94 ranger Alternator or Starter, that is the question

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  #1  
Old 04-13-07, 05:10 AM
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94 ranger Alternator or Starter, that is the question

This morning as i was preparing to leave for work, I jumped in my trusty 94 Ford Ranger to find out it wont start. When I turned the key over, I heard CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. I got out put some jumper cables and tried again, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. The lights were bright, but the starter never engaged. Is it a starter problem or and alterantor problem? Which one should I start with. I'm leaning toward the starter?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-13-07, 05:15 AM
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Start simple first.
If could be the battery as well, how old is it? If its over 5 years old replace the battery. Put a volt meter to the battery if it read 12 DC volts its fine. NExt check the battery cables and posts for buildup, clean the posts and clamps if required and check that there tight.
I doubt it would be the alternator, because you tried to jump the car and nothing happened, so w can eliminate that. I does like your starter but do the things I suggested first.

good luck Frank
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 04-13-07 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Not necessary to quote entire post.
  #3  
Old 04-13-07, 06:19 AM
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I will start with my battery tonight. Although I did not have alot of time to tinker this morning, i do remember that the post were dirty, and I dont recall ever replacing my battery.
Thanks alot, that would be a real easy fix. Anyone else???
 
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Old 04-13-07, 06:34 AM
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It doesn't cost anything to clean the batt terminals, also check/clean where the cable hooks to the starter. I always like to do the free/cheap stuff first
 
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Old 04-13-07, 10:35 AM
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Concur marksr with checking the simple/cheap stuff. Checking battery connections is a good starting point because it costs nothing. Frank makes a good point on the age of the battery, too, but unless the battery is shorted you should have gotten SOME response when you tried the jump, even if it wasn't enough rotation speed to start. On a 13 year old vehicle, the starter is certainly a suspect, but not necessary the guilty party at the moment.

Also, if you happen to have one of those bolt-on replacement terminal ends on either cable, they are notorious for hiding corrosion. You can often correct it by unbolting the end and either cleaning the cable strands (and the clamp) or cutting back the cable (length permitting) for some fresh material to make the connection.
 
  #6  
Old 04-13-07, 12:34 PM
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starter

An alternator recharges the battery it does not start the engine. A good way to check a battery is using a voltmeter. Remove the battery cell caps and check the level of water/acid. Remove the cables and clean the posts and terminal ends. Connect the red lead to the + positive post and the black lead to the - negative post. You should have at least 9.6 volts in order to crank a starter. Next, connect the red lead to the positive post and insert the negative lead into the acid water solution, starting at the hole right next to the + post. Take a voltage reading. If its a 12 volt battery than that voltage should be anywhere from 1.6 volts to 2.5 volts. Next put the red lead into the cell that the black lead was just in and move the black lead into the next cell or hole. Go all the way down the battery untill you have the - negative lead on the - negative post and the + postive lead in the last hole next to the negative post. Now compare all of your readings and they should be close, if any are showing low or no voltage than you have a dead cell. You could use a hydrometer but I like doing it this way. If no dead cells,hook up the voltmeter as to check the whole battery voltage again. + to -, and then try to crank the engine the voltgage should drop no lower than 9.6 volts.If it does and the battery checked out good than you should check the drain or draw on the starter. Hook the + lead to the big wire on the starter and the black to ground. Now try again to crank the engine. If the voltmeter shows more than 2.4 volts that means that is more than a 2.4 voltage drop or drain on the starter.It could be the bearings or brushes or anyother cause, but I use to rebuild alternators and starters for a living and over 50% of the time it was just the bearings or brushes. A few bucks...
 
  #7  
Old 04-13-07, 01:35 PM
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a better way is to take it to autozone if you get it running... they will put the tester on it for free... it will tell you what is wrong with your truck
 
  #8  
Old 04-13-07, 05:18 PM
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Your factory cable end at the battery has failed from interior corrosion (notorious for ford of this vintage) cut the end off (take a hack saw and cut it open once you nip it off so you can see what happened its fascinating lol) and apply a good quality replacement end and drive happy.
 
  #9  
Old 04-14-07, 09:42 AM
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Well everyone thanks for all your replies. Last night I started with the battery, and quickly ruled that out. Next the starter. After I located the starter, I checked the connections, and everyhting seemed ok. I took a small hammer and tapped on it a few times then tried starting the truck again. ZINNNNNNGGGGGGGGG, was the sound that came from the starter. After a second try CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. At that point i figured it was in fact the starter. The starter came out perfectly, with no snapped bolts, and no corroded wires. Installing it was just as smooth, I was supprised. The truck started beautifully, with no parts left over. =)
 
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Old 04-14-07, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for posting back! Glad it went well! Having no extra parts when you are done is a bonus! :-p
 
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