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Old 08-11-2009, 12:47 AM
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starting problem

Ok here is the problem. I have a 83 ford f150 4X4 with a 5.8L eng. If i turn the key over nothing happens no electric at all to anything and motor does nothing. but i can go out to the ignition solenoid and jump it and it will turn the motor over but won't start till i turn the key. Then after it's started everything seems to work. I have changed out the solenoid and the silver box under it not sure what that's called an electrical something. Also changed the key part and the ignition switch. I thought tomorrow i would try the ignition coil and the spark module. any one have any suggestions for me to try or ever run into a prob like this? I'm totaly stumped!

sorry for not totally knowing the names of things but i hope you can give a girl a break Thank you very much!

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:44 AM
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Neutral safety switch maybe. When you turn the key on and jump the solenoid it starts correct. If this is true and you say you changed the ignition switch, not just the key but the electrical part, then a good guess would be the neutral safety switch. They are easy to test if you have a multimeter. The 2 connections should be shorted while in park and in neutral.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:06 PM
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My first instinct would be to check and clean all the connections at the starter solenoid and the battery. Wire brush all the battery cable ends and hardware that attaches it to the solenoid, starter, engine and frame. Make sure all major electrical connections are clean and tight.

Next, I would check the fusible links (they are located on the ends of the main power feed wires at the solenoid - the medium size wires that attach to the big posts). They should be very easy to check with a good sharp test light.

Also, Ford trucks of this vintage were notorious for having ignition switch failures. I'd check the switch, or just go ahead and replace it if it's not too expensive.

I'm not sure how a neutral safety switch could keep anything but the starter from working (you did say you didn't have power to ANYTHING...right?), but you never know.

Hope this helps...

Joe G.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:41 PM
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It might not hurt to check the relays as well. I'm not sure where the starter relay would be in a truck, but it shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:49 PM
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Do you know where the neutral safety switch is on this model and possibly what it's suppose to looks like? i was told it was on the transmission and i found something like it on there but it was a nut with just one little post on the top. and we couldn't find anything at all that looked like it. the one that it calls for looks like a nut with a plug with 2 tips in it. does any one know if this has been up graded and i just need to up grade it? I'm beginning to think this really isn't the problem any way but still could be.

I'm beginning to think the solenoid i purchased is bad and possibly the ignition switch too. (don't know about oreillys everywhere else but the one here from what i hear is really really bad about the parts not being any good) because it still does nothing with the key. The key will turn it off but you have to turn the key all the way back like where you take out the key to get it to do it. but now it's got a new thing happening when we stick the hot batt wire to it it starts the starter and it just keeps cranking till we touch a piece of wire between the batt part of the solenoid and the starter part of it where the little red wire is. then we have to take the hot off or the starter keeps cranking. but it stays running (we at least know now the motor will run.

I also think the alternator is week because when it's running with the batt not attached and we turn the lights on it dies but when the batt is attached they turn on is that normal?

the comments have been very helpful and any more help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayleme
Do you know where the neutral safety switch is on this model and possibly what it's suppose to looks like? i was told it was on the transmission and i found something like it on there but it was a nut with just one little post on the top. and we couldn't find anything at all that looked like it. the one that it calls for looks like a nut with a plug with 2 tips in it. does any one know if this has been up graded and i just need to up grade it? I'm beginning to think this really isn't the problem any way but still could be.

I'm beginning to think the solenoid i purchased is bad and possibly the ignition switch too. (don't know about oreillys everywhere else but the one here from what i hear is really really bad about the parts not being any good) because it still does nothing with the key. The key will turn it off but you have to turn the key all the way back like where you take out the key to get it to do it. but now it's got a new thing happening when we stick the hot batt wire to it it starts the starter and it just keeps cranking till we touch a piece of wire between the batt part of the solenoid and the starter part of it where the little red wire is. then we have to take the hot off or the starter keeps cranking. but it stays running (we at least know now the motor will run.

I also think the alternator is week because when it's running with the batt not attached and we turn the lights on it dies but when the batt is attached they turn on is that normal?

the comments have been very helpful and any more help would be greatly appreciated.
Dont run the truck without the battery, you will destroy the alternator.
There are several different transmissions for that truck. I went to a couple of the auto parts sites and they have pictures but you need to know which transmission. Take a look at Rockauto.com.

If you are jumpering from the small post to the large post on the relay, it is working. Electrically that is the same thing that turning the key does
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:52 PM
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I already changed it and it didn't fix it.more money lost. Is there a way to bypass the key part to just put a push button start on it or something like that. I don't care how i get it started (it's gona be a farm truck anyway) i just need it to start.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayleme
I already changed it and it didn't fix it.more money lost. Is there a way to bypass the key part to just put a push button start on it or something like that. I don't care how i get it started (it's gona be a farm truck anyway) i just need it to start.
Already changed what. Why do you keep buying parts if you are not sure they are bad.

To answer part 2, tou could get a momentary togle switch with a 30amp rating and connect the wires one to the pasitive battery and one to the start terminal on the solenoid. If you do this make sure you fuse it with a 30amp fuse as close tothe battery connection as possible.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
Already changed what. Why do you keep buying parts if you are not sure they are bad.

To answer part 2, tou could get a momentary togle switch with a 30amp rating and connect the wires one to the pasitive battery and one to the start terminal on the solenoid. If you do this make sure you fuse it with a 30amp fuse as close tothe battery connection as possible.


Well the reason i tried changing the solinoid again is because it was $11 so i figured it was worth a try. I don't know what is wrong with it and i'm Just trying everything i can think of to get it running and that just seemed possiable. and i changed it before i saw your post. i've changed alot of stuff and still only about 150 in the hole so i don't think i'm doing too bad.

I still don't know why it's not running with the key probably something electrical that i don't know anything about but i did get it fixed. I just installed a push button and it started it right up. Also the lady i bought it off of said that it was over heating. but i noticed the thermostat gage was not working so i installed a new one of those and then i noticed that belt was not tight and not turning the fan so i tightened the belt. so now it seems to be running good. I'm so excited i actually can say i fixed it. Not too bad for a girl if i do say so my self.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:22 PM
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I am having the same problem with my 65 impala, not starting with the keys, but when i jump start it, it started working fine. Any idea?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:15 AM
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The Ford and the Impala starting systems look a lot different, but the basic design is identical.

60's-80's Ford - Solenoid is mounted on the fenderwell.
- Large battery cable runs from the battery to the solenoid on one side, and then to the starter from the other side of the solenoid.
- The starter activation wire from the ignition connects to the solenoid, but its only about a 14 gauge wire.
- When you turn the key it turns the ignition power on to the vehicle, and in start position it also sends power to the solenoid on the small activation wire.
- When solenoid is activated it provides a connection between the two large wires on the solenoid, which connects the starter to the battery and makes the starter turn over.
Chevy - the solenoid is mounted on top of the starter, but the operation is the same. Some folks switch the Chevy over to a Ford-style solenoid on the fender, since it gets the solenoid away from exhaust heat.

If there are points in the distributor there will be another terminal on the solenoid, which is used to provide full 12 volts power to the points when cranking. The starter with HEI ignition may have the terminal, but with no wire connected.

Basic troubleshooting
- Put a voltmeter on the activation wire and see if you get 12 volts when you turn the key to start position. No power - problem with ignition switch or the wiring from the switch to the solenoid.
- If no power at activation wire when in start position - use a small wire to jump between the activation terminal and the end of the wire coming from the battery. If starter turns over, then its working. If it does not then you may need a new solenoid. If it turns slowly or just clicks you probably need to charge the battery.
- Also check the connections at the large battery cable on the solenoid, especially on the Chevy where its under the car and exposed to road dirt. If this connection is loose on the Chevy it will cut power to the entire vehicle, since the large solenoid terminal is a junction point for the power wires running up to the fuse box.

Bruce
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