That is pretty good, the leaking windshield thing. And yes I have seen a few of those. Alright more then just a few.
But lets look at the the other possibilities first.
If the battery has a full charge, then the first thing to look at is jump the starter solenoid and see if the vehicle turns over. The starter solenoid on your truck is located on the firewall next to the battery and slightly above the engine. There is a plastic cover that is clipped over the solenoid and a couple of connectors (normally). The solenoid is a big round thing that has the battery cable going to it, it also has 2 large wires leaving the same post that the battery cable is attached to. Above the one large post is another large post that has 1 wire attached to it. That wire goes into the same loom as the battery cable. Next to those 2 posts is a smaller post with a single small wire connected to it. That is the signal wire coming from the key. If you take a screwdriver (carefully) and jump from the battery cable post to the little post, the truck should turn over.
If it does not, then we can eliminate everything under the dash.
Okay, was the key on?
And I need you to understand, if the engine is cranking it is turning over. But we were just trying to test if the engine will crank over.
What is the problem with the truck. That is does not crank over, or that it does not start even though it is cranking over?
It will not start with the key not on. Try cranking the engine over with the key in the ignition at the starter solenoid.
What we are trying to do is isolate the cause of your concern down to one area.
I guess I am not getting through to you. We are trying to start the truck. The key has to be ON. Not in accessories, not off, not in any other position other then on.
When the key is on, all the systems that are needed to run the vehicle are activated. At that point you are gong to try to jump the starter solenoid and get the truck to turn over.
You are bypassing the crank position of the ignition switch, that is all we are trying here.
It sounds like the battery is dead. If the truck cranked over before with the key off, and will not crank over with the key on, that means that the battery does not have enough power to run everything.
Can you get a jumper to the battery of your truck?
I would start with a battery first. Sorry, I had to get to work, and yes I was running a little late.
What the battery does is start everything, if the battery oltage is below 11 volts loaded then the alternator will not charge. Lets get the truck running and then test the alternator.
A ignition coil will not cause the engine to not start, it will cause it to run rough, but it will run.
If yu intend to keep the truck, I would put in the best battery that I could. Personally, the batteries that go in my vehicles are only the Optima's. But I am somewhat anal when it comes to my battery and electrical system. I also upgrade the battery cables to a larger size and use nothing but gold plated connectors. Like I said: Anal.
The truck still will not start with the new battery?
Does the truck now crank over?
Did you hook everything back up?
What happens if you jump it at the solenoid?
Also do any of the lights on the dash come on?
Change the starter solenoid, that thing that you are jumping.
Don, your truck is giving me a headache and a sore back. It is probably not doing you any good either.
I don't know, but we are missing something and I want to go through it oone step at a time.
For starters make sure that you have the battery hooked up correctly.
Secondly, make sure that the starter solenoid is connected correctly, with the battery cable going to the lower large stud, the smaller wire going to the upper stud, and the I think it is a Tan wire with a red stripe going to the little stud between the two.
If you get a test light, we will figure this out.
As for the alternator, it doesn't do anything until the engine is running. There is no way that the alternator could be causing the truck to not start with what we have right now.
We are both missing something. I do not like the negative battery cable going to the starter solenoid. Lets think about this. The solenoid is a switch, that is all. It is just an electro magnetic switch. When the coil in the magnet is energized the switch contacts close. What that thing does is takes a command from the ignition switch (crank) and closes the switch sending power down to the starter. The negative battery cable should NOT be connected to the starter solenoid at all. If you have a camera and can take a photo of what you have and send that to me, I can probably figure out what is wrong. If not, then we need you to invest in a cheap 12v test light and then we can go over this and get it fixed.
I see that on this website the maximum size of a photo that I can add is only 250k. Is there another address, like an email that I can send the three photos to you?
Don, the pictures did not come through, and we are not allowed to give out personal information like e-mail addresses to customers.
The Expedition does have a crank sensor, but it will not do anything until the engine is turning over. We need to get back to where we were when the engine was actually turning over on the battery.
What happens if you jump a screwdriver from one of the large posts to the other like you did several paragraphs ago? Be careful.
I made up an email at yahoo.com
go to yahoo.com
go to mail
username is vincentford1
password XXXXX XXXXX
I am sending a couple of pictures of my truck engine to that email account.
First make sure that the truck is in park. Try to rock it back and forth and make certain that it is in park.
Then turn the key on and jump the starter solenoid.
I made the mistake of jumping a truck this way, once, only to realize that the reason that the truck would not crank over was it was in reverse. The truck shot across the shop dragging 2 techs and a service manager, as we hung on to it trying to Fred Flinstone stop the truck (dragging our feet).
As for the photos, you have them hooked up correctly, otherwise the truck would not crank over when you jump the two posts.
I took it out of gear and let it roll back a little bit, then put it back into park.
If you look at the alternator, you will see a thick black cable running from the post on the back of the aternator. Follow that cable up to where it connects to the starter solenoid and disconnect it. That is the power feed to and from the alternator.
I will go and look at the photos right now.
Don, you have one of the cables hooked up incorrectly. The red cable that comes from under the plastic shield at the base of the windshield is correct. The other cable (the black one that goes to the engine) needs to go to the same post. That is the power feed to and from the alternator.
Yes, that cable should go to the bottom post. Connect it to the bottom post and see what happens.
Bad news, no it won't even jump. Do you think it fried the new Solenoid Switch when I jumped it last time and had the alternator cable on the wrong post?
The battery light had gone out when I did jump it last time. Is that good news?
We still need to know why the ignition switch is not triggering the solenoid. The only way to do that is with a test light or a meter. A test light is the cheapest way.
When you turn the key to the crank position that tan wire with the red stripe at the solenoid should see 12 volts. That is where we need to head to next.
If you let the starter cool down it may come back to life.
And I am going to head to work. I do have a computer at my work station and will still be able to help you out from there.
Ok, thanks. I will see if I can get the small ignition wire tested at the solenoid if I can get either a test light or a meter and can get the truck to jump start again.
This may take me a while too. I don't know if anyone near my house has one, and the autoparts store is about 30 minutes away.
I will get back to you later today, maybe by this afternoon. I don't want to run out and get a test light if I burned out the starter too. I will need to get a new starter while I am at the autoparts store if mine is fried. Then, I will need some time to install it, then try and jump the truck again, and use the test light to test the voltage at the solenoid of that small ignition wire.
Don, part of that is my fault for not looking at those photos before I had you try to sart the truck.
If I had gotten you to get a test light right from the start, we would have been through this already.
The starting system on this vehicle is pretty simple and we should have knocked this out in no time. But we will get it figured out and get the truck back on the road.
Thanks. I am getting another starter because the truck isn't jumping/starting anymore. I must have fried it. I am also getting a voltmeter to test that ignition wire at the solenoid switch. If it reads low voltage (below 12 volts) then what do you think would be the problem. Is it the ignition itself?
The ignition system, has nothing to do with the engine cranking over.
The wire that turns on the starter solenoid is not an ignition wire but a trigger wire. It just happens to come from the ignition switch, because we do not call the ignition switch the "vehicle's electrical system activation switch".
When you get a test light, and please use a test light. That way there will be no confusion with trying to read a meter and it will be dollars cheaper. Plus it will have more use later on.
When I said check for 12volts at the trigger wire, that can be just the test light lighting up fully. You will have either a lit light or an unlit light. We will look at this as a yes / no testing procedure. Yes the light lits, no the light does not lit. We can figure out what is wrong with the truck and it should be something simple, we just both need to be on the same page.
Ok, I will get a testing light.
Unfortunately, we are leaving for vacation tomorrow. I was hoping to have the truck fixed for the trip. We will have to use our smaller VW. Anyway, we won't be back until Saturday, July 5th. I do not know if you post on the weekends at justanswers.com or not. If not, then I will contact you (with new starter in place, and test light in hand) by Monday July 7th.
Is it alright for me to keep this thread open until we get back from vacation?
Don: I certainly do post on the weekends and do most of my Just Answer then. But we will talk when you get back from your vacation. I will daily stop by and say hi just to keep the question open.
Enjoy your vacation. And the VW will get better fuel mileage anyway.
Thanks Vincent. We are heading out this morning. Yes, our VW is a diesel but it is smaller and I have all girls plus my wife so it is hard to pack lightly. I ordered a test light online and it will come in while I am out next week. Next weekend when I get back, I will put the new starter in. Once I have it in, I will let you know so that you can walk me through the next steps for testing. Thanks again.
Hey there Don:
It is Sunday evening, you are still on vacation, and I am still at work.
You are still on vacation and I am still at work.
We just arrived back home. Unfortunately, we are having a heavy thunderstorm right now and I won't be able to get out to put the new starter in right away. I will get back with you after I have the chance to put the starter in. Hope you had a great 4th of July. We were at Disney's Magic Kingdom for the 4th and my kids were loving it.
Let me know when you are ready.
Glad that everyone had fun on the vacation.
I was working on the starter before it got dark. I was able to get the two lower mounting bolts off. I tried to reach with a ratchet wrench the top mounting bolt. I had to feel around for it, then I put the socket on it, but I could not get the ratchet onto that. Do you have any hints or suggestions as to how I can reach that top mounting bolt with a ratchet? Is there some other speciality tool that would make it easier? Thanks for you help again.
Are you around today?
I have the new starter in. I believe I installed it correctly. There is one ground wire attached to the solenoid that came with the starter like my old one, and it goes to the bottom mounting bolt. Then, the other large screw coming out of the solenoid has a large black cable attached to it that I believe runs all the way up to the top of the engine. Last, the smallest screw has a small black cable attached to it. Does that sound correct?
Oh, I used the black rubber covers from the old starter on the new one that was missing.
Don: I take it that you had fun with that upper bolt. There is no secret to getting it out, and yes we hate it as well.
It sounds like you have it hooked up correctly. The large cable comes from the battery, the small wire comes from the starter solenoid.
So, what are we going to do next?
Hi. You had suggested walking me through some checks with the Test Light I bought. I have to tell you, that we here in Florida are getting our daily thunderstorm (this one started like 3 hours ago). Some sunshine state huh? Anyway, I am still thinking it has to do with something between the ignition and the solenoid switch. Could I have a bad ignition, or ignition ground?
I doubt that there is a bad switch or ground. There may be a bad neutral safety switch though. So what we are going to to is when you get the battery hooked back up, I want you to disconnect the trigger wire from the starter solenoid (on the firewall) and hook the test light up to the ground side of the battery, place the other end into the connector of that wire. Then I want you to turn the key to the crank position and watch the test light.
If the light comes on then the circuit is good.
If the light does not come on the circuit is not good.
Look at the battery it is marked + or -. The negative one is normally the one closer to the firewall, the positive normally has red cables going to it.
Just hook the end of the test light to the battery clamp on the negative side of the battery.
Yes disconnect the small capped wire from the solenoid and insert the test light end into the connector on the wire.
Does the starter solenoid click?
That is probably the solenoid that you are hearing.
Okay, jump starter solenoid like we did before and see if the starter will turn over. With the key off, using a screwdriver from one larger lug to the other. Carefully.
Okay, I want you to jump from the bottom lug to the small connector. You will have to disconnect the trigger wire.
What we are going to do is jump battery power to the trigger of the starter solenoid.
From everything that you have told me the truck should start.
You are getting the test light to come on when using the key and testing the trigger wire to the starter solenoid, Correct?
If you jump power to the starter, the engine turns over, Correct?
If you jump power to the trigger lead on the starter solenoid, the engine turns over, Correct.
Right now, with everything hooked up, the truck should start.
The only thing that I can come up with is that there is a lot of resistance in the circuit from the key to the solenoid and you are just not getting enough current to the solenoid for it to work.
We may be back at the fuse box and some corrosion there. Normally that causes a lot of other problems, like the alarm sounding, the radio not going off, the wipers working on their own, interior lights doing stupid things, etc.
If you turn on the key and jump from the bottom lug to the trigger connection I am betting that the truck fires right up.
Those are signs of a bad fuse box, gem module. Right now, the truck will start and run with jumping the solenoid. We already know that.
You can, by jumping the starter solenoid, drive the truck, but it will not be reliable. I wish I had a better answer for you, Don.
You have to purchase the ones that are for your specific vehicle, year, options, etc. They are not hard to replace, but cannot be done at home as the GEM has to be programmed. That can only be done at a dealership.
Personally, I would not put in a used gem or fuse box. If you decide that is the direction that you want to go, keep in mind that there is not normally a warranty on used electronic parts. And also keep in mind, you will need to have the windshield resealed, as that is where the water is coming from.
A technical service bullentin is just that, to tell technicians that there is a possible problem in this area and here is the fix.
A recall is mandated by the Government and is only really placed on items that have safety or emmissions effects. Neither of those apply to your concern. Also there is not a TSB on your truck for that issue. I just went through them to make sure.
I have no idea. We normally have a glass company do any glass work and that includes resealing.
I cannot remember how much we charged the last time that I did a GEM and Fuse box, it has been several years (living in California, we don't get that much rain, but we do get fires) and that truck was from out of state. I would guess around 2 hours labor and then the parts cose, but that is just a guess.
I wish I knew how much the parts were new. Then I could estimate the labor into it. We really like the truck and would hope to be able to repair it and keep it for a long while yet. I just don't know if it runs a couple of thousand, then we may not want to invest that on the truck.