Starter Replacement

Replacing the starter is not difficult, though like most things on this car, a few of the bolts are difficult to reach. My installation is not typical for a ’64, as it appears that someone in the past replaced the transmission and flexplate with units from another car. As a result, I have a starter that fits many Ford applications, but not normally a ’64 Thunderbird.

Car up on stands
I started by putting the car up on jackstands and turning the wheels to get better access to the starter.
Top Bolt
The top bolt is the most difficult. It’s in a tight space–hard to turn an open-ended wrench. A socket will work but will need an extension. With the extension, though, you can only turn it from underneath where you can’t see the bolt. (This is the method I used. Patience is required.)
Cable removal
From underneath, it’s easy to remove the cable. (This should be clamped up to the block. Mine was not.)
Bottom bolts
Getting to the bottom bolts is also easy. The starter is pretty heavy; I wasn’t quite ready for it to drop out.
New starter, installed
The new starter, installed. With the bottom bolts installed loosely, I started the top bolt, then climbed underneath with a socket and extension. Using the “I guess the socket is on the bolt” method, it came together with only a little frustration.

 

4 thoughts on “Starter Replacement”

  1. Great website!! Articles are very informative. Just got a 64 Tbird and need to replace the starter. Where’s the best spot to position the floor jack and jack stands? I’m also pretty tall and found what you did with the driver seat exactly what the doctor ordered.

    1. Glad you found the info useful. I like to put a jack under the front crossmember, below the radiator. Jackstands work well under the suspension supports (where the suspension elements are bolted on). Make sue the jack and stands are rated for the car’s weight. Some these days are pretty flimsy and can collapse–I’ve seen it.

  2. Remember to use a torque wrench (12-15 lbs)…the casting on the transmission strips easily…as I found one of the previous owners of my ride hadn’t. The top bolt was finger tight when I removed the starter and I found out why when reinstalling. I was lucky to find a longer bolt that held on the few remaining threads.

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