I just bought a 1989 Ford F150 XLT Lariat with a straight 6. I changed out the spark plug wires this morning and when I went to start it I heard a pop and saw a puff of smoke near the battery. After this when turning the key I would get one click near the starter solenoid and then nothing. I hooked it up to jumpers and it would click coming out of the starter solenoid as long as the key was turned.
I put the old plug wires back in and replaced the starter solenoid and it started right up. Changed out the wires again and pop, same thing all over again. I don't understand how the wire and solenoid are related. I talked to the guys at the local store and they were stumped. Suggested either a battery or a ground issue, but the battery was fine and started first turn with a new solenoid, old wires, and no jump. Also had the idea that the distributor and wires could have been replaced with the wrong part at some point. When I put back in the OE cables there could be more voltage that is getting sent back and blowing the solenoid.
I'm new to F150s and don't have a lot of experience in general so I'm stumped as to what to do next. I'm leaning towards the wrong distributor but not sure how to check this and don't want to keep blowing out the solenoid trying different things. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help is much appreciated.