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Discussion Starter #1
'96 5.0 L
Killed my battery by leaving on interior lights (I know). Tried jumping the battery and got a small puff of white smoke from the REAR of the engine compartment. I KNOW the jumper cables were hooked up correctly - double checked.
Now when I try to start I get one click and nothing else.
Battery wasn't holding a charge so I replaced - it's brand new now.
Replaced starter solenoid/relay on inside of fender - brand new now.
Had starter tested - works fine.
Checked and cleaned all wires and connections from battery to relay to starter.
Why won't she turn over and what was that small puff of smoke??? :whiteflag
She's leaking antifreeze but I can't see that being related. She started and ran great until the battery died. I've read dozens of threads and online searches.
She's my first truck and if I don't get her started my wife will make sure it's my last!
 

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Sounds like a cable problem...Make sure all connections are tight and clean. Check for cracks or exposed wire on all cables make sure they are not grounding out somewhere.
 

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agree sounds like a cable issue

make sure you have a good ground between battery and engine block
you can use a jumper cable as a test cable,hook up battery negative and solid engine bracket like alternator mount etc


if you did hook up backwards, check fuse links that connect to positive side of starter fender relay
 

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imdabes
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937 Posts
Yeah, betcha its the terminals. I like to use military clamps like lots here and I score the inside of my terminals as well as the outside of the posts. Then clamp the crap out of them and cover them with something then never disconnect the clamps again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks guys. I'll check all cables and ground this week. The question is: the truck hasn't even moved since the battery died and the puff of smoke - how could cables or ground have changed at all since then?!

 

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imdabes
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I dunno, I know that many times in the past if my negative cable has been loose at all my battery will "die" at random times.

But if you tested the starter and its good, the battery is good, the solenoid is good, the only answer is a cable between them. The relay isn't wired backwards is it?

The only thing I could even guess at for the puff of smoke is the starter but its good, maybe it was just a spark that ignited a piece of gunk or something.

One thing is lots of times those electronics have plastic shields around their terminals. I use larger cables and always have to trim these pieces to get the lugs to fit.
 
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