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Ford Explorer: I have a 2002 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition.

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I have a 2002 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition. Have replaced 3 starters and 3 flex plates. They seem to last 6-12 months. Not sure what else to fix to fix this issue.

Hello, I'm Chris. Thanks for seeking us for help.


When the failure occurs tell me what sounds you get or what is happening?

Are you installing Motorcraft parts?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I get a grinding noise. Then it might or might not start. Depends on how many times I try to start it. The last flex plate was ordered from Ford the last time. I am not sure about the starter.

I assume when you remove the transmission and flex plate, you find the flex plate teeth ground off?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that is correct

Do you have a repair order showing how much you paid for the starters so I can see if there cheap after markets or Motorcraft?

Have you ever noticed once it has started the starter stays engaged?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not home now to look but pretty sure the starter was not Motorcraft. The starter does not stay engaged after I start it.

Most likely your starters your using are rebuilt poorly and not engaging the flex plate fully resulting in the flex plate failing. The only other cause would be a crankshaft thrust bearing failure allowing the flex plate to move in and out towards the engine and transmission. However we rarely ever see that, but it is the only other thing to blame. The last thing to check would be a cracked bellhousing allowing the starter to flex away at an angle when being used.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So if they were not rebuilt starters then it only leaves the last 2 options and if it isn't either of those then I should replace with Motorcraft parts? Do the Mototcraft parts come with a warranty?

All Motorcraft parts have a parts and labor warranty.


Yes if its a Motorcraft starter then you need to let Ford diagnose and fix this issue, since the parts are covered.


With Ford parts on it, I can only see the cracked bellhousing or thrust bearings to blame.


Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 43535
Experience: 16 years experience
Chris (aka- Moose) and other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks for your help.
Your welcome
Hello again Chris here.

I am just checking in with you to see if you still need help with the concern we worked on, and if not to say Thanks.

Also note we have about 80 categories from medical to boats to small engines to legal to whatever you can think of. If you have any other questions give us a shot with another question.

Thanks Chris
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Chris,


I am getting the truck looked at tomorrow so I will know more after that if I have any other questions. Thanks so much for checking back.




Your welcome Janice
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My mechanic went to the local ford dealer to get a new Motorcraft starter and was told they only make rebuilt or refab not new. Is this correct. Should I use the rebuilt Motorcraft starter?

That is correct, a factory remanufactured starter branded Motorcraft is what is needed.

That is a correct, a Motorcraft branded factory remanufactured starter is what is needed.


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Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 43535
Experience:  16 years experience
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