I recently started resurrecting a '93 Ford F350 (5.8 liter) that has been
sitting in my driveway for more than a year having been started only once or
twice. Of course, the battery was dead and wouldn't take a charge. With a
new battery in place I started the truck and headed for the inspection
station. Enroute I hear a significant whirring/whinning noise. I'm thinking
it's a dried out pulley or alternator bearing? About five miles down the
road the truck dies, and will not restart. I smell an electrical smell.
While my son is on the way with the jumper cables, and I'm thinking my
alternator is gone, I discover that the starter motor is flaming hot. The
jumper cables don't help, and I'm off to the parts store for a new starter.
Once installed the truck starts right up and I head home. Same noise. Almost
home the truck dies again. Won't jump. Starter flaming hot, and electrical
connection points melted. Now I realize that it's the started that's making
the noise because it's continuing to run. Duh? New starter relay switch and
started installed - same thing! Starter keep running! Can anybody point me
in the right direction?
So you've changed the ignition switch (in the steering column), and the
"starter relay switch" (solenoid on the fender), and the starter motor itself?
The key sends power to the solenoid, the solenoid sends power to the starter.
Does the key spring back from "start" when you let go, or is it sticky/loose?
Do you have one of those stupid "remote starter" things for winter mornings?
Anything under the hood (or the hood itself) that might be shorting out the
big terminals on the solenoid, or the battery-side big terminal and the
terminal (small rubber-hooded push-on connector)?
Yes. That's correct. All three are new. In fact, I've just changed the
starter relay for the second time. I switched from a cheap Wells switch to a
(double in price) Borg-Warner.
It springs back. I've considered this issue and actually rotated the key
backward to see if the starter motor would stop. It continues to run until
the power it completely off at the switch (and the motor dies). In fact, if
I return the key to the "run" position quickly enough to prevent the engine
from dying - the starter comes right back on.
I've even disconnected the battery completely (while the engine was
running). The starter continues to run. How is that possible? Is it
possible? I've even crawled under the truck and removed the control wire
from the starter - it just keep running.
All of this has caused me to believe that the pinion gear is getting stuck
in the flywheel, and that the starter isn't really running at all, but
rather being driven by the motor. But... I've removed the starter several
times at this point and there is no indication that this is happening. The
starter comes out smoothly with the pinion retracted into it's normal "off"
position, and there are no unusual sounds when I loosen or remove the
starter (like the sound the pinion gear would likely make by backing out).
I'm utterly bewildered?
Had this problem with an older Grenada. Turned out to be a common
problem. After the second starter from Pep Boys I was told rebuilders
don't even like to rebuild them because there are so many failures. Can
you see the flywheel teeth to see if they are munged up causing the
starter gear to stick? We wound up not tightening the bolts all the way
until we jogged it a few times with the ignition off. Good luck.
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