear the starter whine, but not seeming to engage anything….
The starter ‘whine’ after installation sounds like the starter motor itself is spinning but the ‘bendix'(?) is not engaging the flywheel. Did you test-energize the ‘new’ starter on the bench before you did the install, to make sure the gear is throwing out to engage the flywheel ?
BTW, I purchased a ‘new’ starter at Autozone, and did an energizing test and it actually installed much easier than the removal. Running great.
Oh. JoeBongo, no I did not. I bought direct from Ford. I guess I assumed they did that. Can I pull it out and take to a place like AutoZone? I wouldn’t have a clue how to test it, unless I just have to use the battery? (scary thought….)
You are right, it went in quite easily. probably twenty minutes, most of which was just slow turns of bolts in tight spaces….
I guess as others have said, the second time around will be easy! LOL
Well, yeah. new from Ford means several inspections.
Remember, mine was a guess bout the whining noise.
So, YOU can check just be energizing the solenoid, which throws the gear out to engage the flywheel. I assume it’s out and in the garage you can take an OK battery and jumper cables and put the neg to the body of the starter unit, and the positive (may need something to extend the jumper cable end) ( or a jumper wire…2 alligator clips) and touch 12-volts to the lead where power comes from the ignition switch.
That bendix gear should “jump’ forward (toward the flywheel).
But, and folks here might frown on this, you can also just bring it to Autozone for testing.
If it does jump forward, it’s OK. I was wrong about the whining noise.
If not, either back to Ford, or to Autozone for a confirmation test, and then back to Ford.
It does get easier the second time….and the third….
Very good luck.
I have a 1992 ford f 150 xlt 5.0 efi does the starter have 3 or 2 bolts???? Thanks
It should have 2 bolts. Should be a lot easier to get at those 2.
Has anyone replaced a starter in a 2006 F150 4.2 v6? Looks to me the only way to remove it would be from underneath the vehicle and the stabilizer bar is directly in the way. I’ve been having an issue with it grinding when trying to start and then I get clicking sounds from the dash and the needles on the instrument panel fluctuate for a few seconds. It doesn’t do it every time but does it quite often. Any help would be appreciated.
To all u do it yourselfer’s like myself or u guy’s that rather save the buck’s. Everything they said was correct except one thing which If i didn’t figure it out would have cost me more time cause I would have removed the exhaust pipe. Is thst u need the 13 MM socket but u need the deep socket then u add the swivel then u add the extension 10″ and two 3″ extension’s for that top Bolt also two guy’s one should squeeze his hand in there and hold the socket while the other guy work’s the ratchet. Mind U this is if your working on floor stands and don’t have the luxury of a lift, Remember 13mm deep 3/8 socket don’t use a 1/2″ set cause it wont fit. Good luck we did it following these instruction’s on top and we did one Big difference and it was the deep socket than the swivel. Good Luck
I just replaced my starter today on my 05 f150 5.4litre and found that it was easiest to remove all bolts from underneath… It does have a 6inch lift so the stabilizer bar isn’t an issue… But on installation the 10mm bolt for the solenoid cracked the black insulation… Will that be a factor or can I use some silicone to seal it….
I have a 1999 F150 4.6L V8, does the starter have 2 or 3 bolts?
I see other people have had problems geting the starter loose from the bell housing once the three bolts were removed. This is my problem as well. I have hit it with a hammer but any harder and I’m afraid I might do some major damage to the gear. Is it possible it might be engaged? I have had the battery tested and its quite healthy, but I get the clicking sound when I try to start the truck so I’m assuming the starter is the problem. Just gotta get it off.
Use a tool called “Reechet”. This with right sized extensions get that difficult bolt.
When I crank my engine no noise no crank….was able to start it with a screwdriver to get it home. Would it be the starter ? I was told several times that’s the problem I don’t to replace things if not sure… thank u
I’m having the same problem. No crank / no start on ’98 4.6L. I can only start itge truck by jumping the relay on the firewall with a screwdriver. I had battery checked, checked the fuses, replaced the relay and the natural safety switch and it still won’t crank when I turn the key. I’m wondering if should I go through the hassle of removing & testing the starter since the starter cranks and starts the truck when I jump the relay. Any suggestions?
If you are able to start the truck by jumping the relay then the starter is not the problem. I would look upstream. You said you replaced the starter relay – if you have the anti-theft module then you will also have an additional starter interrupt relay that may be at fault or was triggered by the anti-theft module. Since you replaced the neutral safety switch I’m betting that the problem is with either the clutch Interlock switch jumper or with the ignition switch itself.
Turns out it was the starter causing my problems after all. In frustration I took the truck to my local mechanic and was told the starter wasn’t disengaging properly. He said that’s why I could still start it by jumping the relay. That explanation didn’t make sense to me, but it did fix the problem so I’ve moved on. Total cost for them to diagnose the problem, plus buy & install the new starter was $250.
The problem is your solenoid is bad use motorcraft brand starter solenoid as they are more dependable
Sometimes you get lucky: mine was not the original, and whoever installed it (or the tranny folks, as that was new when I bought it) left the top bolt off. My decision now is whether to do likewise.
I just installed a new starter in my 2003 4.2L. Very thing went smoothly until I fired it up.
The truck started alright but the start (I’m betting) is whining and wont stop.
Any ideas? I don’t know much, just enough to undo bolts and nuts.
Got all three bolts off after some cussing and discussing, Starter still wouldn’t come off.
Ground bolt had two nuts on it tried taking off the second nut and the whole bolt came off.
Starter still won’t come off. Will try the hammer with something long enough to reach the starter. It’s been a rolyal PIK (pain in my knuckles).
Thanks for the pics.
Can someone tell me the size of the mounting bolts? I know the head is 13mm but what is the length and width of the bolt itself. I replaced mine on the side of the road and lost a bolt. So right now I am driving around with only the two lower bolts installed. Thanks!
Oh also I know I could just remove one of the bolts and measure it but frankly I don’t want to. But I will if I can’t find out in the warmth of my easy chair. lol.
Great job with the explanation and the Photo were the best I have ever seen on the repair websites. Thanks.
I replaced my starter but two of the mounting bolts snapped off are these in the bell housing or are they just mounted to the block?
just spent 7 hours in the advance auto parts parking lot changing mine, finally got the top bolt out with a deep well socket and a 5 1/2 in extension. I did not know they even made one that size but it worked perfect.
2008 5.4 L F150: nothing happens when I turn the key, no click, nothing. Tested the battery (good), had O’Rielly’s check starter (bad), put in new starter (PITA) and still nothing. Any suggestions? Instrument panel says check gauges, not sure what that means.
i am losing my mind i’ve replaced the starter, firewall solenoid and tried jumpstarting my 2000 f150 but i keep getting a big fat click when i try the turn the thing over. its demoralizing and what’s more my battery seems to run down so fast when i open the door and the blasted lights go dim and the fuse relay under the steering wheel begins its annoying dull chime of death. I’m going to drive the lemon through the next ford dealership showroom i see. I’ve read so many similar reports asking why don’t they just recall them and fix the problem.
Apparently I am the only person on the planet that had virtually no problems removing the bolts, etc on a 1998 ford f 150. but I am unable to fit the starter out of the truck. It is sitting there disconnected in the void where I am desperate to put the new starter. It is not attached in any way, it simply will not fit thru the available spaces to remove it. HELP
I am having the same problem as you. I have removed the starter but I cannot get it out of the space it sits in. I tried turning it every which way and it will not come out.
Do you have any tips for me?
I’m having same issue. Have you found reason please tell me
Sorry if i’m changing subjects but anyone know about the stock firewall mounted solenoid on the v6 4.2l f150 2000 vintage. i have been trying to eliminate a starter fault on this truck for a couple months having had a no start situation in the backcountry…. scary situation but we had another vehicle with us to assist with a bump start. long story short I’m trying to eliminate replacing my last complicit component i.e., the GEM which i’ve heard can short the circuit. i replaced the said firewall mounted solenoid with a scavenged identical model off an old Aerostar. i’ve heard these are bomber but maybe someone has an encouraging argument to the contrary, and i’ll buy a new one, as i just can’t bear crawl under my dash and try and remove the GEM and fuse panel since i’ve thrown my back out already replacing the brakes and calipers on my wife’s yukon. 4 hours of torching and wrench hammering knuckle assaulting horrors to break those mounting bolts.
I’m having trouble figuring out why my 1997 Ford f150 has a difficult starting problem with clean connections, new starter, new firewall relay and charged battery that has been load tested good. Just doesn’t crank, just a click and the starter disengages. The motor turns via strong arm but no go by starter. Im lost.
after 3 scavenged solenoids i discovered the problem….buy a new one and simply replace the defective old…i guess they’re not as reliable as they look….no problems since.
no guarantees but this last inning fix came as such an unexpected relief after the summer of auto discontent
It appears my transmission lines are in the way. Is this the case or am I missing something?
Do I really need to put the top bolt in back in the truck? I’m hoping I really do need it.
haven’t shared anything since i solved last summer’s nagging problems but i feel i owe some hard earned experienced advice….take off the front passengers wheel and replace the bolt from the starter port….you’ll have to remove the rubber inner well guard to….pretty straight forward from there. i re soldered new lugs onto the old harness wires..the starter connections were shot…..could that be you’re problem as well?
Where can I purchase the ground bolt. stripped mine to El Segundo.
What is the size of the two top bolts on the starter for a 2001 ford f-150 4.2L. I lost two bolts and need to get new ones.
I recently replaced one. Make sure to have a ratchet, extension (6in), 13mm shallow and deep socket, 10mm and 13mm wrench on hand. Everything can be done on the ground. It is much harder to try to do everything from top.
Replaced the starter on my ’05 F150. It was a royal pain in the @ss. I recommend having a professional do it if you want to keep your sanity.
After I got everything hooked back up, I connected the battery and I heard to starter come on (I’m pretty sure it was the starter). The wires I’m sure are all hooked up correctly.
I had to take the solenoid off to get to 2 of the bolts. Is it possible that I reconnected it wrong. There is a plastic pin that comes out of the solenoid, does that have to snap back in some special way? Does anyone have any ideas?
Will a 4.2 Ford starter fit on a 5.4
I’ve got a 2003 f-150 5.4L. I need to replace my starter. I’m trying to figure out what other models have starters that are interchangeable with mine. Can you help me out?
Thanks….best tutorial for this repair on the internet. The top bolt was a B*$@! but it was doable with the extension and socket. It helps to have a spotter stick their head in the passenger side wheel well, with a light they can guide you right to it.
Finally got the old starter off my 4.2 v6. The new starter has a wire already on the solenoid that reads”do not remove this lead, crimp the wire and heat shrink” Do I really need to do this? Why can’t I just use the same wires that were attached to the old starter?
I left the wire in and put a heat shrink on the tip. After reconnecting everything, it fired right up.
I got the 2 bolts out but the top is just not coming loose. I even tried an impact gun and it still didn’t come loose. Any suggestions??
’98 F-150 4.6 Liter V-8. Took the right front wheel off. Used 1/2″ drive 13mm socket with 20″ of extensions, a swivel and a bright flashlight. Got both the top bolts off and on by reaching through the wheel well. Have no idea how we would have gotten to them otherwise.
Thank you for the tutorial, it was very, very helpful. Took 1 hour and 15 minutes but spent some time looking for tools. Don’t do this every day. Having the help of my 22-year old son with all the assets of youth was the key.
Oh, it was the original Motorcraft starter with 256,000 miles on it. Been a good truck.
The starter on my 93 Crown Vic LX failed at 144000 miles. Following information on the internet, I purchased the 3/8 wobble extension bars to remove the top bolt working from the front of the car, over the air conditioning compressor, to the 10mm top bolt. Unfortunately there was not enough room to operate the ratchet due to the radiator fan and shroud. Once I removed them(45 minutes), I was able to use the ratchet to break the bolt loose. Had I removed the fan and shroud earlier I would have saved a day’s work. The bottom bolt removed easily from under the car. I then disassembled the solenoid with a mini ratcheting wrench and Philips bit. So much easier to attach the 10mm socket to the second bolt as well as the top bolt from under the car lying on my back with the solenoid out of the way. Installation of the 93 Grand Marquis (36000 mile vehicle with rusted out frame)) used starter was done in about one hour. Hope this helps someone.
Replaced starter on 06 f150 5.4 but when I put battery cables on they instantly turned hot and no power through vehicle could someone please help me with this problem. Thank you Tom B
I have a 2000 F150 4.6L. Had to replace the starter twice (one bad one from parts store). The upper bolt was a bear, finally got it out, kept having problems getting bolt back in. Solution: I installed a stud, which helped me line everything up too. Worked for me. I did use a 13mm deep socket, with an extension, don’t remember what length. Used a stud on the one which has the ground wire on it also. That all worked well, having some other electrical problems but that is another story.
On my 2003 v6 4.2 liter there are only 2 bolts.
Personally, I had trouble getting getting the top bolt through the wheel well, I figured why not take the solenoid off to make some more room? This enabled me to have more access to the side and top bolt. For the top bolt I did the same thing as others have said and used I believe a 13mm shallow socket on a 6”extension with a swivel, 1/4 – 3/8 adapter with a 9”x 3/8 extension going to a 3/8 ratchet. I will admit it was a challenge to get it set up and keep the socket in the head of the bolt, but once I got it in the right spot that sucker broke like bugger all. Turn out by hand with extension. I hope this helps and saves someone from taking apart their wheel well
Just remove the solenoid first , easy peezy.