The 1998 Escort was available as an LX sedan, SE sedan, SE wagon or ZX2 coupe. All but the ZX2 were equipped with a SOHC, 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine. The vehicle was equipped with independent front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The starter on the SOHC is mounted against the outboard housing of the transmission.
Items you will need
- Memory saver
- Open-end wrench set
- 2 jack stands
- 3/8-inch-drive ratchet
- 3/8-inch-drive socket set
- Foot-pound torque wrench
- Inch-pound torque wrench
Open the hood on the Escort and set the hood prop. Install the memory saver according to its instructions. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery by loosening it with an open-end wrench.
Remove the air cleaner intake tube, between the air cleaner box and the intake manifold on the engine. Use a ratchet and socket to loosen the band clamps around the tube at each end. Remove any additional wiring on the intake tube or sensors, and place them carefully out of your way in the engine compartment. Set the air cleaner intake tube out of your work area.
Remove the two upper starter mounting bolts from the starter, using a 3/8-inch-drive ratchet and socket. Loosen the two jam nuts from the starter, located on the outboard end of the starter farthest from the transmission. Disconnect the wire harness at the top of the starter.
Raise the front end of the Escort with a floor jack and place jack stands beneath both front subframe rails. Lower the car onto the jack stands and slightly nudge the car to ensure stability.
From underneath, remove the nut and wire from the positive wire post on the starter.
Remove the lower mounting bolt from the starter. Place one hand beneath the starter housing while removing the last bolt, so the starter does not fall. Remove the starter from the Escort by moving it horizontally away from the transmission, until the entire starter is clear of the transmission. Pull the starter downward and out of the vehicle.
Visually inspect your new starter to ensure that it is equipped with the same black wire and harness that extends from the old starter. If the new starter is not equipped with this part, remove the jam nut from the post that secures the black wire, using an open-end wrench. Remove the wire with connector from the old starter and place it on the new starter. Tighten the jam nut onto the starter to 80-inch-pounds.
Hold the new starter in place while you install the lower starter mounting bolt and tighten it snug with your ratchet and socket. Do not torque the bolt until you have all three starter bolts in place and snug.
Install the positive battery lead onto the new starter, and tighten the new jam nut onto the post between 70 and 130 inch-pounds.
Install the two upper starter mounting bolts. Torque all three starter mounting bolts to between 18 and 19 foot-pounds.
Install the negative battery cable onto the battery, and tighten the nut to between 5 and 7 foot-pounds. Remove the memory saver.
Insert the ignition key into the ignition, and attempt to start the Escort. The engine may not start due to the absence of the air intake, but you will know if the new starter is at least turning the engine over. If you turn the key and the engine is silent, check the wire connections at the starter and at the battery.
Raise the Escort off of the jack stands. Remove the jack stands and lower the Escort to the ground. Install the air intake tube between the engine and the air cleaner box. Tighten the band clamps snug.
- Years of oxidation and corrosion can adhere to your starter, causing the wire nuts to become difficult to remove. Loosening or removing the wire nuts prior to removing all of the starter bolts will save you from having to balance the loose starter while trying to remove these nuts.
- The connection between the batter and the starter is a "hot" connection, with constant electrical current, even when the vehicle is turned off. Don't forget to disconnect the negative battery cable.