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Discussion Starter #1
1990 Bronco, 302 E4OD auto trans EFI

I checked my battery like in this post,
http://www.fordforumsonline.com/forum/electrical-lighting/111-howto-check-your-battery.html


It was fine, 12.66 volts.

I also checked from one connector to the other, and they were clean, 12.60 volts.

Last year I had the same problem, and noticed that my fender mounted starter relay was not tightly attached. I used a larger screw, and tightened it, and the problem went away. I think that it grounds through the body of the relay. (Come to think of it, back then, when I turned the key, NOTHING happened.. no click, no attempt to start.)

I checked that anyway, and it was clean and tight.

I do have an ocassional issue with my transmission position sensor, in that sometimes I have to hold it higher into park for it to crank. But since I am getting a click, I am sure that is not the issue.

Thoughts?
 

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Click when turning the key to start is, 1 bad ground from starter to frame or 2, loose/dirty connection at the starter or 3, bad starter. Using a volt meter will tell you it has 12 volts but won't tell you if the connection is good enough to handle the draw needed by a circuit. Take the wire off the starter and clean it then re-install tightly. If it still clicks you will need to test the starter. Most parts stores will test them for free on the chance they will get to sell you a new one.
 

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Well, how about a little more info first.
You say the battery shows 12.66. Sounds respectable. What does it show when you attempt to start it? Try turning the headlights on during a start up. Do they dim considerably? Do they stay bright? Before testing cables, switches, grounds, connections, lets make sure the battery is good and strong. Try taking it to a large parts store to have it load tested. Most will offer this valuable service free of charge. Have you tried jumping the Bronco with another vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you gentlemen:
Last week, the same thing happened. Turn the key, click, but no crank. It was dark, the headlights shone brightly, and didn't dim when I turned the key. I jumped it, and it started right up. Maybe it cranked a little slowly.

My battery is less than a year old, and last month, I charged it up, and it held a charge overnight.

Last month I replaced the alternator, and cleaned the battery cable connections at the battery. I also put a new cable from the battery to the fender mounted starter relay, because the cable clamp cracked when I tightened it back up.

So... back to my no crank. I figured that maybe I had a bad ground, or weak positive cable connection to the starter, so I pulled them and cleaned them both. I figured that perhaps either was not permitting enough amperage to pass through to crank the starter.
(electro, I was alone and it was daylight, so I couldn't determine if the headlights dimmed when I tried to crank)

I had a little 12v battery with me, from my toy jeep, and jumped it with that. It made no difference. I ran out of time, but will be able to work on it a bit later today. I'll try jumping it with my car.

What is the correct way to connect the jumper cables?
I know positive to positive, and negative to one battery, and negative to the engine block of the other. It goes to the block of the car with the dead battery, right?
 

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Does a 90 Bronco still have a fender mounted solenoid like the carbed vehicles? If so, maybe it's shot. Try bypassing the solenoid with two flat screwdrivers, if it starts right up, problem solved. That is, if it has a solenoid. This is all I can come up with right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Zephyrman,
Yes it does have a fender mounted solinoid/starter relay. I tried jumping it to no avail, I suspected that Canuck623 was right and that it was the starter.

I pulled it out, laid it on the ground, and with my jumper cables grounded the case, and tapped the hot terminal. It sparked at the terminal, but didn't spin. DEAD starter.

I brought it down the hill to a local AutoZone, and had them test it, just so I could see how they do it. Funny thing... it passed the test! They put it in a clamp, and put power to it. I don't think they put any load on it. It did spin, but sounded like there was some gravel spinning around in it.

I bought a new one, put it in and the truck starts like it should.
The starter spins it quickly like it should. The old starter must have been on its way out for as long as we owned the truck, because it always cranked a little slowly.

Thanks guys!
Canuck623... you nailed it right out of the box! :)

Here's my badge for you to wear. :) But remember its mine, and I want it back when you're done, ok?
 

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Right on, glad to be of help, even if it wasn't what I suggested. I hate being broke down, and I enjoy helping people being not broke down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Six months ago, you would have been right on. The starter relay is grounded to the fender, and the bolt holding it on got loose. Well.... then I didn't get "click" I got "silence" at any rate using a bigger sheet metal screw fixed that. Jumping it like you suggested would have been diagnostic. So thanks for the suggestion.

THis is a shareing experience and the more we share, the more people will learn, me included.
So once again.... thanks!
 

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I have a 1998 Ford F150 . All I get is a click from inside the cab when I try to start it . When I put two screwdrivers together on the selonoid it starts right up . I think you guys are gona tell me that I have a bad starter solenoid but could it be the remote anti theft personality module if I even have one of those . It`s an automatic trany with the 4X4 and the engine is a 4.2 .
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you get 12 volts to the little connector at the starter relay (solinoid) when you turn the key, and it doesn't crank, but when you jump the solinoid and it does crank, then you have a bad solinoid.
 
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