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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys, So on Sunday I was out dropping some stuff off to my grand parents when the bronco wouldn't start! I had driving about 10 miles everything was fine.When I turn the key all the electronics come on, stereo, lights, windows, etc but nothing from the engine, not even an "eeerrrr, errrr, errr" like the battery is dying or starter is dying. I had AAA test the battery, they said it was @ 50% and should have enough juice to turn it over.

Now I should back up, when I got the truck about 2-3 years ago I built all new battery cables, new battery and new starter.

Doing some searching around I thought it was the starter solenoid, I tested it and was not getting power to the starter side, replaced it and still nothing. Upon further investigation I tested the battery connection- fine, then tested the battery to the starter solenoid- good, I pulled the ignition wire that goes into the solenoid tested it and nothing.

So I am beginning to think maybe its something in the ignition, tumbler, ignition rod, Alternator etc? I'm probably going to have to have it towed to the mechanic @ this point because I can't keep it on my Grandparents street too much longer :banghead Any suggestions would be great! Cheers!
 

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I pulled the ignition wire that goes into the solenoid tested it and nothing.

So I am beginning to think maybe its something in the ignition, tumbler, ignition rod, Alternator etc? I'm probably going to have to have it towed to the mechanic @ this point because I can't keep it on my Grandparents street too much longer :banghead Any suggestions would be great! Cheers!
Turn the ignition on with the key, jumper the battery positive terminal (on the starter relay) to the ignition (little) wire on the relay. (use a screwdriver, as you want to be able to take it off when the engine starts)
The relay should pick (and hear it clunk) and the starter crank the engine. If the ignition is working, it should start. (after you get it off the street, troubleshoot the ignition switch mechanically and electrically)
No clunk from the relay? Either the relay is faulty or not firmly grounded to the inner fender.

Still no go? look at this link:
http://troubleshootmyvehicle.com/ford/4.9L-5.0L-5.8L/how-to-troubleshoot-a-no-start-1

Good Luck
 

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Could also be your neutral safety switch (NSS) if you are getting nothing at the wire on the relay when you rotate the ignition.

If you rotate the lock and it turns your accessories on and off, then it's not the lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the key feels normal, and the radio turns off when the key is in START, it's probably the NSS/MLPS or the shift linkage. If the key doesn't feel normal, go to the Tech Writeups forum here and find the thread about ignition actuators.
Hey Steve, the radio does turn off when i start the key. I'm about to search the tech writeups now. Thanks EVERYONE for your help, I know it has to be something stupid/ small.

MMMMM Tuuuuurkkkey
 

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you don't say if it is a manual or auto.

IF manual be 100% sure it is in neutral before you jump the starter relay.

IF auto, try moving the gear selector in and out of park, or try starting it in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Its an auto C6, which I had rebuilt about a month or 2 ago. I tried starting it in neutral and not nothing.
 

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you don't say if it is a manual or auto.

IF manual be 100% sure it is in neutral before you jump the starter relay.

IF auto, try moving the gear selector in and out of park, or try starting it in neutral.
That's a good point. There is a switch that will only pass the "start" signal if the clutch is in the proper position (near the floor). The connector is still there on autos, but it has a shorting plug in it. Might give that a look too.
 

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Look up FSB member "bronco boy" original post for an upper ignition actuator replacement on an 85 steering column. It's a picture step by step on how to and will give you a lot of insight assuming the 88 has a similar set up...:doh0715:

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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Did they have those terrible dealer installed security systems in 1988? stupid little black box by the parking brake bracket. That was the cause of my no start issue in my 1993. I started mine with a screwdriver for two months, and nearly wired in a starter button.
 

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probably ignition actuator, jump the starter relay and start it with it in park or neutral so it doesn't take off.

ive had good luck replacing actuators. little hard to get the key timed 100% but still an easy fix.
 

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The easiest and cheapest fix is a push button starter. Works good and last a long time. Only problem is you can't use valet parking.
 

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I agree with Steve83, don't waste your time with a push button start you're just avoiding the obvious.....

As for timing, the "brass drive gear " behind the key cylinder I would review "bronco boys" original post and in the first few pictures you'll see when the key cylinder, snap ring and washer are out exposing the brass drive gear.

If you look at it closely it's "untouched" so look at the top of the brass gear drive and you'll see the the 3rd top tooth of the drive, looking right to left is right in the middle of the key cylinder track on top so with the ignition key in RUN this is the correct timing sequence. Looking at the middle of the brass gear drive you can use a small screw driver to lift in the middle and turn it if necessary so the timing is correct. It's very simple if you pay close attention..

Just make sure when you turn the key off/lock position, that the "clock display" is off otherwise the power is still on thru the ignition and you'll run the battery down, been there done that having to pull the key cylinder, snap ring and washer and re-time the drive gear ..lol lol....:histerica

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys, I am hoping to tackle it this weekend. I was out walkin the dog this morning, look at the truck thinking to myself push start could be cool..... then I thought ehhhhh just makes it easier to steal(recently an 80's Lincoln was stolen off my block so I'm cautious) and It would look hodgepodge.

JKossarides- I saw Broncoboy's post, I've been studying it looks involved but I think its doable.(I'm printing his post) Thanks for the info on the timing, knowing me I woulda just put everything back together and walked out the next morning to a dead battery.
 

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I figured the timing out when I disassembled the steering wheel and took off the metal column cover that there's another "actuator" that sits in a little pocket in the collar and this actuator mates with the brass drive gear, inside on the left but it's not pictured in bronco boys original upper ignition actuator post so I went back to the beginning of the pictures and noticed in the first few that the brass drive gear was timed correctly because it hadn't been disturbed up to that point and that's how I figured out the correct timing.

You'll need a wheel puller to get the steering wheel off and my 86 steering wheel and shaft has a specific "groove" which have to match up in order to get the steering wheel back on correctly so look inside and see if you have one as well.

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mornin Gents, Well had some time over the long weekend to give the bronco some attention, It's definitely the Neutral Safety Switch. What replacement would you recommend? I checked local JY's and Ford Dealer came up empty. I did a quick search on the web and found some options, Should i go with Motorcraft? is there an upgrade? etc
its an 88 with a C6, XLT
thanks!
 

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I'd go with the Motorcraft.
Rockauto is usually low if you want to shop, but then there's shipping.
I've seen them come up NOS on Ebay, just watch-out for the seller. I prefer the small "bought this 10 years ago" type seller versus the mega seller. They make it appear as if they have stuff in stock, but then don't. Plus many are VERY slow to ship.

If you go the Ebay route, post up what you find and maybe we can give feedback.
 
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