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No dash lights & still no start after new starter installed

mrau92me

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Hi. Need some electrical expertise. My pop-in-law has a problem with his 98 4.0L SOHC Explorer w/ AT. On Tues, the starter dragged a couple of times, then later it wouldn't turn over at all, no clicking or anything. Battery is practically new, but pulled it & had Adv Auto check it & was good. So, he towed it home & replaced the starter today (new one). Afterward, still no cranking with no audible clicking, but now the dash lights (such as CEL, alternator, etc.), radio, power windows, reverse lights, wipers aren't working with ignition in the On position. Things that do work are the head/tail lights, cluster illumination, locks, ant-theft light blinks (ign switch off), cig lighter, brake lights, which are all items that usually work even without the key in the ignition.

Here's what may be the key...when he reconnected the wires to the solenoid at the starter motor, he connected the large black wire (I think it comes from the battery's neg terminal) to the solenoid's terminal that the bare copper braided wire from the starter motor housing also connects to. If I'm not mistaken, it should have been connected to the starter motor's mounting stud.

Did something get fried? He had corrected the black wire's connection by the time I got there, but nothing changed. We've checked fuses and all are good. I think he also tried switching the starter relay in the pwr dist box with the blower relay but nothing changed.
 



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koda2000

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the large wire should be connecter to the solenoid stud and provides power to the starter. it's hot all the time. sounds like the starter was removed/installed with the battery still connected and that wire shorted out and blew at least one fuse. as suggested, check the fuses in the power distribution box. this is why you should always disconnect the battery when doing electrical work.
 






mrau92me

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the large wire should be connected to the solenoid stud and provides power to the starter. it's hot all the time. sounds like the starter was removed/installed with the battery still connected and that wire shorted out and blew at least one fuse. as suggested, check the fuses in the power distribution box. this is why you should always disconnect the battery when doing electrical work.

The battery was disconnected prior to changing...that's the first thing I asked him, too. Oh, and thanks thanks for your reply.

Which large wire are you talking about? Only 3 anyway...red, black, and a small yellow that goes to the small solenoid terminal. You have to pull back the sheathing to see the colors, but there's a red one that he did connect to the solenoid post farthest from the starter motor (pretty sure that's correct...matches my 94 Mazda B3000). The concern is the black one was initially put on the other solenoid post, which I'm quite certain should've been put under the starter motor's mounting stud, so is it that it shorted and blew a fuse. I was under the impression they'd checked all the possible fuses, but I'll recheck.
 






mrau92me

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Check Fuse 5 (50 amp) in the power distribution box. It provides power to the ignition switch.

I was under the impression he had checked most all the fuses. I'll double check this one.

Thanks for your reply?
 






koda2000

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the large diameter wire (large like a battery cable) should never go anywhere but to the large copper terminal on the starter solenoid. That's the positive feed from the battery. If he put that wire on a starter mounting bolt/stud and reconnected the battery, KA-POW, he sure as heck would blow a large fuse. No offence to your father-in law, but I find it's human nature not to admit to doing something dumb. did he see a large spark when he reconnected the battery? the small red wire is what energizes the starter solenoid when the key is turned to START. I don't recall where the yellow wire goes w/out looking at a wiring diagram. it probably feeds power back to the fuse box.
 






mrau92me

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It was the #5 50A ignition/starter relay fuse that Streetrod suggested. Thanks! I got the impression my wife and he had already checked that one.

Koda, thanks, but I ask that you read things a little closer. He had the large hot wire connected correctly and he up front said he thought he connected the black wire incorrectly and had already corrected it. He just was having trouble finding the fuse to check. He's 74 years old with cataracts and has had quad bypass and gets frustrated easily .
 






koda2000

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It was the #5 50A ignition/starter relay fuse that Streetrod suggested. Thanks! I got the impression my wife and he had already checked that one.

Koda, thanks, but I ask that you read things a little closer. He had the large hot wire connected correctly and he up front said he thought he connected the black wire incorrectly and had already corrected it. He just was having trouble finding the fuse to check. He's 74 years old with cataracts and has had quad bypass and gets frustrated easily .

Well, when you said "starter motor's mounting stud" I thought you were referring to one of the bolts that holds the starter to the engine... In any event, obviously something got shorted out and blew the fuse. That can't happen unless power goes to ground with the battery connected. Glad he got it fixed.
 






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