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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went out to cold start my 83 Bronco Saturday and it started and immediately shut off. I tried again and it didn't even click. Lights worked so moved onto the starter/solenoid.

Went out to try Sunday and it started right up and I even drove it.

Monday comes and it would crank but not turn over, then I tried it again and it's dead again. No lights or anything.

Any thoughts?
 

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Ignition switch. On column TDC, toward firewall.

Column has two bolts that take a 9/16? socket. You can lower it to get at the switch. Still a butt to unplug.

If you can routinely crank it from the solenoid by jumping the S post to battery positive, I would suspect the switch.

I have a thread on the symptoms and damage mine had. Mineengine would die as soon as the shifter moved to R or D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ignition switch. On column TDC, toward firewall.

Column has two bolts that take a 9/16? socket. You can lower it to get at the switch. Still a butt to unplug.

If you can routinely crank it from the solenoid by jumping the S post to battery positive, I would suspect the switch.

I have a thread on the symptoms and damage mine had. Mineengine would die as soon as the shifter moved to R or D.
I will check the ignition switch today.

I tried starting it from the solenoid with a screwdriver yesterday and nothing. Is that the same as "jumping the solenoid" or is that different?

Thanks!
 

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It is. Jumping from battery positive to the S connection (little metal stud that should have a blue/red wire with a push on connector on it) will crank the truck using the solenoid. If your battery is properly charged, you should hear the solenoid thunk if it’s operating correctly.

You can bypass the solenoid by removing the wire from solenoid to starter at the solenoid and touching it to the positive battery post.

The total loss of power makes me think switch, but chase the others first.

And make sure your battery isn’t dead! 12.6V resting, or bring to parts house and have them test it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is. Jumping from battery positive to the S connection (little metal stud that should have a blue/red wire with a push on connector on it) will crank the truck using the solenoid. If your battery is properly charged, you should hear the solenoid thunk if it’s operating correctly.

You can bypass the solenoid by removing the wire from solenoid to starter at the solenoid and touching it to the positive battery post.

The total loss of power makes me think switch, but chase the others first.

And make sure your battery isn’t dead! 12.6V resting, or bring to parts house and have them test it.
Was able to check everything out today with the help of some buddies and it looks like it may be a couple things. First, the battery was drained pretty well. I am charging it tonight and getting enough voltage to start it up and probably replace it.

Any suggestions on battery brand/size?

The other thing was the connections possibly. The wiring was piecemealed together and the alternator connections wee pretty loose. We are going to take a look at the alternator connections tomorrow too. Hopefully these two are the issue.

Any other suggestions after my update?

Thanks!
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Upgrade your starting system wiring. Battery to solenoid to starter to alt including ground to like a 1/0 cable (except to the alt), new battery clamps usually solves a lot of the low voltage/starting issues (unless it's in the column). As I've found with my 82 and the myriad of slow start, long crank, cold start bs... Old wires with bad lineman splices, old grounds, cracked dried vacuum lines, distributor vacuum advance, EECIII ignition control module, improperly set choke, fuel pressure (too high or too low) all give u starting issues,... How do I know... Replaced them all (I'm actually getting the vacuum advance issue dealt with now)... Been there...
 

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Was able to check everything out today with the help of some buddies and it looks like it may be a couple things. First, the battery was drained pretty well. I am charging it tonight and getting enough voltage to start it up and probably replace it.

Any suggestions on battery brand/size?

The other thing was the connections possibly. The wiring was piecemealed together and the alternator connections wee pretty loose. We are going to take a look at the alternator connections tomorrow too. Hopefully these two are the issue.

Any other suggestions after my update?

Thanks!
Any troubleshooting with a bad battery is fruitless, so glad you are on that track. I just use whatever Walmart sells because there is a Walmart on every corner.

The Saturday issues followed by Sunday start don't jump out at me as alternator or battery issues per se, but I'd do exactly what you suggest. Get those two squared away and see where you are at. Good luck!
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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I put the battery I got for my 99 expedition from Walmart (the "everstart 65") in the BKO and it works well
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got a new battery and solenoid and am waiting for a buddy to help me rewire everything today or tomorrow. Wish me luck!
 

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I will check the ignition switch today.

I tried starting it from the solenoid with a screwdriver yesterday and nothing. Is that the same as "jumping the solenoid" or is that different?

Thanks!
My bronco had the same problem, and fixing the ignition switch was the solution
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, so I replaced the battery and solenoid and rewired the alternator and it started.

I drove it around for 5 minutes, let it sit for about an hour and then tried again and it started and stopped and then started on the third attempt.

Tried the same thing 2-3 hours later and same thing happened.

So it's starting but not reliably.

Any ideas? Is it the alternator? It's a 1G 3-wire setup if that matters but it is also 3 months old.
 

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The alternator has nothing to do with it starting. I’d rule it out for now if your truck is failing to start.

If your truck cranks over reliably, you can rule out the battery, solenoid, and starter.

Are you depressing the gas pedal fully to set the choke and pump some gas into the carb prior to cranking?

When it starts, is it cranky or does it fire right up, especially on a cold start?
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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When mine was giving me starting headaches (especially when cold) it was a bad vacuum advance and the choke wasn't set right. Would sound like it was starved for gas. Had to keep feathering the gas to keep it from stalling.
Also if you're looking for a stronger start u really might want to replace the battery cables clamps and grounds like we talked about earlier if u haven't already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The alternator has nothing to do with it starting. I’d rule it out for now if your truck is failing to start.

If your truck cranks over reliably, you can rule out the battery, solenoid, and starter.

Are you depressing the gas pedal fully to set the choke and pump some gas into the carb prior to cranking?

When it starts, is it cranky or does it fire right up, especially on a cold start?
I am depressing enough gas and it started up good tonight and drove well.

It isn't cranky once it starts and runs. Just sometimes it will crank and turn over and then just stops. I am new to the whole old truck/cold start so maybe I am just figuring out a finnicky truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When mine was giving me starting headaches (especially when cold) it was a bad vacuum advance and the choke wasn't set right. Would sound like it was starved for gas. Had to keep feathering the gas to keep it from stalling.
Also if you're looking for a stronger start u really might want to replace the battery cables clamps and grounds like we talked about earlier if u haven't already.
Could be the choke. I am new to the whole cold start and am sort of learning on the fly.

I am probably going to replace at least the positive cable tomorrow as it is pretty shot. The negative looks good.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Not to be negative, if you're replacing 1 you might as well replace 2. I thought mine looked good too until I cut open the casing and about 4 inches in it was junk. The ground is just as important tho... Make sure u do new battery clamps too. I can not stress enough how important good battery cables and grounds are.
 

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What carb are you running?

Choke plate setting can be the difference between a cold engine that requires constant gas pedal attention at startup versus one that fires off to high idle in a couple cranks. See if you can find some instruction on how to set it. I had good luck getting my 1406 set after reading the instructions and modifying one rod. Used to be cranky cold but it’s no problem now. It’ll start hot but doesn’t like to quite as much.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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What carb are you running?

Choke plate setting can be the difference between a cold engine that requires constant gas pedal attention at startup versus one that fires off to high idle in a couple cranks. See if you can find some instruction on how to set it. I had good luck getting my 1406 set after reading the instructions and modifying one rod. Used to be cranky cold but it’s no problem now. It’ll start hot but doesn’t like to quite as much.
Might want to check the vacuum advance. I recently sent mine to someone more intelligent then me to get my Edelbrock 1406 carb right. After he set the choke right he was still having trouble so he checked the lead going to the vacuum advance and found out was only passing 8v (needs 12-14v). Well the lower voltage damaged the vacuum advance (or at least that's how I interpreted it) which was why I had to keep feathering the gas and why it seemed starved for gas, wouldn't catch high idle and always wanted to stall on cold start up, especially after sitting a few days... Was the worst. Now she starts like a champ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@BroncMom & @pack so it ended up being two things.

1. My choke was loose and needed to be tightened.

2. The bolt I used to fasten my air filter to the carb was too long and was opening up the carb giving it too much air. The guy I bough the truck from had a screw that was too short and the filter never stayed on so, being new at this, I went and got the next longest option.

I feel like an idiot but live and learn I guess.

I have a professional who specializes in Fords and has owned 10 Broncos looking at it now to give me a prioritized list of everything I should tackle so I am sure I will be busy for quite a while when I get it back.
 
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