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Please Help,88 ranger wont start


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My 88 ranger is no longer starting, ill try to keep this short. I don't really have any mechanic experience so please bear with me. A few months ago it began having problems starting. It would turn over but not start, but if i kept trying then after a few minutes it would, sometimes it would stay on and sometimes it would only idle for a few seconds and shut off. But if i kept at it then it would eventually start and stay on, then I would start to drive it and it would not go over like 15mph and sometimes sputter or shut off while driving and I would have to re-crank it but after a few minutes of driving it would drive like normal.So for a while I was thinking the fuel pump was going bad (not sure if it has anything to do with it but I feel like this all started to happen after I used some fuel cleaner, my thoughts were maybe the cleaner knocked some junk loose and was causing problems). Now it will not start at all, wont even turn over. Radio and dash come on in with the key in the 2nd position but in start position nothing happens. . Since it no longer starts at all I have replaced the starter(which was a pain in the ass because I didn't have a jack) and solenoid because I thought I might have burnt it out with all that cranking but that is not the problem, and tonight I went ahead and changed the ignition switch because I had problems with it before that were resolved previously with a zip tie. Tonight I went ahead and bought a new fuel pump and was just going to bite the bullet and try to look up how to change that myself also but don't have the torque bits to take the bed off which the guy at auto zone told me would be necessary to get to the tank. But then I started thinking that if it was a fuel pump issue wouldn't the car still be turning over and at least still trying to crank? So much for keeping that short but any help would be greatly appreciated.
 


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Mark_88

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Hi Sean,

You are experiencing multiple issues that are all somewhat related but may not all require replacement parts.

First thing to look at is the no crank situation.

If the engine won't crank it may be the battery is low or the relay on the passenger side of the engine bay that is not working. If the dash lights come on it means you have some battery power but maybe not enough to turn the engine over.

So that is the main issue right now. To check this out you will need a Digital Multimeter or Voltmeter to test the battery. You don't have to buy one but they are a very important troubleshooting tool so you might want to get at least a cheap one. They can be had for as little as $10 but you get what you pay for.

If you can get one to test, open the hood and put the probes on the terminals after setting the meter to read DC volts and set it to 20V for this test. The battery should read at least 12V and if it doesn't then that is part of the problem...it needs to be around 12.5 volts.

If it is 12volts but the voltage drops when you turn the key to start then the battery is probably no good...get it load tested as most shops will test them for free.

If you can't get a DMM right away there is something you can do to test the relay/starter and that is to jump the relay. It is simple to do if you are not familiar with it but be careful...things can go wrong quickly if you do it incorrectly.

If you are not familiar with this you should watch this video...

Make sure the transmission is in Park or neutral and set the parking brake before you do anything...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WgvkXufP74

If the starter cranks then there is nothing wrong with the starter motor...

I won't go any further than this for now because it is best to start from the battery and work from there...it is a bit slower but better than giving you way too much information...

Let us know what these tests result in...if the battery and relay are good then we can move forward...
 

JamesH

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I'm going to shoot in the dark a little here, pull the belt off and hook up a known good battery. Or if you have a spare put it in and see if it cranks ( make sure the battery is good and strong, a lot of cranking can kill it).
You are right, the fuel pump won't stop it from cranking, but a sized alternator could do what your talking about. Or if you feel adventurous, you an bypass the silonid and see if it cranks.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

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ok... looks like i got beat to the punch here... Mark_88 has hit the nail on the head, bad or weak battery in my experience (dealership tech) is 95% of the time the cause of a flat out no crank.

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Mark_88

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The OP actually posted this again in the General Discussions section and has a few replies there also...in that he said the battery appears fine...except a battery can appear fine until you test it properly.
 
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thank you guys, going to work on it again a little bit today and will definitely get back to you
 
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Ok, I am getting 12.2V from the battery, I cant test if that drops when I try to start yet because I cant read it and turn the key at the same time but have a friend coming over shortly
 
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scratch that last post, i got it. it reads 12.2V then drops to 11.7V when trying to start
 

Mark_88

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Thanks for the update Sean...

I saw you were getting replies in the General Discussions section so I left it to them to assist since one more voice just confuses things sometimes.

It looks like the load test indicates there is too much amp loss on the battery to make the starter work. If another battery does engage the starter (or a boost) then you may have a wonky battery that will eliminate part or all of the problem.

The starter circuit is prone to corrosion and sometimes a good cleaning will bring it back to working properly. It won't fix a dead battery but it can do wonders.

Keep us posted if you have time...:)
 
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Ok, im about ready to roll this truck off a cliff,lol. I have checked the battery, its getting 12V,tested it with key on and it dropped to 11.7V, have replaced starter, starter solenoid,ignition switch and for some reason I am still not getting power to the starter. Thought maybe NSS, went to autozone and they didnt have the right part, in this model it is the clutch pedal position switch, went to orileys and the one they had was similar but not the same and was $40 so i decided to just try to bypass it to see if its even the problem before buying, looked up a video and im pretty sure im doing it right, STILL NOTHING! I dont understand how im not getting action to the starter after replacing everything that the ignition system envolves.
 
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thanks for the reply, so you still think its the battery? I thought 12.2 with a slight loss down to 11.7 when starting is fairly normal, should i try jumping it or swapping with my girlfriends battery just to eliminate this?
 
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Mark_88

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I just sent you a PM on that part but I read your post afterward. If the solenoid has not been checked then check that the connectors are tight and that the battery posts are also tight.

If that is good then follow the wire down to the starter and check that it is connected and tight. I've had them break off or be so corroded that they didn't work so cleaning them up and tightening was needed.

If that doesn't work you may need to remove the wires and clean the ends or reconnect the connectors on good wire (cut, strip, and fasten).

I've also seen many wires that are corroded on the inside of the sheathing so that is something else to check.

DO not replace any parts until you thoroughly check and tighten everything.'

The starter itself may actually be loose too so look at that and try moving it by hand...if the starter moves around you may have lost a bolt or two...it happens when they vibrate too much.
 

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I I understand correctly, the starter motor will not turn the crankshaft when the key is turned to START.
I did not watch the video, but if it demonstrated using the small terminal on the relay to engage the starter(provide power by activating the relay) then ignore this.
You can disconnect(pull off) the small terminal on the starter relay, near the large cable connected to the + terminal of the battery, and jumper that terminal to the large post on the relay. IT WILL SPARK, so be prepared. It should operate the relay windings and core, and connect the two large cables, sending power directly to the starter motor. SO, have the transmission in neutral, parking brake engaged when/if you jumper the relay.
Doing this test takes all switches and safeties out of the circuit. You are BYPASSING everything. If the starter works, you need to check switches, connections and wiring from the ignition switch to the small terminal on the relay.
If the starter doesn't do anything, you need to check the large - and + cables, connections on the battery posts, and connections on the relay(both sides), connection on the starter itself, and finally the ground wire, large cable connected to the - battery post where it is attached to the engine. You might also check the ground wire from the back of the cylinder head to the firewall sheet metal. The engine ground is the path for power to flow for all 'accessories', such as wipers, lights, horn, etc. If you have corroded connections, or wires that have deteriorated and no longer carry current, your path from everything will not be correct. Power can flow 'backwards' through things that have good ground if they happen to be on the same fuse, providing a way for another thing to work.
tom
 

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1) With the key off/engine off,a fully charges battery should read 12.6+ volts.
2) With the key in the start position the battery should read a minimum of 9.6+ volts due to the electrical load of the starter.
3) With the engine idling,the battery should read 13.5-14.7 volts.
If your battery doesnt pass these voltage checks,your battery needs to be tested and recharged (if possible) on a slow charger or replaced.If the battery fails the 2nd test,it doesnt have enough reserve capacity to crank the starter.You stated it was reading 12.2 volts.A reading of 12.2 volts or less is considered discharged.
http://ricks free auto repair advice.com/test-a-car-battery-test-an-alternator/

If you decide to borrow your girls battery,test it with a multimeter before removal,to make sure it has 12.6+ volts with the key off/engine off.
 


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