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Old 10-15-2009, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Starter or Solenoid, how to test

I ran a search on this thread and got bits and pieces of a solution to starting problems. I have a '89 150-Supercab, 5speed, 5.0. I recently drove the truck to get a fill up of gas. Two days later I needed to drive it to work becasue I was needing to have some work done to my regular car. I jumped into the truck and ready to go to work, turned the key and it didn't turn over. I clicked a little but didn't hold it there. I thought maybe it was a dead battery, so I replaced it with my car battery, same thing. I even had a jump starter connected and the same thing, so I figured it wasn't the battery. It sounds like the starter is gone. But I read on some of the other threads that it may the solenoid either/ or/ and. I heard there is a way to test it by touching the screw heads with a screw driver or jump wiring of sorts, but I don't if that is to be done for either or both and how one eliminates the other if at all. I do know that I would like to get a new battery and replace the terminal wires, but that shouldn't have much to do with this particular problem because it started just fine before. If anyone knows the testing procedures, with pics or exhibits would be great. Let's assume that not everyone on the forum is mechanically savvy. Besides, I am a more visual person anyways, but I can follow directions. I need to get "her" running. I need to get her inspected so I can drive her leagally.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:15 AM   #2
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There are two large terminals on the solenoid. One goes to the battery and the other goes to the starter. Take a wrench or screwdriver and jump it across those two large terminals, this bypasses the solenoid. Make sure the truck is in neutral and the parking brake set. If the truck cranks the solenoid is bad. Do yourself a favor and get one from the dealer, I went through 6 or 7 parts store ones before I gave up on those. If the truck still doesn't crank then have the starter tested.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:20 AM   #3
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Thanks Sean, that is what I needed to know. I will try it and see what happens.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:43 PM   #4
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Ok here is what happend after doing the above. I found the soelnoid under the hood and jumped it as mentioned above. It didn't necessarily turn it over, but it did turn the fan and such. My concern it the engine made vibratory shakes and seemed to not have enough umph!! to turn over. The vibrating is my worry. I know it is a powerful engine under there, but something didn't seem right. I will take the starter in for testing, but is there anything else that I may need to worry about? As I mentioned, it ran fine just two days prior. I simply parked it and that was it.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:18 PM   #5
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Before you get the starter tested try cleaning your battery terminals, it's worth a shot.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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Well I done that the first time I tried to start it when I found this out. I had even swapped batteries, and tried to jump it off with a battery charger. So I don't think it is the battery. It sounds like a grinding but the vibration is there, I don't know what is up. I am going to get it tested and see.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:09 AM   #7
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Ok, here is what happened next. I took the starter off and got it tested at the Auto Parts store. When the tech connected it, it made some funny noises, shook a little bit then started smoking. All this lasted for about three seconds. It apparently set off the breaker. So I purchased another one. I had it tested on the spot just see what a good one was supposed to sound and how it was supposed to behave. I went ahead and bought the solenoid as well. I put them both on the truck....then I started the truck. It still didn't start...well at first then it did, then it didn't. Whe I first turned the switch, it sounded as though the starter was spinning but not connected to anything, i.e the fly wheel didn't seem to be turning. I released and tried again and it did the same thing, ...but then it caught on and started. I reved it a little, didn't put it in gear though. It didn't sound right, sounded like somthing was grinding. I turned the key off, waited a few minutes after looking around. I then tried to start it again, and it is spinning but not turning over. I don't know if there is a wrong way to put the starter on, I have taken it off and on a few times jacking with the tranny before. What does this sound like? I can't get it out of the parking lot to drive it to a shop. What should I be looking for now?
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:48 AM   #8
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maybe your flywheel is messed up???
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:26 AM   #9
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They gave you a bad starter, and testing it wouldn't show it's bad because the test only tells if the starter turns. The bendix isn't extending to engage the flywheel and when it does it sticks and grinds. Friggin parts store garbage parts. Watch, when you get a good starter in there it won't be long before the truck keeps cranking when you let go of the key. The cheap *** solenoids melt together internally and the starter won't stop. I went through 7 solenoids before I finally went to the junkyard for a good original solenoid. I made the parts store guy come outside with me while I threw in their solenoid and started it and it just kept cranking and cranking.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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did you put the wires on the right sides of the starter solenoid? sounds like the starters staying engaged
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:40 PM
 
 
 
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