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starter problems w/'90 F250

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by snowleopard, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,494
    Hello again,

    So she's got new-ish tires, and has hauled a few loads of water successfully, and I need her to get some wood moved this weekend, but she's not starting.

    I have had trouble with getting the truck to start twice, and both times it was after I backed to position it to dump a tank of water. That might be coincidence, but I'm throwing in all the clues I can think of. There's a lot of play in the pernundle, so I thought perhaps it might not be engaging the ignition switch just right. When I tried to start it, I'd get a high-pitched, expensive-sounding squeal. Someone popped the rubber cap off one of the contacts on the solenoid, laid a screwdriver betweeen the points, and it started right up.

    Does this mean I need to replace the solenoid, or could it be another problem? It's a gorgeous day out there for shade-treeing, so I hope to get this resolved. Poked around on the web for awhile looking for info, threw up my hands, and came back here once again looking for help, cuz you guys are the greatest.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    From the description it sounds like the starter turns but is not engaging the solenoid. And the solenoid works, if jumpered. On my Ford there is a relay before the solenoid. If you have the same, I'd check that first.
  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,494
    And what would this relay switch look like? Where would I find it? "Before" is an amazingly ambiguous term under the circumstances . . .

    Also, I pried off a capped wired that led into the solenoid at the 12 o'clock position, and the threaded post that it covered had some corrosion--not a lot. Could that be part of the problem? This was not one of the posts that were used for bypass w/screwdriver--much finer post.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,066
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I don't know the F-250. Our relay is mounted up on the engine compartment side. Trace the heavy cable from the solenoid back toward the battery. Look for a black box or a black cylinder (about 3" tall?) with the battery connected on one side and the wire going to the starter on the other side. There will also be a lighter gauge wire coming off it that goes to the ignition switch.

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