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The 98 explorer is equipped with a power surge system to protect internal vehicle wiring, what this means is that if there is a short in the vehicles wiring the alternator will disengage. A way to tell if it is faulty wiring is to pull all the fuses out of the fuse block and try to start it if the engine turns over the problem is internal wiring. If not then you have to put all the fuses back.
starter? New battery drained = something is still powered, open/short. new ign switch and steering won't lock = something was not put together right and the ignition is staying on and draining the battery.
many things will cause no start problems could have faulty ignition switch.use test light see if power going to starter if not check ignition fuse to starter.if power going to starter, more likely starter solenoid or starter faulty.if ignition fuse okay and starter and solenoid okay still no start problem could be in the ignition switch or inhibitor switch faulty.code scan for faulty theft security system which will also cause no start conditions.
this could be as simple as a bad battery have you tryed to jump start it? if you try and that dosent work make sure you have power going to the starter with jumper cables on the battery. it should at the very least make a clicking sound while trying to start it check the battery posts also make sure they are clean and if it does click give it a minute and try starting it again.[ dont take the cables off the battery while waiting] the fact the starter doesent even click when you try to start it tells me no power to it or bad starter remember just because its new dosent mean it works i cant tell you how many times i have put somethig on a car and had to take it back off because it didnt work from the boxx new. and make sure the starter wires are tight and clean. if no clicking and you have power to starter then starter is bad.. i hope this helps..