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1988 Ford Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 88 bronco just died in the middle of the road and when I try to start it nothing at all happens it doesnt crank, I changed the battery and still nothing, I have been told that it may be the electronic ignition module, what do any of y’all think? It has the 5.0 302
 

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hard to say for sure, but if it was running fine and just died, and then nothing, that sounds like a very good place to start. other place would be wiring.
 

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My 88 bronco just died in the middle of the road and when I try to start it nothing at all happens it doesnt crank, I changed the battery and still nothing, I have been told that it may be the electronic ignition module, what do any of y’all think? It has the 5.0 302
FYI mine was dying and getting towed in a lot;... and it was the Electronic Ignition Module in my 5.0 EFI
 

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Is there a 'click' noise of the starter soleniod or complete silence?
If you hear click, good chance its the starter itself
If not, its prob not starter or solenoid
 

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I’m trying to take off my ignition module, do you have to have a special tool for it?
It’s a t-15 torx I believe... I need to take mine off as well, just glances at it and that’s what it looks like to me...

but you say it doesn’t turn over... that sounds like another issue all together...what happens if you touch the two starter solenoid terminals together with a screw driver?
Do your lights work?
I’m wondering if your ignition switch inside the steering column came unplugged, or fell out of adjustment... both of these would cause it to die and then not even turn over...
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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Yeah, we need to understand what's happening. Is the starter not turning at all? Or is the starter turning but the engine not starting? Completely different problems with many different parts involved.
 

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1988 Ford Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, we need to understand what's happening. Is the starter not turning at all? Or is the starter turning but the engine not starting? Completely different problems with many different parts involved.
Nothing at all happens when the key is turned the starter does not turn
 

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As stated before … do you have lights.. power to the radio...ect? Just want to rule out a ground. Did you.. or do you.. smell that tell tale burnt plastic/rubber smell? Did the check engine come on lately? How about a OBD1 reader …. or counting flashes for any codes?
 

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Yo BroncoNamedReptar,

How did STARTER RELAY GROUND appear?; Check for continuity between relay mounting bracket and clean chassis ground. Rust, grime, paint etc interferes with relay control circuit.

Pull red/light blue wire push-on connector off of the inner fender starter relay.
Relay pic in an 88
View attachment 165436
Source: by member Jem270

Battery that is fully charged produces 12.6 volts at rest with engine off and all lights and accessories off.

With key in start position, should have batty voltage at red/light blue wire. If not, check for voltage at red/light blue wire on Neutral Safety Switch (also referred to as Back-Up Switch), then at ignition switch.
No voltage there in the "start" mode and you have a problem in the wiring, ignition switch, or neutral safety switch.

With a large screwdriver, jump the two large studs on the starter relay to see if starter cranks over. If it cranks, wiring from relay to starter is good

When you turn the key to "RUN/START" and there's no spring resistance feeling it usually because the actuator inside steering column is broken or ignition switch is loose.
Overview; "...The ignition rod is attached to the upper ignition actuator by a 3/32 x 38 roll pin ($0.12 each) and the rod needs to be straight so it travels enough to trigger the igniton switch but it's a chore to take it off as you need to remove the steering wheel and tear it down to the (Tilt or Non-Tilt) knuckle, usually down when you replace a broken upper ignition actuator. The ignition switch located on the lower part of the steering column has slots so it can be adjusted by loosening the 2 -7/16 nuts and move it up or down but a lot depends on what's wrong up top with some of the other parts, ie: ignition rod, key cylinder, lower igniton actuator and upper igniton actuator. These parts are timed so when you turn the key to RUN they all need to move forward/downward so the rod triggers the igniton switch to START the BKO..."

Accessories that fail to operate with the key in RUN, or that remain on when the key is turned off, may be the result of a misadjusted ignition switch rather than a malfunctioning ignition switch.

Test the ignition system mechanical operation by rotating the ignition switch lock cylinder through all positions of the ignition switch. The movement should feel smooth with no sticking or binding. The ignition system should return from the START position back to the ON position without assistance (spring return). If sticking or binding is encountered, check for the following:
burrs on the ignition switch lock cylinder
binding ignition switch lock cylinder
shroud rubbing against ignition switch lock cylinder
burrs or foreign material around the rack-and-pinion actuator in the housing of the ignition switch lock cylinder
insufficient lube on actuator
binding ignition switch

The ignition switch can be adjusted by loosening the mounting screws, and sliding as described in above link.



A clunk while jumping the starter relay (on the inner passenger fender liner) two large posts indicates bad starter relay contacts, bad wiring to starter, bad starter, corroded connections or a frozen engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As stated before … do you have lights.. power to the radio...ect? Just want to rule out a ground. Did you.. or do you.. smell that tell tale burnt plastic/rubber smell? Did the check engine come on lately? How about a OBD1 reader …. or counting flashes for any codes?
My radio and everything works when I turn my key to the on position but when I try to crank the motor, nothing at all happens
 

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Bronkin' 'Round!
88 351/AOD/4” ProComp 94 351/E4OD/4” Superlift
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Can you turn the engine around with a socket on the dampener bolt?

I’m trying to take off my ignition module, do you have to have a special tool for it?
165452

Ford ignition module wrench
OEM Tools 25013
Performace Tool W1216
Lisle 64650
One side is T-20 Torx
One side is 7/32"/5.5mm hex
 

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165451



Here is a picture of your starter relay that is mounted to the firewall by the battery ( or it is on my 1996). If you supply 12v of power to the connector labeled s (start switch in) you "by pass" everything and supply power directly to the starter. Regardless if she actually stays running the starter should turn over when directly supplied with power. If the starter does not turn over your starter or the relay is bad...… probably the starter. Make sure you are in park and to test do not have the key to run. This bypasses everything and if your transmission is in gear the truck will jump forward... and if you have the key in the run position... it will keep running and drive right over you. This is just for testing the starter.

Take a short piece of wire from the positive battery terminal and touch the s (start switch in) connector. First take the rubber boot off the connector of course.
 

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My 88 bronco just died in the middle of the road and when I try to start it nothing at all happens it doesnt crank, I changed the battery and still nothing, I have been told that it may be the electronic ignition module, what do any of y’all think? It has the 5.0 302
Having the truck die while driving seems like a fuel issue to me. Especially if you've got power with the key. Replacing the ignition coil is good, but I would target the fuel pump and filter connected to the rail and the fuel pressure regulator also. From past posts on this site dying while driving relates to a fuel pump most times.
 

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Having the truck die while driving seems like a fuel issue to me. Especially if you've got power with the key. Replacing the ignition coil is good, but I would target the fuel pump and filter connected to the rail and the fuel pressure regulator also. From past posts on this site dying while driving relates to a fuel pump most times.
That’s doesn’t explain the no crank issue he has that started then too.

needs to be looking at a system that has to pass a signal in order to crank and also runs during operation. So fuel and starter systems are out. I’d be looking at ignition module.
 

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Something sounds a little fishy to me here. OP say's it died in the road, and it will not crank.

Ignition module will not keep the engine from cranking. Neither will a spark issue, nor a fuel issue. I think it's more likely that Miesk is on the right track here.

A no-crank issue can be relatively easily diagnosed, especially since the truck has power. Bridging the posts on the solenoid will narrow things down quite a bit.

--If it cranks, then there is an electrical problem between the ignition switch in the column and the solenoid.
--If it doesn't crank, then the problem is between the solenoid and the starter.

HOWEVER (comma -- pause for effect) combined with the report that the engine died in the road, I'm inclined to believe one of two lines of reasoning here:

-- There are two separate issues that have occurred at the same time. One made the engine die, and the other made the engine not crank.
-- The engine is seized.
 

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Something sounds a little fishy to me here. OP say's it died in the road, and it will not crank.

Ignition module will not keep the engine from cranking. Neither will a spark issue, nor a fuel issue. I think it's more likely that Miesk is on the right track here.

A no-crank issue can be relatively easily diagnosed, especially since the truck has power. Bridging the posts on the solenoid will narrow things down quite a bit.

--If it cranks, then there is an electrical problem between the ignition switch in the column and the solenoid.
--If it doesn't crank, then the problem is between the solenoid and the starter.

HOWEVER (comma -- pause for effect) combined with the report that the engine died in the road, I'm inclined to believe one of two lines of reasoning here:

-- There are two separate issues that have occurred at the same time. One made the engine die, and the other made the engine not crank.
-- The engine is seized.
didn't even consider the last one. that would be a big ouch.

is there a common ground between the starter and the distributor or something? I know when they rewired my truck the starter grounds out to the block ,same as the dizzy, and then the block is grounded to the frame. but all of the accessories, like headlights, signals, etc are ground to the frame direct. so if my engine ground was shot, it could die while running and get a no crank while all accessories work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That’s doesn’t explain the no crank issue he has that started then too.

needs to be looking at a system that has to pass a signal in order to crank and also runs during operation. So fuel and starter systems are out. I’d be looking at ignition module.
It’s definitely not a fuel issue, I’m working on changing my ignition module right now. I’m trying to get my distributor out to access the second bolt and it’s corroded so bad it won’t come off, I’ve got PB Blast soaking on it right now
 
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