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1987 Ranger starter wont shut off


Samzwell

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Looking for some advice on my '87 ranger 2.9L RWD 5-speed that will keep trying to start until I disconnect the battery. Issue has resolved itself a couple times in the past but I had enough so I replaced the relay which worked for a day or two. Happened again last night so I put a new (re-man) starter in it this afternoon, started fine the first 3 or 4 times, but it happened again on the next crank. SO at this point the starter, the solenoid attached to the starter, and the starter relay have been replaced without success. Any helpful advice you can offer is appreciated.
 


rumblecloud

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You got some wiring crossed up somewhere.
 

RonD

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+1 ^^^^

On the starter relay(fender mounted unit), is a smaller red/blue wire on the "S" post, thats what activates this relay
Pull it off and put a test light(or volt meter) on the wire and ground the light or meter

Turn key to START and you should see 12v/light, then release key and should see 0v/no light
Repeat a few times
If voltage or light stays on the ignition switch under steering column is most likely bad
 

Samzwell

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here’s the wiring on the relay, tested the wire going to the “S” post and got 12v in start pos. and 0v when released. Replaced the ignition switch anyway just to resolve any doubts. No joy. Transferred the wiring 1:1 with the old relay when I replaced it, it’s possible it was wired incorrectly on that unit too. Large wire on top/top right post goes to the starter, left/bottom goes to battery and i'm not sure what the others are, they were grouped like that on the old relay so I moved them all together. Thanks for your help so far.

Edit: I disconnected the wire going to the starter, reconnected the battery, and it tried turning once I touched the starter wire to the post. Tells me the the relay is stuck on despite only being a day old...could be a bad unit right out of the box?
 
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Uncle Gump

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It sure sounds like the relay is stuck... try rapping it with a screwdriver handle when it is cranking the engine and shouldn't be.

Not so sure that it is all that common for the relays to fail like that... anything is possible... but two relays doing the same thing seems to me to not be real probable.

And just so we are clear... in your edit you say you disconnected the wire going to the starter and it still cranked when the battery was connected. Are you saying you disconnected the battery cable to the starter?
 

Samzwell

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It sure sounds like the relay is stuck... try rapping it with a screwdriver handle when it is cranking the engine and shouldn't be.

Not so sure that it is all that common for the relays to fail like that... anything is possible... but two relays doing the same thing seems to me to not be real probable.

And just so we are clear... in your edit you say you disconnected the wire going to the starter and it still cranked when the battery was connected. Are you saying you disconnected the battery cable to the starter?
It was a little convoluted in my description, but I disconnected the starter wire from the relay so that I could reconnect the negative lead on the battery without the starter cranking. The starter did not try to crank until I touched the post on the relay with the starter wire. So the relay was stuck (again). I used the warranty to get a (second) new relay unit and it’s fixed for now. Cranked it 8 or 9 times without issue, hopefully this lasts! I’ll get into the engine bay to see what caused it to fail in the first place (corroded wire somewhere?). Thanks for everyone’s advice so far! A valuable resource.
 

svtcards

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I had this same exact issue with mine.installed a brand new unit from advanced auto.it happened spuratically.tested mine same way ronD told u to test it.found out contact inside relay was stuck on.bought a better relay from napa.issue resolved.try avoiding buying a new relay from autozone or advance ed.parts r pretty shitty
 

Samzwell

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Thought I should update in case anyone circles around to this thread for help. Ended up replacing the starter and replacing the relay twice before the issue resolved. Been a few months now without issue, not entirely sure what caused it in the first place, I suspect the relay was stuck but never found a wiring issue that might have caused the relay to fuse.
 

Shadowrider6661

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Paulos

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I've had the same thing happen, and it was definitely the starter solenoid.
 

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