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So my 1990 5.8L ford bronco's battery died and my friend accidentally hooked the jumper cables up in reverse and I didn't check so I went and turned the key and then I saw a wire on the starter solenoid smoking so I quickly disconnected the cable the wire is burnt and led to the alternator but I'm not wanting to try jumping It again but has anyone done this or know what I should check first to see what's broke?
 

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If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
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I would replace the starter solenoid and check the nearby wiring for melted shielding. If the wiring checks out I would try starting it again. If there is anything fried it probably wont start. I would have someone else start the truck while you are under the hood looking for any more smoke coming from wires.

If it does start and the diodes in the alternator are fried you wont be getting any charging to your battery. You can test this by using a voltmeter and checking the voltage while it is running. If you get 13 volts or more your alternator is charging.
 

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So my 1990 5.8L ford bronco's battery died and my friend accidentally hooked the jumper cables up in reverse and I didn't check so I went and turned the key and then I saw a wire on the starter solenoid smoking so I quickly disconnected the cable the wire is burnt and led to the alternator but I'm not wanting to try jumping It again but has anyone done this or know what I should check first to see what's broke?
fuseable link part of a group of wire attached to the starter silonid positave cable usually on the passanger front fender if you lucky that might be the only damage but could be more there that just that one,,, that is where i woul start,,,then have the alternator checked.. ns see where you stand if good and no othere burnt things that you have replaced i would try to test start it,,, Best wishes
 

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Yo Bdlardoo,
As klh95bronco advised.
Also check fusible links attached to starter relay and fuses in fuseblock.

Location pics in an 85 & 89 the first two pics are of an 89 5.0. because of the loom i wasnt able to trace the wires...The second pic is at the starter relay to show you a fusible link wire (the green wire in my fingers you can see at the eyelet there is a black plastic block). the third pic is of my 85. i think that big block is another style fusible link ford used on older stuff (but im not sure)..."
Source: by shift1313 (Matt) at No Spark!?!







You can test the starter relay; disconnect battery, pull cables from relay and apply 12 v dc to small post with relay metal body as the ground.. see if you have continuity between large posts. Ensure relay mounting surface is clean of rust and grine.

Sometimes the EECIV SUFFERS DAMAGE.
 

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my color blind brother helped me jump start my last bronco ('86). I didn't check his connections on the other vehicle and as I put the cables on my battery, with my face right over it, it exploded. It felt like hot sand all over my face and I couldn't hear out of my left ear for two days. Good news, no permanent damage done (except I have a major phobia of battery cables now) but the truck ran great with a new battery for years after that. Hopefully your electrical system is ok.
 

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Thanks for the tips guys but I was wondering should I switch out my battery cables? Because I dont know nothing about electrical systems and I dont know how to do it or what kind of replacement cables I should get, I was just going to get cheap $10 cables and swap them in, but it seems a lot harder then that. Suggestions?
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Honestly, if they're the original wires from battery to solenoid to starter to alternator to grounds you're likely just better off replacing them all. Old wires are the #1 cause of most starting issues (next to bad ground connections). It's really not that hard, we did it on my 82, and new terminal clamps, been a great investment. Ur gonna end up doing it eventually as the wires degrade, lose continuity, splices come apart in the casings that you'll never see... One of the best investments you can make imo.
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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Thanks for the tips guys but I was wondering should I switch out my battery cables? Because I dont know nothing about electrical systems and I dont know how to do it or what kind of replacement cables I should get, I was just going to get cheap $10 cables and swap them in, but it seems a lot harder then that. Suggestions?
Ohm out your cables if you are concerned about their condition, the resistance should be very low, the higher the ohms the worse they are, you can find resistance charts for specific gauge wires online, for example, "resistance/ohms per foot of 00 copper stranded wire"
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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Honestly, if they're the original wires from battery to solenoid to starter to alternator to grounds you're likely just better off replacing them all. Old wires are the #1 cause of most starting issues (next to bad ground connections). It's really not that hard, we did it on my 82, and new terminal clamps, been a great investment. Ur gonna end up doing it eventually as the wires degrade, lose continuity, splices come apart in the casings that you'll never see... One of the best investments you can make imo.
Honestly, if they're the original wires from battery to solenoid to starter to alternator to grounds you're likely just better off replacing them all. Old wires are the #1 cause of most starting issues (next to bad ground connections). It's really not that hard, we did it on my 82, and new terminal clamps, been a great investment. Ur gonna end up doing it eventually as the wires degrade, lose continuity, splices come apart in the casings that you'll never see... One of the best investments you can make imo.

Very true, most 25+ year old old cables have a bit of corrosion and generally are no longer perfect, even in a best case garaged low mileage scenario.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Very true, most 25+ year old old cables have a bit of corrosion and generally are no longer perfect, even in a best case garaged low mileage scenario.
It's not the corrosion I worry about as much as the brittleness. Work hardened brittle wire (inside the casing) is not a good consistent or reliable conductor.
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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It's not the corrosion I worry about as much as the brittleness. Work hardened brittle wire (inside the casing) is not a good consistent or reliable conductor.
You're right about that, fatigued/cracking wire can cause all sorts of hidden issues, and with very little visual clues. I hadn't considered work hardening from flexing or vibrating during operation. I've only had that issue one or twice, even working in facility maintenance. It can be frustrating to diagnose, usually shows up with erratic voltage and or high/variable resistance when the damaged wire is moved.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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I hadn't considered work hardening from flexing or vibrating during operation.
I was thinking more the constant heating and cooling the wire goes thru... Then add physical stress... Recipe for disaster in 30+ year old rigs. The only solace to be garnered here is... They probably had a lot better copper back then ?‍♂
 
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