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AaronJ94

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Hello all, I am at the end of my rope on this and looking for help. I have a 1994 ranger 2.3 2wd that has a no start, no click. I have replaced the solenoid, ignition switch, and the clutch position switch. The only thing I know is left is the ignition lock cylinder. Is it possible this could be my answer? Side note, battery is good and powers the headlights, dome light, radio etc. I was able to jump the starter with a wrench to get home. I have also jumped the solenoid and it started. All ground wires appear to be attached and I even sanded off the paint on the inner fender for the solenoid to get ground. Any ideas?
 


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black_demon69

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Check battery cables and make sure that all cconnections are clean and tight also there should be a small wire that attaches to the big starter relay on the firewall.
 

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You've replaced all the obvious suspects, so at this point you'll probably have to get a cheap hardware store multi-meter, look up the wiring diagram, and start tracing that circuit from start to finish.
 

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My guess is the wire going from the ignition sw to the solenoid on the fender is bad. IS the Ranger is like the my Grand Wagoneers and the sw is on the bottom of the steering column? Turning the key moves a rod which trips the switch. This is all hearsay on my part. The Rat's switch hasn't broken yet. :D

In this day and age, a multi meter is an essential. A 10$ investment will save you hundreds in labor and parts. 12 vdc isn't likely to shock you. Shorts too close to the battery may spark but 12 vdc is is pretty tame. You set the meter in the 20 VDC range and find a ground and hold the black tip on it. Next you put the red tip on the wire you're testing. If it is good, you will see ~ 12 volts.
 

RonD

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1994 should have the starter relay built into the starter solenoid located on the starter motor, at least my '94 4.0l does.

So on the starter motor you should have 2 wires hooked up, the large battery positive cable.
And then the smaller "S" wire attached as well, Red/light blue stripe wire, this wire comes from Clutch switch on manual models and NSS switch on automatics.

Older Fords had the Starter Relay on the inner fender, not on the starter motor/solenoid, battery positive and starter motors large cable hooked up to the two larger posts on this Relay.
And the "S" wire, red/blue stripe also hooked up here to the smaller "S" terminal.

These two different systems don't have interchangeable parts.
There can only be 1 starter relay, it is either built into the starter motor or on the inner fender.
During the transition years Ford had what "looks like" a starter relay on the inner fender, it was just a power distribution point for the older setup until main harnesses could be changed.

If you got a starter motor with relay built in and then tried to use it with inner fender relay setup it wouldn't work, and visa versa.

Simply test would be to find the "S" wire, red/blue stripe, then hook up volt meter to it.
When key is turned all the way to START you should see 12volts on that wire, 0volts with key in any other position.
If not then go to Clutch Switch, you will see a Red/Blue stripe wire there, but it comes from ignition switch, it should have 12volts when key is turned to START.
If it does then clutch switch is probably bad, there is a PINK wire coming out of clutch switch that splices into the Red/blue stripe "S" wire that goes to starter relay, you can test this pink wire also, it is possible that the splice is bad.
If so then you can either track splice down or run a new "S" wire from the Pink wire to starter relay


Confusion on some terms:
Starter Solenoid is the tube on top of the starter motor, when powered it pushes starter gear into ring gear(flywheel), and when unpowered it pulls gear back away from ring gear.
Starter Relay passes power to starter motor/solenoid.

The fender mounted relay Ford used for many years was just that, a relay, but often called a solenoid, which is fine as long as everybody knows what part is being talked about.
A Solenoid causes movement when activated or deactivated
A Relay passes power or cuts power when activated and deactivated
 
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Spott

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1994 should have the starter relay built into the starter solenoid located on the starter motor, at least my '94 4.0l does.

So on the starter motor you should have 2 wires hooked up, the large battery positive cable.
And then the smaller "S" wire attached as well, Red/light blue stripe wire, this wire comes from Clutch switch on manual models and NSS switch on automatics.

Older Fords had the Starter Relay on the inner fender, not on the starter motor/solenoid, battery positive and starter motors large cable hooked up to the two larger posts on this Relay.
And the "S" wire, red/blue stripe also hooked up here to the smaller "S" terminal.

These two different systems don't have interchangeable parts.
There can only be 1 starter relay, it is either built into the starter motor or on the inner fender.
During the transition years Ford had what "looks like" a starter relay on the inner fender, it was just a power distribution point for the older setup until main harnesses could be changed.

If you got a starter motor with relay built in and then tried to use it with inner fender relay setup it wouldn't work, and visa versa.

Simply test would be to find the "S" wire, red/blue stripe, then hook up volt meter to it.
When key is turned all the way to START you should see 12volts on that wire, 0volts with key in any other position.
If not then go to Clutch Switch, you will see a Red/Blue stripe wire there, but it comes from ignition switch, it should have 12volts when key is turned to START.
If it does then clutch switch is probably bad, there is a PINK wire coming out of clutch switch that splices into the Red/blue stripe "S" wire that goes to starter relay, you can test this pink wire also, it is possible that the splice is bad.
If so then you can either track splice down or run a new "S" wire from the Pink wire to starter relay


Confusion on some terms:
Starter Solenoid is the tube on top of the starter motor, when powered it pushes starter gear into ring gear(flywheel), and when unpowered it pulls gear back away from ring gear.
Starter Relay passes power to starter motor/solenoid.

The fender mounted relay Ford used for many years was just that, a relay, but often called a solenoid, which is fine as long as everybody knows what part is being talked about.
A Solenoid causes movement when activated or deactivated
A Relay passes power or cuts power when activated and deactivated
He activated the starter by jumping the fender relay, so he must have one there. It's entirely possible to hook up a fender relay and a starter relay in series, but it's not something the factory would have done.

Technically, a solenoid is the coil and magnet combination that moves something mechanically, and there's a solenoid inside every relay, along with the switch contacts. I guess a relay could be called a "solenoid-switch".

The factory documentation calls that relay (and only that one) a solenoid, probably related to the era when a starter motor had a solenoid (without a switch) to slide the starter gear over into engagement with the flywheel gear. Just to muddy the waters further, industrial electricians call a relay a "contactor".
 

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I think they put the starter relay on the fender right up to 1999 with the 2.5. I have a wiring harness on my 96 that came from a 98 and it is the same basic setup as my 1988 was. This is strictly the 2.3 as other engines (like your 4.0 RonD) are different.

So, the 1994 will have the starter relay on the fender...up to 1988 this was on the passenger side...by 1996 and later it was moved to driver side as was the battery...where it is on a 1994 I don't know...

Aaronj94...regardless of the position of the relay...it just sounds like a loose wire...if jumping the relay gets it moving then the wires to the starter are fine...the problem could be the relay itself or wires coming from the battery or ignition...

There should be a small boot that connects to the "I" peg on the relay...that could be loose or dirty so clean that...inspect inside the boot to make sure there is no rust...replace it with an "eye" connector if necessary...I did that years ago and it solved many no start problems that would happen when it got corroded or loose...squeeze it (gently) with a pair of pliers and test the ignition again...
 

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Mark_88, I think you mean the "S" post on starter relay.
"I" post was used years ago to power the Coil when starter motor is active, back then coils only got 7-8volts when engine was running, this prevented early burn out from 13-14volts with engine running.
They used a ballast resistor or resistor wire to lower the voltage going to the coil +
When starter motor was active system voltage is only 10volts so resistor voltage would be down to 4-5volts, too low.
So the "I" wire was used to give coil + the 10volts while starting, "I" post only had voltage when starter motor did.

"S" post/terminal is used to activate the starter relay, on the fender or on the starter motor, which ever you have.


EDIT: oops, reread your post Mark_88, yes "I" post could cause engine not to start, but starter would still crank engine, just no spark from coil.

Yes, the "whats in the name" solenoid-relay debate is always a good one, lol.
And yes the terms were used almost interchangeably for a long time.

The word solenoid actually just references the coil of wire, not any specific use at all.
So relay, ignition coil, PATS antenna and many other things using a coiled wire could be called a solenoid.
Current definitions will usually reference an automotive Relay as a low amp draw device used to activate and deactivate a higher amp circuit.
And a solenoid as a low amp draw device used to cause a linear movement.
A Relay does have that linear movement but that is not the end purpose of a Relay, while with a solenoid the movement is the end purpose, lol, semantics :)
 
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AaronJ94

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Thank you for all the replies guys, I'm having my electrician buddy have a look at it this week, but I will see what I can do until then. I'm glad this isn't an unheard-of problem! I will be sure to test all the wires that I can
 

Mark_88

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Mark_88, I think you mean the "S" post on starter relay.
"I" post was used years ago to power the Coil when starter motor is active, back then coils only got 7-8volts when engine was running, this prevented early burn out from 13-14volts with engine running.
They used a ballast resistor or resistor wire to lower the voltage going to the coil +
When starter motor was active system voltage is only 10volts so resistor voltage would be down to 4-5volts, too low.
So the "I" wire was used to give coil + the 10volts while starting, "I" post only had voltage when starter motor did.

"S" post/terminal is used to activate the starter relay, on the fender or on the starter motor, which ever you have.


EDIT: oops, reread your post Mark_88, yes "I" post could cause engine not to start, but starter would still crank engine, just no spark from coil.

Yes, the "whats in the name" solenoid-relay debate is always a good one, lol.
And yes the terms were used almost interchangeably for a long time.

The word solenoid actually just references the coil of wire, not any specific use at all.
So relay, ignition coil, PATS antenna and many other things using a coiled wire could be called a solenoid.
Current definitions will usually reference an automotive Relay as a low amp draw device used to activate and deactivate a higher amp circuit.
And a solenoid as a low amp draw device used to cause a linear movement.
A Relay does have that linear movement but that is not the end purpose of a Relay, while with a solenoid the movement is the end purpose, lol, semantics :)
:icon_rofl:

I probably messed up but I usually just go with the "one on the left if looking at the relay from the front...the left being to the left of the two bigger connectors for the battery wires.

I've never had a wire connected to the right side (smaller post) so it has never been an issue when working on a relay...

Anyway...it was you who drew my attention to this part not being a solenoid as such and it made perfect sense...but a loose wire coming from the ignition (which is where I got the I from) would cause the key to do nothing when turned to the start position...

I will have a look at mine tomorrow just to remind myself...problem is mine is a bit hard to get at to read those tiny letters...they used to be bigger years ago...now I need my glasses to see them...:)
 

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Yes, I too have noticed printing is getting smaller and smaller as the years go by, and more people mumble when they speak too!


Wife suggested glasses and hearing-aid, I feel "they" should return to NORMAL SIZE letters and speaking clearly.
And YES! I KNOW MY BLINKER IS ON, I do plan on turning at some point today DUH, get a life and speak clearly, and yes I saw the finger, I think you are #1 as well
 

Spott

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Yes, the "whats in the name" solenoid-relay debate is always a good one, lol.
And yes the terms were used almost interchangeably for a long time.

The word solenoid actually just references the coil of wire, not any specific use at all.
So relay, ignition coil, PATS antenna and many other things using a coiled wire could be called a solenoid.
Current definitions will usually reference an automotive Relay as a low amp draw device used to activate and deactivate a higher amp circuit.
And a solenoid as a low amp draw device used to cause a linear movement.
A Relay does have that linear movement but that is not the end purpose of a Relay, while with a solenoid the movement is the end purpose, lol, semantics :)
It's not quite that broad a term, a solenoid is specifically an electromagnetic/electromechanical device. This excludes antennas, inductors, coils, and chokes. It does, however, include half each of relays (solenoid-switches), sprinkler and pneumatic controls (solenoid-valves) and household doorbells (solenoid-chimes).

If it doesn't have a magnet or steel plate in or near the coil, and if that magnet/plate is not designed to push or pull something, then it's not a solenoid.
 
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RonD

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Semantics, I love it :)

If it causes an external movement it is a solenoid, if it passes power it is a relay, pretty simple.
Solenoid-switch is too confusing, do I need to physically move an external switch with a solenoid, or do I just need to pass power, if the later why not just say it is a relay.

I understand why Ford and other auto makers originally used the word solenoid, because there was external movement to activate starter motor and it's engagement with ring gear.
And that just stuck as the term for activating the starter motor over the years.
That doesn't mean it can't be corrected in the 21st century.
Relays deserve their day in the sun, lol.

And technically a loop antenna, ignition coil, radio tuner coil and loads of other coils are solenoids, they just don't call them that anymore, too confusing, so....................starter solenoid is on the starter motor and moves the starter gear into the ring gear, starter relay is on the inner fender, if so equipped, or in the engine fuse box as well if you have newer PATS setup, lol.
 
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Spott

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Semantics, I love it :)

If it causes an external movement it is a solenoid, if it passes power it is a relay, pretty simple.
Solenoid-switch is too confusing, do I need to physically move an external switch with a solenoid, or do I just need to pass power, if the later why not just say it is a relay.

I understand why Ford and other auto makers originally used the word solenoid, because there was external movement to activate starter motor and it's engagement with ring gear.
And that just stuck as the term for activating the starter motor over the years.
That doesn't mean it can't be corrected in the 21st century.
Relays deserve their day in the sun, lol.

And technically a loop antenna, ignition coil, radio tuner coil and loads of other coils are solenoids, they just don't call them that anymore, too confusing, so....................starter solenoid is on the starter motor and moves the starter gear into the ring gear, starter relay is on the inner fender, if so equipped, or in the engine fuse box as well if you have newer PATS setup, lol.
Yes, the the word "relay" is more precise in this application. Just remember that every mechanical relay has a solenoid inside. "Relay" refers to its application, "solenoid" refers to its construction.

Again, the word "solenoid" has never applied to all coils in general. You're trying to make it more confusing than it really is. Antenna coils, ignition coils, and anything similar have always been called inductors, with an entirely different purpose. If someone has been calling inductive coils "solenoids", they were mistaken as to what they meant. It's only a solenoid if it generates an electromagnetic field as it's primary function. An ignition coil, antenna, RF oscillator, or filter choke might generate a magnetic field as a side-effect, but its primary purpose is something else, so it's not a solenoid.

Go look it up, if you don't believe me.
 

Big Jim M

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Wow! And I have solenoids in my dish washer, ice maker and washing machine! But lets get back to the problem at hand.
The guys ride won't start, Ok?
Big Jim
 


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