• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Sat Now Won't Start!


Jbg

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Hey guys, so I left town for a few weeks, truck was running great, and I came back and now it won't start!
First thing I did when I got back was charge the battery and top off the oil the night before work, but in the morning it would crank but not start. Had power in the cab, starter was running good, checked for spark. Checked spark in top 4 plugs, all good. but I couldn't hear the fuel pump so I thought that that was what I needed.
Pulled the bed, Put a new fuel pump in and it still didn't run so I hooked my old one up to a 12V and it worked fine so I stuck it back in and returned the new one. I could hear the fuel relay click when I had my brother turn the key, so I figured it was somewhere in the wiring between the relay and the pump. Also tested every fuse in the boxes under the hood and by the Ebrake with a 12V and none of them were broken.
Had to work a few late nights in a row so I left it until this weekend, now I recharged the battery and tried again. NOW IT WONT EVEN CRANK, MY GAUGES ARE ALL CRAZY AND THE DASH RADIO WONT TURN ON! Seems like I'm losing more electrical systems!
Anyway I'm not sure where I should start, or if anyone has heard of something similar happening. It is the weirdest thing... right now I am thinking I'll start by tracing some of the wires and checking out the relays, but am really hoping for some suggestions!
Thank you!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Mark_88

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
18,550
Reaction score
228
Points
0
Age
65
Location
Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Year
2007
Make / Model
Dordge
Engine Size
3.3 Fuel Injected
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Love Thy Neighbor
Hi and welcome to TRS~!

It sounds to me like you have a bad ground in the starting circuit. Happened to me exactly the same way and I ran around for a day replacing parts like the wiper switch, and starter relay until I checked and redid the ground wire to the starter.'

Everything worked once I cleaned and tightened that up.

Could also be the relay if the starter won't actually engage at all. You can jump that to see if the starter cranks and if it does when jumping the relay that's likely your issue.

However, the relay won't usually cause the gauges to go wonky...that is almost always a ground issue.
 

don4331

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
1,278
Reaction score
309
Points
83
Location
Calgary, AB
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.3
Transmission
Automatic
Hmmm, ground wire you say Mark...

I left a Ranger which I am fixing up over winter and am experiencing similar issues.

Instrument panel is dead, runs rough, but all relays/fuses looked good.

I hate automotive electrical issues...
 

tomw

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
40
Points
48
Location
toenails of foothills NW of Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
lima bean
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
vertical and above ground
I'd check for loose connections on the battery posts, the starter relay, the power feeds from the starter relay, or the power distribution box(vintage dependent).
I would also check the 'rollover' safety switch on the passenger side, near the top of the carpet/floormat. Most are gray with a red button on top. Just push the button a few times to re-seat the ball bearing that makes contact and allows power to continue on to the fuel pump from the relay. The pump won't run unless the switch is closed(normally by gravity, but corrosion can interfere with conduction)
tom
 

Mark_88

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
18,550
Reaction score
228
Points
0
Age
65
Location
Ontario, Canada
Vehicle Year
2007
Make / Model
Dordge
Engine Size
3.3 Fuel Injected
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Love Thy Neighbor
Hmmm, ground wire you say Mark...

I left a Ranger which I am fixing up over winter and am experiencing similar issues.

Instrument panel is dead, runs rough, but all relays/fuses looked good.

I hate automotive electrical issues...
With a dead instrument panel Don I'd say you probably have other issues or more than one. My instrument panel actually worked fine once the truck was running but the gauges were all over the place. Voltage read low or nothing depending on what I was measuring and the wipers wouldn't even function properly.

So if yours also doesn't start it might be a good place to start looking at the starter circuit. That is where everything begins typically and if it fixes some things but not all things then the search gets narrower.

Might be dependent on the year of the vehicle and whether the GEM is involved. I think before 1997 the Gem only played a minor role for some things electronic. Dash lights were affected in the 1998 as well as wipers and windows.

I found this link to another thread on the GEM module from a few years ago. My 1996 wasn't affected by that but I remember wondering if that was the issue.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133113
 

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
I agree, Its sounds like a ground issue. My guess is the neg post and wire connection. The screwy lights and dashboard are a key symptom of a ground issue.

I'm sure it has an aftermarket clamp on the neg post. Pull the clamp off the wire and cut the wire back and reclamp it. Also The thing is old and the entire ground wire could be fubared. What's your location?

Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Mach1run

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
I am in s similar position. Bought a 97 for stupid cheap because the owner didn't want to mess with the transmission issues it was having. Drove it home from the transmission shop parked and later moved it. Couple days later it would not even crank when I went to start it but the gauges work normally. Replaced the suspect starter and no joy. Jumped the relay with a screwdriver and it fires right up and run normally. Replaced the relay and still no start. But sometimes I can at least hear a single click from the engine bay when I turn the key.

Sound like a ground wire issue too?
 

Jbg

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses!! These are great, and I was really lost. Sorry that it took me so long to get back on here, it was just a super crazy week at work (and riding the bus did not help things lol). I will check the negative terminal and the ground on the starter, then try reclamping the neg post. I will report back with any news! @modelageek I am in Victoria BC Canada
 

Jbg

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Okay so I checked the grounds to the starter, found one broken. Stuck a new ring terminal on it, now the gauges are good! :yahoo: HOWEVER, radio still won't turn on, engine still won't crank.:bawling: I can still hear the starter relay clicking when I have someone turn the key... can it be bad and still click? Also I will pull out my starter tomorrow and hook it up to 12V, although it was cleaning before with no start... PLEASE let me know if any more advice
Thanks again
 

tomw

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
40
Points
48
Location
toenails of foothills NW of Atlanta
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
lima bean
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
vertical and above ground
I think the radio is powered by a fusible link attached to the battery side of the starter relay. If the fusible links on that side(closest to the battery) are loose, and there are multiple, it can interrupt power to accessories, etc.
The relay may have eroded contacts internally, and cannot pass the amps to the terminal on the starter. A new relay is relatively inexpensive.
You can test the relay function using a jumper wire or screwdriver. With the transmission in P or neutral, parking brake set, jumper the small terminal on the starter relay to the large terminal on the relay that connects to the battery. You in effect are providing the same power to the relay that causes it to pull the internal contacts together to pass current to the starter motor. You WILL see a bit of sparkage, so don't jump too far. A firm, decisive connection will minimize sparks.
If the relay and starter and battery and fat cables and ground connection and ground cables are good, the starter motor will spin, and crank the engine over. It will not have spark, so won't start, but should crank. If it does not crank when the relay is jumpered, you can try using regular jumper cables, connecting from the battery + terminal to the terminal on the starter side of the relay. You WILL get a GOOD BIT OF SPARKING when you do that as there's a lot of amps getting going. If the starter motor won't spin then, indications are it is bad, or you have bad ground, large cables, etc.
tom
 


Top