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Discussion Starter #1
I have a short in my starter wire, not sure where it is yet since I haven't pulled it yet. Has anyone had to replace this yet? What temp rating would you recommend? It is an 86 GT

Thanks in advance
 

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I have a short in my starter wire, not sure where it is yet since I haven't pulled it yet. Has anyone had to replace this yet? What temp rating would you recommend? It is an 86 GT

Thanks in advance


WHICH starter wire?
 

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It's like a four gauge wire I believe.. Just get new 4 gauge or better wire, cut to size and put some lugs on each end and bolt it up
 

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meh
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If the big cable from the relay to the starter is all you need, its just a standard 60" 4 gauge cable.. Auto Zone has them, you can look it up by vehicle on their webpage, or they can look it up for you at the store. The Auto Zone part number for the cable for an 1986 5.0 is DW460B

I just have to ask.... What is it doing/not doing?

Just to be sure we're on the same page here...

The only wire going to the starter is more like a really long battery cable.. big wire.

One end connects to the starter relay (solenoid) on the drivers side core support, and goes across by the oil pan, then back to the starter.

The starter relay has 3 wires on it.. the + battery cable, the long cable going to the starter,and a signal wire from the ignition switch. The signal wire from the ignition switch powers the relay, which in turn connects the positive battery cable side of the relay to the starter cable side.

Make sure the car is in NEUTRAL or PARK... then take a screwdriver and connect the 2 large posts on the starter relay, and if the starter turns, there is nothing wrong with the cable going to the starter or the starter itself, but it is the relay or the ignition switch itself.

To rule out the starter relay, you can take a screwdriver and touch the post on the solenoid with the + battery cable connected to it to the small post, which is the signal wire from the ignition switch. If the starter turns, that signal wire is not giving power and the starter and relay are good. Its either the ignition switch itself, the neutral safety switch, a clutch safety switch, or a shorted wire somewhere in between.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, the large 4 gauge wire is the one I am talking about.

When trying to start the car you can hear the solenoid clicking so that is getting power. I tried a few weeks ago to jump the terminals but all I got were sparks so I figure short in the wire. I pulled the wire from the terminal on the solenoid yesterday and hooked up a multimeter to that and a ground. It had continuity between the two so its a garunteed short in the wire.

The thing that bugs me is the locations that the wire runs through. It goes through the suspension and quite close to very hot parts. Weeks before this started I had problems with the battery draining after about a day of not driving the car and intermittent issues where the starter would not turn.
 

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When trying to start the car you can hear the solenoid clicking so that is getting power.
That doesn't mean it's working, though. The main power contacts could be fried and not getting juice to the starter cable.

I tried a few weeks ago to jump the terminals but all I got were sparks so I figure short in the wire.
That...or a shorted starter.

I pulled the wire from the terminal on the solenoid yesterday and hooked up a multimeter to that and a ground. It had continuity between the two so its a guaranteed short in the wire.
Nope, that's normal. No continuity means the starter wouldn't turn at all when things are normal.

The thing that bugs me is the locations that the wire runs through. It goes through the suspension and quite close to very hot parts.
They aren't that bad, but can be easily improved with a bit of repositioning.

Weeks before this started I had problems with the battery draining after about a day of not driving the car and intermittent issues where the starter would not turn.
Top your battery off with a charger, then have it load tested.
Have your alternator checked, diodes checked, and load tested - a normal "output" test is worthless.
 

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Sounds like a shorted out starter. Same thing happened on my 89 Checked to see if it was the solenoid by conecting a jumper wire on the two main contacts all i got was sparks. Pulled the starter tested the started out of the car and that was the problem bad starter.
 

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My vote goes to a bad starter as well.. I just went through this **** last week. Every few days i'd fry a starter solenoid and be stuck somewhere.. I'd replace it and bam another couple of days later same deal. I found that the starter was the issue and haven't had any issues since replacing it.
 

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meh
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My vote goes to a bad starter as well.. I just went through this **** last week. Every few days i'd fry a starter solenoid and be stuck somewhere.. I'd replace it and bam another couple of days later same deal. I found that the starter was the issue and haven't had any issues since replacing it.
My starter has been acting strangely for about a year. Sometimes the gear on the starter doesn't engage with the flywheel and it just free-spins. When you let off of the key, you can hear it engage with a "clunk."

About a month ago the starter relay (solenoid) stuck shut.. the starter kept turning after the engine fired up, and when I turned the key off it was still trying to start the engine.

I opened the hood while the starter was spinning (I couldnt stop it) and whacked the relay a few times with a rock, and it stopped. I put a new relay on it, but I think my problem was that the relay wasn't getting a good ground. One of the self tapping screws holding it on the fender was missing and the other was almost stripped. I put a bolt and nut on it to be sure.

I'm guessing it would be a good idea to replace the starter before it chews up my flywheel...
 

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Well you should at the very least imspect the starter's engagement with the flywheel to see why it's not catching. You could be missing a few teeth on the flywheel or the starter could be shimmed too far out from the flywheel
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I forgot to mention that I did already replace the starter with a new one. And the relay is getting power to the output. I am 100% it's the wire.

When I pull the wire this weekend (weather permitting) I will take pictures of where the short is. I bought wire today and new loom in case it had been worn through.
 

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meh
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Well you should at the very least imspect the starter's engagement with the flywheel to see why it's not catching. You could be missing a few teeth on the flywheel or the starter could be shimmed too far out from the flywheel
The flywheel is not chewed up, nor is it missing any teeth. It NEVER grinds; the gears are meshing good and solid, just sometimes the starter gear doesn't move/pop up at all, and it just spins in place.

If it worked like a typical starter that used a solenoid actuator to push the gear up, I'd say the solenoid actuator was bad. But alas, Ford starters don't use a solenoid actuator to engage the gear with the flywheel. I'm guessing the bendix spring is broken, or is otherwise too weak to push the gear sometimes.
 

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The flywheel is not chewed up, nor is it missing any teeth. It NEVER grinds; the gears are meshing good and solid, just sometimes the starter gear doesn't move/pop up at all, and it just spins in place.

If it worked like a typical starter that used a solenoid actuator to push the gear up, I'd say the solenoid actuator was bad. But alas, Ford starters don't use a solenoid actuator to engage the gear with the flywheel. I'm guessing the bendix spring is broken, or is otherwise too weak to push the gear sometimes.
Take it apart, clean, inspect, & lube (or replace if needed) the starter drive (Bendix).
 
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