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Thread: Intermittent Crank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Intermittent Crank

    Well after having the car sitting for three years I replaced fuel pump, ECU, bypassed heater core after throwing all the coolant inside the car... and fixed leaking radiator... The car is finally running smoothly, one thing I've put of is an intermittent crank when starting the car. When I try to start the car I have to turn the key 4 to 5 times before the car cranks, you can hear the selenoid (or relay not sure what it is) everytime I crank the key but never cranks until the fourth or fifth key turn, after that it starts right up without any problems. Checked battery and it holds a steady 12.7V. Any idea what it could be? - Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Salem OR
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    Can you jumper at the solenoid to confirm it's ok?

    Check the multi-wire ignition switch down on the right side of the steering column. Unless you know it's been replaced recently, it is a prime suspect in these examples.

    Easy to source, priced fair, but needs a security torx to swap out. Remove the two-piece surround bezel where the steering wheel meets the dash (3 philips head screws from below) and check it out...see if it is opening up.

    Good luck.

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 03-13-2019 at 03:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2019
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    Update! I was finally able to work on the car, took your suggestion about it probably being the ignition switch and just bought it to try (only $16 on advance). Well it was exactly that! Thanks again for the help KMT!

  4. #4
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    Glad you sorted it out - thanks for the followup!

    Ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Can you jumper at the solenoid to confirm it's ok?

    Check the multi-wire ignition switch down on the right side of the steering column. Unless you know it's been replaced recently, it is a prime suspect in these examples.

    Easy to source, priced fair, but needs a security torx to swap out. Remove the two-piece surround bezel where the steering wheel meets the dash (3 philips head screws from below) and check it out...see if it is opening up.

    Good luck.

    Ken
    My 94 has been doing this for a while. The multi-wire ignition switch isn't the actual key and tumblers itself I'm guessing? This sounds like it's down the steering column a bit?

  6. #6
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    Salem OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melon View Post
    The multi-wire ignition switch isn't the actual key and tumblers itself I'm guessing? This sounds like it's down the steering column a bit?
    Correct...key cylinder, and actual switch are separate.

    Looks like this, and it's not too far down, right side of column:


    If you pull the 2-piece plastic surround where the steering wheel meets the dash, you should be able to see it.

    Autozone listing is here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    18
    Well I'm back again!! Same issue, car worked fine for about a week, and started doing same thing again, I have to turn the key a couple of times before it cranks (always hearing the solenoid click once) and then starts perfectly. I bought a solenoid and will be replacing it tonight see if that solves the issue.

    Another issue which I'll probably be starting a new thread on later is that the car runs perfectly and when accelerated hard it stalls at about 3000-4000 rpms and then shuts down, this always happens at that rpm range. I can start the car no issues (besides the 3-4 key turns before it cranks) and run the car as long as I don't reach the 3000-4000 rpm range. Also (doesn't happen that often) while coasting at maybe 15-20 mph @ 1500-2500 rpm the car shuts down, again I can start the car no issues and keep driving. Any clue? - Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Salem OR
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    Know how to do a current test on the starter in the car? Voltage drop test?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    18
    Haven't done one, but I just checked on the internet how to perform both, doesn't look complicated, what should be a good current draw when starting the engine, and what should be the voltage when starting? Will try that this weekend. I already bought the solenoid so might as well install that today!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    A quick/dirty starter current draw on the car is to turn on the headlights and see if they dim while cranking. If it cranks and they dim bad, I'd suspect the starter. If it won't crank and they don't dim, I'd suspect the solenoid. If it cranks and the headlights don't dim it should turn over and fire If it doesn't fire, that's another issue.

    See this link for a voltage drop test...helps find out if the cables can handle the load while cranking: https://easyautodiagnostics.com/ford...-motor-tests-3

    If you take the starter out, check for excess side/side play in the bushing in the snout. A worn starter will allow the armature/shaft to side load and bind. A local shop should be able to bench test it for you otherwise.
    Last edited by KMT; 03-27-2019 at 03:32 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    18
    Update! I was able to work on the car, I changed the starter solenoid and changed battery terminals. Car seems to be starting without any issues! Thanks!!

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