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Starter died? Or solenoid? or??

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Old 01-14-2013, 06:21 AM
MackGuy MackGuy is offline
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Starter died? Or solenoid? or??

Got in my 90 F250 7.3 yesterday for a trip to Lowes, and the starter turned over a few times slowly then wouldn't turn over any more. I would normally assume this was a dead battery, but I have had zero issues with this truck having a weak battery and it had been driven recently. Also, I checked and the headlights and fan still worked strong. No "clickety clickety" when turning the key either like you would normally get with a dead battery (although I'm not sure if the truck does that anyway?)

It seems like everything I've worked on has had non-rebuildable starters with the solenoid permanently installed so if either died you had to replace the whole unit. On RockAuto I see there are separately listed starter motors and solenoids, and also you can buy the brushes etc presumedly to rebuild the starter.

So how do I determine if the problem is the solenoid or the motor (or both?). I thought the click click click was the solenoid firing but not getting to the starter, so does the lack of that sound indicate the solenoid?

It is a 23-24 year old truck and I have no idea when the starter was last replaced so it's not really a surprise, but would still like to get it back on the road for as little $ and effort as possible for now. May try to jump start it just in case it is a dead battery but that seems unlikely.

Also, on both RockAuto and Napa I see a variety of different starters and a wide variety of pricing. Some say Mitsubishi type and some say NipponDesno type, among other differences. How do I know?

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:47 AM
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mechelement mechelement is offline
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Go to the 2nd or 3rd page of this forum and find the thread I started about this. There are instructions what to do. I can't remember if you get no click when going direct to the terminal what's wrong and I'm mobile.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:24 PM
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most likely your starter.
here is a link to a set of videos of a good starter and a bad starter. you can tell good from bad by how fast it is or is not spinning.
Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums - View Single Post - Charging or drain issue
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:15 PM
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Your starter is shot just buy a new one.

The nippondenso style has a huge offset from the motor. It's a wonderful starter.

I suggest buying one.

DB Electrical - FORD TRUCK & CASE 6.9L 7.3L DIESEL STARTER F250 F350 1985-1994 HI TORK

I have one in my truck and it is fantastic.


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Old 01-14-2013, 11:17 PM
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Check conections b4 u buy any thing...at batts too..it should click at starter,have some one turn it over for you...if no click..use a test light to conferm voltage to the solinoid... they can burn up the contacts in side, over time good luck..
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:46 AM
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i burned the brush off in my old starter it wasnt gear reduced it was cold i didnt plug it in. -10f. ill never do it again 225 for a new one
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:29 AM
MackGuy MackGuy is offline
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I'm going to double check the batteries, after reviewing everything that seems most logical. Since it was turning over and slowly stopped turning over, it doesn't make sense to be the solenoid. Any starter I've ever had die worked like a champ until it died completely. Symptom seems most like the battery died down, though odd to not hear the clicking.

But the sound of that HiTork starter is nice... I have converted to "gear reduction" starters in both my 73 Porsche and 55 Jag with great results. $116.... I've never heard of DB Electrical, but that's impressive, quite a bit cheaper than I'm seeing on NAPA/Advance, though RockAuto has one that says it is made by mitsubishi that is an "offset gear reduction" for $63, and a few others in that price range. Anyone have experience with those?
online catalog

Also temp isn't a problem here... it was about 70F on Sunday when I was trying.

Should I have a fender or starter mounted solenoid? I see listings for both? Just thinking even if the batteries are the problem with the age of the truck probably not bad to start planning replacement of these parts anyway.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:44 AM
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your 90 will have a fender mounted relay, and a starter mounted solenoid.
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