Question about 1986 Ford Ranger 2WD

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What happens when starter solenoid goes out? - 1986 Ford Ranger 2WD

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  • Ford Master
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You will get no reaction from the starter. complete solenoid failure on a starter is very rare. check any starter relays in the system. check ignition fuses including fusible link near the battery. Check that the starter wire to the ignition switch is connected.

Posted on Dec 26, 2013

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  • Ford Master
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Is that the solenoid mounted on the passenger side of the engine bay? If that fails, power will not go to the starter. Usually the solenoid is case grounded, meaning it must be tightly connected to the frame or fender where it mounts. The small wire on it should have power with the key held in start. If it does, and solenoid won't click or pass power to the starter by the large cables attached, the solenoid must be bad.

Posted on Dec 26, 2013

Testimonial: "what happen is i turned key to "on" position all gauges came on. when i turned to "start" everything went out instanly. now there is no power to anything as if the battery was missing"

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  • Bill Boyd Dec 26, 2013

    what you are refering to here is a starter relay. The solenoid is attached to the starer and engages the pinion drive on starting

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    Bill is right, it is a relay. But I thought those early ford starters (positive engagement) did not have solenoids?? Well; anyway, for losing power when key turned to crank, most likely a connection (battery, starter, ground) is loose or corroded. Check those first. Is your battery fully charged?

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    I have recalled some of this from memory about the typical ford of those years and how the ignition switch got power direct from the battery. Best I can recall was a fusible link wire connected to the fender mounted relay where the positive cable from the battery connects. A fusible link has an eyelet connector (like a ring), and may have a raised little rubber block on it, and even the wire may look funny, like bulgy-there may be two or three of these fusible links connected-they are major power distributors, one is for the ignition switch, one for the headlights, and so on. If you find these little critters there, or maybe in a smaller pigtail from the battery positive post connector. I mean if turning the key to start kills power, either that connection to the battery is not good or the connection into the ignition switch is not good.

  • Cary Hall
    Cary Hall Dec 26, 2013

    the positive cable is about a foot long and goes from the battery directly to the side of the fender mounted starter solenoid.

  • Cary Hall
    Cary Hall Dec 26, 2013

    its also a 2.0 4cyl. carburated engine if this helps

  • Cary Hall
    Cary Hall Dec 26, 2013

    after i turned the key to crank everything went out no lights noise crank anything. after releasing the key back to off turning it to anything accersery"on" or crank"start" theres no power to anything in any key position.

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    Yeah, 2.3 4 cyl., I remember that engine. Look for those fusible links. One should supply power to the ignition switch. Wire brush the connectors and get a clean solid connection to battery power. A small film of corrosion may cause high resistance to current flow.

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    If connection is good to the ignition switch, you could have a short in the switch, but a multi meter would be needed to get to that point.

  • Cary Hall
    Cary Hall Dec 26, 2013

    i just bought the battery and the cable heads there brand new. and its the 2wd ranger its a 2.0 4cyl. carburated not the 2.3 4cyl

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    oh, okay. I don't believe that engine was sold here in the U.S. You know us, bigger is the only better, some people never learn.

  • montehammons Dec 26, 2013

    One last suggestion. A test called a voltage drop test, just using a simple voltmeter, and checking each section of the circuit, each section of a live circuit should show no voltage drop or very little, well I think this test of your start circuit, or testing of the hot wire to the ignition switch at any rate may help you isolate the problem. That is after inspecting battery and relay connections for clean and solid. Don't forget grounds. A voltage drop test can be performed on the ground side, too.

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