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98 Explorer won't crank. The battery is good.

hoard13

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December 28, 2009
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City, State
Coppell,TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Lost! My lights work and all accessories in Explorer. However when starting no crank at all. All I get is a single 'click' underneath the dash everytime I try starting. Not sure if mechanical problem or anti-theft system blocked.

Interior lights going out at starting, not dash. The click I hear when trying to start comes from near underneath dash. No click sound from relya or starter area.
Thanks
1/2/2009
Here is where I am:
- New battery. Checked all fuses. Switched out starter relay, nothing.
Tried to jump at solenoid, alot of sparks but no crank or starter spinning.
THought I read if headlights are good, and do not go out or dim when trying to start, that problem is in power to solenoid and starter.
At this point guess best bet is to check battery cables throughout. Checked connections for corrosion or loose, not apparent.
Open to any ideas.
Thanks
 
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chris92explorer

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City, State
grants pass, oregon
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 xlt
have you checked out your starter ? it could have went out on ya or could have lost a connection to the starter check you wires on the starter at the connection make sure they havent fell of or lose.
let me know if this helps im not a certified mechanic but i know a little...lol
 
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BrooklynBay

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Welcome to this forum! I've moved your thread into the stock 95-01 section. Check your battery terminals, cables, ground connections, ignition switch, starter, starter solenoid, and the starter relay.
 
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Pckid212

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1999 X Sport
Do they lights dim at all when you hear the click?
 
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2000StreetRod

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Year, Model & Trim Level
00 Sport FI, 03 Ltd V8
Pats

If the "THEFT" light is not blinking rapidly with the key in the ignition and switched to On then it's probably not PATS(anti-theft). On the 2nd generation Explorers PATS disables the fuel injectors but allows the starter motor to crank the engine.

The battery voltage across the terminals should be about 12.6 volts. If not, the battery is not fully charged or a good battery.

Try cleaning the battery terminals.

Check fuse 5 (50 amps) in the battery junction box.

Check fuse 24 (7.5 amps) in the central junction box.

Does the CEL illuminate when the ignition key is in the On position? If the CEL illuminates then check the starter motor relay in the Battery Junction Box. You can swap it with the blower motor relay.

Try selecting Neutral instead of Park to see if the starter motor will crank.
 
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GoneExploring

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City, State
Sugarcreek, Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 EB 4x4
I had this problem a few times with mine lucky for me it was an easy fix my lights and all would work but would not spin the motor especially when it got cold the problem was I had a bad deep cycle cell in the battery caused by a alternator that was going out. if it were me I would pull the battery out and have it checked at the local auto parts store first might be just that easy.
 
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hoard13

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City, State
Coppell,TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Interior Lights when starting

Do they lights dim at all when you hear the click?

The interior dome light and temp/direction lights strong prior to starting. When I try to start, those interior lights go completely out. Headlights stay on.
 
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hoard13

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Coppell,TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Interior lights going out at starting, not dash. The click I hear when trying to start comes from near underneath dash. No click sound from relya or starter area.
 
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Opera House

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Cincinnati, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer 3.5L base
I had this problem with my 97. Kept a paper clip in the vehicle and would jumper the two large terminals on the fender starter relay while the key was on. This only switches about 12A, there is a solenoid on the starter that switches the high current! Being cheap, I drilled the rivets on the cover and cleaned the contacts. A very strange light baby blue coating was on the contacts. Something l had never seen before.
 
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jremington59

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Watertown, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997, 99 and 2000 5.0's
Sounds like you have either a bad battery or a bad connection at either the battery or starter.

Is there any green on any of the wires or connections?
 
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hoard13

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City, State
Coppell,TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Checking on procedure

You mention if CEL illuminates to check starter motor relay. Is this done by 10. Swap Starter Motor Relay #6 in Battery Junction Box with Blower Motor Relay #9.
If so, done by just switching fuses.
Thanks
If the "THEFT" light is not blinking rapidly with the key in the ignition and switched to On then it's probably not PATS(anti-theft). On the 2nd generation Explorers PATS disables the fuel injectors but allows the starter motor to crank the engine.

The battery voltage across the terminals should be about 12.6 volts. If not, the battery is not fully charged or a good battery.

Try cleaning the battery terminals.

Check fuse 5 (50 amps) in the battery junction box.

Check fuse 24 (7.5 amps) in the central junction box.

Does the CEL illuminate when the ignition key is in the On position? If the CEL illuminates then check the starter motor relay in the Battery Junction Box. You can swap it with the blower motor relay.

Try selecting Neutral instead of Park to see if the starter motor will crank.
 
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2000StreetRod

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00 Sport FI, 03 Ltd V8
Relay vs fuse

You mention if CEL illuminates to check starter motor relay. Is this done by 10. Swap Starter Motor Relay #6 in Battery Junction Box with Blower Motor Relay #9.
If so, done by just switching fuses.
Thanks

The starter motor relay can be bad independent of the fuses. Replacing the potentially bad starter motor relay #6 with the good one from the blower motor location is an easy and quick way to check it.
 
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gijoecam

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Trenton, MI
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98 ExSport, '00 F-150
The quickest easiest way to check everything here is to crawl under it with a 12V test light or multimeter and check for power at the starter. Before we start chasing wiring or checking fuses, check the cable where it connects to the starter. If you've got juice there with the key in the START position, you need a starter. If not, you need to chase the wiring back. My money would be on a bad starter cable end or corroded cable at the starter.
 
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