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. This guide applies to both the 4.6L and the 5.4L engines as well as the 4.2L V6.
Truck Specs: The starter is located on the passenger side of the engine bay, right under the exhaust manifold. You may also get to it through the wheel well by using an extension and a swivel.
There is a good access spot when you lift one side of the truck up. To show you the location, here is a picture with the starter removed.
Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery. Two of the big nuts are 13mm and the small one is 10mm. Models that have 4.2L V6 engine do not have the 3rd bolt.
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). Thanks for the advice because having the right tools fir this and any job is essential.2003 F150 Bottom and side bolts were simple and easy. After some time fighting with and some choice words.