How To Replace A Fox Body Mustang Starter

Posted 7/29/2016 by Dustin Leathers

Replace that problematic starter in your Fox Body Mustang with the help of LMR's installation instructions!

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , 94 04 mustang , fox body , sn95 , installation , sve , engine , starter

Why do you need to upgrade the starter on your 1979-1991 Mustang 5.0L? Well, there are actually a few reasons. First off, the way the 1979-1991 starter is wired, the fender apron mounted starter solenoid (or starter relay) carries the full current load of the starter. This causes the solenoid in these year ranges to fail. Next up is size. The 1979-91 Mustang Starter is huge, often times causing interference issues with aftermarket exhaust. Lastly, the 1979-1991 Mustang Starter weighs in at a whopping 5.7 pounds.

This brand new, not rebuilt, unit is a direct replacement part for 1992-1995 Mustang 5.0L and 5.8L, plus it is the perfect upgrade for 1979-1991 Mustang 5.0L. It comes in at a relatively svelte(means slender or thin - JJ) 3.6 pounds and offers a significant reduction in size over the stock 79-91 unit. Because the SVE Starter is equipped with its own solenoid, the fender apron mounted solenoid gets a minor wire rearrangement and allows it to become a relay for the starting system. We include the needed jumper wire to make the upgrade on 79-91 Mustangs a seamless process. Because of the gear reduction design, it can crank stock engines with ease and even carries enough grunt to live a long happy life with a high compression engine. Best of all - the SVE Mustang Starter carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty!

Fox Body Starter Replacement

Because the McLaren shares the fox body Mustang platform, we have an opportunity to bring you a step by step guide to replace the starter on your 79-93 Mustang or Capri.

This starter installation guide is somewhat universal being that most Mustangs will use these basic steps for replacement. The tools being used for this job consist of the following:

  • Floor Jack
  • Two Jack stands
  • 3/8 drive ratchet wrench
  • 3/8 drive extensions
  • 9/16 socket
  • 1/ 2 socket
  • 3/8 socket or wrench

Fox Body Starter Replacement

First, because you will be under your car to remove the starter, move the car onto a level surface. Using the floor jack, lift the vehicle high enough to place it on jack stands. This can be done one side at a time or you can use the K-member of your Mustang or Capri to lift the entire front end. Place the jack stands on both sides of the car under the frame rails, then slowly lower floor jack until the frame rails are resting securely on the jack stands.

Next, disconnect the battery. As you know, it's always a good idea to disconnect the battery when working with electrical components to avoid being shocked or shorting out any electrical systems. For this step you will need the 3/8" socket or open ended wrench. This McLaren didn't have a battery, so on to the next step!

Fox Body Starter Replacement

Grab your extensions, 3/8 drive ratchet, 9/16 and 1/ 2 sockets and make your way under the car. If your 79-93 Mustang is equipped with a V8 engine, the starter will be located on the passenger side rear of the oil pan and is bolted to the front of the transmission. Using the 1/ 2' socket, remove the Mustang Battery / starter cable bolt located on the forward end of the starter and set it aside.

Fox Body Starter Replacement

With the starter cable out of the way, grab your 9/16 socket and remove the lower starter bolt and set it aside. The top starter bolt can be somewhat tricky to remove and there are several different methods to do so. The easiest way to remove the top starter bolt is to use a few feet of extensions and work from the front of the engine as shown.

Fox Body Starter Replacement

Fox Body Starter Replacement

Fox Body Starter Replacement

After the upper and lower starter bolts have been removed, carefully lower it down out of position. In the past I've found it useful to do a side by side comparison of old parts and replacement parts. The replacement starter used for this installation guide is a brand new replacement starter for 79-91 Mustangs #LRS-11002A. These starters are 100% new and do not require a core charge.

We also carry the following starters for you Fox body Mustang guys:

 - 1992-95 Mustang 5.0L PMGR Style Starter - #LRS-11002B - $109.99
 - 1979-95 Mustang 5.0L High Torque Starter - #PA-1806 - $139.99

Fox Body Starter Replacement

Installation is the reverse of removal:

  1. Hold the new starter motor in place to get the upper and lower bolts started.
  2. With this application, there is no need to use a shim, just make sure that the starter bolts are good and tight.
  3. Reconnect the starter cable to the front of the new starter using the 1/ 2 bolt. Also make sure that the contact surfaces of the starter cable are clean.
  4. Reconnect the battery and again make sure the terminals are clean and making a good contact.
  5. Before taking the car off of the jack stands, put the key in the ignition and bump the starter over to ensure all is working properly.
  6. Once this has been done, it's time to carefully set the car back on the ground.

We hope this Mustang starter installation guide is helpful for you, and your restoration project. With a new battery, and some fresh gas in the float bowls, this McLaren started right up with a satisfying rumble. After resting for nearly two years, the ASC McLaren showed us it still has some punch with parking lot burnouts, roasting its dry-rotted and under inflated tires.

Fox Body Starter Replacement

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