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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 33087
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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1992 Ford F150: Starter..external solenoid mounted on top..ground

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1992 Ford F150 Starter has external solenoid mounted on top. This solenoid has three posts: the ground, the hot and the small hot. When the ground from the battery is connected directly to the solenoid ground post, it snaps out the bendix gear but does not spin. When I remove the ground from the post and connect the ground directly with the starter housing, it seems to spin fine. Also, when the ground is connected directly to the post the battery cables get hot. Thank You



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I would first start with making sure the engine can be turned by hand, If the engine turns by hand and you are sure all the cables (positive from battery to solenoid) and (positive from starter solenoid down to starter) and the small crank wire are making a good connection , then you likely have a weak starter that will not spin under the load of the engine. Make sure you can turn the engine first by hand.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank's for the speedy reply Ron. Actually, all systems are go. The engine is fine. The battery, relay, and all cables are new and all connections have been cleaned and reconnected. The starter is also new and bench tests fine on two different machines, but a bench test grounds the starter housing, not the actual direct connection to the solenoid. As long as I just ground the starter housing and do not connect the ground to the solenoid post(as you would on a bench test), the starter motor spins.   When I connect the ground cable to the solenoid post on the starter, even when I leave the starter housing grounded, the starter will pop the gear out, but it won't turn. This is when the cables begin to heat up.
The ground to the starter does not hook to the post on the starter. It connects from the frame to the block and then to the starter mounting bolt. You hook the stater wire from the solenoid onto the stater terminal at the stater.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OOOOHHHH!!! That would explain alot. Thanks a ton.
Your very welcome, thank you very much as well.