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Starter issue

Dvine

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Hey guys. Been a while but I've learned a lot from the last couple years with this truck. I've done head gasket and everything in-between. Over 700 miles after 500 mile re-tighten head bolts. Runs amazing. New exhaust manifolds/gaskets, water pump, thermostat, oil pan gasket, IAC, list goes on. Not quite 200k yet. Problem is starting. New ignition switch, starter and solenoid, fender relay and battery. When I turn the key to start it, I get a loud click from starter. The gear kicks out to engage flywheel but doesn't spin. My bypass/fix is that I've connected a 10 gauge wire from the third post on starter and a wire from the battery. Routed them into the cab for easy access. I hold clutch, turn key over, it clicks, I briefly connect wires in cab and starts right up. (can't find push button that doesn't melt) Since everything in starter circuit is new, I'm not sure what's going on. Bench test works fine. It kicks out and spins on the ground. But I'm truck it only kicks out the gear, no spin. If I connect wires in cab without turning key all the way you hear the starter spinning. No kick out. And of course nothing happens without clutch pedal down. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated
 


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Angie

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Problem is starting. New ignition switch, starter and solenoid, fender relay and battery. <<< all hooked up correctly?

New ignition = what? key tumbler or the ignition switches under the steering column?


When I turn the key to start it, I get a loud click from starter. << Ground or battery connections loose or not making 100% contact?

The gear kicks out to engage flywheel but doesn't spin.

My bypass/fix is that I've connected a 10 gauge wire from the third post on starter <<< HUH?? >>> and a wire from the battery.

Routed them into the cab for easy access. I hold clutch, turn key over, it clicks, I briefly connect wires in cab and starts right up. (can't find push button that doesn't melt) Since everything in starter circuit is new, I'm not sure what's going on. <<< recheck your configurations
 

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Google voltage drop testing...

Then take that knowledge to the truck and test the battery cables. If that doesn't find your issue it's most likely the starter.
 

rumblecloud

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What brand starter?
I ask because I've had issues with mine - rare, but still. I'm guessing my issue is because a I bought cheap starter probable not your issue, but thought I'd ask.

Couple of times I've gotten the infamous solenoid click. Pull the starter. test it, it works fine. Re-install and all is well - until the next time - it's like Russian Roulette.
.
 

RonD

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The smaller cylinder on the starter motor is a relay/solenoid

The smaller "S" post on this relay/solenoid is how its activated

Larger battery positive cable is connected to the relay/solenoid

When the "S" post gets 12v the solenoid part pulls back on a lever which pushes out the starter motors gear to mesh with ring gear on flywheel
When the solenoid is pulled back all the way it connects the Battery positive cable to the starter motor, this is the relay part
And starter begins to spin, AFTER the gear is engaged

The solenoid only requires maybe 5 amps
The starter motor needs 60-75 amps, ALOT, which is why battery cables are so large

And BOTH battery cables must be able to pass that 60-75 amps, so a loose or dirty Battery negative cable causes the same issue as a loose or dirty battery positive cable
Electricity needs a "circuit", a circle, so the weakest connection sets the limit of amps that can be passed thru that "circle"

The "click, click, click" you hear is the relay/solenoid engaging then disengaging because amps drop below 5 amps at the "S" post when starter motor can't get its 60-75 amps from the battery's two posts/cables
 
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Dvine

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What brand starter?
I ask because I've had issues with mine - rare, but still. I'm guessing my issue is because a I bought cheap starter probable not your issue, but thought I'd ask.

Couple of times I've gotten the infamous solenoid click. Pull the starter. test it, it works fine. Re-install and all is well - until the next time - it's like Russian Roulette.
.
Actually bought a $60 starter and under ten starts it broke. Went with motor craft $120 and haven't had it fail yet.
 

Dvine

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The smaller cylinder on the starter motor is a relay/solenoid

The smaller "S" post on this relay/solenoid is how its activated

Larger battery positive cable is connected to the relay/solenoid

When the "S" post gets 12v the solenoid part pulls back on a lever which pushes out the starter motors gear to mesh with ring gear on flywheel
When the solenoid is pulled back all the way it connects the Battery positive cable to the starter motor, this is the relay part
And starter begins to spin, AFTER the gear is engaged

The solenoid only requires maybe 5 amps
The starter motor needs 60-75 amps, ALOT, which is why battery cables are so large

And BOTH battery cables must be able to pass that 60-75 amps, so a loose or dirty Battery negative cable causes the same issue as a loose or dirty battery positive cable
Electricity needs a "circuit", a circle, so the weakest connection sets the limit of amps that can be passed thru that "circle"

The "click, click, click" you hear is the relay/solenoid engaging then disengaging because amps drop below 5 amps at the "S" post when starter motor can't get its 60-75 amps from the battery's two posts/cables
Only clicks once. After I turn key to start it, I get click. While holding key, after the click, I connect my wires and it starts. Test light shows post 2 (little post) on starter is hot. Only when I turn key and it clicks. Basically I'm getting power from 1st post(big post with battery cable) turn key to start, hear the click, then connect power in cab. One wire goes from third post, (other big post factory connected to starter motor) and second wire from battery. It's a hard line from starter motor to battery. If left connected, starter spins. Even after motor turns on. It still keeps spinning if wires are connected. So I tap them and spins the gear. I need the key to kick out the gear and a hard wired starter motor. If that didn't make sense I'll video how I do it for you
 

Dvine

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Problem is starting. New ignition switch, starter and solenoid, fender relay and battery. <<< all hooked up correctly?

New ignition = what? key tumbler or the ignition switches under the steering column?

Key Tumbler.

When I turn the key to start it, I get a loud click from starter. << Ground or battery connections loose or not making 100% contact?
Any tighter they might break.

The gear kicks out to engage flywheel but doesn't spin.

My bypass/fix is that I've connected a 10 gauge wire from the third post on starter <<< HUH?? >>> and a wire from the battery.
3rd post.
First is big post with battery cable, second is fender relay to small post and third post is connected from factory to starter motor.

Routed them into the cab for easy access. I hold clutch, turn key over, it clicks, I briefly connect wires in cab and starts right up. (can't find push button that doesn't melt) Since everything in starter circuit is new, I'm not sure what's going on. <<< recheck your configurations
 
Last edited:

Dvine

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Anyone know about ground straps? I'm having other electrical issues that I'm thinking is related to the no start issue. After I pulled them motor for oil pan and exhaust work and my dash gauges where haywire. Found out the strap from wiper motor/firewall to the back of the drivers side head was gone. I used a battery cable to replace that strap and the gauges worked. At the moment my blinkers make oil pressure and temp gauge flicker with the blinker. Just hoping someone can tell me something about the ground straps.
 

RonD

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Just as a heads up, ALL the metal parts of a vehicle are painted BEFORE assembly, and alot of the panels have rubber washers/grommets when assembled, so they are NOT grounded just because they are bolted together

The engine and transmission sit on rubber mounts so the main ground cable on the engine doesn't give the frame or body any ground connection

Battery negative is the Ground of course, its larger cable should go to the engine because the starter motor and alternator use the largest AMP loads

There should also be 1 or 2 smaller ground wires on negative terminal, they go to the metal inner fender and metal rad support, they are for headlights, horn and engine fuse box relay grounds

The back of the head ground to firewall is important as that grounds all the cab electrics

There should be a ground strap under the cab to the frame, and a ground strap under the bed to the frame, both on drivers side frame rail
These pass the ground from the engine/firewall to the frame

You can add a ground strap from engine to frame at the motor mount or where ever you can find an easy place to do it
Engine moves of course, so strap needs to have slack
This will give a double ground path for the cab and tail lights

The ground on the bed is for safety, i.e. no static charge when filling up

A Ground is only as good as its connection, need bare metal, no rust or corrosion
Best practice is to sand area(bare metal), put on ground strap then paint over it as needed

The main ground is usually on starter motor bolt, and that area can get oily, so wipe it down as best you can, the bolt and the surfaces and the cable end, so it will have a good bare metal connection
 
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rumblecloud

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RonD - this is another one of yours that I've copied and pasted into my growing collection of things I need to but know I'll never find again if I let it go.

Thanks.
 

Dvine

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RonD: found the frame/cab ground. Or what's left of it. There's a broken wire from frame but I can't find the other end. So new wire frame to fire wall. When driving, if I put it in neutral, rpms bounce up and down from 13-1500 press in clutch pedal and it idles right down to about 9 which is where I usually idle warm. In 4th I get trans brake until 30mph. Then it feels like the tranny kicks out and no more trans brake. I swear it's like cruise control kicks on. In 1st and 2nd, she's like an automatic. No gas and she drives about 20mph like I'm in drive in an auto. I've pulled the motor out and I've done head gaskets and that was way easier than trying to find electric grimlin. This is annoying because the motor is perfect and in worried I'm going to ruin something because of something dumb. I've tried that turn the steering wheel to start it that didn't work either. Guess I'll just keep tinkering with her until I find the problem. Assuming I do I'll post results incase this happens to anyone else. Thanks for the ground straps locations. That helped me find a few problems like unplugged o2 sensor. Not that it helped plugging it in. Any chance I need a computer reset now that there's no ac? Anyway thanks again TRS. You guys are awesome
 

Dvine

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Well I found both driver side transmission connectors were ripped out. Spliced the wires with donor plugs since I didn't have the old ones and everything is doing fine. I held on and off buttons for cruise and about 2-3 seconds I heard a click somewhere in the steering shaft. I still feel the tranny "kick out" at 30mph but now it will slow down past that and will stall. When cold she still drives like an automatic, but when warm it will stall in first and second. No more revving 13-1500 in neutral, but it's sticking at 1600 at or above 30mph. Eating gas but don't think it's a problem. Maybe the TPS is bad? Still no brake lights but I got reverse lights. Thinking pedal switch. Anyone think that deleting the ac is why she idles at 9 instead of 7? Still need to power starter directly, key still just kicks out the gear.
 

RonD

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TPS is a sensor not a control, it just tells the computer what driver wants to do next, accelerate or coast, or cruise, the computer sets fuel flow based on RPMs and feed back from O2 sensor, not TPS

Check the vacuum line on the Fuel Pressure Regulator(FPR)
On a 1993 4.0l FPR should be just behind and below the alternator, on the lower intake, has the Return fuel line attached and a vacuum hose, if FPR starts to leak fuel is sucked into the intake via that vacuum hose, MPG goes into the toilet and running issues will show up


1993 starter should have a relay/solenoid on the starter motor
The inner fender relay was still used but you can bypass it if you want

There is a red/blue wire connected to the "S" post on the inner fender relay(small post), this wire comes from the ignition switch and has 12v with key turned to START
This wire can be removed and extended, to connected directly to the starter motors "S" post, this bypasses the inner fender relay, one less thing to go wrong

Starter motors larger cable should already be connected directly to Battery positive, its on the same larger post as battery positive cable on the inner fender relay

If activating relay/solenoid on starter motor still just kicks out the gear but no spin then relay part is bad, or larger cable is not connected to battery
 
Last edited:

Dvine

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4WD
TPS is a sensor not a control, it just tells the computer what driver wants to do next, accelerate or coast, or cruise, the computer sets fuel flow based on RPMs and feed back from O2 sensor, not TPS

Check the vacuum line on the Fuel Pressure Regulator(FPR)
On a 1993 4.0l FPR should be just behind and below the alternator, on the lower intake, has the Return fuel line attached and a vacuum hose, if FPR starts to leak fuel is sucked into the intake via that vacuum hose, MPG goes into the toilet and running issues will show up


1993 starter should have a relay/solenoid on the starter motor
The inner fender relay was still used but you can bypass it if you want

There is a red/blue wire connected to the "S" post on the inner fender relay(small post), this wire comes from the ignition switch and has 12v with key turned to START
This wire can be removed and extended, to connected directly to the starter motors "S" post, this bypasses the inner fender relay, one less thing to go wrong

Starter motors larger cable should already be connected directly to Battery positive, its on the same larger post as battery positive cable on the inner fender relay

If activating relay/solenoid on starter motor still just kicks out the gear but no spin then relay part is bad, or larger cable is not connected to battery
Appreciate the advice. Will check fuel leak. I bench test with jumper cables and the solinoid kicks and spins on the ground. Loud and strong. Battery cables to solinoid on starter and mounting bolt for the battery neg. Test light shows power on starter solinoid from big battery cable. Post 2 with little red wire shows power with test light when I turn key to start. Kicks out gear, test light shows no power to post 3. The wired post from solinoid to starter motor. Maybe that braided aluminum cable is shot? Can't find a push button that can handle starter motor power. Melted like 5 before giving that up and I used solid strand Romex 12g to give direct power to starter motor after turning key to start. Can't keep the 3rd post wired to battery or the starter doesn't stop spinning so I briefly touch Romex together, starts, the I disconnect before they weld together.
 

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