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Old 10-25-2011, 08:12 AM
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94 Ranger, 4.0, 5 speed man, standard cab, 2wd, 217,000 miles.

Upon trying to crank, it'll either crank fine with no issues, or it will just CLICK once and do nothing else. Everything power wise works when key is switched on - lights, radio, etc., but it might click or it might crank right up. Replaced battery, so that's new, but not the problem. All wires are good and tight. There's never a drag on the starter like there would be if it was a low voltage or power issue. Almost seems like some sort of connnection issue but I can't figure it. Did some feeling around and the top of solenoid that's mounted on the starter is a little loose, in that it will turn a couple of degrees back and forth on the solenoid itself. Not sure if that's normal or not.

Should I:

replace starter & solenoid combo?
replace solenoid?
replace starter relay fuse?

Is there any way to check any of these things to narrow it down more?

Intermittent problems just suck.

FWIW, usually even if it clicks several times, it will eventually crank. It's like rolling the dice every time. No indication, nothing common, no rhyme or reason. And jumper cables attached to another vehicle doesn't make a difference either.

I think it's either starter related or a matter of adequate power making it to the starter.

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Old 10-25-2011, 08:56 AM
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I had a 93 that did that sometimes and it was a weak corroded battery cable connecting to the starter. It seemed like engine roll put a strain on the cable and over time, the terminal connecting to the starter just failed.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:42 PM
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Check, clean, and tighten all connections first

Had a similar problem on my 93 ranger and on a 93 econoline 250.

Removed wire from starter solenoid and cleaned "tab" that the wire pushed on to with sandpaper to remove corrosion. This fixed the problem with both.

For a while, on my ranger, when it did that I would pump the clutch when the key was in the start position until the started engaged.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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I like the above suggestions, if they don't pan out, it could be a dead spot on the starter motor commutator, as the sometimes doesn't crank scenario fits that failure mode, if the commutator stops on the dead spot.

Be danged careful doing this, make sure nothing is in front of you & you have plenty of clearance, as the vehicle could suddenly start & move/lunge. Seeing as how you have a manual tranny, when it's in one of it's no crank fits, shift into first gear & rock/move the truck so that the engine flywheel will move the starter motor a little & see if it'll suddenly crank. If so, suspect a starter commutator or brush problem.

A repair shop can remove & put the commutator on a "growler", or do a continuity test & find out if it's faulty. A visual inspection will tell if it's worn brushes.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:33 PM
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Since you have a manual transmission, you have a switch on the clutch pedal mechanism that tells the ECM that the clutch is disengaged (clutch pedal pushed down). If this switch is beginning to fail, it can produce the condition you describe. There is also a switch on the transmission that indicates when the transmission is in neutral. If it is acting up, the problem you have may be caused by a failing transmission switch.

Some other possibilities for you to consider.
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