I recently purchased a very used and abused ford ranger. After a fair amount of long nights and weekends I got it back up and running. As luck would have it, I went to start it and ...nothing. No crank no start...nothing. I had lights, radio and dash lights but no click, no grinding, no start.
I spent this weekend fixing this problem and I wanted to share my repair story for others since I was (shockingly) unable to find anything on the internet about how to do this.
After using the multi-meter to do all the appropriate test to ensure that the starter indeed was the failed part, I thumbed the pages of my well used Haynes manual. Hence the purpose of this post is that the manual apparently says "DUH" and congrats you've pulled a starter.
So here is my story for pulling a starter motor.
I have a 2004 ford ranger 4x4 4.0L v6 SOHC with an automatic transmission. Nothing fancy yet, so it is 99% factory. The starter is located on the driver's side beside the oil pan (just a little towards the front but not exactly beside it). Mine has 13mm bolts. The first bolt on the bottom has a nut holding a cable on and then the use of a deep well 13mm will be needed to remove the rest of the bolt (it looks like a nut threaded half way down a threaded bolt with no head). The second bolt is located at about the 2 o'clock point...towards the driver's door. This bolt was a true pain in the butt to remove. I suggest loosening the bottom bolt but leave it in to prevent the top bolt from binding while removing the top bolt. Again it is a 13mm.
Once those two bolts are removed, you can (very carefully) roll the starter over to get access the solenoid nuts holding on the wires. Please be careful. The large wire is held on with a 13mm nut and the small wire is a 10mm nut. The small wire is held on with a small flat copper circular electrical wire connector. It will break off very easy! Once these wires have been disconnected, it's time to remove the starter from its tiny space.
I have read several suggestions how to get the starter out. Mine came out quite simply by rotating the starter back into the installed position then tip the nose (flywheel) part down to the ground lifting the butt (bottom opposite side of solenoid) up at a slight angle. A little twisting and turning is needed to work the head out, but it will come out. I have read the if you just can't get it out, to jack up the body (not front axle) and unbolt the bushing holding the front differential. (It's located in your way while you're taking out the starter). You only need an inch at most, so having so extra hands, jack stands and jack might be a good idea.
Reinstall in a similar method. Ensure that all bolts are tight. Use dielectric grease if you want on the wire holding nuts. I use a little anti-seize on the two bolts.
I hope this helps someone else down the road. The Haynes manual was no help, but this forum certainly was. Thanks for letting me share.