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Old    Dan Daron (ddaron)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-01-2010, 10:43 AM Reply   
have a 1994 ford f-150 v8 that won"t start drove to gas station to fill up got home then tuck would not start. No exterior or interior light no dashlights. tried a known good battery, check as many cable points as i could checked all fuses. got any Ideas?
Old    George David (gdavid)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-01-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
I would start by checking your ground. Specifically make sure that you have a good connection between the engine and battery as well as the frame and battery. An easy way to check this is run a jumper cable between the negative terminal and any good solid connection on the block. If you test for continuity with a volt meter it may tell you they are connected but it could be a week connection unable to carry the amperage required for starting.
Old    Dan Daron (ddaron)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-01-2010, 12:16 PM Reply   
already cleaned battery terminals. removed and cleand ground on frame. I'll try jumper cable to ground
Old    Dan Daron (ddaron)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-01-2010, 1:17 PM Reply   
tried jumper cable to ground got my light and dash back but still won"t start going to have the starter check at part store .
Old    Hammer (97sunsetter)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-01-2010, 1:36 PM Reply   
you said its a 1994, are you sure you do not have a wire that has rubbed bare somewhere that is causing issues. I would check all of the wiring especially anywhere that it is in a place where it touches the frame or block.
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       03-01-2010, 3:10 PM Reply   
If its not the starter it could be the solenoid
Old    Christian Barker (mcb611)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-01-2010, 3:19 PM Reply   
double check your starter, and all starter wires, spark plugs ect.
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-01-2010, 4:18 PM Reply   
It is not the starter. If your dash lights came on by adding in another ground your problem lies in the grounds. Run a test on all the grounds. Does or did the vehicle have an alarm system? Often they can be found under the dash in a bundle of wires.
Old    Hammer (97sunsetter)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-01-2010, 4:30 PM Reply   
Peter... if its a 1994 I doubt theres an alarm system on it, but there could be. If all the wiring is still good and not bare, it is most likely the solenoid, which is a nice and easy/ inexpensive fix.
Old    LimoTinted (ridininmd)      Join Date: Jun 2006       03-01-2010, 4:37 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_c View Post
It is not the starter. If your dash lights came on by adding in another ground your problem lies in the grounds. Run a test on all the grounds. Does or did the vehicle have an alarm system? Often they can be found under the dash in a bundle of wires.
I wouldn't rule the starter out just yet but you're probably right. I had a switched lead wire on my truck rub through and was grounding out on the frame. It cooked the starter although that wasn't the original issue, it was also causing weird electrical issues in the truck similar to the OPs.

Have you tried to jump the solenoid to see if the starter is good yet?
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       03-01-2010, 4:48 PM Reply   
By alarm system I meant aftermarket. Often people will take out the siren, and leave the rest of the system in place. Then the first time the battery goes completely dead or is disconnected the vehicle will not start. A month ago or so we came across a couple guys that needed a jump start. Turned out that was one problem, but the alarm kept it from actually cranking. Ripped the alarm out of the truck on the spot and away he drove.

Either way the first thing that needs to happen is the dash lights and head lights need to come on.
Old    George David (gdavid)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-02-2010, 5:46 AM Reply   
Is the motor a v8 or the inline 6? When I had to replace a starter for my truck in with inline 6 there was the following notice on advance auto's website about their rebuild standard starter for the 6 w/ auto transmission:

"INSTALLATION ALERT! This starter sensitive to high battery cable resistance; check cables to avoid mis-diagnosing a starting problem"

If your lights and accesories only starting working again after fixing the ground to the engine block then there is still a problem in the grounding of the frame (by frame I really mean body of the truck as this is where all of your electrical components ground to). If the ground between the engine and starter has been weakened for some period of time it is likely that the ground between the battery and body was overloaded and weakened. This could also lead your starter to fail. Taking a couple of hours to chase all of these issues might seem like a waste of time now but may prevent future electrical demons in the truck.

On mine I also ended up replacing the solenoid and their bottom of the line solenoid (the one they stock) was a piece of junk, it was staying engaged and continuing to crank the engine over after I released the ignition switch, only after taping the solenoid with a wrench would it stop cranking. I was pretty upset as it could have burned up my brand new starter. I returned and exchanged it for another one and it did the same thing.
Old    Rob Flaherty (mc_x15)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-02-2010, 6:04 AM Reply   
Alternator maybe.??
Old    Dan Daron (ddaron)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-02-2010, 7:58 AM Reply   
starter is good solenod is good did get the truck to turn over by directly applying power to the starter. found that the two wire harnesses behind the dash was burnt when I went to disconnect the alarm system. harmes connector totalyl shot. ordered parts thanks for all your help.
Old    Hammer (97sunsetter)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-03-2010, 1:18 PM Reply   
Good to hear you got it diagnosed. Thats 75% of the battle.

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