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Old 06-25-2021, 12:15 AM   #1
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99 F53 won't start - but everything's new?

Read through about a thousand similarly titled threads here and elsewhere and nothing seems to line up to my set of symptoms...

I have a 1999 F53-based Four Winds Hurricane with 51k miles. I have been doing renovation work on it and starting it at least once a week throughout, and now more like once a day as the work started to wrap up - never any trouble.

Started it yesterday, no problem. Drove it to state inspection. Inspector said he jacked up the front end and then had to unlock the steering wheel to do some work underneath, and then said he thought when he was done he might've left the key in the wrong position because he had to jump it when he was done. This is believable - inspections here take a couple hours. But I was in the area when they called to say it was done and told them I was on my way over, so he left it running so it could charge up.

I then drove it home with no trouble. Maybe 15 miles or so, maybe less. Uneventful.

Parked it in its usual spot overnight. Started back on it this morning, went to start it probably 30 hours after last shutting it off and ... *click*. A single click, from the starter relay, with each turn of the key. No ticking from the starter or anything else.

Here's what I've checked:

-Battery holds at 12.6v, tester shows it putting out 626 of its rated 650 CCAs. Battery was purchased late last year. Rig has been on generator or plugged in fairly often to provide AC when I'm working inside.
-Just for kicks, go to charge battery, doesn't take long because it's in good shape - no difference
-Tried jumping with start feature on battery charger, no difference
-Tested PRNDL/NSS by keying to start position and then moving shifter back and forth from P to N. Can hear solenoid clicking off and on
-Replaced starter relay because I had a new one on hand
-Replaced starter altogether - original starter is less than 1 year old but parts store was closing in 20 minutes and I decided to roll the dice and be a parts changer
-Jumping starter relay from battery causes same click as when keying on
-Jumping starter solenoid causes starter to click one time but doesn't crank
-Bench tested original starter, works just fine
-Checked (visually) 15a fuse #7 in under hood fuse panel

I can't think of any more troubleshooting steps, but then I also can't reasonably conclude that a perfectly running juvenile (relatively) engine would just seize up from sitting overnight...am I missing something somewhere? Can a motor get locked up the way a steering wheel lock sometimes gets stupid where you have to turn the wheel and the key at the same time to get both to unlock??


EDIT: Thought of one thing to look at, maybe the positive battery cable has an issue somewhere all of a sudden (or maybe the chassis battery solenoid in the BCC?). Still weird and random but it's something I can look at. The only problem is that I don't understand how it works with a battery control center in the equation.
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Old 06-25-2021, 04:50 AM   #2
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See if the motor turns manually. Put a wrench on front balancer.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:31 AM   #3
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Might try looking here: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/199...am-407455.html
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:28 AM   #4
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Sounds like a ground problem.
Check frame to battery grounding and frame to engine grounding.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:44 AM   #5
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If this was at our shop, the first thing we would do is try and jump start it. If it will start with another battery, ( as the inspection station did) your problem is in the battery connections. A jump start does not bypass any relays, solenoids, etc. it just supplies a solid 12+ volts to the engine. I believe you will find it will start with a boost.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:45 AM   #6
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That was one of the thousand I read through. I had already replaced the relay by the time I got there. Thanks though.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:49 AM   #7
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If this was at our shop, the first thing we would do is try and jump start it. If it will start with another battery, ( as the inspection station did) your problem is in the battery connections. A jump start does not bypass any relays, solenoids, etc. it just supplies a solid 12+ volts to the engine. I believe you will find it will start with a boost.
I did try jumping with my battery charger (throws out 200a, enough to get you going on a good but dead battery) but with absolutely no difference in symptoms. Wouldn't hurt me to try from another vehicle I guess.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:53 AM   #8
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Sounds like a ground problem.
Check frame to battery grounding and frame to engine grounding.
Definitely will check that out...any advice on what I'm looking for? Or alternately, could I just randomly add a ground strap somewhere for testing?
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:56 AM   #9
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Yes. You can bypass all of ford's safety items with direct voltage to starter solenoid.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:43 AM   #10
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Yes. You can bypass all of ford's safety items with direct voltage to starter solenoid.
Tried that, at least to the small terminal. Are you suggesting I run a battery cable directly there? And are you referring to the "remote" relay attached to the rad brace or to the solenoid attached to the starter itself? Just want to make sure because people throw the terms around interchangeably.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:59 AM   #11
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Cool

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Originally Posted by tecsbrain View Post
I did try jumping with my battery charger (throws out 200a, enough to get you going on a good but dead battery) but with absolutely no difference in symptoms. Wouldn't hurt me to try from another vehicle I guess.
200 amps won’t do it. You need another fully charged battery and GOOD jumper cables.
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:22 AM   #12
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Put someone in the driver's seat and someone at the battery terminals with a digital meter. Read the battery voltage when the key is turned on. If it reads OK, do the same thing at the starter connections. Tell us how that works out. Chuck
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:24 AM   #13
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200 amps won’t do it. You need another fully charged battery and GOOD jumper cables.
No change.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:46 PM   #14
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See if the motor turns manually. Put a wrench on front balancer.
Probably the only good news I've gotten in 24 hours, it does turn.
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