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1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble...

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New User

Sep 7, 2006, 7:07 PM

Post #1 of 5 (2101 views)
1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble... Sign In

Here's the story:

I have a 1977 Ford F-150 that I purchased used. Ever since I have had it, the starting is a bit tricky. If you turn the key all the way, it sounds like the battery is dead and there isn't enough power to turn it over. But, if you back off from turning the key all the way or start by just turning it until the starter engages, it starts right up. Every so often the thing will sound like you turned the key with the engine already running - like the starter is hitting a running engine, even though it isn't. Flat spot on the starter was was the "professional" at the gas station told me.

When the engine is cold, the above description is true.

The battery is new.

So, I lived with that is a little quirk to my "new" truck. Until I was at the auto parts store one day getting something totally unrelated. It was a quick stop so went out to a truck with a warm engine. Now I can't get anything more than the previously described "sounds like the battery is dead." A worker came out, hearing my trouble. At this point we saw the smoke coming from the solenoid relay. He told me to replace that and all would be fine. So I did (at the store) and it started right up!

By the way...I do not drive this truck daily. It is a vehicle for those times in life when you need to haul something.

A couple weeks later I went out to the hardware store. When I went to start the truck after shopping, the "sounds like the battery is dead" problem came back. Eventually I got it started. Today, the same problem happened. I popped the hood to take a look and the ground cable was HOT! So hot it had melted the sheath. The battery was hot too! So, I let it sit and cool off and sure enough, it started back up.

I am at a loss for what the problem is. Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 7, 2006, 10:03 PM

Post #2 of 5 (2099 views)
Re: 1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble... Sign In

I'm a little confused with this but it sounds like a bad battery. Vehicles don't like sitting around and you may do well to get a battery disonnect terminal for the battery if not used much, T

Veteran / Moderator
way2old profile image

Sep 8, 2006, 5:35 PM

Post #3 of 5 (2094 views)
Re: 1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble... Sign In

Sounds like part of the problem is a corroded or loose battery cable. With the cable getting hot, that is an indication current is trying to go through but something is slowing it down. Liken it to a light bulb. The filament is wound to create a resistance thereby causing heat and producing light. Your truck is trying to produce that same light. That is why the cable was melted.

Being way2old is why I need help from younger minds

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 9, 2006, 11:09 AM

Post #4 of 5 (2090 views)
Re: 1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble... Sign In

Excellent way2old and for readers know that. When wires get hot it can be from too little getting thru. Sounds whacked but it's true. Electric motors don't like low voltage or power and can be damaged, Happy Motoring, T

New User

Sep 9, 2006, 4:15 PM

Post #5 of 5 (2087 views)
post icon Re: 1977 Ford F-150 starting trouble... Sign In

hey maybe u can check the ground cable going from the bat to the engine. make sure its super clean where it connects to the engine. it is very important u see clean metal on both surfaces. u may also need to replace the cable it the insulation got melted.Wink

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