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Phantom Ignition Problem


rIcHaRd_CrAnIuM

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2001
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
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Greetings from the Columbia River Gorge,

I'll get right to it. I recently bought a 2001 Ranger XLT 2WD 3.0 Liter V6 with less than 100,000 miles on it. The lady I got it from said they had periodic starting problems. But ONLY when the tempurature dropped into the 50's or less. It's had three starters before I got it. I figured with as few miles as it had when I bought it, The problem would be a ground or some corrosion on a relay or something simple..... HA!! Boy was I wrong.
This fall on the very first day the tempurature dropped into the 50's My truck wouldn't start (Engine wouldn't turn over) I only managed to get it to fire up a couple times after that. Had to have it towed from my sons house to mine.
The connector posts on the starter solenoid were corroded bad enough that I went ahead and replaced the starter and solenoid. New wire connectors and battery teminal ends also. It only started one time. All the dashlights and gauges and fuel pump do what they are supposed to do when I turn the key to the run position. But when I turrn the key to the start position I get nothing. No click... Just silence.
Ok so that means the ignition switch, or the plug on the back of it, (I wasn't aware Ford completely changed how the ignition is set up in the steering column.) Today I installed a new ignition switch and same problem. So, just because.... I put the old one back in and it fired right up. So I turned it off and started it repeatedly just to see WTF. On the 5th start there was about a half second delay after I turned the key to start position. Then it started like normal. I was gonna let it run with the heat on cause the passenger door seal is leaking to. But now the heater blower wont work either. Fuses good in the cab and under the hood.

SO MUCH FOR THE GOOD DEAL I THOUGHT I HAD.!!!!! It's ok tho. I still have less than 100,000 on it. Right?

Here's what I know.... It's not the neutral safety switch or the other one that comes out the top of the tranny. It's not the battery or the cables. It's not the starter or the solenoid. It's not the ignition switch in the column. Every fuse has been tested with a test light and they were and are all good.

The only ignition component left that isn't brand new is the starter relay. The leaky door seal just popped up about 2 weeks ago, the starting problem started way before the leak anyway so I don't think water damage/corrosion under the dash is the problem.

And now I have questions:
1. The starter relay is a seperate component from the starter and solenoid assembly
right? Where is it in my truck?
2. Could the mechanism in the steering column behind the ignition switch be the
problem? Cause I see what looks alot like the old rod in the column style ignition
actuator.
3. Is it possible the ignition switch housing is causing the problem? If so, what kind of
BS would it take to get to it with tilt steering and an airbag in the steering wheel?
4. Should I dig into the steering column (doesn't look like fun) or make sure its not the
starter relay first.

Can someone out there help me find the solution to my problem. I'm a roofer. I need my truck.

If you've read it all and your here...... Thanks a ton for taking the time. :eek:)
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 81874766E40C6A 5th, 2022

modelageek

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Location
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Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
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Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Greetings from the Columbia River Gorge,

I'll get right to it. I recently bought a 2001 Ranger XLT 2WD 3.0 Liter V6 with less than 100,000 miles on it. The lady I got it from said they had periodic starting problems. But ONLY when the tempurature dropped into the 50's or less. It's had three starters before I got it. I figured with as few miles as it had when I bought it, The problem would be a ground or some corrosion on a relay or something simple..... HA!! Boy was I wrong.
This fall on the very first day the tempurature dropped into the 50's My truck wouldn't start (Engine wouldn't turn over) I only managed to get it to fire up a couple times after that. Had to have it towed from my sons house to mine.
The connector posts on the starter solenoid were corroded bad enough that I went ahead and replaced the starter and solenoid. New wire connectors and battery teminal ends also. It only started one time. All the dashlights and gauges and fuel pump do what they are supposed to do when I turn the key to the run position. But when I turrn the key to the start position I get nothing. No click... Just silence.
Ok so that means the ignition switch, or the plug on the back of it, (I wasn't aware Ford completely changed how the ignition is set up in the steering column.) Today I installed a new ignition switch and same problem. So, just because.... I put the old one back in and it fired right up. So I turned it off and started it repeatedly just to see WTF. On the 5th start there was about a half second delay after I turned the key to start position. Then it started like normal. I was gonna let it run with the heat on cause the passenger door seal is leaking to. But now the heater blower wont work either. Fuses good in the cab and under the hood.

SO MUCH FOR THE GOOD DEAL I THOUGHT I HAD.!!!!! It's ok tho. I still have less than 100,000 on it. Right?

Here's what I know.... It's not the neutral safety switch or the other one that comes out the top of the tranny. It's not the battery or the cables. It's not the starter or the solenoid. It's not the ignition switch in the column. Every fuse has been tested with a test light and they were and are all good.

The only ignition component left that isn't brand new is the starter relay. The leaky door seal just popped up about 2 weeks ago, the starting problem started way before the leak anyway so I don't think water damage/corrosion under the dash is the problem.

And now I have questions:
1. The starter relay is a seperate component from the starter and solenoid assembly
right? Where is it in my truck?
2. Could the mechanism in the steering column behind the ignition switch be the
problem? Cause I see what looks alot like the old rod in the column style ignition
actuator.
3. Is it possible the ignition switch housing is causing the problem? If so, what kind of
BS would it take to get to it with tilt steering and an airbag in the steering wheel?
4. Should I dig into the steering column (doesn't look like fun) or make sure its not the
starter relay first.

Can someone out there help me find the solution to my problem. I'm a roofer. I need my truck.

If you've read it all and your here...... Thanks a ton for taking the time. :eek:)
The relay is in the engine compartment in the power distribution box. They cost $6. Swap it out. The hearer blower relay is in there also and might be the sane as the starter relay..hhmnnnmm? I would replace that one also..

sent from DROID Bionic using tapatalk-2. (Ranger, 1999, reg cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD) (2006, Vibe, 1ZZ, Auto, AWD)
 
Last edited:

InsaneRedRooster

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Did you check your battery terminals for corrosion?
 

rIcHaRd_CrAnIuM

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Yes my battery, cqables, and ends are good.....
 

rIcHaRd_CrAnIuM

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2001
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Transmission
Manual
Thank.... I will do that....
 

modelageek

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
2,241
Reaction score
14
Points
38
Location
Boston, MA
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Thank.... I will do that....


sent from DROID Bionic using tapatalk-2. (Ranger, 1999, reg cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD) (2006, Vibe, 1ZZ, Auto, AWD)

Hey dickhead ;) did you take the 30 seconds to swap out the $5 relay?
 
Last edited:


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