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'94 Starter Ground Wire?

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Yankee516, June 1, 2011.

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    1. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      Morning all,

      Ex is DOA with the "one click" on start issue that seems to happen so often on 1st gens. Towed it home (so embarrassing) :rolleyes: with the AWD last night and need to get it up and running quickly. All the cables are pretty badly corroded so I picked up new pos/neg cable sets and a new starter solenoid switch from Napa since they are a nice match to OE.

      On the site, Napa also listed the "Solenoid to Starter" wire as a separate item here. I'm confused as to whether this is actually the ground for the starter bolt, or meant for a different model.

      It looks suspiciously like the pic in my manual that shows a ground cable attached to the starter bolt, but my EX doesn't have one. I am the third owner of the car, so lord knows what was done to it before. If it is a starter ground, how is it routed and where does it attach to?

      Thanks!

      --Phil
       
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    3. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    4. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      Thanks, Tbars... I've read your thread a couple of times. The cables from Napa are great, but it is the third cable that has me stumped. Starter-bolted ground or not used?
       
    5. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...Not used in this application...

      ..I don't know why parts stores list that for the Explorers and the Rangers...The negative cable itself makes a connection at the battery, the frame rail, and on the motor just ahead of the starter..

      ..The bolts of the starter make the ground connection to the motor when the starter is mounted...There are other Ford trucks that use this set up though.
       
    6. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      That's what I kind of figured. And of course the Haynes manual only shows a second-gen Ex, and it appears to have a ground wire on the starter bolt.

      Thanks again for the help, and I really appreciate your write-up on the cables. VERY helpful! :thumbsup:
       
    7. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...No problem..:biggthump

      ...But if by chance you do develop the click, click, click after a few days, be sure to inspect the small wire going from the relay to the starter..I had a problem with the new cable and found they didn't crimp the eyelet..;)
       
    8. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      LOL! That is one of the first things I checked after reading your post. My problem started as a click...click...click then after trying to rehab the old cables it turned into a one-click. Don't think the solenoid switch is bad, but better to just replace it with all new parts and be done with it!

      I definitely don't want the embarrassment of towing it home again since it has been like car hokey pokey on and off the blocks. First the transmission rebuild, then back on the road. Two days later the rear brake lines burst, back on the blocks and on the road. Two days later the master cylinder went bad, on the blocks then on the road. Then NYS inspection had to do the front bearings, blocked and on the road again. Now, towed home again and up on blocks for the cables. All of this within 30 days. Neighbors probably either think I am a schmuck or super handy (or both), not sure which at this point :D

      A bicycle is starting to look good right about now... or a golf cart!
       
    9. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ...I vote the bike..:D

      ...Golf carts have cable and expensive battery problems of their own..:p:
       
    10. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      Thanks again, Tbars4! I just completed the job and couldn't be happier! Starts without hesitation, and the voltage at the instrument panel is solid! Unfortunately, after removing the passenger-side inner fender and replacing all the heavily corroded wires (3 hours, working purposefully and methodically) the one-click remained. GRRR!!! Darkness now, wait till morning and fester in bed.

      Thinking clearer in the morning, I removed the starter and connected it to a 12v source and nothing, so the starter motor and/or solenoid were shot. It looked to be the original starter (unless it was LONG ago replaced with an OE Motorcraft unit), with the male plug still on the solenoid unlike later replacements. What looked the most shot was the short braided positive line from the solenoid to the motor. Only two threads of the line looked like they were still connected and the rest corroded out. WHY OH WHY is this left to the elements instead of coated in a high-temp coating? Destined to fail by design is my only thought....

      I'd like to add a couple of items to your fabulous thread on replacing the First-Gen cables, but didn't want to add them at the end of your thread. If you think it is worthy, maybe you can update the original post:

      * Check voltage at the starter-mounted solenoid and starter motor (as documented in many posts on this site) to rule out cables vs. the solenoid/starter. If you don't, you may be replacing all the cables when it is not necessary, unless there is bad corrosion. If they were all shot (like mine), best to replace them first because they are eventually going to give out...and usually during the most inconvenient time.

      * Napa has the best cables for the job that match OE, BUT they also list a "Switch to Starter" heavy-duty black cable that is NOT required in first-gen applications.

      * Always remove the BLACK battery cable first, and attach it last to avoid shorts and sparks... which can cause fire or burn out electronic components like the PCM!

      * Remove the passenger-side plastic inner fender for easy access to the chassis ground and the block ground. If you don't, running the lines nice and tight is WAY difficult. There are a lot of screws and bolts, so make it easier by removing them and placing them in a pattern for faster installation.

      * Scrape off all the rust/corrosion where the chassis and block grounds attach, as well as all the contacts for the fuse panel and alternator.

      * Remember the orientation of the block ground attachment that retains all the wires. The bare metal strap retains the red starter and solenoid lines, while the larger black-covered one retains the plastic shroud that holds all the negative and positive cables following the chassis ground.

      * Re-aligning the bolt posts on the bottom of the air filter assembly with the re-mounted fender can be tough, especially since the bolts can recess into the base and prevent them from coming through the fender holes. Unscrew the bolt covering the filter housing, loosen the strap on the post-MAF retainer and move the whole assembly away. Then remove and unscrew the base of the air cleaner from the mount. Align the mount, hand tighten the bolts and reassemble the air cleaner assembly/MAF.

      * Most after-market starter solenoid switches mounted to the fender are four-posted. First-Gens use three, so follow the included instructions and do not use post "I".

      * Install the cables and cover each connection with Vaseline (including the battery posts) to help prevent corrosion.

      * If after installing all the cables (and verifying proper voltage from the battery) you still get a one-click there is likely a problem with the starter motor or starter-mounded solenoid.

      * New starters do not use the male pin connector for the solenoid power. Just cut off the connector and strip back the insulation and place into the new connector. Crimp down TIGHT the connector and then use a lighter or equivalent to shrink the plastic wrap over the whole connection to seal it. Might be nice to use electrical tape too to prevent moisture and corrosion.

      Cheers to everyone reading this for help, as the first-gen Explorers can hold up very well with the proper maintenance. I've found their reliability to be wonderful after 17 years...if you treat each problem promptly and accordingly, and Explorer Forum is the BEST community out there! Blessings upon everyone who contributes!

      --Phil
       
    11. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Offroad/Fitness Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ..Go ahead and add them to a post in the thread and I'll get around to updating it..;)

      ..Most of that stuff is covered in the first link "Click,Click, click" though..If you like that thread you could also add a +1 ( a new thing just added) it's found near the last post of each page..
       
    12. Yankee516

      Yankee516 Active Member

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      Thanks again! Yes, many are... I just felt anyone looking to do the job would come across your thread first and not have to ferret out info from deep within other threads.

      Cheers! :thumbsup:
       

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