Help! The starter solenoid (fender mounted) on my 88 F150 sticks every time I start. I have to beat the solenoid to make it stop. I have tried the following with no luck:
1. I removed the small wire from the solenoid. (The wire from the ignition switch.) This does not help, so it is not the ignition switch.
2. I have replaced the solenoid - 4 times! I tried 3 from AutoZone and one from Ford. None helped.
3. I replaced the starter. Did not help.
4. I replaced the battery, and the battery cables - and still didn't fix it.
5. I disconnected the alternator (to check that the voltage regulator is not causing the problem) and it didn't help.
6. I ran extra ground to the engine and to the body - still does not work.
I am out of ideas. Someone please help me. I am thinking I might buy one more solenoid. Is it possible that I might have fixed the cause and the damaged solenoids were just a symptom?? Someone please help.
Hmm. doubt that it is a batch of bad solenoids. Possible bad ground?
#6 on the list should have eliminated any doubt.
I have a thing for using Ford parts because aftermarket has been junk too often. Hopefully the one solenoid from Ford was just a fluke bad part.
The cure for this one will be interesting to say the least.
97 Ranger (metric half ton) 2.3,5spd. Saphire blue metalic w/matching cap & Stock Rims 4 winter.
92 Town Car....Sweet PITA.
90 BII 4x4 Ongoing Project, aka PITA
63 Fairlane, Gone to my buddy Chuck.
It Aint Fun Unless It's Done The Hard Way!
Any chance that the solenoid is installed upside down? I saw one this morning that was. The batt/starter bolts should be at the lower part of the solenoid unit itself.
I worked on cars for years. I have seen solenoids all but smoke due to rotton starters, and still work. I've never seen a solenoid do what you are saying that was hooked up properly.
How many fusable links are hooked up to the batt side of the solenoid? The starter side? Is there one or two connections on this solenoid for the ignition switch connection?
I'll go to the dealer when I need something that no-one else carries. I've never bought a bad aftermarket solenoid. I've even used this style solenoid on garden tractors, etc. Its a simple relay that has proven itself for many years.
My previous comments come from not getting sleep. Cant believe I missed BOTH of your checks... It happens!
There is only one small terminal for the ignition. The relay is installed with the small ignition terminal at the top with the other two on the bottom - exactly how it came off, and exactly the same as my bro's Bronco. The only connection on the starter side is the starter wire. There are 3 fuseable links on the battery side.
You're right - I've seen these things take some serious abuse and still work fine. The starter on the Bronco melted a 4 guage battery cable without damage to the relay. I have heard lots of stories of the Autozone relays not working, but I really expected the one from Ford to work.
I think I am going to take over my bro's Bronco this weekend and switch parts until I find the cause.
Does anyone know if there is some heavy duty version of this relay available?
Is this solenoid the one with the round body on top and a square-ish body on the base where the big battery and starter bolts are? Is your ignition switch wire on the left near the bottom? OR is this a solenoid that is round and has bolts that stick out from the top of the solenoid as mounted on the side of the truck? I sure wish I had a camera to show what I'm talking about!
I think this solenoid IS a heavy-duty type!
Last edited by Holmesuser01; 06-16-2005 at 03:17 PM.
I replaced the solenoid again and now it works. I have only started 4 times, but it was sticking every time, and now it's not. I hope it is fixed. I guess something I replaced was frying solenoids. I'll probably never know what was the cause, but at least I replaced/upgraded a lot of things in the process.
When I got my '83, it wouldn't start. Owner was sick of fixing it, and gave it to me. It was the solenoid. He had just replaced the starter after it just wouldn't turn over any more. Old starter was totally cooked inside. Imagine how cooked the solenoid was...
I know this is an old thread . but it never really ended with a solution. I have a 87 f250 with 4.9. doing the same thing. This is my inlaws truck and he has replaced the solenoid twice. then the starter. when doing that it would start one time correctly and then the solenoid will stick. if you check it after disconnecting the post are connected. like it shorts the solenoid out permanently. I checked the ignition wire and it was hot with key of. ah,ha the ignition switch is bad. replaced ignition switch. installed new solenoid. hit the key and vroom. but the starter stayed running. pulled of the ignition wire on solenoid still running. had to disconnect battery to stop. and now this solenoid is fried. we are on number 5 solenoid . I dont think the solenoid are problem. it has to be something to do with amperage draw on circuit. thru the ground or positive cables. welll its dark going to check out tommorrow. any ideas.
According to my diagram(Chilton), these models use a fender relay along with a solenoid on the starter. There is a positive cable from the battery to the starter, and a cable from the fender relay to the starter solenoid. This is the same as later model set-ups with the PMGR starters.
If the starter motor drive(Bendix) sticks, it will keep the solenoid contacts closed and the starter will continue to run. Disconnecting the positive battery cable will stop it from turning. Disconnecting the fender relay will have no effect if this is the problem.jd
In memory of my beloved Sandy, 9/28/53 - 1/24/03
This forum is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Ford Motor Company and is not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company or its related companies in any way. Ford® is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company.