2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

2003 2.3L Stater spins wont engage but pop clutch and runs great

Old 03-15-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Montrose, PA
Posts: 71
2003 2.3L Stater spins wont engage but pop clutch and runs great

2003 2.3 L 140K

This problem showed up over the winter. When the truck is cold, the starter makes a whirring sound and nothing happens. If I keep trying sometimes it will turn over weakly and sometimes it will fire right up.

Everything is strong and I can always start her up by popping the clutch without much effort. It's runs great once it starts.

After its warmed all the way up, if I shut it off for a bit odds are much better that it starts with the key.

But let it sit overnight, and we repeat the whole thing.

Ideas anyone?

Old 03-15-2019
2011Supercab's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 269
If you're lucky, the solenoid on the starter or the bendix gear on the starter are failing - easiest fix, replace starter.

If you're unlucky, the ring gear on the fly wheel has bad or missing teeth - replace flywheel.

Seeing that your problem is some what temperature related, I'd suspect the starter.
Old 03-15-2019
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,508
Yes, +1 ^^^

Starter motor gear slide is failing, Flywheel is OK if it sometimes works when warm

You can try tapping on starter motor before starting, it may work cold that way

Starter motor has a gear the slides out to engage the ring gear on the flywheel, then it slides back in when you release the key from START or if flywheel is spinning faster than starter motor
The gear is not sliding out when cold, so starter motor is just spinning
You can pull out starter motor and try to rebuild it, and maybe get another year out of it, but easier to get a new starter and swap it out

UNHOOK BATTERY when removing or installing starter motor!!!!!

I would also test battery voltage, not related to starter motor issue, cause or effect, but the, "it will turn over weakly" means starter motor cable or the battery is going bad
After sitting at least 4 hours or better yet overnight, 8+ hours, test battery voltage
12.8v is a new battery
12.5v is a 3 year old battery
12.3v is a 5/6 year old battery and time to shop for battery sale

12.2v or less is a failed battery

Last edited by RonD; 03-15-2019 at 10:41 AM.
Old 03-17-2019
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Montrose, PA
Posts: 71
Thanks Ron, About 6 months ago I picked up a 1/2" impact driver on sale, and haven't had a reason to use it yet. Good think I had it! Anyway..... I was thinking "rebuild",,,,, rebuilds only give year or so of new life? How's that? And are "reconditioned" ones any good?
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
General Technical & Electrical
06-03-2011 09:57 AM
Drivetrain Tech
08-16-2010 03:00 PM
Drivetrain Tech
10-23-2009 07:58 PM
General Ford Ranger Discussion
05-26-2009 10:31 AM
General Ford Ranger Discussion
11-28-2007 11:50 AM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 2003 2.3L Stater spins wont engage but pop clutch and runs great

Contact Us - Sitemap - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.