No start!! no crank. no click, no move!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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No start!! no crank. no click, no move!!


Active Member
November 2, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Elliot Lake, ON
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer Sort, 4.0L
well i just did a motor swap, same SOHC. so today i get in my truck to go to work, oh how convienient.. no start!

now, by no start i mean no cranking. what so ever. batter is fully charged, everything else works. this has happend before and it turned out to be a dirty connection on the started, but that time it at least clicked.
this time i don't hear the solenoid/relay's clicking when i turn the key. can hear the fuel pump turn on, and when i turn to start, everything shuts off as is typical for full power to the starter.

anybody have any clue what this might be? i checked and cleaned my connections at the starter and battery. no change. i tried to tap on the starter thinking maybe my starter is gone, and still nothing. i need help because i need my truck to get to and from work!

any input is greatly appreciated guys..


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oh and incase someone asks i will answer ahead of time. i do not believe the motor is seized as i was driving it last night, and everything was fine plus i don't hear the starter gear engage on the flywheel at all.

why do bad things happen in waves?

I assume then it has started a time or two since the replacement. I would still double check all your cables. Then have someone turn the key while you hold your finger on the starter relay in the battery junction box. If it clicks put a test light on the small wire of the starter and it should light up when you go to the crank position. If it does and the battery cable to the starter is good perhaps you need a new starter? You also might take a hammer and give the body of the starter a quick rap. Sometimes if the brushes are not making good contact you can get one or two more starts. Do not tap the solenoid, and do not smack the starter real hard or it might break or damage one of the permanent magnets.

Good luck.

Is it an automatic? did you try moving/shaking the gearshift or starting in neutral? Just a thought, in case the neutral saftey linkage is loose or broken.

to answer n0xdw's question, oh yeah it has started many times i have put about 1500km's on it so far it has ran perfectly not a sound, no problems since (other than this little gremlin)
the swap was done about 4 weeks ago

to answer jtsmith : the starter relay is not clicking. i am kind of confused at this? relays dont usually just die do they? and when they do, wouldn't they still make some kind of noise or short out something?

bak2school : yes it is an automatic. and yeah actually that was the first thing i thought of. my driveway is a big hill, and thankfully my grand cherokee was parked in front of the explorer (one lane driveway of course!) so anyway i put it in neutral got some roll going, rolled slowly tried moving through the gears, put it back to neutral. no start so i jammed it in park while rolling because at this point i was getting really pissed (and was late for work), the transmission was giving me some lip at this time. so i parked it on the road and i was forced to take the cheap cherokee to work !!! :rolleyes:

please save me guys.. :(

Yes-relays can die--but more important-how is the starter relay fuse looking?

It is listed in the chart as a 50a--

If the fuses all check out--let's try swapping the starter relay, and blower relay--just for giggles--

i just got back from trying this.. :( no luck! :( guys what am i gonna do. i refuse to bring it to a local shop because they will gouge me eyes out... any other ideas??

actually you know what? i ran over a little shrub last night, but it did go mostly under the passenger side of the vehicle (that i seen)
could this maybe have hit this neutral safety linkage?

actually you know what? i ran over a little shrub last night, but it did go mostly under the passenger side of the vehicle (that i seen)
could this maybe have hit this neutral safety linkage?

look again at the small wire to the starter--try using a pair of pliers to "cross over" the small to large wire on the starter--just to see if the stater will run--

Make sure the key is off, and the trans is in park!!!!

ok well i currently do not have access to my truck, i was at its bedside for lunch lol.. and checked those things, but i will have to wait another hour to do this test you are saying jtsmith. just incase, i ordered myself a starter.. hopefully my main branch doesnt drop it on the way to the skid!!! GRRR more hopefully, i get it running tonight!! PLZ GOD

well, problem solved. ignition switch, $16.19 for the ignition switch (not the lock/tumbler) i was certain it was my starter but now i have a new problem!! looks like i need a rack and pinion as it is just pouring fluid out of the driverside bellow and i got this nice wobble when turning at low speed and stopped
rack = $137.16 .. damn expensive

well Im glad to hear you figured out the starting problem, but sometimes when you start on one project you find something else, things like that happen to me all the time!:

if the steering rack is spilling fluid I would check to make sure my pressure lines are fitted properly, its quite possible one came loose or got fubared when you swapped engines.

replacing the steering rack is a BIG job

yeah im not worried about the expense.. what im worried about is what 410 fortune is warning me about.. the involvment of this job... i did have a slow leak since the motor was changed but it does seem like it is screwed due to this serious wobbling. and when i say its leaking, i mean its literally pouring out of the drivers side bellow and there is dirt stuck all around it.. it looks like one hell of a mess and i am currently at work so it is just eating away at me after the literally thousands upon thousands of dollars i have invested in this wallet buster!! i will have to crawl under tonight and see what is really happening because i don't want to change my rack if i dont have to. i do have 279,000km's on the clock though so i think there is a chance it really is gone

bak2school i know what u mean. i got all my brakes done, and right after the rear axle seals went.. ruined my parking brake shoes (brand new, had to take apart the rear end to do the job.... back in we go) new cv joints, all of a sudden i got this annoying whining comming from these oversized seals on the outer boot against the back of the hub. nice...

thanks for the opinions so far guys.. maybe i should start a new thread on this powersteering problem?

matt :(