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Starting, and electrical issues.

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Kimk, June 22, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Kimk

    Kimk New Member

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    Hello people, first post here! Seems to be a good resource for information.

    I have a 1993 Explorer, and recently ran in to some problems. Yesterday i was out, drove a few miles, some offroading, all well, got home and parked. Today i was going to start the car, and it just clicks from the starter relay on right side, the starter motor didn't turn at all. "oh okay, it's a startermotor issue" was my first thought.

    Didn't know where exactly it was located so i first checked the connections from the battery to the relay, did some testing etcetera, the connections look terrible, but work.

    All of a sudden the relay stopped reacting to anything, i lost all power, not even the headlights turn on unless i "bridge" the two connections on the relay. Did i screw something up while checking connections ? Is this some common known issue?

    I also noticed my relay only has 3 connections, and others have 4, why is that?

    My current thoughts to this problem is that i screwed up the relay aswell, and need to replace both the starterrelay, and the startermotor. Am i correct? Any tips on this?
     
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  3. Bwana Bob

    Bwana Bob Active Member

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    Kimk:

    It may not be the relay or the starter motor. I had a similar problem on my '92:
    Accessories ran OK, starting relay clicked, but no starter motor action. I found that the + battery cable was bad. It looked fine physically, but there was internal corrosion inside the lead terminal lug where the +red wire connects. The way to test this is first check the battery voltage at the battery, then check the voltage further down the cable at the starter motor. If you have voltage under no load but the voltage drops to near-zero when you turn on the ignition or try to crank the engine, you have a bad cable connection. (I'm assuming that you have a voltmeter). My emergency fix was to connect a big jumper cable between the battery and the big + lug on the starter motor when I wanted to start the engine. I made a temporary fix by drilling into the battery terminal lug (the on eon the cable, not the battery itself) just above where the red wire enters the lug, then I inserted a screw into the hole an tightened it down so that it wild make contact with the wire. You can also cut the lug off an install a new one. I decided that the most reliable fix would be to replace both battery cables, though it was a pain, taking me 5-6 hours.

    If it's not the cable, the relay could be bad. You can try bypassing the relay with a jumper wire. The output of the relay is a small red wire that goes to a small push-on terminal on top of the starter motor to actuate the starting solenoid.

    I doubt that you damaged anything, unless you shorted something. Check the fuses and also check any fusible link wires.

    Make sure that the wiring is good and the relay is good before you go pulling out the starter motor. My starter motor did fail last year. After 243,000 miles, the brushes were so worn down that one failed to make contact with the commutator. The solenoid was fine. I found a replacement brush assembly at NAPA. Caution: There are two different kinds of brushes that are not interchangeable.

    I hope that this helps.

    Bob
     
  4. jackrussell

    jackrussell Member

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    Bob covered it all.
     
  5. Kimk

    Kimk New Member

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    Thanks alot for the tip. will try to "hotwire" the startermotor to see if it turns, that way i can rule out the motor as the problem.

    Only issue with your tip is that i currently have NO power passing through the relay, at all. Not even accessories work when i turn the key, to get any power at all i have to bridge the 2 connectors on my relay, the only reason for this i can think of, is a broken relay!? Ofcourse the cables can be bad, but that bad? It works when i hotwire the relay so shouldn't be cables?

    I will however try some things out and report my findings. Time to replace some cables anyway i think. :salute:
     
  6. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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  7. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    Usually if it's the starter motor (generally it's the brushes that have worn down and no longer make contact when the starter is engaged, hence the relay clicking but no starter action) you can tap/hit it with a block of wood or a rubber hammer, and if it works, then you know it's time to rebuild or replace the starter.

    It could very well be the battery cables, or even the terminals - if there is corrosion all over the positive terminal then that's a good sign the wiring itself is probably corroded and part of the problem.

    Even with corroded cables though, it's unusual for all power to just be lost. I would say check the battery as well, since low voltage/a battery that is going bad can also cause the relay clicking/starter issue, when the battery is so low that it doesn't even have the juice to just cause slow, tired cranking.

    The relay for the Explorer has 3 prongs because that's all the connections it needs. The 4-prong relays are for vehicles that need that extra prong for certain connectors. You can use a 4-prong relay, and just not connect anything to the 4th prong, but it's better to get the 3-prong to avoid weird stuff happening if anything comes into contact with that bare 4th prong.
     
  8. Kimk

    Kimk New Member

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    Okay so. Here's my findings so far, the "no power" issue was mainly due to my own stupididy and lack of knowledge on this car overall. I connected the cable that goes to the fusebox, on the wrong terminal at the relay. So thats sorted out now.

    I did get the xplorer to start, i did not do anything except for securing some connections.

    My best personal guess is that the motor is giving up. Will still try to "hotwire" it to see if thats the case, otherwise i'm almost certain that it's a cable/grounding issue. Cause some of the cables look just terrible, and i will replace them just as a precaution.

    I think this issue is sorted, i will however report back once i've tried the motor itself . Thanks alot for being superbly helpful ! :salute:
     
  9. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    Don't bet yourself up too bad on that. I had to double-check that area when I redid the cables. Everything goes on the forward terminal, only the thin wire that goes down to the starter goes on the rear one.
     

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