Truck won't crank HELP! - Ford F150 Forum - Community of Ford Truck Fans

Topic Sponsor
Pre- 1987 / Classic Corner Have a classic Ford F150 truck? Want a classic? Discuss your pre-1987 Ford F150 truck.

Truck won't crank HELP!

Old 11-08-2018, 07:30 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Truck won't crank HELP!

78 2wd automatic 302. Turned the truck off and the next morning it wouldnt do anything, no clicking no nothing. Headlights are very dim when turned on. So far I've put on a new battery, new solenoid, new starter and new ground cables from starter to solenoid and from battery to block. Tried jumping solenoid with a screwdriver and still nothing. Any suggestions?
78supercab is offline  
Old 11-09-2018, 11:56 AM
  #2  
Bronco Guru
 
Steve83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Memphis, TN, Earth, Milky Way
Posts: 2,789
Thanked 333 Times in 305 Posts
Default

Stop replacing parts blindly. Find the problem(s) first. Do you have a digital multimeter (DMM)? Do you know how to use it? Browse YouTube for instructional videos, and make sure the meter's battery is good. It doesn't take an expensive one to learn on, or for such an old truck (very few electronics). Even this one does MUCH more than you'd need:


(phone app link)


When you replaced the cables, did you make sure ALL their points of contact were clean & shiny?


(phone app link)
Steve83 is offline  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:03 PM
  #3  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The truck needed those things anyway so i didnt mind replacing them. Unfortunately I dont have a meter at home, I use one daily at work but I'm not really sure what to check on the truck (I'm new to the vehicle troubleshooting world other than the basics.) And yes I cleaned all of the grounds. Any idea where I should go first?
78supercab is offline  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:09 PM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 74
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 78supercab View Post
The truck needed those things anyway so i didnt mind replacing them. Unfortunately I dont have a meter at home, I use one daily at work but I'm not really sure what to check on the truck (I'm new to the vehicle troubleshooting world other than the basics.) And yes I cleaned all of the grounds. Any idea where I should go first?
First check the battery ground, chase it down to the frame rail and perhaps take it off, clean and install. Basically what Iím saying is check that you have a reliable ground.
FjordsFords is online now  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:40 PM
  #5  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Update! My battery ground was originally mounted to my block. I decided to mount it to the fender temporarily for troubleshooting purposes and sure enough it brought my headlights back to life. Tried starting and I'm atleast getting a clunk at the starter now but thats it. Still not cranking. Is it possible ive got my new starter in a bind when I installed it?
78supercab is offline  
Old 11-09-2018, 07:03 PM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 74
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 78supercab View Post
Update! My battery ground was originally mounted to my block. I decided to mount it to the fender temporarily for troubleshooting purposes and sure enough it brought my headlights back to life. Tried starting and I'm atleast getting a clunk at the starter now but thats it. Still not cranking. Is it possible ive got my new starter in a bind when I installed it?
it sure is possible but as Iíve recently learned, you probably have a dead battery at this point.
FjordsFords is online now  
Old 11-09-2018, 07:20 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I thought of that too, but I put the battery in my daily (87f150) and it fired up strong
78supercab is offline  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:20 PM
  #8  
Bronco Guru
 
Steve83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Memphis, TN, Earth, Milky Way
Posts: 2,789
Thanked 333 Times in 305 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 78supercab View Post
And yes I cleaned all of the grounds.
There are about 40 ground points on the truck, so you didn't get them all. And I didn't say the grounds - I said all the points of contact for the cables. That includes the 12V terminals.
Originally Posted by 78supercab View Post
Any idea where I should go first?
Back to my first reply.
Originally Posted by 78supercab View Post
My battery ground was originally mounted to my block. I decided to mount it to the fender temporarily for troubleshooting purposes... Tried starting and I'm atleast getting a clunk at the starter now but thats it. Still not cranking.
That's not troubleshooting - that's CAUSING trouble. Don't try to modify the truck - especially the wiring - if you don't understand what you're doing. You've created a very high potential for a fire, and attempting to crank the engine that way could trigger one. Even if it doesn't, it can severely damage the rest of the wiring. Put it back the way it belongs, and fix the problem - don't make new ones.

Generally, your truck's battery cables should be routed the way this shows:


(phone app link)


For the block ground to work, it must be clean & tight, as these show:


(phone app link)



(phone app link)


Post pics of what you find on your truck.
http://www.supermotors.net/forums/th...-and-or-videos
Steve83 is offline  
Old 11-10-2018, 11:38 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
burnthelight88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 492
Thanks: 0
Thanked 20 Times in 19 Posts
Default

There aren't 40 ground points on a truck that old. You'll have block to firewall, battery to block, block to frame, possibly bed to frame. Smart folks add one from radiator support to frame.

Sounds like you have a bad ground since you're at the point of a single clunk. Fender isn't very thick metal, so its not the best ground, but apparently cleaner than wherever you had it mounted on the block.

While I get what you're saying about needing to replace those items anyhow, it only makes troubleshooting more difficult when you change 10 things at once instead of 1 at a time. So instead of troubleshooting to pinpoint one possible issue, now we have to worry about did you get a bad solenoid (common), bad starter (not quite as common) out of the box from the parts store. Original issue sounded very simply to be the battery or a ground. You replaced the battery, still not getting very far. Grounds are likely still your issue. Remove the fender ground and put it back on thick bare metal and secure it properly. Then put the battery on a charger for a little while.

If I was you I would put your original starter back on and return that parts store one, there was absolutely nothing that pointed to needing a new starter. If you decide to keep the new one against my advice, at least be sure that you bought one for the proper transmission, because they are indeed different between manual and auto in those years.

Last edited by burnthelight88; 11-10-2018 at 11:40 PM.
burnthelight88 is offline  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:11 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I finally have some time today to go outside and mess with it. I will update later today on what I find so hopefully this thread will help another newbie like myself one day, thanks for all the responses so far everybody, it's much appreciated.
78supercab is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Truck won't crank HELP!


Contact Us Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: