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Intermittent no crank or click, what to do first

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Intermittent no crank or click, what to do first

  #1  
Old 01-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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Intermittent no crank or click, what to do first

I have scoured this site for answers and there are many but now I need some opinions. 2002 F250 with 7.3, 313 thousand miles. Got starter rebuilt by reputable place 3 years ago, about 50 thousand miles ago. Now I am randomly having a no response when I turn the key occasionally. Sometimes it will do it 5 times a day. The very first time I crank it after has been sitting it will crank just fine. If it is cold though and I have to let off the key it may do absolutely nothing starter wise when turn the key again. It does all of the other normal things that the key controls, radio, lights (lights do not dim when turned to start position). Problem is worse when it is cold. When it DOES start to crank it cranks perfectly. Batteries are good. Sometimes when it starts acting up I will have to turn key 100 plus times and then all of a sudden it will just turn over fine. If I let it sit usually when I come back and try to start it will fire right up. I cannot check the voltage of the wire to the starter solenoid because there is no one to help me and problem is so intermittent. I changed the starter relay in fuse box already, no change. From what I am reading it is either the ignition or starter. Which should I change first and how big of deal is changing the ignition?
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:14 PM
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I have had a similar issue. Last year, I was going to start the truck in 0 degree weather and same thing, no click, no starter turning, nothing. Long story short, I started the truck by jumping the starter solenoid with a long screwdriver. I ended up cleaning/tightening all my connections and I have not had an issue since. I was ready to buy all new battery and solenoid cables, but I have not had a no click, no start issue since I took care of the connections.
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:46 PM
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How do you KNOW the batteries are good? Load tested? If you put a charger on the truck does it start every time? Situations like this I start with the easy, cheap stuff. Batteries, battery connections, ground connections etc.
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:50 PM
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The starter.. Have someone hold the key to start while you gently tap the starter.
 
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:27 PM
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Make sure it is in park too. Perhaps wiggle the shifter when nothin happens.
 
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:02 AM
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If you have some sort of performance chip, which basically all 7.3s do, you need to pull it first. I had this issue once when my chip (which I didn't even realize I had yet) was loose.
 
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:44 AM
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A "performance chip" cannot cause a "No starter engagement" issue on this truck. The starter circuit doesn't go anywhere near the PCM.

If batteries or their cables were at issue, then there would be a noticeable change in something else like lights dimming or going out when the starter attempts to engage. This was not reported.
From what I am reading it is either the ignition or starter. Which should I change first and how big of deal is changing the ignition?

Maybe, maybe not. That's a pretty big guess. You might want to narrow it down a bit before getting out a wrench.

Auto or manual transmission (the interlocks are different)?

Have you checked to see if the starter relay in the CJB "clicks" when the key is turned to START but the circuit fails?
 
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:18 PM
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I will try to answer all the questions asked. I tested both batteries independently with numerous load tests, disconnected them from each other and from the cables to check. Both are John Deere Strongboxes which are best batteries Iíve cane across through the years. One is only a month old. Checked the cells independently, all checked out. Put in charger overnight and tried to boost with start boost with no difference. Tried going straight to battery cables with jumper cables and no difference. Tried starting in neutral and every gear as well as rattling shifter lever (automatic) m, no change . The truck does not have a chip of any sort. Had not thought about if the relay was actually clicking and just checked that now when had problem again.It IS clicking religiously every time key is turned to start position. Removed all other relays to verify that it is indeed the relay clicking and it is. I would think that rules out the ignition as the culprit. Today going to check all connections as well as examine cable ends and check resistance.
 
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:30 PM
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That narrows things considerably. You're now down to a fuse, the starter relay, the starter motor, or the associated wiring and connections.

1. Verify fuse F61 under the dash is not blown and is actually passing power (ALWAYS HOT).
2. Swap the starter relay for an identical noncritical relay.
3. Check for the application of battery voltage at the small terminal of the starter (in START).
4. Verify that the large cable at the starter is intact and is supplying battery voltage (in START).

If you get through all of that and everything checks out, it's the starter motor itself. You might want to crawl under there and do a visual of the connections as they've been known to rot off.
 


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