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Old 12-09-2023, 05:57 PM   #1
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Need to replace starter

I'm not really an electrical guy ... at all. AND, don't know too much about Fords in general ...

I need to buy a new starting motor (starter) for an 2002 EB 250 w/ a 5.4 engine. Prolly very easy to find on eBay, Amazon, the dealer or most any parts stores.

In the past, I have gone mainly to OEM parts. But, is there anything I should be aware of in buying aftermarket brands?

Thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Bob

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Old 12-09-2023, 06:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingBob View Post
I'm not really an electrical guy ... at all. AND, don't know too much about Fords in general ...

I need to buy a new starting motor (starter) for an 2002 EB 250 w/ a 5.4 engine. Prolly very easy to find on eBay, Amazon, the dealer or most any parts stores.

In the past, I have gone mainly to OEM parts. But, is there anything I should be aware of in buying aftermarket brands?

Thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Bob
Generally speaking, don't buy house branded rebuilds from places like Autozone, Pep Boys, Oreilly etc...

Go with newly manufactured, or top brand remanufactured, Motorcraft (Ford OEM), Bosch, AC Delco etc...

I have had good luck with Ultra Power as well,

Lesser name brands no real experience with, however like I said, parts house label brands like Duralast etc... typically are junk. HOWEVER I have noticed some improvement in quality over the past few years. So maybe they are tired of warranty swapping lifetime warranteed parts... (Durolast alternator on my old Chevy)...
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Old 12-09-2023, 06:59 PM   #3
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Funny as it may sound, the OEM Ford starter I bought for my 5.4 van this year was actually cheaper than the house brands. To be fair, the OEM unit doesn't have a lifetime warranty, and the OEM part IS a remanufactured part, but as others have said, I have more faith in the OEM part anyway.

I'd rather have a part that I trust with no warranty, than a part I don't trust (and has a higher likelihood of failure) that has a warranty. For example: I replaced a power steering pump 3 times in one day before getting a good one back when I was a cheap youngster buying the cheapest parts (house brand) that had warranties. I had a similar experience with an alternator that was dead right out of the box which resulted in having to change it twice in a day. At some point, even a tightwad recognizes that time (and inconvenience) is worth more than the difference in cost. The phrase "buy once, cry once" rings very true with me now days.

...that said, I *think* Tilton makes a starter for the Ford Modular motors, if so it'll be in the $500 range. I never thought the OEM starter was lacking so I didn't look into it much.
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Old 12-10-2023, 02:37 AM   #4
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I bought the cheapest starter at autozone for my astrovan 2 years ago (95 dollars), it still working good. But I also kept the old starter (since it wasnt the starter that was bad).
I was getting no cranking(or clicking) from the starter, thats why I bought a new starter. The battery was good, even tried a different battery. When replaced the starter it still wouldnt crank over. Replaced the ignition switch, and then the neutral safety switch which didnt fix it. I had to rig a toggle switch so I could hotwire it to start for the past 2 years, finally found it was the ignition lock cylinder that was causing the problem.

If your going to be offroading in secluded areas then it might be worthwhile to spend extra for high quality parts.
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Old 12-10-2023, 08:30 AM   #5
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Bob, are you in Alaska full time? If so, as in if that's where your van usually lives, I'd go with a Motorcraft replacement whatever it costs. It's an easy replacement, a couple bolts and wires. Very straightforward, you just have to lay under the van for a few minutes with basic tools and undo/redo what's there.

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Old 12-10-2023, 09:00 AM   #6
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...and don't forget to disconnect the battery before you start replacing the starter....
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Old 12-10-2023, 01:39 PM   #7
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+1 on the Motorcraft OEM starter. When I did it on my 1998 it was about the same price as a decent NAPA version IIRC. Really easy to remove and replace, too. Probably one of the easiest "bigger" repairs I've done to my vans as a DIY.
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Old 12-10-2023, 02:00 PM   #8
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on my 6 cylinder astrovan it was a large heavy starter. You have to try and line it up properly the first time and quickly put the the bolts in, I could only hold it in position a few seconds before I was exhausted, finally got it in after several trys.
I had to use an impact wrench to loosen the bolts, I couldnt do it with a ratchet. To put it back on, I always use a torque wrench.

Also on my van, it required to be properly shimmed. The old one I removed didnt have any shims, so I just put the new one in with no shims. So far it hasnt given me any problems. According to the directions if not properly shimmed it won't last long.
It wasn't a quick removal and replacement, its not something I want to do again.
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Old 12-10-2023, 04:21 PM   #9
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There are some thankfully some good YT vids on how too do this.
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Old 12-10-2023, 04:23 PM   #10
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Thanks! There are some thankfully some good YT vids on how to do this.
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