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Thread: Occasional no start issue

  1. #1

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    Occasional no start issue

    My truck occasionally will not start. It sometimes takes a few times turning the key before it will start. I thought it might be a neutral switch, but according to my service manual we donít have one. Itís a 1990 by the way. Any thoughts?

  2. #2

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    when u say it wont start....do you mean the starter doesnt spin the engine? This would be a no crank situation. The neutral switch would interupt the starter if it wasnt working correctly. Is this the same truck with the starion turbo setup? That would change a few things.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by crvtec90 View Post
    when u say it wont start....do you mean the starter doesnt spin the engine? This would be a no crank situation. The neutral switch would interupt the starter if it wasnt working correctly. Is this the same truck with the starion turbo setup? That would change a few things.
    When it happens it will not crank at all, so something is interrupting the starter. Thats why I thought it would be a neutral switch, but nothing shows in the manual. It only happens maybe 1 out of 10 starts. Yeah, its been turbo swapped, but I kept the stock starter setup. It just recently started happening about a month ago. I just haven't had a chance to work on it. I might take a look this weekend.

  4. #4



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    Possibly the ignition switch. And yea our trucks do not come with a neutral switch unless it is an automatic.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DroppedMitsu View Post
    Possibly the ignition switch. And yea our trucks do not come with a neutral switch unless it is an automatic.
    Oops, sorry for the confusion I was thinking of the "clutch safety switch" for manuals, but non the less my truck is too old to have one.

    I got home early today and went ahead checked out some of the wiring. The nut on starter for +battery was a little loser then I expected so I tighten it up and I cleaned up spaded connector off the solenoid. I also checked the battery terminals. Will see if this works.

  6. #6



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    The next time it fails to start, try rapping the starter with the wooden end of a hammer - there could be a dead spot in the armature that causes it not to spin. Another cause could be the solenoid not moving at all or not enough to engage the flywheel.
    Pennyman1
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  7. #7

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    The starter is fairly new about 1.5 years old. Its a lifetime replacement refurb, so hopefully the starter or solenoid is not bad. It really hasn't been an issue yet, since I can usually get it started after a few times.

  8. #8



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    On first gen trucks, there is a plug under the passenger seat. It has a loop connector. If it comes undone the starter fails. I have no idea why it's there, or what it is for. All I know is if it comes loose, the starter quits.
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  9. #9



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    That plug is the neutral safety switch bypass jumper - if the truck was auto, the neutral safety switch from the floor shifter would plug in there. I have had 4 lifetime starters fail in the last 3 years - it can be a bad starter. also check the ground lead to the frame from the battery - clean the frame, block and the cable tabs to ensure a good ground.
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  10. #10

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    Yeah, my '92 is doing the same thing. It has been since replacing the factory starter. Went through 3 or 4 starters in a week 'til we found one that would actually work (they made grinding noises and/or dragged badly). The last one worked, so we thought the starter issue was over.

    Then that clicking shit started. Not a continuous clicking, but a single click when the key was turned to the start position. After a few tries, it would finally start. We checked the wires, and cleaned all the connections and grounds, but nothing changed.

    We let it go, since we didn't want to play musical starters again, but it got so bad we gave in and put another rebuilt one on this past Monday.

    Just like before, the first few days were great, then the clicking shit started right back up. So, trust me, I know where you're coming from.

  11. #11



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    You can always put in a Ford starter relay between the solenoid and the ignition switch.


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  12. #12

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    My dad and I were thinking along the same lines. He mentioned how my grandmother's Datsun B10 was doing the same thing, and he added a starter relay to it (a Ford relay, I believe), and it fixed the problem. Of course, this was many, many moons ago, and it never acted up again, as I ended up driving it as a teenager until the frame rusted out. This may be the route I have to take, as well as turbomax.

    I thank you for your advice, sir.



    By the way, on a somewhat related note, does anyone know where I can get a clutch switch? Mine died years ago, and I tried finding one, without luck. I've gotten along fine without it, but I am curious if anyone knows where to get one, that isn't from a salvage yard.

    Sorry to keep jumping all up in your thread like this, turbomax.

  13. #13



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    what happens is the wiring gets just a little too much resistance in it and it can't make the solenoid kick in. You might find the problem on the back side of the fuse block. Water and dirt takes a toll on it.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stunner View Post
    Yeah, my '92 is doing the same thing. It has been since replacing the factory starter. Went through 3 or 4 starters in a week 'til we found one that would actually work (they made grinding noises and/or dragged badly). The last one worked, so we thought the starter issue was over.

    Then that clicking shit started. Not a continuous clicking, but a single click when the key was turned to the start position. After a few tries, it would finally start. We checked the wires, and cleaned all the connections and grounds, but nothing changed.

    We let it go, since we didn't want to play musical starters again, but it got so bad we gave in and put another rebuilt one on this past Monday.

    Just like before, the first few days were great, then the clicking shit started right back up. So, trust me, I know where you're coming from.
    Just curious, but did you make sure you got a Starter for a D50 with a Manual Transmission. There is a difference between the Automatic & Manual Transmission Starters. They look almost identical, but they are different.

    I ran into this problem with my '87 once, i ran an Auto starter in it (from a 904 equipped D50) with a KM145 5-Speed. Sometimes the truck would start ok, other times it would drag and make yip yip noises (like someone was kicking a dog). other times it wouldn't crank at all. Yanked the starter after about a year of that, and luck had it that i had a 5-Speed Starter laying on the floor beside it and noticed the differences. Sure enough the gear & nose were different and so was the travel/throw. When it wasn't cranking, i found that the gear was actually smacking the flywheel instead of engaging the flywheel like it should have.

  15. #15



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    Automatic starters are gear reduction type starters; that is why they are different size nose and gearing. They have the same number of teeth on the bendix, but the travel on the shaft is shorter.
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  16. #16

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    Every starter was for the manual transmission.

    We ended up putting a different starter relay on my truck, and it has cranked fine since. The starter relay was actually one off of a riding mower, if you can believe that. It is just a temporary solution, as we are checking out every possibility to find the root of the problem here.

    This past weekend, we removed the added starter relay, and bypassed the factory one. It cranked fine with no incident, until yesterday, when the clicking resumed. So, that only leaves the ignition switch, since it is the only thing left that hasn't been thoroughly checked, which will most likely happen this weekend.

  17. #17



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    Thanks for the update. Please tell us what you find and your solution.

    There is nothing more annoying then looking on other boards that describe a problem you have, then there is a couple of different answers but there is no fallow up by the original poster to say this or that fixed it.. I see it all the time on the computer forums. Aaaarrrrrr
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  18. #18

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    I haven't had any starting issues since I tightened the starter connections. I also cleaned a few grounds a week ago. Hopefully my starting issue is fix.

  19. #19

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    I hope that fixes it for you, too.

    Having a vehicle sit for a long time (in my case, roughly 8 years) doesn't help matters, either, especially if it's out in the elements. Rodents and rust, among other things, can wreak havoc on it. There's always some hidden problem, or potential problem, waiting to make itself known, it seems like.

    Anyway, I'll let everyone know what I find out on mine.

  20. #20

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    Sorry I haven't commented sooner with any kind of update; I've been busy with things, as well as being distracted by them damn video games. Anyway, the short version is that we believe the ignition switch to be the culprit. However, we cannot 100% confirm that until we get a new one. Money is real tight, so it may be awhile. An interesting, and somewhat aggrevating, side note is the clicking spells have stopped again, seemingly on their own. It's been close to a month since it stopped, but I'd be a fool to think it won't return. I'll update again when I can get the switch and install it, then again sometime after that, to let everyone know if the problem has finally been fixed or not.

  21. #21



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    so how about running 2 wires from the starter solenoid so you can bypass the key switch when it acts up. This will confirm the bad key switch or if it clicks then you know to look at the ground and + wire.
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  22. #22

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    That's a mighty fine idea. It was also an idea we kicked around before, believe it or not. I don't know why we haven't actually done it yet... I'll bring it back up the next time we work on it. Thank you for the suggestion, good sir.

    One of the other ideas involved a gallon of gasoline and a lit match, but it wasn't seriously considered. Yet. Nah, it's a good, little truck, but it has its quirks. We'll straighten it out eventually, or go insane trying.

  23. #23



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    Oh ya, check the back of the fuse box for crap. It can cause problems. I fixed mine by selling the engine and trans to mopar_ja. He has the time to fix the stock stuff. I need to build molds for the carbon fiber parts I'm putting on the truck.
    And if you havent already looked please check out our radio station. Link at the top of the page next to the search box. We are at 10,000 songs and growing.
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  24. #24

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    Will do.

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