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5.4 Triton starting problem

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by mranum, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. mranum

    mranum Member
    Messages: 32

    Ok, let me pick your collective brains. I got a 2000 F150 with the 5.4 in it. Just after Christmas it started this thing where, if the temps got below say 15* overnight the next morning all it would do is "click". Hit the key a few times and it would take off. It doesn't seem to be the starter relay as I get power to the starter itself.

    I pulled it in the shop and checked out the connections down below. Quite a bit of corrosion so I pulled the connections apart and cleaned and greased them. Also pulled the battery cable out and soldered a new end on it. Put it back together again and worked great...until the next morning when it was about 10*. All I got again was, "click".

    I pull the starter, take it apart and seems fine. Brushes are like new yet. I had another used solenoid that was good from a different starter that tests fine. The starter bench tests perfect. Put it back on the truck and works great until the temps get real cold again, then the same thing.

    My battery is getting weak so I thought maybe thats whats doing it so I change the battery. Same result. Now I plan on putting this truck up for sale within the next month and hate to drop another $130+ for a new starter so I go visit some friends that own a local scrap yard. $25 later I leave with a factory starter that has 60,000 miles on it. Put it in and problem solved. Drove it 800 miles since then.

    This afternoon.........temps are down to 5* and a 20mph wind.........I jump in it and it goes..."click"!!!:realmad: It will start...eventually depending how many times you work the key switch. Might be 3 might be 30 times.

    What the hell is doing this?????? Its beyond frustrating. I considered ground. But there is a ground wire from the battery directly to the starter and from there to the frame.

    This truck is the biggest money pit I have ever owned in my life, am I going to have to try and sell it on a warm day???

    BTW- I have tried jumping the starter relay and get the same result.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Could be a bad cell in the battery.
  3. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    when you replaced the battery cable end, did you inspect the cable? it sounds like either a bad cable, or cable connection. if there is corrosion inside the cable, it will do this. a bad ground connection will do it also.
  4. mranum

    mranum Member
    Messages: 32

    The battery was changed.

    As far as corrosion in the battery cable itself, thats why I soldered a new on it, there was some corrosion inside the cable at the end. The ground cable looked good but I haven't run a resistance test on it. All connections were cleaned and greased with electrical grease.
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Have you determined if the clicking is the solenoid on the starter or the relay? If you giggle the shift lever or put in N does it resolve the problem. Sometimes the Neutral/Park adjustment gets out of whack or the position sensor on the trans gets funky. You can look at the trans selector switch to see if it is aligned properly.
  6. mranum

    mranum Member
    Messages: 32

    I have switched from park to neutral and wiggled the shifter in each position to see if it affects it. It does not change anything. Unless I'm wrong, if the park/neutral switch were out of adjustment I would get no sounds whatsoever as it would be an "open" in the circuit.

    The "click" comes from the starter. I can jump across the relay and will hear the starter "click" down below.
  7. djr623

    djr623 Member
    Messages: 60

    When you say the battery was replaced did you put a new one in? The only real way to pin point there problem is when it is acting up. Check voltage at the starter signal wire, check voltage drop on the positive cable( from the battery to the starter) check ground at the starter. Use jumper cables to jump power to confirm good voltage etc...
  8. mranum

    mranum Member
    Messages: 32

    Ok, I'll check voltage & voltage drops when I can get some assistance. Thumbs Up
  9. Drottlawn

    Drottlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    My vote is the starter. Had one do this to me