1990 XR7 No crank No start.

NoahF2001

Registered User
I have a 1990 xr7 I bought a few years ago. One day I put fuel injector cleaner in, without putting enough gas lol. Almost ran it out of gas and parked it. It wouldn’t start. But it still cranked.

Well it took me some time to get to fixing it due to circumstances and now it won’t even crank. I filled it up with gas. I work at a Ford dealer as a service tech. I towed it there and put a new starter in, same issue. My battery is deader than shit but we had 2 jump packs hooked up and still couldn’t get it to crank. All other functions of the vehicle worked, and the starter is receiving voltage we checked with a test light.

What should I look into now? I’m kinda at a loss. We didn’t jump the starter I want to try that tomorrow after work. If it does start from jumping it what would that indicate?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

KMT

Registered User
Check grounds for corrosion. Check the cable from the pass. side motor mount to the body. Replace it if it shows any signs of corrosion. Do a voltage drop test on the starter circuit. I assume you've confirmed the engine isn't locked up and the starter works on the bench.

Does it have an aftermarket alarm that might include starter kill circuit?

As for volts at the starter, what did you find? Turn the headlights on a see if they dim while trying to crank.

If it starts by jumping the solenoid near the battery, I'd look at the multi-wire connector on the ignition switch down on the side of the steering column (not the lock/key cylinder).

Also, see: https://mnharms.com/tutorials/disnostart/
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
Check grounds for corrosion. Check the cable from the pass. side motor mount to the body. Replace it if it shows any signs of corrosion. Do a voltage drop test on the starter circuit. I assume you've confirmed the engine isn't locked up and the starter works on the bench.

Does it have an aftermarket alarm that might include starter kill circuit?

As for volts at the starter, what did you find? Turn the headlights on a see if they dim while trying to crank.

If it starts by jumping the solenoid near the battery, I'd look at the multi-wire connector on the ignition switch down on the side of the steering column (not the lock/key cylinder).

Also, see: https://mnharms.com/tutorials/disnostart/
What is the solinoid by the battery? I thought that was for the ride control lol.

It read 12 volts to the starter. We checked pullies and nothing seems locked up
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you said you are a tech at a Ford dealer? I assume when you said "we", you meant the other "techs"
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
Sorry my last message timed out. So you are licensed & the others helping you are as well?
Verifying voltage & voltage drop with a test light? You just changed the starter based on what? You didn't do any testing prior to. Swapnostics, rather then diagnostics or what some people refer to as firing the parts cannon at it.
 

KMT

Registered User
What is the solinoid by the battery?
1651803463605.png

As I recall, you remove the small red push on connector and use a jumper from battery positive to that threaded stud. If the car is manual trans, confirm it is in neutral with brake set and wheels blocked.

Check voltage at battery with digital volt meter and see what it shows.
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
View attachment 96879

As I recall, you remove the small red push on connector and use a jumper from battery positive to that threaded stud. If the car is manual trans, confirm it is in neutral with brake set and wheels blocked.

Check voltage at battery with digital volt meter and see what it shows.
starter cranks when jumped. No multimeter atm but the solinoid clicks when I try to turn the key. Just put a fresh battery in because mine was toast. So I’m assuming the solinoid isn’t bad and it’s probably a ground? The wires seem fine. Should I test light them? If so do you know what one?

Thank you. Sorry I’m pretty new to working on cars I’m just a lube tech lol.
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
EBF6213E-2332-4E0B-B3E8-DDF9EEC88524.jpeg

Somebody prior to me had cut the yellow wire and hooked it up to that black one. Is this how it’s supposed to be? It ran before with a setup like this. I’m clueless as to what wire is what atm.
 

KMT

Registered User
starter cranks when jumped

Good info, thanks.

As I mentioned above, look at the multi-wire connector on the ignition switch down on the side of the steering column (not the lock/key cylinder). These are a common issue and right now it sounds like a primary suspect at this point.

These are prone to fail when the shell/connector move apart over time due to the constant outward internal spring tension. They $20 these days and should be easy to find new. Note they do require a special security torx bit to R & R.

Looks like this, and it's not too far down, right side of column:
3



If you pull the 2-piece plastic surround where the steering wheel meets the dash (3 phillips screws removed from the bottom), you should be able to see it. Once you can see it clearly, turn the key and see if it wants to open up, if it hasn't already failed that bad.

Autozone listing is here.
 

KMT

Registered User
Somebody prior to me had cut the yellow wire and hooked it up to that black one. Is this how it’s supposed to be? It ran before with a setup like this.
That's not a 'somebody' splice, that is a diode put in by the factory. Leave it alone. Diodes are typically used to keep current from going the wrong way in a circuit. That one may have to do with the alternator..

I’m clueless as to what wire is what atm.
To do _any_ proper electrical on these cars requires good info, which can be found using factory manuals. The 1651859759079.pngEVTM (electrical/vacuum troubleshooting manual) is your friend. I'd look for one off eBay for your year car, prices are usually fair.
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
If the solenoid is clicking when the key is turned to start that pretty much eliminates the ignition switch, multi-wire connector, clutch switch(manual) or neutral safety switch(auto) & all the wiring up to the solenoid. & you said it will crank when jumped? That would lead me to believe the engine ground is good as well. Possibly the signal terminal on the solenoid is corroded or the ground where its bolted to inner structure? I had that happen once, just turning the 2 sheet metal screws that fasten it to fender made it connect again-would still just take it off though & sand/wire brush both sides, inner fender & the solenoid just to make sure.
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
If the solenoid is clicking when the key is turned to start that pretty much eliminates the ignition switch, multi-wire connector, clutch switch(manual) or neutral safety switch(auto) & all the wiring up to the solenoid. & you said it will crank when jumped? That would lead me to believe the engine ground is good as well. Possibly the signal terminal on the solenoid is corroded or the ground where its bolted to inner structure? I had that happen once, just turning the 2 sheet metal screws that fasten it to fender made it connect again-would still just take it off though & sand/wire brush both sides, inner fender & the solenoid just to make sure.
I actually disconnected everything and cleaned it earlier today and it did nothing. I just bought a multimeter and a ignition switch . Another $20 loaded into the part cannon I guess.

My guess is that somehow the starter isn’t getting powered by the key. Finding out where is the problem I guess.

I currently have my belt off and my alternator isn’t like bolted down all the way, could this be causing my issue? Everybody at the shop is telling me it isn’t but I’m clueless right now this is stumping everybody.

I work a half day tomorrow so I’m gonna smack the new switch in. I was trying to follow wires but it’s so hard to tell what goes where in the cluster engine bay. Anybody have a diagram / explanation of the circuit from the solinoid to the starter?

I really appreciate the extensive help from all of you!
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
If your starter solonoid/relay( inner left fender) is clicking when the key is turned to start then everything up to that point is good. Your problem has to be that solonoid ( not making connection internally)since you were able to make it crank by jumping the solenoid, the starter & cable from solenoid must be good. Still good idea to clean these connections though.
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
If your starter solonoid/relay( inner left fender) is clicking when the key is turned to start then everything up to that point is good. Your problem has to be that solonoid ( not making connection internally)since you were able to make it crank by jumping the solenoid, the starter & cable from solenoid must be good. Still good idea to clean these connections though.

Found one in stock near me. I’ll smack it in after work today and post back lol. The ignition switch was a miss.

The shops trying to find a obd1 reader for me.
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
I don't think reading codes will help you with a no crank unfortunatly. But still a good idea to have a reader & a EVTM for future issue's or any other current problems. I cant remember if you having any other problems right now or just the no crank.
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
Found high resistance on the red push connector on the solenoid. Now I’m just trying to find where that wire is under the dash so I can wire a new one. Any ideas? Red with blue stripe. I see a blue with red stripe in the boot but I’m not positive if that’s it. Is there a easier spot to get to?
 

NoahF2001

Registered User
Update: rewired that wire from ignition switch to the solinoid, it’s cranking. No start now. Guys are saying bad gas, but it wasn’t starting before I parked it so idk. Hopefully I’ll pull codes and see what’s wrong exactly
 
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