5.9L and 5.2L Starter Replacement DIY
After replacing a Starter twice now I have perfected it to a 1 hour procedure. I decided to follow myself around with a camera and write a DIY for starter replacement instructions which should include all the 5.2L and 5.9L for 1998-2003 Durango.
I have a 1998 5.9L with a 46-RE transmission with factory skid plates installed. The fact of the motor is soooo big in such a small vehicle chassis employs some indivative thinking procedures. This is where the back yard mechanic comes to play!
This is the back yard mechanic way and not the full proper way. See a manual or other respective establishment for instructions. With that being said these instructions are a short end version. I or the Dodge Forum are not responsible for any miss haps or other related problems while wrenching. Also may I include we (the forum and myself) are not responsible for knuckle busters, alien abductions, fines, tantrums, whining, drinking behaviors, throwing of tools or other respectable conditions that may occur during this sequence.
There are 2 parts to a starter. The Solenoid and the Starter Motor as well as a Key Switch power lead and a Starter Relay. During key switch operation the key sends power to the coil (small wire) and opens the connection to the Starter Large wire) that is a direct wire leg from the battery and both are located on the coil.
½ inch wrench--------box end/open end
8 mm wrench----------box end/open end
5/8 inch socket--------semi deep
5 ¾ inch ----------Extension for socket
Ratchet for socket set.
Small cheater bar extinction for Ratchet.
Some sizes may vary.
1. Disconnect the negative cable form the battery. (A MUST HERE!)
2. Jack up and support the driver’s side front wheel and remove.
3. This is a great time to check Brakes, Linings, Tie Rod ends and Joints, Ball Joints, and Control Arm.
4. Place a garbage bag over the Hub and Control Arm assembly. As you reach across this assembly, grease or other contaminates can coat brakes or the clothes you are wearing and cause health or other mechanical problems.
5. Remove the access cover from the inside right of the drivers side wheel well. This is above the Control Arm assembly. Note: This is where the Brake Balancer / Proportioning Valve is located.
6. Reach into the space between the frame and the body to access the starter. There are 2 electrical connections and 2 bolts that install the starter and solenoid.
7. Take the 8 mm wrench and disconnect the forward facing electrical connection. This should be the chrome looking smaller connection. Note: This is the lead from the key switch.
8. Disconnect the larger electrical connection with the ½ inch box end wrench. It should be copper in color and consistency. Note: This is the Battery Cable end directly from the battery terminal.
9. You can see the first bolt on the top of the starter where it mates the starter to the engine block AKA the Dog Ear
. There are 2 bolts in all that support the starter. Remove the bolt using the 5/8 inch socket and extension ratchet almost fully but leave a couple of threads still attaching it.
This will make sure the starter/solenoid combination doesn’t fall out when the other lower bolt is removed.
10. Now the hard one!
Directly below the top bolt is the bottom one. The only way to see it is by looking under the driver’s side foot well or through the control arm on the forward lower portion of the control arm. If you put one hand up through the rear sight point and one through the frame/body cavity you can access it using the extension and ratchet. This bolt is made up by thread stock with a nut on it
! You might remove the nut or the thread stock/nut combination. Either way it’s the same.