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Ranger not starting

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Roll
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1983
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Ford ranger
Transmission
Automatic
I have a 1983 ford ranger, where it won’t start I replaced to battery about a month ago an optima. It is showing 12 bolts as well, but when I turn the key to turn it over nothing happens, not even dash lights any help?
 


tw205

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4WD
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6” skyjacker 2” body
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If it’s an automatic, is it in park or neutral? If it’s a manual are you pressing the clutch pedal? Have you checked the connection to the battery? Clean and secure? Are the connections to the solenoid secure?
 
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It’s an automatic and yes it is in park the connections are good, haven’t checked the solenoid but the thing is the dash lights don’t come on. And it doesn’t turn over
 

RonD

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There should be a positive battery cable to the starter relay(often called solenoid), its mounted on the inner fender, has 2 larger posts and 1 or 2 smaller posts

FIRST remove battery negative cable!!!!!

Then remove battery positive cable from the Relay/Solenoids larger post, there WILL BE several other wires with it, those wires power the dash and all the other electrics in the vehicle
So this is a very important post/connection
Clean it and all the wire ends, and put them all back on, and secure the nut

Now clean the battery negative cable end, its post should be clean if its a new battery, its a lead connector so soft metal, scrape it clean on the inside if needs be
Connect it to battery and tighten it
Remove battery positive from battery and clean it, put it back on and tighten it
Battery cables MUST BE tightened to work
 
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There should be a positive battery cable to the starter relay(often called solenoid), its mounted on the inner fender, has 2 larger posts and 1 or 2 smaller posts

FIRST remove battery negative cable!!!!!

Then remove battery positive cable from the Relay/Solenoids larger post, there WILL BE several other wires with it, those wires power the dash and all the other electrics in the vehicle
So this is a very important post/connection
Clean it and all the wire ends, and put them all back on, and secure the nut

Now clean the battery negative cable end, its post should be clean if its a new battery, its a lead connector so soft metal, scrape it clean on the inside if needs be
Connect it to battery and tighten it
Remove battery positive from battery and clean it, put it back on and tighten it
Battery cables MUST BE tightened to work
So I cleaned the battery cable and the solenoid posts like you said and I provided some pictures for you guys to see but it still has the same issue
 
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If I move the key back a little bit the radio turns on but only flickers it is aftermarket
 

RonD

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Looks like someone has added some inline fuses or connectors seen in 1st picture under relay

Check them

None of that is factory wiring, wires on positive battery cables terminal should be on the relays larger post with other end of battery positive cable
Batteries vent gases when charging/driving so will corrode those wire ends over time


One battery negative cable, check its other end, clean and tight



"If I move the key back a little bit the radio turns on"
Could be ignition switch under the steering column has failed, these older ones were known to split apart, could be made to work using zip ties to hold them together

The key itself turns a gear that slides a rod inside the column, that rod slides the ignition switch into its 4 positions, ACC, OFF, RUN, START
 
Last edited:
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1983
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Ford ranger
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Automatic
Looks like someone has added some inline fuses or connectors seen in 1st picture under relay

Check them

None of that is factory wiring, wires on positive battery cables terminal should be on the relays larger post with other end of battery positive cable
Batteries vent gases when charging/driving so will corrode those wire ends over time


One battery negative cable, check its other end, clean and tight



"If I move the key back a little bit the radio turns on"
Could be ignition switch under the steering column has failed, these older ones were known to split apart, could be made to work using zip ties to hold them together

The key itself turns a gear that slides a rod inside the column, that rod slides the ignition switch into its 4 positions, ACC, OFF, RUN, START
The battery post cables should be on the solenoid? And I’ll check those other things as well
 
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1983
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The battery post cables should be on the solenoid? And I’ll check those other things as well
On the big post of the solenoid? Where the other end of the battery cable is connected on the solenoid?
 

RonD

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Yes, same 12volt connection to battery but away from vented gases from battery
 

cyclejohn

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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
"If I move the key back a little bit the radio turns on"
Could be ignition switch under the steering column has failed, these older ones were known to split apart, could be made to work using zip ties to hold them together

The key itself turns a gear that slides a rod inside the column, that rod slides the ignition switch into its 4 positions, ACC, OFF, RUN, START
Almost the same exact symptoms that I experienced. Get it done.

Until you open up the clamshell around the steering column and check it, nothing else matters (just like the song).

John
 

cyclejohn

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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Oooh, one more thing, be careful and watch, there is a detent ball that likes to go crazy when released.

John
 

RonD

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Yes

Not your issue, but thats where they should be
 

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