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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 6/21/2003 10:40:18 AM EDT
My truck wont start. When I turn the key it either does nothing at all or at best makes a loud clacking sound. It did this 2 days ago also at the gas station once but then started up fine and has started every time since then just fine. I have been told it could be the starter, alternator, solinoid and one guy said battery but I know its good. Also sometimes I have to jiggle the key while turning it to start it. Both of these have just started recently are they related?
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:40:54 AM EDT
Replace the battery. Thats probaly it.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:45:19 AM EDT
Clean the battery cables, then see if it'll take a jump start. If it does REPLACE the battery. Even if you think its good. Some cars require say 600rpm at the crank sensor and if its cranking at 590rpm it'll never start.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:50:52 AM EDT
The battery posts are clean of corrosion and are tight and well connected. The day it happened at the gas station I got a jump but it didnt help anytried for 10-15 mins and nothing then we jiggled the wires on the solinoid thing and then it finally fired up so I dont know if it just took time to charge or what. Well when the wife gets home I will jump it and see if it helps. All the lights and radio and stuff work fine and the power locks and windows too. This is soooo frustrating!!!
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:12:09 AM EDT
What kind of truck is this?
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:22:40 AM EDT
It's my old very used 1988 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat Supercab. Over 314,000 miles on the vehicle but about 1/2 way through its life it had a 5.0 engine from a Mustang put in it and the transmission replaced cause my cousin blew and trashed the original one, but besides that I have the oil changed and new tires and brakes and tune ups and the thing has been a real reliable work horse and I replaced the battery maybe 2 years ago at most. I mean I have gotten way more than my moneys worth from it as it makes it from here in Tulsa to Iowa, South Texas, Dallas, Arkansas, Kansas and all over Oklahoma with no problems but for it now to start some times and not others just pisses me off. And it would happen the weekend my mechanics at the lake fishing.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:25:26 AM EDT
Turn on the headlights, and have someone watch them as you try to start. Do they dim? If so, you need a new Battery, if not you need a new soloniod/starter. You can do the same evaluation with your horn if you have no help.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:46:09 AM EDT
Sounds to me like you have a loose wire, or bad solenoid... That "clacking" sound you hear is the solenoid trying to close the contacts, and crank the engine... If it doesn't see enough amperage or voltage, it will pop open and closed... Every time it (solenoid contacts) pops open and closed, they arc and leave black sooty deposits on the contacts... Get a vlotmeter and measure the voltage at the battery before you jump start it. It should read around 12.2 volts if it's a fresh battery... After you jump start it, take another volt reading... You should see 13.8-14.2 volts WHILE it's running. If the volts don't go up after it starts, then you need an alternator... If they go up after it starts, then you need either a battery (If it won't hold a charge) or a starter solenoid... Check all your wires at the solenoid FIRST, as it only takes one crappy wire with corrosion to create a problem...
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:47:22 AM EDT
And I thought I had a lot of miles on my truck (67k) Well, if you can takedown an AR you should not need any mechanic to install a new battery for you. Try to get someone to take you to the store, get a quality batt and you will be ok installing it yourself. That is, if the battery is the problem. Goodluck [beer]
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 12:02:13 PM EDT
Thanks for all the good info guys. I can handle the battery if thats it but if it is more then I wait till the mechanics comes back cause if I tried to fix anything more complicated I would reall mess it up. If I have detailed instructions I can do anything but just to crawl under a hood and try to fix something I would surely fail.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 2:23:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dragracer_Art: it only takes one crappy wire with corrosion to create a problem...
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I had a problem similar to yours on a Ford truck and it turned out to be a bad battery terminal. If pushed all the way in, it would start. If allowed to vibrate around and come quasi-loose, the truck would not start.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:19:14 PM EDT
It's a good idea to replace the starter and battery as a set since on being weak will kill the other in a hurry. Mightaswell replace the cables too while you're there. They corrode internally with age. FYI, if the back of the alternator is magnetized it's charging.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:21:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SocomCen: Clean the battery cables, then see if it'll take a jump start. If it does REPLACE the battery. Even if you think its good. Some cars require say 600rpm at the crank sensor and if its cranking at 590rpm it'll never start.
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I dunno about replacing it if itll jump man. My battery died once over two YEARS ago and still works like a pro [:)]
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:32:23 PM EDT
I had a similar problem with my '89 Bronco. Turned out to be a short in one of the battery cables.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:46:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TrojanFan: Also sometimes I have to jiggle the key while turning it to start it. Both of these have just started recently are they related?
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I can't believe everyone started jumping on the battery and missed this. You have a popped spring in your ignition switch. What is happening is that you are having intermittent contact on the ignition circuit of the switch. Eventually (probably soon) that will lock up the switch itself. This is not in the lock cylinder, but in the switch behind it. Depending on the type of vehicle, it can be as simple as unscrewing a cap nut and moving wires to the new switch and reinserting (old model dash mounted ignition switch) to having to pull the steering wheel to access the switch assembly. Get a remote starter switch, turn the key on and try to start with the remote switch. It should start right up.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 5:43:07 PM EDT
The battery pegs the volt meeter off the scale. I have wiggled and jiggled the battery cables and such as much as possible but the clamps are tight on the post. I think the the las post sounds like an idea but then again I am not a mech. When I crank it the headlights and all other power source type features go out and then the clacking begins. And yes now it is to the point where the ignition is not wanting to turn at all and I really have to mess with it to get it to "unlock" so it will allow me to try to crank it.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:03:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:06:45 PM EDT
I'll agree with TC since everything is going out when you hit the switch. However, the switch could be shorting now. What you need to do is a load test on the battery. Make sure it is fully charged and then have Napa or Pep Boys or Auto Zone do a load test. It may be that the battery shows good voltage, but not have any amperage left. If it checks out and the connections are clean, then it is in the switch.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:15:11 PM EDT
If your truck will not start while hooked up on a jump, then it is likely the starter. About an 80% chance. However, most times the bad starter will not make that clack clack clack noise when truly bad. Check your cables first. Replace any that have oxidation. One time on an S-10 I simply replace the ground cable and the whole system came back to life after I charged the battery back up. I had the starter and new battery ready to go if that failed. Ed
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:47:35 PM EDT
If you can't get the battery to a place that can load test it, pop the caps off and try cranking it while you or someone looks inside the cells. If one or any of them start boiling, you've got a bad battery. It will show good voltage, but put a load on it and it goes to hell real quick.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 9:10:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TrojanFan: The battery pegs the volt meeter off the scale. I have wiggled and jiggled the battery cables and such as much as possible but the clamps are tight on the post. I think the the las post sounds like an idea but then again I am not a mech. When I crank it the headlights and all other power source type features go out and then the clacking begins. And yes now it is to the point where the ignition is not wanting to turn at all and I really have to mess with it to get it to "unlock" so it will allow me to try to crank it.
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Is this true, that while it is running it pegs the volt meter off the scale, or does it do it while it is not running? If it does this while it is not running, then I would suspect that you have the volt meter set on a low volt setting. Possibly a 10V max, or something to this effect. If the volt meter is set correctly on say the 20V setting, and it pegs it off the scale while the engine is running, then the alternator is bad. This indicates that the internal regulator is not working, and the altenator is free fielding (putting out max voltage). If this is the case, it has probably boiled the battery low and it is having trouble holding a charge now. Probably will need to replace both battery and alternator. If this is the case. Check the settings on the volt meter! Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:06:44 PM EDT
The starter solenoid,(black in color), which on eighties Ford trucks, was, I believe, on the right front side of the engine compartment against the right front fender sometimes doesn't work right on these. We used to take a Crescent wrench and give it a nice tap or two on my dad's '86! Then it would usually turn right over.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:06:53 PM EDT
now theres the guru. Tapping with a wrench instead of a hammer or piece of 2x4. Check connections. If you got a side terminal battery the cables can be on too tight and have pulled the terminal post loose. That's a hard one to find cause it's usually intermittent. You carry abig bunch of keys? you could be wearing out both the key and the lock/switch on one that old.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 6:54:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PaDanby: now theres the guru. Tapping with a wrench instead of a hammer or piece of 2x4.
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Yeah good idea hitting the starter with a hammers. Sometimes it will get you home or to a mechanic to save some towing charges. That is because the bronze sleeve bearings could be worn, causing the armature to rub and/or drag on the starter housing, when you give it a quick rap it will usually free it. Personally for me, I would jump it with another battery, and check the charging system according to Dragracer_Art. And then take it from their.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 7:30:54 AM EDT
1. Check and clean the battery terminals. then 2. Make sure positive and nagative connections at ground and starter are tight. then 3. Check battery. Make sure each cell is full and test to make sure it is putting out the standard 2.5 (±0.5) dcv. If not, fix or replace. One of these will solve your problem
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 8:29:51 AM EDT
You have a cable/connection problem. Check connections at solenoid and starter.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 10:31:46 AM EDT
the other possiblity is the negitive cable is bad. If I read correctly, your lights go out when you crank, then I would spend 5 bucks and replace the ground cable first. I have had 2 burn out on me, and cause the problems you describe.
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