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  #1  
Old 08-28-2012, 08:35 PM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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97 f-150 starter problem

1997 Ford F-150 4.2L V6

Hello everyone. I need some assistance with and issue I'm having.

I got into my truck yesterday and went to turn it on. The motor cranked half way then quit. Now everyone time I attempt to turn it on all I hear is a click and nothing else. A friend of mine who is pretty good with cars took a look at it with me. He tested my starter with a volt meter and said everything seems fine. We proceeded and checked all fuses, non of which we found are blown.

We then focused on the starter soleniod. We were able to get the truck running by arcing the 2 lower big terminals. I purchased a new solenoid thinking that was the problem, however repalcing it solved nothing. Same problem is still present.

I have now arc the terminals to get the truck started 2-3 times in order to get to a shop. They spent all day looking things over and are pointing the problem to a bad starter relay. (i thought the starter relay was actually the same thing as the starter solenoid) Anyways they told us they have looked over all the diagrams they have access to and cannot locate the location of the starter relay. (maybe becasue its the soleniod?..)

If anyone can help me with this probelm I would greatly appreciate it. Maybe you have toubleshooted this same problem on this truck. I own a business and we are having a record year, however this is currently the only work truck i have (had) available. So now my business is basically closed until i get this problem resolved.

thanks again. any and all input is much appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 08-28-2012, 08:47 PM
vaper vaper is offline
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I'm not positive on the 4.2 but there should be a starter relay on the passenger side firewall that sends power to the solenoid on the starter. Follow the harness up from the starter and you'll find it.If that relay is failing you will not get signal power to the one on the starter.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:00 PM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaper View Post
I'm not positive on the 4.2 but there should be a starter relay on the passenger side firewall that sends power to the solenoid on the starter. Follow the harness up from the starter and you'll find it.If that relay is failing you will not get signal power to the one on the starter.
So now I'm confused. Is there a starter solenoid and a relay mounted on the passenger side firewall.

The part I replaced was on the passenger side firewall. It was called a starter solenoid. Atleast thats what the parts store called it.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:17 PM
vaper vaper is offline
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Yes,there is one on the starter as well,that is the one I thought you were jumping to make it start.If you are crossing the one on the firewall and it starts the one on the starter must be good.
Check for power at the small terminal (wire) at the firewall relay,the one that you changed, when you turn the key to start. If no it could be a problem with the transmission range sensor for automatic trans or clutch position switch if you have a standard, commonly know as the "neutral safety switch"
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:23 PM
vaper vaper is offline
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When you turn to start is the relay on the firewall clicking? if so it's not a "neutral safety problem"
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:28 PM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaper View Post
When you turn to start is the relay on the firewall clicking? if so it's not a "neutral safety problem"
I hear a click, I'm not sure of it's what I hear clicking. The small should have no voltage until the key turned to on position correct?
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:33 PM
vaper vaper is offline
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No, turned to start position,can you get someone to feel for a click at the relay to confirm signal to the relay when you turn to start? If it is clicking you are good from the ignition switch to that relay...if not it could be as mentioned above
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2012, 09:40 PM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaper View Post
No, turned to start position,can you get someone to feel for a click at the relay to confirm signal to the relay when you turn to start? If it is clicking you are good from the ignition switch to that relay...if not it could be as mentioned above
Ok the recap

If the relay on the passenger side firewall does NOT click when the key is turned to the start position then it could be a nuteral safety problem?

If it does click, what would be the next thing in line to check?
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2012, 10:59 PM
Bluegrass 7 Bluegrass 7 is offline
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Here is the starting lineup!
Beginning at the ignition switch in start position, battery is supplied to the DTR (neutral start switch at the transmission) then back to the start solenoid on the fire wall that has ground on one of it's terminals.
This bring up the solenoid that.......closes through.....a second high current path to the starter motor and it's 'contactor' with the ability to engage the drive to the flywheel.
You have a primary path which is a slave relay (on the fire wall) and a second path which is the high current path from the battery through either a fusable link or a high current fuse.
.
If you cross the firewall terminals to bring up that start solenoid and it cranks the motor, it says the solenoid is not getting battery through from the igniton switch and the DTR. The second circuit is good.
Try it both in Park and Neutral to see if one of the path works.
If yes, the DTR has an issue with one of the paths.
If neither one works, the harness or plug has a fault or the fuse is blown feeding the start function to the ignition switch.
Pull the plug apart at the transmission and inspect it for corrosion.
Find the fuse that feeds the ignition switch. Test it for being good not just look at it.
One of these points should be the problem.
Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:14 AM
projectSHO89 projectSHO89 is offline
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The starter relay is mounted on the firewall.

The starter solenoid is bolted onto the starter motor.

A relay switches electrical power.

A solenoid converts electrical power to linear physical motion.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2012, 07:23 AM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegrass 7 View Post
Here is the starting lineup!
Beginning at the ignition switch in start position, battery is supplied to the DTR (neutral start switch at the transmission) then back to the start solenoid on the fire wall that has ground on one of it's terminals.
This bring up the solenoid that.......closes through.....a second high current path to the starter motor and it's 'contactor' with the ability to engage the drive to the flywheel.
You have a primary path which is a slave relay (on the fire wall) and a second path which is the high current path from the battery through either a fusable link or a high current fuse.
.
If you cross the firewall terminals to bring up that start solenoid and it cranks the motor, it says the solenoid is not getting battery through from the igniton switch and the DTR. The second circuit is good.
Try it both in Park and Neutral to see if one of the path works.
If yes, the DTR has an issue with one of the paths.
If neither one works, the harness or plug has a fault or the fuse is blown feeding the start function to the ignition switch.
Pull the plug apart at the transmission and inspect it for corrosion.
Find the fuse that feeds the ignition switch. Test it for being good not just look at it.
One of these points should be the problem.
Good luck.
Thanks all this info. I was able to borrow a truck today so I can't troubleshoot this myself as I have to work. I forwarded this info to the shop hopefully they can figure it out.

I'll keep everyone posted. Any other ideas and pointers would be helpful.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:54 PM
vaper vaper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectSHO89 View Post
The starter relay is mounted on the firewall.

The starter solenoid is bolted onto the starter motor.

A relay switches electrical power.

A solenoid converts electrical power to linear physical motion.
The solenoid on the starter also serves as a relay switch to power the starter motor itself as well as pushing the starter drive forward,does it not Project?
Just curious I have never touched a 4.2
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:25 PM
travisb6989 travisb6989 is offline
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Ok so it seems that there was a blown fuse. I cannot believe that I missed this as I actually checked them with a meter myself. Must have skipped over it.

The shop also skipped over the fuse the first time around. The tech assigned to the truck had a fresh set of eyes look at it and he found the fuse.

Fuse replaced and everything is perfect now. Thanks everyones help. Luckly it was something simple and not costly.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2012, 10:38 PM
Bluegrass 7 Bluegrass 7 is offline
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ah hey travis, voltmeters work real good at detecting blown fuses.
Glad you got it.
Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2014, 04:15 PM
rsylvstr rsylvstr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisb6989 View Post
Ok so it seems that there was a blown fuse. I cannot believe that I missed this as I actually checked them with a meter myself. Must have skipped over it.

The shop also skipped over the fuse the first time around. The tech assigned to the truck had a fresh set of eyes look at it and he found the fuse.

Fuse replaced and everything is perfect now. Thanks everyones help. Luckly it was something simple and not costly.
which fuse? I am having the same problem.

I am probably replacing the relay on the firewall tonight...probably a waste of money but trying anything since I'm on my wife's side of the garage

I jumped the relay and got sparks.
I jumped the solenoid on the starter and got sparks....
I suck at electrical.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:15 PM
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