Question about 1993 Ford Explorer Limited

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I have a 1993 ford explorer, every time i turn the ke to the run position, it blows the ignition 60amp maxi fuse under the hood. The first time this happened, I replaced the fuse and the SUV ran fine for a day or so. After i drove over a fairly lage bump the fuse blew again. Now the fuse blows everytime the key is turned on. I've replaced the fuse about 15 times, checking different components on the ignition system (unpluging coil pack, ignition module, and other accessories that get power when the key is turned, also the starter, altenator, pretty much every thing i could think of). What's next? I know there has to be a short somewhere to blow a fuse like that. I have replaced the ignition switch, didn't help. What could be the problem with my Ford?

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  • 6 more comments 
  • RaneyAPPL Mar 20, 2011

    thanks for the headlight theory, that will save a lot in those fuses. let me try that and get back you. i have searched all the wires and the diconnetct block between the engine compartment and the firewall, nothing like a bare wire. what size wire do you mean by heavy wire?

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 20, 2011

    Ok ive got the head light rigged up and i get bright light when ignition ist turned to start also, any tips?

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks HANS, Ive found two red wires with a green stripe on them coming out of the ignition switch. When I disconnect them from the switch, the headlight stays on dim. What do these wires go to and should they have continuity between them? Thanks again

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 21, 2011

    the wires go to two different spots. One goes to the main diconnect block between the fire wall and engine compartment. The other goes to the fuse panel under the dash. They both have continuity to earth(ground). I am replacing the wires, following them from start to finish, to see if that fixes it. I now have the dash all the way out. with them unhooked everything works but the starting of the motor. ie wipers, windows, locks etc...

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 22, 2011

    Thanks HANSPP, Ill follow the other wire to see where it leads. Ive unhooked the alternator (all but the large ppower wire) still does same thing. Do i need to unhook the big wire from it also?

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 23, 2011

    Ok the alternator is not the problem, every thing unhooked and light still goes bright. I also have the dash gauge cluster out, and all the swithcheson the dash undone. When I look at the under hood fuse box, in the location of the blowing fuse, the wire that is grounding out when ignition is turned or turned to start, is a larger yellow wire. As far as i can tell the wire goes back to the main disconnect box on the firewall. I have continuity from one end to the other. I do not have continuity to earth (Ground) at either end of the wire under the hood. P.S. I've also undone each of the relays and the light still goes bright. I really apreciate your help.

  • RaneyAPPL Mar 24, 2011

    Sorry I had to take a break from that truck. It's been frustrating me to no end. Ok 've undone everything from the alternator, and still bright light. Also I've taken the dash all the way out and disconnected all accessories, still bright light. Under the hood, the yellow wire going to the 60 amp fuse is grounding out when ignition is turned on or trying to start. Followed the yellow wire and found it to go into the main disconnect block on the firewall. I have continuity between both ends of the yellow wire from the fuse box to the disconnect block, but neither end of the wire has continuity to ground untill the ignition is turned on. Any other help would be greatly appreciated. BY the way the headlight idea is awesome. I've saved probably $100 in fuses, thanks so much.

  • RaneyAPPL Apr 24, 2011

    HansPP, thank you for all for all you're help. It turned out to be the wires that run down the passenger side of the engine block. They were shorting out against the exhaust manifold. Again, thanks so much.

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  • 2,510 Answers

To blow a 60 amp fuse the short must be along a rather heavy wire, otherwise the wire would burn. The starter would not be the problem because it draws much more than 60 amps. If it blows in the run position the solenoid is also not suspect as that is only powered when the start is selected. Try follow the harness from the ignition switch down the column and through the firewall to the fuse box. Check where the harness goes through the firewall and any other metal parts, looking for damaged grommets and wires chaffed on bare metal. Disconnect the alternator wires as well and see if the fuse still blows. To save yourself the cost of all those fuses, make up a test light using an old headlight bulb (it must be a big bulb) and connect that in the place of the fuse. If it burns bright you have a short, if it is dull you are drawing a low current which is what you want to see.

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

  • 4 more comments 
  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Mar 21, 2011

    A "heavy" wire would be one with a cross section of about 1/8" with insulation. With the headlight bulb connected, you now need to work through your electrical system until the bulb goes dim, that is of course with everything possible turned off, except the ignition on 'run'.

    The 'bare' wire need not actually be bare as such, it needs just a cut through the insulation that is contacting ground to cause a short.

    I actually went to sleep last night mulling over this problem. It has to be somewhere before the fuse box or else the circuit concerned fuse would blow. Circuits that are not fuse protected are, the starter and solenoid and the radiator fan - if electric and the alternator. I was thinking along the lines of a diode grounded there, hence the suggestion of disconnecting the alternator. I am not sure on which side of the fuses the relays are connected, it may pay you to try pulling the relays one by one to see if you can get the light to dim. If you can, systematically disconnect any switches on the steering column or the dash. This may isolate the problem.

    Sorry if this sounds like fishing, but it is and is about the only way to do a systematic trouble shooting. Come back to me with your findings, good or bad and let's see what happens. Good luck. HANS

  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Mar 21, 2011

    Sorry this is taking so long. I cannot find a wiring diagram for your vehicle, so we will have to do some more scratching. Are the wires live - do you measure 12 volts on them or do you get continuity to earth. If there is continuity to earth, you will have to trace the wires to where they go, unfortunately it is not at all impossible that they branch off and change colours. Also check if there is anything not working with these wires disconnected - if anything is working at all. Come back to me, I will check for you an about three hours again. Good luck.

  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Mar 22, 2011

    As I later thought, the wires you have disconnected must be the main switched wires to the whole car. If the one going to the fuse box is not shorted anywhere up to the fuse box (and the positive tracks in the fuse box are not shorted, the can safely assume that that wire is clean. The other one could run to the starter solenoid and also pick up the alternator charge wire to feed back to the battery? Concentrate on that wire now, and see if there is a wire that runs back to the alternator as mentioned before. I hate this running around trying to find a fault over what could be about 10 000 miles, but let's keep at it. we will get it beat.

  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Mar 22, 2011

    Yes, undo that one too, it might show up a faulty diode in the diode stack in the alternator. If that fails, I think we need to replace those two wires in the ignition switch and look if any other wire's removal makes the light go dim. I will check the site again in about two hours time in case you have posted a reply.

  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Mar 25, 2011

    I am at a loss now and probably as frustrated as your are. It can really only be that yellow wire. I think you need to trace every inch of that wire and see where it runs to ground. (you still have the starter and solenoid disconnected although the starter does not run through the 60 amp fuse, the solenoid should. Keep me posted and sorry for the long delays. Keep well.

  • Hans Pearson
    Hans Pearson Apr 24, 2011

    Hope you come to look for this. Well done, glad you found your problem, just sorry that it could not have been quicker. There are so many things that could be the problem that all we can really do is try steer you in a direction that will result in a solution. Regards, HANS

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