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Old 06-11-2007, 17:40   #1 (permalink)
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81 F150 not starting

Hi
My '81 F150 is not starting. About 3 weeks ago, it started acting up ... would start sometimes, but sometimes it would barely turn over when I turned the key. This would happed 2 or 3 times in a row, and then it would fire up. Seemed to happen more when the engine was warm. Now it's in the driveway, and when I turn the key I hear a "clicking" from the relay, but no turn over at all. I just replaced the starter motor, no luck. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-11-2007, 17:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

Battery condition? Check connections at battery, solenoid,(relay) and starter. They must be clean and tight. If you get it started have the charging system tested and the battery load tested.
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Old 06-11-2007, 20:01   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

after doing above checks re-member some re-built starters are no good from the get-go--bob
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:49   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobr19
after doing above checks re-member some re-built starters are no good from the get-go--bob

How did I forget that! That is one of the first pieces of advice I give when one has replaced and still won't crank.
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Old 06-12-2007, 15:31   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

Thanks for the advice. I checked connections and all is clean and tight. I've replaced the starter and the starter relay (had the parts on hand), but now I'm out of ideas. The battery is holding a good charge. When I turn the key, I can hear what I think is the starter spinning (not sure though, but it's making some kind of noise), but no crank. Is there something else I should look at before I call a tow truck?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Cheers
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Old 06-12-2007, 17:06   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanmol
Thanks for the advice. I checked connections and all is clean and tight. I've replaced the starter and the starter relay (had the parts on hand), but now I'm out of ideas. The battery is holding a good charge. When I turn the key, I can hear what I think is the starter spinning (not sure though, but it's making some kind of noise), but no crank. Is there something else I should look at before I call a tow truck?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Cheers
The only thing that spins in the start position on a ford truck that old is the starter--if indeed it is spinning the bendix is not engaging the ring gear--I'd remove the starter and check it off the truck--just use a hot battery and jumper cables--you can watch the complete operation of the starter--if you have no provision to do this most auto parts stores will check it for you--Bob
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Old 06-12-2007, 17:33   #7 (permalink)
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roll Re: 81 F150 not starting

Okay, will do. Assuming the starter is working, can you suggest other possible reasons why the truck won't start? At least reasons that I can fix at home. If I can avoid the shop rate for diagnostic, I sure would like to.
Thanks again for your help! I love that old truck, don't wanna see it go :)

PS ... Is it possible that there is an issue with the starter motor not connecting with the crankshaft? The motor is on correctly, but I'm wondering if there is a problem with the gears in the crankshaft. I'm not very knowledgeable about the mechanics of the starting system, but thought I'd throw this out there to see what you smart guys think!
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Old 06-12-2007, 18:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

bobr19 might be a smart guy, but I'm just another monkey in the cage. Like he said if the starter is spinnibg and the engine not turning over, then the bendix is not kickng in, (or out, depending on how you look at it) Pull the starter and either bench test it or have it checked somewhere. You need to be sure if the bendix is working or not. (You will see the gear move out)
Chances of the starter working properly and not engaging the flywheel is pretty slim. If the teeth are messed up on either one you should hear a bad noise.
If the starter is not doing anything, check for power to it while someone turns the key for you
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Old 06-12-2007, 18:51   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 81 F150 not starting

Okay, boys thanks very much for your advise. I guess it's time to knock on my neighbour's door and check the power again. I'll have the starter motor checked as well.
Cheers, you may just save me a bunch of $$$ so much appreciated!
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