The history is:
1+ month ago the car started acting up; about every 4th time it
wouldn't turn over, though the lights and other electrical stuff
worked. There was corrosion on the battery terminals, so I concluded
that either they weren't getting good contact, or that the battery was
going <no starts seemed to occur after the car had been driven a
couple of places>.
Cleaned battery terminals and problem went away for several days.
Re-occured, so I bought new battery. Problem could be worked around
by thumping the terminals <not too hard>. Didn't have a chance to put
new battery in <too busy>, and then the problem went away completly,
so last week I took the battery back <needed the money>.
Yesterday problem returned. Car didn't crank; rapped smartly on top
of the battery leads with fist, car started normally. Today car
wouldn't turn over for wife, her messing with terminals didn't fix.
When I got home I rapped on the terminals again and the car cranked
weakly, then started. Next time I shut it off it wouldn't crank at
all. Cleaned terminals again, no crank. Replaced battery, still no
crank. All electrics working, radio, headlights, etc. Headlights do
not dim when attempting to crank.
Both batteries show 12+ volts.
When attempting to start I can hear the solenoid clicking, but the
starter motor doesn't engage. Rapping on both with pliers improved
reaction to crank attempt marginally <*click*
I'm going to pull the starter to have it tested as soon as the
hurricane lets me, but as this is my first Ford, I wanted to poll the
experts to see if there is something else that might be going on?
Ignition modules? Starter relays? What is confusing me is that if
it's the starter, why did messing with the battery make any
difference, unless it's the leads themselves? Seems to me the
negative clamp is a little sloppy, and even when cranked tight doesn't
seem to grab much of the post, but even so, it's nice and tight- I've
seen much worse work fine.
Sorry for the long post, any help appreciated.