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1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting


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jaymzsun
User

Mar 13, 2011, 11:39 PM

Post #1 of 8 (2787 views)
1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

Well...im not really sure what the problem is.
My van seems to start fine on cold starts. Sometimes during a cold start, i get a total power failure after about 1/2 of a crank. Then on the second attempt it starts right up like it should.
The major problem seems to be when the van is warm, it doesnt want to start. I get a very sluggish cranking sound, and if i keep cranking for too long it seems to drain the battery to the point of needing a jumpstart. Have arched the solenoid and managed to start once or twice but not consistent.

Ignition module is Motorcraft 12A199 and the motor has been swapped to possibly an early year. Also has a SmartStart breathalyzer installed.(the smartstart installer assured me it couldnt be the breathalyzer)

I have these new parts installed so far; new battery, new fusible links, new starter solenoid, new starter 3 months ago, new battery cable ends, and wiring has been inspected to the best of my visual abilities.

please help! let me know if you need any more information, as i will keep checking in.
thanks,
0-james


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Mar 14, 2011, 9:57 PM

Post #2 of 8 (2766 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

First ,lose the cable ends and buy a pair of new heavy duty cables.When installing new pos cable check( PUT A WRENCH ON THEM )all connections clean and tight. When replacing the ground cable wire brush the mounting point ,again make tight connections. Did you install the recommended CCA battery or what was on sale? Sorry to be so frank but these tips fix 99% of problems like yours.


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


jaymzsun
User

Mar 17, 2011, 8:25 AM

Post #3 of 8 (2758 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

i bought the recommended battery at schucks oreilly...it was the bottom shelf battery but he said it would do the trick..before i go spend more money can you give me a walkthrough on testing the starter...if its the starter overheating...im not sure i can get it OFF the van intime to benchtest it while it's still hot...so im wondering how to test it while its still on the van..also..there is no starter heatshield and the starter sits about 3 inches from the manifold...so...i didnt have problems with the previous starter until it totally failed(the teeth were all worn and chipped off). also..i have read the walkthroughs on testing the module which seems to be another piece that can overheat..but someone told me that if it were the ignition module it would fail in flight...and not only during a hot restart...true or false?
thanks for the advice...i suppose i could test the cables resistance when hot to see if that is the issue or is that not true.
thanks again...and looking forward to doing some fishing this year...lake and stream and a little in the bay.
-james


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 17, 2011, 8:43 AM

Post #4 of 8 (2754 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

You can't test a starter until you confirm the power supplies to it so start with the battery and connections as RT suggested..



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Mar 17, 2011, 8:52 AM

Post #5 of 8 (2752 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

Glad your a fisherman . There are tests that mechanics do, current draw , voltage drop etc. They require tools/instruments that you would not have and would not make sense to buy for one time use . You say old starter had damaged teeth , how does flywheel look ? Teeth have to mesh smoothly.IF heat(exhaust) was the problem it would start ok cold and not when heated. One way to backdoor check cables would be to take a set of jumper cables. Put pos cable on batt pos and on large post on starter. put neg cable on batt neg and on the mounting tab of starter. If you get an improvement do as i posted first time. good luck


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


jaymzsun
User

Mar 17, 2011, 10:36 AM

Post #6 of 8 (2748 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

im really confident that the cables are okay unless there is fraying inside the insulation..and thats the thing, is it starts fine when it's cold..but when its warm i am getting a poor cranking and ultimately it seems to drain the battery unusually fast to where i need a jumpstart after waiting 15-30 minutes for it to cool down i guess...
i also had a spare ignition module that i know starts the vehicle, but runs VERY poorly when installed...so on one of these incidences...where the engine was hot and wouldnt start, i swapped ignition modules to one that i know will START the vehicle, however it didnt work eventhough..so im guessing its not that...
i really think the cables are ok...but..i will try backdooring with the jumper cables..
so just run batt.+ to starter+, and run batt.- to the ground/bellhousing on the starter?...should i leave the existing wiring inplace when i do this?
thanks,
-james


jaymzsun
User

Mar 17, 2011, 10:44 AM

Post #7 of 8 (2744 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

also noticed indash thermostat doesnt seem to working anymore...may have been my fumbling around behind the dash..but figured i would throw it out there as this seems to be heat related


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Mar 17, 2011, 1:44 PM

Post #8 of 8 (2713 views)
Re: 1986 FORD E250 L351 - Not starting Sign In

"should i leave the existing wiring inplace "
*
*
Yes the idea is to double up and increase the amps to the the starter . Not a very accurate test but best i could do for cheap.


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH






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