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No crank, no start... SOLVED/Thanks!

Post number 27 has been selected as best answered.

Mr. Alligator

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Ok, I have read the posts on this issue, but have not resolved this issue. I am out of State, and do not have access to a multimeter (yet). I am stuck.

EDIT: This may have started about a week ago, when turning the ignition key caused a complete loss of power in the cabin. Turning the key a few more times resolved the issue at the time and truck started and had full power. This sort of thing happened a few times. I thought this was a loose battery terminal, so I tightened the battery terminals.

Now, the truck will not crank at all. No apparent engagement of starter. No noise from starter area. When I turn the ignition to start, I do hear the fender starter relay click once, every time.

Battery has lots of power. Battery terminals are sound and tight. Battery cables have been replaced.

Truck has good headlight power, which is not reduced at all when I turn the ignition to try to engage the starter.

My first suspect was the starter. I removed it, took it to auto parts store, and test said it was good. So I put starter back in truck. Nothing changed.

I have tried to jump the fender relay with a screw driver, then by removing power cable and touching the single cable from one post directly to other post... result is minor electric sparks, but no crank and no noise or crank from starter.

I have also swapped the relays in the underhood power distribution box, and checked all of the fuses in the this box. Fuses looked good, and nothing changed.

Both the fender relay and the ignition switch are original parts.

Question: would favorable “test” at discount auto parts store rule out problems with starter?

Question: shouldn’t jumping the fender relay posts engage the starter, bypassing any potential issues with fender relay or ignition switch?

Question: any other thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!

@imp
 



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rasouth

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Sorry to hear of your troubles. You did not mention if it was an automatic, but there are a few things to check. Is the transmission in "park", are ALL the wires hooked up to starter, in some cases the brake pedal needs to be held down to complete the starter cycle, maybe a blown fuse (not a relay) check fuse panel by driver's door, I think fuse #24 is for starter relay. Hope these suggestions help. Good luck.
 












fast_dave

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@Mr. Alligator

Assuming you have an Automatic Trans.

You have good head lights that aren't dimming AS WELL AS no click @ starter solenoid when turning ignition key = try jumping the neutral safety switch - the next to last component before the starter solenoid/starter (One Unit Combined on 2nd Gen - solenoid sits on top of starter motor).

You could even try jiggling the shifter handle while simultaneously turning the ignition key.

If you had power going to a (bad) starter solenoid/starter, at minimum your headlights would dim - therefore - since your headlights are not dimming, you have a open circuit right before the starter solenoid/starter

HTH!

Also - I re-read your post a few more times and this thought occurred.

If memory serves me correctly, you've rebuilt your truck after hitting a deer.

Did you mess around the steering column inside the cabin?

There are two 10 or 12 mm bolts that hold down the power distribution block that the mechanical rod from the ignition switch runs down to.

If those bolts are loose, the power distribution block will be moving (when it should be stationary) when you turn the ignition switch

Again, just spitballin' and hoping to help.
 






EB4X

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I've had auto parts store test starter and say it was "good" when it was trashed....popped new starter in and issue RESOLVED.
 






Mr. Alligator

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@rasouth. It is an automatic. I have tried starting vehicle in neutral, and cycling and jiggling the shift lever while turning the ignition key to the start position. I have checked fuse #24, which seems to be the starter relay fuse because removal does stop the starter relay from clicking. Fuse #24 looked good, so I reinstalled it. All of the starter wires appear to be installed, and this situation began several years after the current starter was installed.

@cober Maybe, it still certainly is on the radar, although the Auto Zone tester indicated it was “good”.

@fast_dave . It does appear to be no power to starter, or that starter is using no power. I have considered neutral safety switch, and tried jiggling shifter lever through all positions, and will try the bypass as soon as possible.

@EB4X yes, you would think that any error in the testing would favor selling a starter, but that is certainly more and more of a thought.

Thank you all. I will win this battle, especially with your help!
 






fast_dave

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@Mr. Alligator

I've been doing an in depth search on a no start situation for you on my laptop (since I figure you're on a phone).

After the basics - battery voltage under load test, battery cables condition including inspecting for possible corrosion under the wire cover, checking the wiring harness down to the solenoid on the starter, swapping around the starter relay in the engine compartment with another similar relay, and checking all the fuses, here's what keeps coming up.

A) Ignition Switch Block on Steering Column

B) Neutral Safety Switch (also called a Transmission Range Switch)

If I recall your Ex has over 500,00 miles on it - have either ever been replaced?

With the last point in mind, and since you're on the road with no multi meter, and it's 4PM on the east coast Christmas Day, you may be at the point where it's worth it throwing in a new Ignition Switch Block and Neutral Safety Switch.

Just sayin' -

PS - When they bench tested the starter at the auto parts story, did YOU see if the BENDIX was tossing the toothed gear all the way out to the nose of the starter? The starter can spin like it's working - but all is dependent on the BENDIX throwing the toothed gear out towards the nose of the starter motor.

I don't know how old/experienced the guy behind the counter on the Christmas Day shift was - nor if you were able to watch the test in progress.

PPS - Just for fun - check the cabin passenger side firewall Fuel Pump Kill switch. The peanut gallery may say "wth does that have to do with a no crank condition" BUT I counter with "what the hey - rule out as much as you can. - and it costs $0.00"

PPPS - Some guy that is classified as an expert wrote the following - I'll throw it out there since you're stranded.

Place truck in park
E brakes on
jump the starter small S terminal to battery power
does it crank , no : starter no good
if it does
check neutral safety switch
check wiring
check solenoid
check ignition switch
check neutral safety switch
 






imp

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@Mr. Alligator

I've been doing an in depth search on a no start situation for you on my laptop (since I figure you're on a phone).

After the basics - battery voltage under load test, battery cables condition including inspecting for possible corrosion under the wire cover, checking the wiring harness down to the solenoid on the starter, swapping around the starter relay in the engine compartment with another similar relay, and checking all the fuses, here's what keeps coming up.

A) Ignition Switch Block on Steering Column

B) Neutral Safety Switch (also called a Transmission Range Switch)

If I recall your Ex has over 500,00 miles on it - have either ever been replaced?

With the last point in mind, and since you're on the road with no multi meter, and it's 4PM on the east coast Christmas Day, you may be at the point where it's worth it throwing in a new Ignition Switch Block and Neutral Safety Switch.

Just sayin' -

PS - When they bench tested the starter at the auto parts story, did YOU see if the BENDIX was tossing the toothed gear all the way out to the nose of the starter? The starter can spin like it's working - but all is dependent on the BENDIX throwing the toothed gear out towards the nose of the starter motor.

I don't know how old/experienced the guy behind the counter on the Christmas Day shift was - nor if you were able to watch the test in progress.

PPS - Just for fun - check the cabin passenger side firewall Fuel Pump Kill switch. The peanut gallery may say "wth does that have to do with a no crank condition" BUT I counter with "what the hey - rule out as much as you can. - and it costs $0.00"

PPPS - Some guy that is classified as an expert wrote the following - I'll throw it out there since you're stranded.

Place truck in park
E brakes on
jump the starter small S terminal to battery power
does it crank , no : starter no good
if it does
check neutral safety switch
check wiring
check solenoid
check ignition switch
check neutral safety switch
Good work! For general information, the Bendix spin-out type drive went away in the mid-60s. Gear is engaged by movement by a big solenoid now, a one-way clutch avoids engine-driving of starter upon disengagement, or stuck in engagement.
 






Mr. Alligator

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I know I am getting closer, and with lots of help. I will post the resolution when I have it!

Some things restore your faith in all of humanity.

God bless you all! Merry Christmas.
 






fast_dave

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@Mr. Alligator

Good luck and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I leave you now to start my Christmas journey, driving to "The Costanza's Estate at Boca Del Rio"
and hoping for a pleasant evening w/ family:cool:

I leave you in @imp 's capable hands.

Hope you're at least stranded around people you want to be around ;)

All the best,
fast_dave in the PRK

1k1kMF_0P18FpHD00
 






EB4X

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/\ LOL
The look on George Costanza's face is priceless ! ...says it all........ it's the same look as I got when I heard my front brakes start to make grind noise today ....:mad: ... we'll I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.....
 






Mr. Alligator

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@fast_dave Thank you again and have a safe and pleasant journey. You obviously went above and beyond to help a Brother. And I have no way to repay all of the kindness and thoughtfulness here. Thank you!

*****

I THINK I GOT THIS.... please check my logic here.

After chasing and considering parts all around (including removing the starter and having it tested as “good”), and considering all of your help, I tried THIS- I connected/jumped the positive terminal of the battery to the fender solenoid cable which leads directly to the starter. Electrical spark at contact point on fender relay, but nothing else. On and off several times. Slight sparkings at contact point on fender relay, but still nothing at starter. No sounds, no crank. Nothing. Just to sure, I also jumped the positive terminal to the other side of the fender relay. Even less. Nothing. (Cable from fender solenoid to starter is only a few years old).

THEREFORE... doesn’t this necessarily mean that the starter is bad? If so, I am going to remove (again) and replace the starter.

What say the wise ones here???
 






EB4X

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Wow....I thought your 97 SOHC had solenoid mounted on starter ...anyway yeah if with key on or off you put 12v to >>> "S" <<< terminal and if not cranking at starter it's either the solenoid or starter...since yours are separate.... jump the solenoid to rule out starter for sure....

s-l500.jpg
 






Mr. Alligator

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Yes, I believe the unit on the fender is called a relay, and the unit on the starter is called a solenoid.

I jumped 12v power directly from the positive terminal on the battery to each of the two larger posts on the relay. That should put 12v power directly to starter. Since the starter did nothing, I believe it needs to be replaced. Then hopefully that will resolve this, but maybe there are other issues.
 






EB4X

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Okay....I had read your statement here: " the positive terminal of the battery to the fender solenoid cable ....so I went with that...
So run a jumper to the S terminal on the solenoid (with key off so it doesn't start...just cranks) down at the starter / solenoid....
 






AdamW

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Ok, I have read the posts on this issue, but have not resolved this issue. I am out of State, and do not have access to a multimeter (yet). I am stuck.

EDIT: This may have started about a week ago, when turning the ignition key caused a complete loss of power in the cabin. Turning the key a few more times resolved the issue at the time and truck started and had full power. This sort of thing happened a few times. I thought this was a loose battery terminal, so I tightened the battery terminals.

Now, the truck will not crank at all. No apparent engagement of starter. No noise from starter area. When I turn the ignition to start, I do hear the fender starter relay click once, every time.

Battery has lots of power. Battery terminals are sound and tight. Battery cables have been replaced.

Truck has good headlight power, which is not reduced at all when I turn the ignition to try to engage the starter.

My first suspect was the starter. I removed it, took it to auto parts store, and test said it was good. So I put starter back in truck. Nothing changed.

I have tried to jump the fender relay with a screw driver, then by removing power cable and touching the single cable from one post directly to other post... result is minor electric sparks, but no crank and no noise or crank from starter.

I have also swapped the relays in the underhood power distribution box, and checked all of the fuses in the this box. Fuses looked good, and nothing changed.

Both the fender relay and the ignition switch are original parts.

Question: would favorable “test” at discount auto parts store rule out problems with starter?

Question: shouldn’t jumping the fender relay posts engage the starter, bypassing any potential issues with fender relay or ignition switch?

Question: any other thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!

@imp
Ok, I have read the posts on this issue, but have not resolved this issue. I am out of State, and do not have access to a multimeter (yet). I am stuck.

EDIT: This may have started about a week ago, when turning the ignition key caused a complete loss of power in the cabin. Turning the key a few more times resolved the issue at the time and truck started and had full power. This sort of thing happened a few times. I thought this was a loose battery terminal, so I tightened the battery terminals.

Now, the truck will not crank at all. No apparent engagement of starter. No noise from starter area. When I turn the ignition to start, I do hear the fender starter relay click once, every time.

Battery has lots of power. Battery terminals are sound and tight. Battery cables have been replaced.

Truck has good headlight power, which is not reduced at all when I turn the ignition to try to engage the starter.

My first suspect was the starter. I removed it, took it to auto parts store, and test said it was good. So I put starter back in truck. Nothing changed.

I have tried to jump the fender relay with a screw driver, then by removing power cable and touching the single cable from one post directly to other post... result is minor electric sparks, but no crank and no noise or crank from starter.

I have also swapped the relays in the underhood power distribution box, and checked all of the fuses in the this box. Fuses looked good, and nothing changed.

Both the fender relay and the ignition switch are original parts.

Question: would favorable “test” at discount auto parts store rule out problems with starter?

Question: shouldn’t jumping the fender relay posts engage the starter, bypassing any potential issues with fender relay or ignition switch?

Question: any other thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!

@imp
Hi. I have 00 xlt 5.0. Did same thing, took the starter, tested...the same thing. It turned out was the starter. To my knowledge the testing machine does not put the physical load a starter experiences. Got a new starter and works fine. My thought is the starter.
 






410Fortune

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these starters have their own relays so you have two starter relays
The fender mounted unit
and the unit on the starter itself

Sounds as if the starter solenoid on the starter is toast
I would pull the starter and bench test it myself

Also check your grounds, the starter gets its ground from the transmission (unless your truck has a dedicated starter ground wire) so the ground wire from the battery to the frame and engine are ALSO suspect
 






rgoltsch

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Ok, talk about timing. Same thing here. Except the truck is in a Bagel shop parking lot 😊

My step daughter is driving my 2006 Explorer. 4.6 L 130,000 miles. New starter about 18 months ago, 5000 miles ago (the kid uses it when she is home from college).

It’s 27 degrees here right now. She had zero issues starting up and driving to the shop. She came out and no crank. Hmmmm. Can’t be the starter, I replaced it last summer.

Try and crank it. Nothing. Not even the click of a relay. I brought the other key in case that was it. Nope. Tried wiggling the shifter as I started. Nope. Checked the headlights as she tried cranking. No change. Shining bright. Radio and blower all work ok. I checked the wires up top. Nothing looks amiss. I pulled fuse 24 as someone above recommended. It’s good. I swapped the starter relay under the hood in the box on the fender. No change.

I have AAA coming to rescue the truck and bring it to a trusted mechanic. If you guys have any other thoughts to try as I await the tow, I’d love to hear it. All your suggestions above were a great help at making it feel like my time here in my own Explorer (2020) were not a total waste.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.
Ron
 






CEJ_SoCal

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Ok, I have read the posts on this issue, but have not resolved this issue. I am out of State, and do not have access to a multimeter (yet). I am stuck.

EDIT: This may have started about a week ago, when turning the ignition key caused a complete loss of power in the cabin. Turning the key a few more times resolved the issue at the time and truck started and had full power. This sort of thing happened a few times. I thought this was a loose battery terminal, so I tightened the battery terminals.

Now, the truck will not crank at all. No apparent engagement of starter. No noise from starter area. When I turn the ignition to start, I do hear the fender starter relay click once, every time.

Battery has lots of power. Battery terminals are sound and tight. Battery cables have been replaced.

Truck has good headlight power, which is not reduced at all when I turn the ignition to try to engage the starter.

My first suspect was the starter. I removed it, took it to auto parts store, and test said it was good. So I put starter back in truck. Nothing changed.

I have tried to jump the fender relay with a screw driver, then by removing power cable and touching the single cable from one post directly to other post... result is minor electric sparks, but no crank and no noise or crank from starter.

I have also swapped the relays in the underhood power distribution box, and checked all of the fuses in the this box. Fuses looked good, and nothing changed.

Both the fender relay and the ignition switch are original parts.

Question: would favorable “test” at discount auto parts store rule out problems with starter?

Question: shouldn’t jumping the fender relay posts engage the starter, bypassing any potential issues with fender relay or ignition switch?

Question: any other thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!

@imp
I've had two different vehicles with starting issues that boiled down to no crank, both times I took the starter in and was told that it was good. The last one was on a Honda Accord, which would try to crank over but only click. When this one was on the test bench it was needing way to much amps to turn over but would work otherwise. IIRC, it was almost three times the amps needed when compared to a new one they had.
 



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C420sailor

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If the starter has a lot of years/miles on it and I go through the trouble of taking it out, it usually gets replaced or rebuilt anyway. If it’s a Motorcraft, definitely rebuild it.

Take it to a reputable electric motor rebuild shop. Those guys will be able to test and diagnose it waaaaaay better than that bs setup at the auto parts store.

You can rebuild it yourself, too.

Not so fun story. Last year, I went to replace the original starter on my 5.0. The bolts were done. Corroded to hell. Air impact took one out, snapped the other off. Starter still wouldn’t come off. Had to take an air hammer to it and break the flange apart—it was completely corroded in place. Then welded a nut to the stud. Fun times.
 






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