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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
88 bronco not turning over out of nowhere

Hey guys, got a question. Just rebuilt my transfer case and hooked everything back up, serviced and got ready to fire it up and will crank but not turn over. Been hooked up to my Elantra in case it was the battery not having enough power and didn’t help. Just started it a week ago and it fired right up. Now it has been sitting on about a 30 degree incline in my driveway for about a week. It started right up everytime until this so I’m puzzled. I feel it’s fuel cuz it’s got spark, any tips?

Super Moderator
25,082 Posts
Yo Matt,
I moved your post here for better visibilty.
For No Crank:
Here is the 1989 EVTM, Emissions & Pre-Delivery Manuals, Partial via mrnewland1 in Google Drive @
Slow scrolling. Find page # of item desired in contents, then flip screen flip down like spinning a bearing (a no-no) then stopping periodically to see which page you're on.
See no crank TROUBLESHOOTING procedure with wiring diagram below.

Battery that is fully charged produces 12.6 volts at rest with engine off and all lights and accessories off.
Inspect the terminals for loose or corroded connections.
Are battery connections including grounds to frame, intake manifold etc., clean and tight?

by El Kabong @
"Cheesy clamp on end. Do not use for a long term repair. Only to get you home when nothing else is available. If you have one of these, suspect it before anything else" El Kabong @

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

Pull red/light blue wire push-on connector off of the inner fender starter relay.
Relay pic in an 89 5.8 by Handy_andy_cv64 (Ed B) at

With key in start position, should have batty voltage at red/light blue wire. If not, check for voltage at re/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.

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 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.
Here is the 1988 Bronco Dealer Brochure

Free registration for some wiring diagrams (86 through 96) and Technical Service Bulletins, (80 through 96), same as by Ford @ BBB Industries- Premium Alternators, Starters, Power Steering Products | TSB's & Wiring Diagrams

For any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories (75 posts required to view).

Please fill out your Bronco Info with year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. for better responses.
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey guys. My 88 bronco with a 351w and EFI will crank but not turn over. I changed the spark plugs, they are getting fuel and sparking. The fuel pump works and pushed fuel through the filter cuz disconnecting lines it will force fluid out. The throttle body is clean as a whistle, ignition coil and ignition module on the distributor are brand new. What else could I be looking at.

4,809 Posts

108 Posts
Stuck idle air control motor , bad fuel pressure regulator, map sensor bad,
just thinking about what could throw off fuel mixture not to ignite
You said you confirmed spark and fuel

772 Posts
Without putting a fuel pressure gauge on it you don’t know.
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