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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 14620
Experience:  35 years Master Mechanic
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Ford ranger: having issues with ignition on 88 ranger

Customer Question

having issues with ignition on 88 ranger
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Welcome,

You didnt mention what kind of issues??

Please take your time and provide all the details. The more you tell me, the quicker we can get it solved.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
we initially thought we were having fuel problems,truck would turn over and start sporadiclly. we replaced ignition key switch because you could bump it and it would die and bump again and start.just an issue it had when we bought it.any way,we soon discovered it was the switch on collumn.when we replaced,it made shorting sound at collumn and smoke under hood,but it started.turned off immediately,got a new switch and replaced again and then nothing in crank position.found burned wire,spliced it back together,still nothing.have 12 volts to and from switch. have replaced solenoid,checked ignition module,replaced clutch switch.totally baffled
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
we initially thought we were having fuel problems,truck would turn over and start sporadiclly. we replaced ignition key switch because you could bump it and it would die and bump again and start.just an issue it had when we bought it.any way,we soon discovered it was the switch on collumn.when we replaced,it made shorting sound at collumn and smoke under hood,but it started.turned off immediately,got a new switch and replaced again and then nothing in crank position.found burned wire,spliced it back together,still nothing.have 12 volts to and from switch. have replaced solenoid,checked ignition module,replaced clutch switch.totally baffled you can jump across solenoid and it starts and runs fine
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Thanks a lot for that info!

Lets start at the solenoid. With the key in both the on and run positions see if there is power to the red and blue striped wire on the solenoid. It should be on the "S" terminal of the solenoid...let me know please and we can go from there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes,on the two red/blue wires i have 12 volts to ignition module,nothing on the other one going into a plug
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Thanks,

If you unplug the red/blue wire at the starter solenoid terminal, and try to start it, does that wire get power....probably not but that is the first thing i need to know for sure.

graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

k,be right back

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

k,be right back, no there is not, that is the wire that comes form plug that did not have power

 

Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Thats what i figured but had to be sure. That gets power from the ignition switch in the start position. Thats why if you jump it to the battery terminal it will start.

Power to that portion of the switch function(starting) comes from the fusible link wire on the solenoid and goes to the switch after it goes thru the clutch switch. Below is a diagram and you can follow the path of current for the starting circuit.

Ever heard of a fusible link?

graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Most likely thats the problem because they blow anytime the ignition switch fries so it doesnt take out the rest of the wiring.

There are a few fuse links in the system and here is another diagram for you to follow.

You can always start at the ignition switch and see if one of the yellow wires is missing power, and that will be the culprit.

graphic





If you have any further questions or need more help at all please feel free to reply. If not, Please remember we use an honor system and you must click on accept for me to receive credit for assisting you.

Your question does not close or dissapear after you accept so you can always reply right back here if needed for no charge.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks i will check tommorrow and let you know
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

Thats fine but just remember that Your question does not close or dissapear after you accept so you can always reply right back here if needed for no charge.

LJ
Virtual Wrench and 2 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hey, LJ

I went out this morning to start checking some of those fuse links,,then out of nowhere it began starting ??????

Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

If you moved some of the wires around over by the solenoid thats where the fuse links connect. Maybe have one that is partially burnt inside and moving it made it connect??

Ya just gotta love electrical issues :-)


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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was just poking it with a sharp stick
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Ha,,better keep it handy.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks for your time,
Expert:  Virtual Wrench replied 4 years ago.
Anytime.