Fried Starter Relay, 1990 Ford F-150


Old 02-07-07, 08:58 PM
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Angry Fried Starter Relay, 1990 Ford F-150

Howdy, Foax! When my vehicle refused to crank but all lights, wipers, etc. worked, I suspected the starter relay. Purchased one from Ford and installed it (after checking wiring and ensuring battery terminal contacts were clean -- everything appeared OK, but I serviced the terminals again anyway). On turning the ignition key, the wipers jumped but the starter didn't crank. Turned and held the key down about 3 seconds, then noticed white smoke curling over the open hood. Removed the key and jumped out for a better look, when I observed heavy smoke emanating from the new starter relay as well as from the starter, and the battery apparently boiling over. It appeared that current was flowing despite the fact that the ignition was off. I quickly unbolted and removed the negative terminal clamp, and these small fires died down and went out and the battery calmed down. Now, however, no lights, no wipers, no nada. Any ideas about what happened, and where I should start now? Thanks and best regards, Walt
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Old 02-07-07, 09:15 PM
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This "fire" probably melted the cables among other things. I would replace your power cables going too and from the starter to the battery.

Did you hook this new relay up wrong?

You will now need a new starter as well since you said smoke was coming out of it.

Not good.
Old 02-13-07, 07:07 PM
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Cool What happened, and what I did about it.

OK, guys, I'll admit I expected a little more insight. Some would suggest that I installed the relay incorrectly, but let's think about this. The moniker says M60 Series Tanker -- that's an old Combat Arms guy, not a cargo vessel that transports oil. Only NTSoB's install relays incorrectly: otherwise, one doesn't survive long enough to become an M60 Series (or any other) Tanker.

But thanks anyway for trying. We believe the relay fried because of a short in the starter (which is what I had hoped to confirm). Also, the worn ignition key tumbler failed to return fully to the "off" position (even with the ignition key out), which allowed power to continue in the circuit, heating the cables and feeding the fire until the negative battery cable was removed.

Because we moved fast and got lucky, the cables were saved from significant damage. A new starter, a new relay, a new ignition tumbler, and a couple hours' labor resolved the problem entirely.
Old 02-13-07, 08:12 PM
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The relay is a switch and thusly is the "weak" spot in the circuit......If the wires from the relay TO the starter are Krispy Krittered, that indicates the power went through the relay to a dead short (the starter)...........Probable starter replacement , relay replacement............and replace burnt cables as required..............and just for sh*ts and giggles...........make sure the engine turns over with a socket and breaker be sure we don't have DEEPER problems
Old 02-13-07, 08:16 PM
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see wht happens when I don't read the ENTIRE thread??

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