Third Starter Bolt ... how to remove it


Dec 15, 2005
Third Starter Bolt ... "how to" remove it

Since the people at SN have helped me out with so many different issues and helped me learn a LOT, I though I'd write up a 'how to' remove the third (hidden) starter bolt. I spent about 2 hours (not at one time) trying to figure it out and had no luck ... I almost started breaking **** because it was so frustrating. So I got a little creative and had good luck ... thought I'd share how I did it in case anyone is stuck or just wants to know.

First off, I tried using 3/8 inch extensions and swivels but could never get the socket to stay on the bolt .. blah blah .. So it looked something like this (give or take):


Well that didn't work for me. So I decided to go with 1/4 inch extensions and a swivel socket that I bought (13mm): The extensiosn are (1) 6 inches and (2) 4 inches.


As it turns out, for me anyway, the 1/4 in. ratchet wasn't working out very well so I used a 3/8 inch ratchet with a 1/4 in. adapter attached to the 1/4 in. extensions.

So how do you go at the bolt? Here's how I did it .... First, slide the socket and extensions up over the crossmember and sort of through/beside the motor mount:


With your other hand on the top of the starter (touching the bolt) wait to grab the socket as you push it up and through:


Guide the socket onto the bolt head and be patient but you should be able to crack it loose with a little time and patience. Wear gloves so you don't do what I did and bust the hell out of your knuckles when it breaks free.

A couple other tips are to remove that top bolt first. If you do decide to remove the bottom two, hand screw them back in so that all the weight of the starter is not resting on that top bolt. After you have two bolts out, support the starter so it doesn't fall on your head, remove the last bolt and there you go.

Hopefully this will help someone save some time and sanity. This write up is for removing the starter while your car is on jack stands and you are laying on the ground but I'm sure it would work if your car is on a lift also. :flag:


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Oh...nice pics. That should help out a good bit

No prob ... I couldn't take pics while I was actually taking it off for obvious reasons (I needed both hands) ... but since it kicked my ass thoroughly I thought I'd try to save some others the pain. What a stupid design!

Oh yeah .. why the hell is my oil filter mounted sideways right over the steering rack? I've always wondered this ... another one of my 'Ford engineers are stoned' pet peeves. :shrug: