Ford Windstar won’t crank.

Gmolds66

I'd rather be flying!
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
84
Points
6
Make
Ford
Model
Windstar
Year
1999
Miles
167k
Engine
3.8 L
Help please! I’ve got a 1999 Ford Windstar van that won’t crank. It’s a 3.8l with 167k on it. I’ve thrown parts at it and still a no crank situation. I’ve replaced the starter and put a fresh battery in it. The electrical system is working. The dash indicator lights work but when I turn the key nothing happens other than the lights remaining illuminated. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
7,286
Points
63
Do you have an electrical multimeter? There are probably two wires connected to the starter, one much bigger than the other. The big one should have 10V, or more, when you are trying to crank. The small one should have 12V, or more, when trying to crank. There is also a big stud, similar to the one the big wire is attached to, that is on the opposite side of the solenoid. That other stud should also have 10V, or more, when trying to crank. Take all these readings relative to the starter case.
 

Gmolds66

I'd rather be flying!
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
84
Points
6
After purchasing and installing a remanufactured Carquest starter I’m inclined to think that the starter was bad out of the box...

I’ve got a new problem based around the initial problem... when I attached the negative post to the battery without having the key in the ignition the starter tried to start the vehicle. I immediately unhooked the negative post to stop the process...

Now without the starter wires connected to the starter when turning the ignition switch my warning lights on the dash no longer illuminate. Other electrical stuff like radio and headlights still work...

Could the 12v hot wire from the battery have back feed into the thin solenoid wire and melted or burned something out?

I pulled all the relays under the hood and along the drivers side kick panel one by one while using another relay from an identical parts van and that didn’t bring the warning lights back when the key is on. I also checked every fuse that I could find. All fuses except the radio fuse were good. The radio was working prior to all of this. I replaced the radio fuse but still no warning lights... this is turning into a night mare... I appreciate your help!
 

grcauto

Hero Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
906
Points
28
This should help you. The starter circuit. I have others but I think this one will find your issue.
DSC_0002.JPG
 

billr

wrench
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
7,286
Points
63
Post a picture of the wires that connect to the starter; and the starter terminals.
 

jigfeett

Hero Member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
381
Points
18
Location
Pacific Northwest
If you connected the ground at the battery and it started to turn the new starter then the wires got crossed or are touching.
When the original issue came up did you try to move the shift lever while holding the key to start> park- neutral -park etc.?, that would tell you if the neutral safety switch has a misalignment issue. Not if it is defective all together.
 

Gmolds66

I'd rather be flying!
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
84
Points
6
Thanks to everyone here the problem has been resolved and I learned new things in the process. Once again, thank you!!!

Ultimately the problem came down to the new Carquest remanufactured starter failing out of the box. It had faulty wiring/soldering at the solenoid. When the circuit was energized it instantly sent power to the ignition wire connector and completed the circuit causing the starter to engage and turn. This problem caused under the hood fuse #105 to blow causing the electrical system to fail further and introduce a new problem. A visual inspection didn’t reveal that it was blown and much time was spent troubleshooting the problem due to this oversight. I actually thought I was going to have to trace miles of wire to find a melted together connection some where. A continuity test is how I discovered the 30 amp fuse was bad. When this discovery was made I actually felt a sense of relief.

Long story short - With a new replacement starter that’s wired correctly and the fuse problem found, it’s now working correctly! I appreciate your help! Everyone here is so knowledgeable and awesome! Thanks again!!!
 
Top