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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Story time!

Was changing out the power steering fluid and was cutting off the engine every few minutes to turn the steering wheel back and forth (turkey baster method). After about the 5th time, it just stopped cranking over.

I kept trying to see if it would turn over every 15 mins or so. Sometimes I would open the door and the dome light would be on and other times there would be nothing. The longer I let it sit - better chance of the dome light working.

I went and replaced the battery today. The previous owner definitely let the Bronco sit for months at a time and the battery had a sticker from 2019 and Im in Dallas, Texas and its been scorching here lately so I replaced it.

Still getting the same symptoms today . I took a few pictures and it look like the previous owner did some upgrades to the wires but noticed some odd things. A lot of good info in the search feature but also overwhelming because I dont know where to start. Only thing I feel comfortable replacing is a fuel filter and an oil change..lol.

Check these pictures out...and let me know where to start. Open to upgrades. Will need help with part numbers and where to buy. Not familiar with soldering.

On my list
86-95 FORD BRONCO HEAVY DUTY BATTERY CABLE SET V8 SSP NEW MADE IN THE USA | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Random battery wire and connector - not sure what the purpose is. Not connected to anything - tied off to a hose.


182354







Overall picture of battery section. Let me know if I can provide more pictures.



182355
 

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That battery cable tied off in your pic is likely the old negative battery wire. Chase it down and see if it connects to the frame and to the engine block just above the oil pan flange.
Also, those type battery cable terminals that PO used are wrought with potential of corrosion problems. They make good temporary "get you home" type repairs but will likely have corrosion entering the cable within a year or two.
Your replacements seem to be of good quality.
Another area to look for a no start situation is the push on ignition wire on the starter relay. The slightest bit of corrosion could make it so the relay doesn't operate as it should.
Would also recommend cleaning all of the ground connections on truck. Each kick panel has one, there is one near the pcm under hood hinge and one near driver's headlight and the one right above the battery. Also, I would remove the starter relay and clean the mounting points and screws up because this is also a ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That battery cable tied off in your pic is likely the old negative battery wire. Chase it down and see if it connects to the frame and to the engine block just above the oil pan flange.
Also, those type battery cable terminals that PO used are wrought with potential of corrosion problems. They make good temporary "get you home" type repairs but will likely have corrosion entering the cable within a year or two.
Your replacements seem to be of good quality.
Another area to look for a no start situation is the push on ignition wire on the starter relay. The slightest bit of corrosion could make it so the relay doesn't operate as it should.
Would also recommend cleaning all of the ground connections on truck. Each kick panel has one, there is one near the pcm under hood hinge and one near driver's headlight and the one right above the battery. Also, I would remove the starter relay and clean the mounting points and screws up because this is also a ground.
Thank you for the quick reply.

What do you think is causing the on/off function of the dome light? I feel like if I can identify that - that will lead me in the right direction.
 

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With the limited info gleaned from an online conversation, I would be looking toward a questionable chassis ground causing intermittent problems.
 

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1996 Bronco XLT, 5.8, Auto Everything.
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Thank you for the quick reply.

What do you think is causing the on/off function of the dome light? I feel like if I can identify that - that will lead me in the right direction.
as a wire, or a bolted connection, gets looser, dirtier, and more corroded, it creates a point of high resistance in the circuit.

Points of high resistance get hot when current flows.

So, you end up with a positive feedback loop: the worst connection in a circuit takes the brunt of the punishment under high load (like starting the engine), and gets worse. Wires can melt inside their insulation, corrosion can accelerate around bolted connections or battery terminals, grease and oil can cook and form an insulation layer around otherwise acceptable contact points. Nuts and bolts work their way loose under repeated heating/cooling cycles.

Your LED lights turn on when the system is cool and off otherwise because something in the system is on the verge of failure.

Start with the easy stuff: check for corrosion at those clamp-on battery terminals. Clean the battery terminals, cut the wire back til you get rid of all the "creeping green death" at the connectors. Honestly, most of those cables connect to things within easy reach, it might be easiest to just replace the easy ones upfront. I paid a car-audio guy to do a "big 3" upgrade on my truck, that replaces the heaviest loaded cables with new shiny ones... kick him a few extra bucks to check the starter and engine grounds while he's down there.

You can certainly do it yourself with just a few wrenches and a wire brush... but things look very different when you are crawling around underneath a car, so go slow and patient.
 

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Yo 94_FSB,
As Native_Viking advised;
CHECK GROUND CABLES to frame, thento block, etc.
"... Problems with the negative battery cable is a major cause of starting problems in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. Bad battery cables can cause a voltage drop in the cable and result in low voltage being supplied to the starter. You can check for voltage drop in the cable using a digital voltmeter. Connect the negative probe of the voltmeter to the negative battery post (not the battery terminal connector). Then connect the positive probe to the starter case and crank the engine. The voltage reading should be less than .5 volts. A higher reading means there is resistance in the cable or the battery terminal connector. Clean the cable end and the battery terminal connector and test again. If the voltage reading is still higher than .5 volts, replace the cable and the battery terminal connector..."
Source: by genco1.com

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 @ Common Replies to FAQs

Voltage; "...a normal battery that is fully charged produces 12.6 volts, not just 12.0 V. (Remember, when measuring battery voltage, everything in the car should be off, or the battery should be disconnected. Voltage measurements are always "no load" measurements unless the battery is being tested for it's performance under load)..." by Gordon

Ignition Switch Mechanical Test
NOTE: 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.

NOTE: Do not apply lubricant to the inside of the ignition switch.
Test the steering column ignition system mechanical operation by rotating the ignition switch lock cylinder (11582) 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:
Loose column
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.

Anti-Theft Overview in 92-96 Vehicles; "...The anti-theft protection system provides two types of vehicle protection. The first is designed to provide the vehicle with protection from unauthorized entry into the passenger compartment and engine compartment (hood opening). The second monitors the status of the ignition switch lock cylinder. If triggered, the system provides both audio and visual alarm signals and disables the starter circuit. The system is controlled by an electronic module. When armed, unauthorized entry into the vehicle is detected by courtesy lamp switches (located in the passenger compartment door jambs), and a hood switch (located on the right cowl surface). In addition, the system triggers an alarm if the ignition switch lock cylinder is forcibly removed from the steering column tube (3514). The system immediately monitors the ignition switch lock cylinder upon removal of the key from the ignition. Once triggered, the system flashes the low beam headlamps, the parking lamps, the alarm indicator, and sounds the horn. In addition, the starter circuit is interrupted until the system is disarmed..."


182385

PINPOINT TEST B: STARTER MOTOR DOES NOT CRANK ENGINE
B1 CHECK CONNECTIONS AT BATTERIES
  • Inspect the battery terminals for loose or corroded connections.
Are battery connections clean and tight?
YesNo
GO to B2.CLEAN and TIGHTEN connections at batteries.
B2 CHECK BATTERIES
Are the batteries OK?
YesNo
GO to B3.CHARGE or REPLACE the batteries.
B3 STARTER RELAY FUNCTION
  • CAUTION: Make sure transmission is in neutral and parking brake is applied.
  • Connect remote starter switch between battery terminal at starter relay and starter relay S terminal.
  • Press remote starter switch button.
Does starter crank engine?
YesNo
If equipped with an automatic transmission, GO to B4. If equipped with a manual transmission, GO to B7.If relay does not click, GO to B9. If relay clicks, GO to B10.
B4 BATTERY FEED TO STARTER RELAY
  • With key in START position, check for battery voltage at starter relay S terminal (R/BL).
Is battery voltage present?
YesNo
GO to B9.GO to B5.
B5 BATTERY FEED FROM TRANSMISSION RANGE (TR) SENSOR OR PARK/NEUTRAL POSITION (PNP) SWITCH
  • With key in START position, check for battery voltage at TR sensor/PNP switch terminal (R/LB).
Is voltage present?
YesNo
REPAIR open in Circuit 32 (R/LB) between relay and sensor/switch.GO to B6.
B6 BATTERY FEED TO TRANSMISSION RANGE (TR) SENSOR OR PARK/NEUTRAL POSITION (PNP) SWITCH
  • With key in START position, check for battery voltage at TR sensor/PNP switch terminal (W/PK).
Is voltage present?
YesNo
CHECK TR sensor/PNP switch adjustment. REFER to Section 07-14A or Section 07-14B. REPLACE sensor/switch, if properly adjusted.REPAIR open in circuit between sensor/switch and starter relay.
B7 BATTERY FEED TO CLUTCH PEDAL POSITION SWITCH
  • With key in START position, check for battery voltage at CPP switch terminal (R/LB).
Is voltage present?
YesNo
GO to B8.REPAIR open in circuit between ignition switch and CPP switch.
B8 CLUTCH PEDAL POSITION (CPP) SWITCH CONTINUITY
  • With key in START position and clutch pedal pressed, check for battery voltage at CPP switch terminal (W/PK).
Is voltage present?
YesNo
REPAIR open in circuit between CPP switch and starter relay.REPLACE CPP switch.
B9 STARTER RELAY GROUND
  • Check for continuity between relay mounting bracket and clean chassis ground.
Is there continuity?
YesNo
REPLACE starter relay.CLEAN ground connection.
B10 BATTERY FEED TO STARTER SOLENOID
  • With key/push-button switch in start position, check for battery voltage at starter solenoid S terminal (R/BL).
Is battery voltage present?
YesNo
GO to B11.REPAIR open in Circuit 32 (R/BL) between relay and solenoid.
B11 STARTER SOLENOID
  • Check starter solenoid. Refer to Component Tests in the Diagnosis and Testing portion of this section.
Is starter solenoid OK?
YesNo
REMOVE starter and perform no-load test. REFER to Section 03-06A or Section 03-06B for removal procedure. REFER to Component Tests in the Diagnosis and Testing portion of this section for test procedure.REPLACE starter solenoid.
 

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"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 @ Common Replies to FAQs
I'll throw in a pic of that "cheesy clamp on end". In my experience this type will always fail after a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Could use some additional help...

I removed the stud on the front of the block to replace the negative battery terminal and need some help figuring what tools to help me get the original terminals off.Is there a replacement part number for that bolt?


182505



182506
bolt.png
 

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Yo 94_FSB,
"With the Right wheelwell gone, it's easy to inspect the frame ground, just inboard of the spring tower on top of the frame rail. The battery ground cable is stripped ~3/4" and a tab is soldered on so it can be bolted to the frame...
...
My personal preference & recommendation would be to run the heavy wire directly from the battery to the block. (Note that later V8s use a stud on the forward bolt of the R engine mount.) That's where the biggest load runs (the starter), and I don't want any connections in between, like those 2 rings held together by the bolt in the frame. That's why Ford just stripped a section & added the frame flag instead of cutting it there. IMO, the stripped section isn't that big a deal for reliability, but it can be a PITA for the shadetree electrician to duplicate. ;)

Then I'd run a smaller (cheaper) wire from the block back to the frame, since there's not much electrical load grounded to the frame anyway. IIRC, the heaviest load is the fuel pump. If you have a trailer connector, then its lighting, charging, & electric-braking loads go to the frame, too. A winch should have a dedicated ground wire directly to the battery - not to the frame.

Yes, Ford put the (+) to the fender to keep that wire to the starter relay shorter, AND to keep the ground wire shorter." by Steve83 (BANNED)

In response member s1120 wrote "Sounds like what I did to my 95. I used 2guage cable, and mounted a mounting stud on the frame, and branched out from there."
Shadofax replied "
expand...
Seeing as this post was put up AFTER I bought everything from Ryan, I basically duplicated how the factory ran the ground as Steve mentions above. The tought part was actually getting at the block bolt, it's not that easy to get to. I then carefully stripped about 3/4" from the 2GA ground right at the frame and found a metal holddown clamp similar to what was used for the factory cable. Made sure everything was cleaned of dirt, paint, grease and made my connections. I'd like to find some kind or spray or rub I could put on the top of the connection at the frame though, to try and minimize any corrosion that starts in the cable there. I don't like the idea of corrosion starting there, but on the other hand as Steve points out my cable is 2ga all the way to the block, no cutting.
and the ground for the winch runs directly to the batt (-). "
&
I am replacing the grnd cable and cannot get the stinkin block ground loose to connect new ground. I am using a 5/8" open end wrench on the inner nut and a 9/16" on the outer nut. I cannot get anything to turn more than a 1/4 turn.

I am guessing that it is just gunked up really bad but figured I would see if I am going at this properly....
I believe it to be the outer hex is the nut and the inner hex is the stud nut(part of the stud). I just couldn't get enough force on it to get it to fully break loose. I was beginning to think I was going at it wrong.

By trying to get the outer nut off (using a wrench on the stud nut for counter pressure) and got the entire stud to turn but couldn't get the outer nut off. Wouldn't be an issue if the starter cable hanger and tranny line hanger weren't attached. May just cut the hangers and replace with some scrap aluminum I have laying around.

Like I said before I was just making sure I am on the right path to getting this apart without breaking/stripping anything."
by member gunterelectric226

"I just looked and the inner nut is part of the stud, you just need that outer guy to loosen." by Shadofax

●Dustball replied "I don't even mess with the OEM ground connection. On the trucks I've had, I cut the old cable on both sides of the block connection and run a new cable from the battery terminal to a bolt elsewhere on the engine that's more accessible."

Read more @ Ground cable replacement
 
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