(Another) Ranger Won't Start


Old 02-12-02, 09:38 PM
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Unhappy (Another) Ranger Won't Start

I have read some other posts with the same problem but not exactly the same circumstances, and none of the previous posts gave any results. I have a 92 Ranger 2.3L 5 spd 130K miles. I tried to start it and it cranked for a couple of seconds but did not start. I tried again two seconds later and all I got was the "click" of the solenoid. Tried jumping it but that didn't work. I clutch started it to get it home and it ran perfect. I had the battery tested and it was ok. All the wires are ok and all the connections have been cleaned and re-tightened. All the fuses are ok. I have replaced the solenoid under the hood and I replaced the starter today, still nothing but the "click". Here's the kicker: I clutched started it again (I know, I know. Not a good thing to do but at this point I was extremely P.O.'d.) and let it idle. Just to satisfy my curiousity, I tried to start it while it was idling and sure enough the starter engaged. I turned it off and tried again and all I got nothing but the click. I was sure that this meant it was the battery (even though it tested ok originally) so just to be sure I swapped the battery and it still won't start. I know I have a good circuit to the starter or it wouldn't engage at all. I am now at a total loss since there are no more components in the starting sequence (that I know of). I must be missing some obscure sensor or something. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old 02-13-02, 03:51 AM
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If it has one, check your clutch position/neutral safety switch at the pedal.

Jump it out. If the truck works normally, the problem is a connection at the switch or the switch.

I'm assuming when you say you have to "clutch" it, you mean push starting it?

Lots of Fords having to be pushed and moved around here lately, what's going on ?
Old 02-13-02, 10:39 PM
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Double check your connections, including the ground-to-engine cable. Make sure the cables aren't green inside with corrosion. I've seen cables absorb battery acid down under the insulation. It isn't visible until you skin the wire a little. It will usually allow enough current to pass for lights and accessories, but not to start. I have also seen plenty of bad starters, right out of the box. They turn with no load, but won't turn the engine. Keep us posted!
Old 03-04-02, 07:02 PM
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*Update* (Another) Ranger won't start

Here is an update and a question - first the update (short version). Two good ideas that I didn't think of. The clutch safety switch tested ok. I also checked the ground cable for corrosion and did find some on the battery end so I went ahead and replaced it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the problem either.

I took the (new) starter in to have it tested and it worked fine on the machine. Installed it back on the truck and brought out the voltmeter. There are 3 terminals on the starter solenoid. Terminal A is a constant 12.45 volts directly from the battery, terminal B (small wire from "under hood" solenoid) is 11.3 volts when ignition is in the start position only (otherwise 0 volts), and terminal C, which has no external wires connected to it, shows .3 volts in the start position only (otherwise 0 volts). Do you think that the voltage difference between A & B could be the problem? I don't think it is because while I was holding the voltmeter leads to the terminals I could feel a tap in the starter (like it was engaging) every time the key was turned to start. 'Cheese' said this earlier:

I have also seen plenty of bad starters, right out of the box. They turn with no load, but won't turn the engine.

I think this has to be the problem (unless that voltage difference in the terminals raises any red flags). Is there a way to test a starter under load, or do I just go back to the parts store and demand a new starter? (I already asked for a new truck but my wife shot that idea down). Thanks for your comments and ideas!
Old 03-04-02, 07:16 PM
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If it's not a Ford reman starter, it's likely junk. Many parts store brand starters are bad out of the box.

Try another one and let's see what we get.
Old 03-06-02, 02:29 PM
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I was so sure I had a bad starter. After some arm twisting I got a new one from the parts store. In short, it wasn't a bad starter.

There is no reason this truck shouldn't be starting, especially since I can feel the starter engaging. If I didn't know better I would think the engine is frooze up, but it runs fine.

I admitted defeat today and called a mechanic to see if I could bring it in. After explaining everything I have done so far, he said he couldn't help me because I have already done what he would do. It's too nice of a truck to run off a cliff. I guess I am doomed to drive the mini-van to work every day. What a curse!
Old 03-06-02, 03:05 PM
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Have you changed the starter solenoid on the fender? Might have contacts that weld together after it gets hot and in use for a while.

If not, find another mechanic that is willing to look at the problem. It seems the first guy doesn't want to be bothered.

Ah, Ford, gotta love 'em
Old 03-06-02, 08:16 PM
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Try this.Take a set of jumper cables and use them to see which wire has a problem.Leave all wires attached as they are(the ones on the truck).Take one jumper cable end and attach it to the fender mounted solenoid (starter side, large cable attaching nut) and run the other end down to the starter. Try starting.Do this until you find which area has the problem.Your basically overlaying(bypassing)the trucks wiring.
Also take the jumper cables and go to ground terminal on battery and attach the other end to the starter casing,this makes sure the system is grounded(if it were to start by doing this then you have a ground problem and not a power side concern).
As far as your voltage readings,you shouldn't have more then 5 tenths of a voltage drop from the battery to the starter as a rule of thumb.Also make sure your small wire is on the terminal marked with an "s".

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