Ranger No Crank (Replace Wiring?)


backporch

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I have a 99 Ranger. I replaced the engine and, in the process, broke the connector on what I believe is the starter ground. I patched that with the same wire from an Explorer. I think the splice was good, but now have my doubts.

I had a starting issue during the summer. If I remember correctly, the starter had 0v at the solenoid, but when I turned the key, heard the relay click and had 12V. I replaced the starter with one from TYC. Worked fine for a while. I don't use the truck that much.

I now have a no crank condition again. The starter connections are still silvery and new looking. With the clutch in I hear the relay click, but nothing else. I ran a small wire from what I believe is the positive connector on the starter. I connected to a voltmeter and it read 12V???? I was standing outside the truck and the key wasn't in the ignition.

My questions are, how should the starter circuit work? a ground wire and a power wire that gets energized with 12v when you turn to crank, otherwise 0v?

Is it possible to rule out wiring issues by replacing only the starter wires? Is there an aftermarket part available that can run from the block where the relay is to the starter?

Thanks for the help!
 


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Dirtman

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Jam a screw driver between the solenoid b+ and the main positive lug... oh yes put it in neutral first. If the starter works you've got a good ground and power and it's a relay, solenoid or ignition issue.
 

RonD

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1999 Ranger with V6 will have a PATS(passive anti-theft system) module, it is part of starter motor activation, it is above the glove box

The starter motor activation has this pathway in 1999

Battery(12v)----------ignition switch(in START)-----fuse 24(in cab)------clutch/trans switch-------starter relay(in engine fuse box)-----Starter motor solenoid(on starter motor)

1. Ignition switch gets 12volts from battery, fuse 5, 50amp, main power fuse
2. When turned to START ignition switch sends 12volt to fuse 24
3. Fuse 24 sends 12v to clutch switch(manual) or trans switch(automatic), clutch pedal must be down to pass this 12v, or auto trans switch must be in Park or Neutral to pass the 12v, this is the "out of gear switch"
4. "Out of gear" switch sends 12v to the Starter relay's COIL<<<, if PATS module has Grounded the coil then relay will close
5. Starter relay closes and sends 12v from fuse 5(50amp) to the starter solenoid on the starter motor
6. Starter solenoid pushes starter gear out and closes battery cable contact on starter motor to the motors brushes, starter motor activates, spins


Check fuse 24
If you have an automatic the column shifter can get loose and not move the switch on the transmission to Park, so it won't pass the 12v to starter relay, try starting in Neutral

If you put your finger on the starter relay in the engine fuse box and have someone turn the key to START, you should feel the relay CLICK , if so all is well up to that point, so it can only be the wire to the starter solenoid or the main battery cable to starter motor
And, of course, it could be starter motor/solenoid is bad

Starter motor itself is grounded by being bolted to bellhousing which is grounded by a larger negative battery cable bolted to the engine block

There is no "ground wire" on starter motor, there is the main battery positive cable and then the smaller wire to the solenoid that comes from starter relay in engine fuse box
 

backporch

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Thanks for the great information. I broke the connector on what I thought was a ground, but is the wire from the relay to the solenoid. The other wire is a direct connect to the battery.

I must have verified 12v on the smaller wire when I replaced the starter in the summer. My memory sucks.

I am going to, for the moment, assume the starter is still OK. Its in a tough spot to short out lugs... at least for me.

Is there a way to run a wire from the relay to the solenoid in parallel to the harness?

The PATS system is something I don't know well enough. I would still get a crank even if PATS objects right?
 

Dirtman

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No, PATS disables the starter and fuel injectors (i.e nothing will happen). If there is a Pat's issue you will have a rapid blinking anti theft light on the dash. If you wait, it will start blinking a code to tell you what's wrong.
 

backporch

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OK. that's good to know. I do have my chipped key hidden in my ignition. I thought I would get a crank but no run for a non chipped key.
 

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MAKE SURE trans is in Neutral, manual, or Park, and block the tires

You can run a jumper wire from battery positive and touch it to the Solenoid "S" terminal to see if starter motor activates
If it clicks but starter doesn't turn then replace starter w/solenoid, if it doesn't click then replace starter/solenoid

If starter works then test if starter relay is working, finger on the relay


Does your THEFT light work?
It should come on with key on and then go off
If so its not a PATS issue, although could be a ground issue from PATS module to Starter Relay

If it flashes rapidly then yes its a PATS issue

If THEFT light doesn't work then no way to tell
 

backporch

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I just went out to the truck and connected my wire to the other lug on the solenoid. It was 0v with no key, and when I turned to the run position it seemed to jump to 3v. At the crank position it read a little over 10v as long as the key was in the crank position.

I don't have a helper here to check the relay, but there is a very loud click when I turn to the crank position
 

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Then it reads like starter motor has failed

10v at the starter solenoid is enough to activate it, and 10volts reads like starter is drawing AMPs but can't turn

When starter motor is active system voltage will be 9.5-10.5 volts, that is normal, starter motors have 60-80amp draw, so the batteries 12volts drops to 10volts


When voltage drops below 8-9volts you will get the "click, click, click" noise because voltage is too low to hold starter solenoid closed, so it activates(click), then starter draws amps and voltage drops below 9v and solenoid opens(click), then volts come back up and solenoid closes again(click), then opens(click), ect.......................click, click, click,.............
This would indicate old or failing battery or failing battery cables
 
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Dirtman

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Ummm dumb question but what's your battery voltage and how old is it? Anything 12.3 or lower at the battery is a bad battery and will be iffy to start.
 

backporch

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battery is not new, but probably 3 to 4 years old, so not crazy old either. When the truck was sitting for a while, my first attempt to start had a slow crank, then nothing. I assumed a weak battery, so set the trickle charger on it for several days.. When it was fully charged, nothing... shows 12.0v now, but I did add a jump pack to it to try and rule out the battery
 

Dirtman

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Sir. You need a battery.
 

backporch

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I will charge up the battery as best I can and also make sure the jump pack is charged. I would hope that would be enough to get a good starter to at least attempt to start the engine.

Thanks again for the help and education.
 

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New battery is 12.8volt-13volts
3 year old battery is 12.5volts
5/6 year old battery 12.3volts and time to shop for battery sale, maybe 6 month life left in warmer weather

under 12.2volts is a failed battery

Voltage needs to be tested after battery sits for at least 2 hours, after 8+ hours is better
 

backporch

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Trickle charged the battery last night... was topped off by morning. Will check voltage later in the day.

I did put jumper cables from the truck battery to the old starter.... it spun pretty well. That probably doesn't mean much if there is no load applied.

will report back later with battery voltage
 


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