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Old 09-04-2009, 11:58 PM   #1
92chevcamaro
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Bronco Info: 1990 Ford Bronco XLT 4x4 4.9L inline 6. Auto trans. 31in BFG mudders
1990 bronc won't turn over.

Hey guys. Hope everyone is doing well. Anyhow here's he deal. 1990 4x4 bronc. Won't turn over. Replaced battery. Ignition switch and barrel. Starter solenoid. And had the starter checked. Still won't start. Key works to turn everything oN. Just won't turn over the engine. The car can be started by jumping the terminals on the solenoid. I'm being told that it's the steering column that needa to be replaced. I find that hard to believe since all the ignition components have been replaced and the coloumn I don't believe has anything else to do with the ignition system. Anyhow your help is greatly appreciated. So thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:09 AM   #2
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First thing to check is wiring. Between the large posts of your starter relay (it's not a solenoid) should be a smaller post with a wire attached. This is the wire from your ignition switch that turns the starter over. Check this wire for cracks, open insulation, or anything that could possibly cause an open circuit.

Next, check your upper ignition actuator. Find the ignition rod (on top of the column, running from the steering wheel down to the ignition switch at the base of the column) and make sure it's moving back and forth when you turn the key, through all positions. If it is, your upper actuator is probably not the problem.

Lastly, check your ignition switch (again, at the base of the column). Manually push the switch back and forth through the different positions. Push it all the way forward (or down) and see if it will engage the starter. If it does, then your ignition rod is probably bent, which can be remedied quite easily.

Do some diagnosing and report back.
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:40 AM   #3
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If it's an auto, try starting in neutral or while pulling up on the lever while it's in park. If that works, look to a park/neutral safety switch. If it's a stick, check the clutch switch.

You could try jumping from hot to the small terminal on the solenoid to test it's operation. Sometimes new ones are bad out of the box. Since it cranks while jumping across the 2 large terminals, you already know the starter & large cables are good. If it won't turn over when jumped to the small terminal, you'll know that it's a solenoid issue (Bad part, bad ground).

If it does turns over jumped to the small terminal, then you'll be looking for something in the small circuit that includes the ignition switch & the park/neutral safety switch (Or clutch safety switch on a manual trans, or MLPS on a 90 with an E4OD).

There should be 12v running from the ignition switch, thru the safety switch, to the small terminal on the solenoid. Disconnect the small wire to the solenoid (So it doesn't start by surprise, I'd pull the coil wire too). With someone holding the key in the start position, you should be able to read 12v between any point on that small circuit & ground. When you find where you lose 12v, then you'll know where the issue is.

Which trans do you have? Take a minute & go to the User CP & fill out your Bronco Info with year, engine, trans, mods, etc..
<------- It'll show up over there on every post, & it helps understand what you're working on.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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I know this is an old thread, but I have the same issue. It will start by shorting the starter relay, and the ignition switch does turn the dash and ignition on, just won't turn the starter. It worked on Wednesday, started up, drove a few blocks down the road and then nothing, thought it was battery and after I got it jump and no change it was obvious, so I shorted the relay and got on my way.

I have determined it is not the switch, or at least I don't think it is because I replaced it. The rod *was* moving back and forth with the key, but now the rod is loose, only can be pushed forward and will not come back with the key. I would like to put the steering column back together so I can keep testing, but I can't tell how that rod attaches to the key mechanism.

Any help there would be much appreciated! Thanks.

**edit** I found the thread on the ignition rod replacement for a tilt wheel (Bad Jesse, search first!), I was able to get the column apart, to find that it is indeed a tilt wheel, it just doesn't have the lever to adjust the tilt? Perhaps I can fix that when I am done? Anyway, I got the rod out (broken on the rod end) and will get that part. In the meantime I think I will have to rig up some switches so I can at least drive this thing in the meantime. Anyone know the easiest way to wire up a couple of toggle switches for on/off and momentary switch for the starter in the existing harness with male blade connectors (seem the same size as the ones on the switch)? I will make a forum post for this question.

On to the issue with the safety switches... I have a T18 tranny (PO put it in... really sucks with a 302 with the shift interval, might ask for help on this later) not the stock 5spd. Is the neutral switch on the same side on this tranny? I looked under the dash and can't see the clutch switch, how high up is it?

Thanks.

Last edited by jptechnical; 04-23-2010 at 07:16 PM. Reason: I was dumb and didn't properly search first... n00b!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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Bronco Info: -90 xlt, 351w, e4od, 3.55:1, sag, warn hubs, trans cooler, 35" bfg m/t, -73, 400, np435, 35s
What year is your truck? Go to the User CP & fill out your Bronco info so that it'll show up
<------ over there on every post. A lot of stuff varies by year.

Try your turn signal lever for the tilt release. Sixlitre said it best:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixlitre View Post
On my 86' you puts yer left thumb gently onto the turn stalk end and push gently forward, whilst thy right hand (sitting on the wheel at 12 o'clock) gently pulls down.

My first inkling was "this will break with me driving it", but it's been 8 years+ and it still works
There's more tilt column info in this thread: actuator help

Normally a stick has the clutch safety switch instead of a neutral safety switch. Mine is an auto, so I'm no help on the specific location of the switch. You might try looking near the pivot point above your clutch pedal, or maybe at the slave cylinder. I have a 90 manual, if your year is near 90 I'll see what it shows.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:42 AM   #6
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FSB participants,

I'm adding to this thread because I think I have an issue similar to what's been discussed, yet is not solved to my satisfaction.

I have a 95 with all the specs noted in my signature. Approximately 2 years ago I went to turn the key and nothing from the starter, yet I had power. Upon waiting without doing anything to it, I tried it again later that day and it started up. this had been an intermittent issue since then without rhyme or reason to why it does this. Logically, I looked at the starter motor, starter wires, battery and engine block grounds, etc., and replaced them all (most recently in fact) when I added a 3G, and overall 17 year old preventative maintenance items.

Since October 12, when I had finally finished all the negative wire upgrades from the battery to engine block and starter and 3G install, I've had no problems....Started everytime. Two days ago, I ran the FSB like any other day, had the engine off and listened to the radio, started it up periodically to keep warm, then left the FSB for 6 hours while I worked. Upon returning, that same issue happened again...Turn with no start, yet the solenoid relay jumping worked.

Since then I've done the following.

1-checked all battery cabling, grounds, etc.
2-check connections on starter and relay.
3-put in new ignition cylinder (the 17 yr old one had to go)
4-pulled the steering column apart and made sure ignition actuator was not broken.

I've been futzing with this thing for a few days and it starts every time.

Since I work in the Mountains everyday with the FSB daily driver 4x4ing for work, I can't trust this truck. Any suggestions on what to check or recheck?

Thank you,

jw
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:07 AM   #7
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Wow, I'm here with the same problem. My new to me 87 Bronco with 302 and automatic trans sudenly wont start. Turn key, dash lights up but no start. If I put the key in the run position I can start it by either jumpering positive battery teminal to the small bolt the red wire goes to or just shorting the large bolts. I will try Pulling up on the gear lever while in park and see what happens.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julietwhiskey View Post
Turn with no start, yet the solenoid relay jumping worked.

jw
How did you jumper the solenoid? Large terminal to large terminal? Or hot to small terminal? It will make a difference in where to check next.


You mentioned the actuator. I had the rare no crank, that would disappear. Adjusting the ignition switch position on top of the column the column helped for awhile. Eventually the actuator failed & got replaced. It feels much more solid & works every time now. Feeling the difference between the new one & the old, I wonder if the actuator had some flex in it before giving it up completely. It might be something to check into a little further
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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both. I jumpered pos to small bolt and it started. I also put a screw driver across the two larg bolts and it started.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeulster View Post
If I put the key in the run position I can start it by either jumpering positive
battery terminal to the small bolt the red wire goes to or just shorting the
large bolts.
That cast zinc crap inside the steering column sure enough causes trouble.
Like I needed to tell you that huh? ;)

Was messing with my '91 the other day just so I could tell you this, the
ignition switch is under the dash attached to the steering column. It's got
two nuts holding it to two studs welded to the column (7/16" wrench?).

The switch looks like that white-and-zinc thing hanging from wires there
just above the gas pedal...

...use this tool (cotter pin remover) to operate it...

...in the meantime you can replace those sorry zinc parts in your column? ;)
{drove mine around for 3 to 6 months using a cotter pin puller}
{left the cotter pin puller on the dash, LOL:}

Problem is your steering column might still be locked? LOL :)

Don't have any real world experience with adjusting the ignition switch to
match the actuator's motion ...I wonder how many times just-that would
do the trick? :/

Either way, you can at least start your truck, many others can't even do
that or how 'bout the guys that turn the key off but the truck stays runnin'!
...and have to get under the hood to pull some wire loose to kill the engine! :/

Reading these problems over and over is starting to get on my nerves. :/

Ford makes a good long lasting product but somehow they dropped the
ball when designing and/or designating the materials for these key operated
parts.

----------------------------

IMO there' nothing wrong with all those zinc parts and wheel-locking-crap
a guy can't fix with a hacksaw, hoof rasp, three Bosch relays, some wire
and an old ignition switch from a '75 Ford truck...

Push a button-in on the opposite side of the column just to get the key out?
You've got to be friggin' kiddin' me? :/
Nope, not kiddin', that's how it -was-! LOL :)

Alvin in AZ
ps- This is how mine was, the actuator had JB weld holding it together and
was doing a mighty fine job of it but the sissy-car-like-tilt-crap was broken...

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Old 01-10-2013, 03:31 AM   #11
freeulster
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From browsing the intar-webtubes it seems the actuator disconnects from the rod. I'm guessing the pin fails. Is this accurate?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:36 AM   #12
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If so I may just reconnect with some very stiff wire.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:53 AM   #13
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Got tired of dealing with a similar issue in an 88 so I turned the key to the run position and added a pushbutton starter button bypassing the column wires . It worked till the day I sold it and was nice for testing compression . I may have watched too much NASCAR I think ?
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #14
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Screwdriver between the relay post, starter to power post.
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265/75R-15 tires, stock body: Mods: FIPK (57-2543), Hayden Trans Cooler (679), Warn Premiums (20990,32720), remote tran filter (perma-cool 10677).
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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ther's a guy selling ready remote 24921 on ebay for 24$ shipped. My actuator brokeon my 90. And its too friggin cold to mess with right now. I can get my in the run position and thats all I need. I did this w/o dropping the column , but it's almost next to impossible to plug in the ignition switch harness this way. Took me about 4 hours in the freezing cold. Worth the effort. Make sure you have a good soldering iron. And lots of patience
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:16 PM   #16
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Well I removed the trim around the steering column in front of the dash so I can see the rod. It moves when turning the key. When the engine is running if I pull the rod toward the steering wheel the key turns and the engine shuts off. I am assuming that this means the switch is bad so I will replace. My rig is an 87. There are four bolt securing the braket that supports the column. If I remove these bolts the column should just drop in my lap giving me access to the switch and harness, correct?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeulster View Post
1)Well I removed the trim around the steering column in front of the dash so I can see the rod.
2)It moves when turning the key.
3)When the engine is running if I pull the rod toward the steering wheel the key turns and the engine shuts off.
4)I am assuming that this means the switch is bad so I will replace.
5)My rig is an 87.
6)There are four bolt securing the bracket that supports the column.
7)If I remove these bolts the column should just drop in my lap giving me access to the switch and harness, correct?
#7- Guys, I forgot, do you have to drop the column?
#4- Sounds like the switch is working fine from here. :) ??
Is it more of a problem of the switch position needing to be adjusted?
Is it more of a problem of the key mechanism not moving the rod correctly?
ps- Ahhh... the rod's disconnected from the key mechanism somehow. (Duh, Alvin :)

---------------

I don't know how I missed this, sorry...
Quote:
a)From browsing the intar-webtubes it seems the actuator disconnects from the rod.
b)I'm guessing the pin fails.
c)Is this accurate?
d)If so I may just reconnect with some very stiff wire.
#a- I guess, looked like mine had plain old broke in two {and JB-Weld' back together by a PO}.
#b- Good enough guess IMO, have you found that to be the case in yours yet? :)
#d- If you're good enough at making parts like that, yes.
I have no idea how tricky that's going to be (in practice), but the theory sounds right! :)

"in theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice, they are not"
-somebody's sig file on some old newsgroup LOL :)

Alvin in AZ
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:29 PM   #18
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On my 90 I didn't have to drop the column to replace the switch, but it was pretty difficult to tell what was going on up there when installing the new one.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #19
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i'm just going to drop the column, no sence in contorting myself. When I turn the keys the rod moves fine throughout, just doesn't start the engine. Do the ingnition switches move or get loose over time? if so can I just adjust it's position and the truck will start? I'd hate to take things apart just to put them back together to drive to the parts store and take them all apart again and put it back together again. I'll probably just put a new switch in it since it is 26 years old and they are only 10 bucks. But I will check to see if adjusting it will work.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeulster View Post
I'll probably just put a new switch in it since it is 26 years old and they are only 10 bucks.
But I will check to see if adjusting it will work.
x2 :)

They {the contacts} -can- get "glitchy". :/
They can also be taken apart and cleaned and made "un-glitchy". ;)

Still got the original in my '75 F150. xD
It's held together with #0-80 (or #1-72?) screws now tho. LOL :)

Alvin in AZ
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/DoALL2.jpg <--- ;)
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/DoALL1.jpg
Screws from Brownell's.
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