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Starter/Solenoid Issues, PLEASE HELP!!

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Old 06-17-2016, 07:56 PM
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Exclamation Starter/Solenoid Issues, PLEASE HELP!!

So, this is going to be a long post. Just want to make sure I cover everything.


I have a '91 Ford Bronco XLT 5.0, it has been having solenoid issues. I go to start it and it starts squealing and the the starter won't turn off. I have to pull the negative battery cable to get it to shut off. I've had the solenoid replaced twice by my mechanic, they also put in a new starter. They pulled my alarm system the first time because they believed that was fusing the solenoid. The second time they not only replaced the solenoid, they checked the ignition actuator and said it was fine, they also checked the ignition switch and said it just needed adjusting. Well today I went to start my Bronco, haven't had any issues with the starter/solenoid for two months, and the starter wouldn't shut off again. I have no idea what to look for, or even where to begin. I have had issues with my mechanic before where they replaced my oil pan gasket for me and didn't tighten it properly so it started leaking oil all over again, they replaced my radiator for me- but in the process of replacing it they broke my coolant reservoir and didn't tell me and shoved a towel under the leak. I just don't even know where to start to find the issue.

Any input is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:53 PM
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The next time it does it to you, the wire from the ignition switch to the solenoid (red with a blue stripe) should be at the top of the solenoid on the passenger fender. Its just a push on style fitting if its still OEM, so pull that off and see if the starter stops turning. This will help narrow down the problem.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by masseysbronco View Post
The next time it does it to you, the wire from the ignition switch to the solenoid (red with a blue stripe) should be at the top of the solenoid on the passenger fender. Its just a push on style fitting if its still OEM, so pull that off and see if the starter stops turning. This will help narrow down the problem.

Thank you!! Will try it tonight when I get home from work
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:57 PM
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Oh I'm sure it will act completely normal now that we want it to mess up lol.
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FIPK intake, BBK TB, Dual redtops
Mean Green Alt, Flex-a-lite fans
Flowmaster Super 40, 31in BFG A/T KO's
81 F100 300 SROD 156,000 miles
Ummmm......Good Gas Mileage?
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:10 AM
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The ignition switch "adjustment" deal doesn't sound right to me. Apparently you replaced both of the usual culprits of this (starter and solenoid) and it didn't fix anything. I would be looking real hard at the ignition switch, maybe try a replacement and keep the original one as a spare until you find out if it was the cause. If the problem doesn't arise again in a decent amount of time then you can tell it was the cause.
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by masseysbronco View Post
Oh I'm sure it will act completely normal now that we want it to mess up lol.

I wish!! Because then I could pretend there's nothing wrong with it lol. So tried that this morning and it was still doing it as soon as I connected the negative battery cable, disconnected that wire off the solenoid and nothing changed.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:00 PM
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The ignition switch "adjustment" deal doesn't sound right to me. Apparently you replaced both of the usual culprits of this (starter and solenoid) and it didn't fix anything. I would be looking real hard at the ignition switch, maybe try a replacement and keep the original one as a spare until you find out if it was the cause. If the problem doesn't arise again in a decent amount of time then you can tell it was the cause.
Yeah I was wondering if it could be the ignition switch, I picked up one today and going to swap that out. I also picked up an ignition actuator, figured I'd pull it open and if it's that I can replace it today as well. Also, could it possibly be caused by a bad neg. battery cable? I ordered a replacement just in case.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by makenagillies View Post
I wish!! Because then I could pretend there's nothing wrong with it lol. So tried that this morning and it was still doing it as soon as I connected the negative battery cable, disconnected that wire off the solenoid and nothing changed.
Unfortunately that test proves that the ignition switch is not the problem.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makenagillies View Post
Yeah I was wondering if it could be the ignition switch, I picked up one today and going to swap that out. I also picked up an ignition actuator, figured I'd pull it open and if it's that I can replace it today as well. Also, could it possibly be caused by a bad neg. battery cable? I ordered a replacement just in case.
If the negative cable is beat up i guess it might pull to many amps & weld the relay contacts shut.

Simple test to see if thats the problem. Connect one end of a jumper cable to the negative cable at the battery & the other end to any handy spot on the engine. Make sure it cant get caught in any moving parts. If that solves the problem, replace the negative cable.

Some have said that a genuine Motorcraft starter relay will solve this problem. Dont know if thats true.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:49 PM
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There is actually 2 solenoids for the starter on our trucks, the one on the passenger fender, and 1 on the starter itself. Pulling that wire off the solenoid on the fender while it was grinding (and it didn't stop) rules out the ignition switch. If you have a multimeter (and know how to use it (feel free to ask) the next time it grinds check voltage on both sides of the fender mounted solenoid (big studs at 9 and 3 O'clocK). You shouldhave 12-15 VDC on one and 0 on the other unless your cranking the engine. If that checks out I'm guessing either your starter is bad, or the solenoid on it is, in either case you general just replace the starter. The only other thing i can think of, is that maybe your new starter didn't get put in with the same number of shims (if any) and the starter cant get out of the way once the engine starts and the flywheel is spinning on its own. Its hard to say without being able to hear it in person. It is also not that unusual to get a rebuilt starter that doesn't work correctly.
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93 Bronco EB 351 E4OD 205,000 miles
FIPK intake, BBK TB, Dual redtops
Mean Green Alt, Flex-a-lite fans
Flowmaster Super 40, 31in BFG A/T KO's
81 F100 300 SROD 156,000 miles
Ummmm......Good Gas Mileage?
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 87 XLT View Post
Unfortunately that test proves that the ignition switch is not the problem.
Yeah that finally clicked in my head after I posted that lol
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 87 XLT View Post
If the negative cable is beat up i guess it might pull to many amps & weld the relay contacts shut.

Simple test to see if thats the problem. Connect one end of a jumper cable to the negative cable at the battery & the other end to any handy spot on the engine. Make sure it cant get caught in any moving parts. If that solves the problem, replace the negative cable.

Some have said that a genuine Motorcraft starter relay will solve this problem. Dont know if thats true.

Thank you! I'll give it a shot this evening😊
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseysbronco View Post
There is actually 2 solenoids for the starter on our trucks, the one on the passenger fender, and 1 on the starter itself. Pulling that wire off the solenoid on the fender while it was grinding (and it didn't stop) rules out the ignition switch. If you have a multimeter (and know how to use it (feel free to ask) the next time it grinds check voltage on both sides of the fender mounted solenoid (big studs at 9 and 3 O'clocK). You shouldhave 12-15 VDC on one and 0 on the other unless your cranking the engine. If that checks out I'm guessing either your starter is bad, or the solenoid on it is, in either case you general just replace the starter. The only other thing i can think of, is that maybe your new starter didn't get put in with the same number of shims (if any) and the starter cant get out of the way once the engine starts and the flywheel is spinning on its own. Its hard to say without being able to hear it in person. It is also not that unusual to get a rebuilt starter that doesn't work correctly.

I unfortunately don't have a multimeter😔 I'll have to pick one up tomorrow
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:48 PM
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So tested the negative battery cable like suggested and it didn't change. Starter is still running. Guess the next step is looking at the starter.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:43 AM
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Ok I pulled the starter, and from the outside it looks fine. It's a remanufactured part so could just be faulty... It was getting dark so I just pulled the starter and didn't get a chance to look at anything else.

Here's a pic of the starter gear:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

And a pic I got of the flywheel:


Click the image to open in full size.
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