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Discussion Starter #1
Bought this very well used ( read beater) ranger and it has always had this intermittent starting problem.
starter does not turn. Try it enough times and the starter will turn and starts right up.
Thought it was the solenoid because when I unplugged the connector that goes to the solenoid and stuck a meter on the side driving the solenoid. the pins would go from 0 to 12 volts every time the starter button was pushed. So replaced the solenoid. But Nooooo.
same problem. if I leave the 2 wires connected to the solenoid and shove a couple wires into the back of one of the connectors it only goes from 0 to 4 or 5 volts but occasionally ( when it actually starts) will go up to 9 - 10 volts.

One of the wires to the solenoid goes direct to the starter button and assume that's essentially ground; the other comes from some place else. and where ever that is it's obviously not strong enough to reliably engage the solenoid reliably.

So where does that other wire come from? So I can replace it.
Hoping it's not from the ECM. if it is thinking of just running a wire from the switched 12 v to that one wire of the solenoid input.

short version of the question: what drives the solenoid and where is it located.

thx
Steve
 

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You have lost me smg but it sounds like the brake safety switch (starter interlock switch) (drivers side wheel well in the brake line).........connections may need cleaning . I would pull the connector off and shove a short jumper wire into the plug to see if it will bypass...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I already tried that. the safety switch is working. cleaned the connector just to be sure and also tried shorting the leads that go to the brake safety switch. no change in starter behavior.

here's what I am seeing.at the starter solenoid.
1. 4 wires go to it.
2. 2 big fat red ones ( one to battery and one to starter)
3. 2 skinny ones via a push/lock connector (one to a terminal on the starter switch and one some place else)
4. if I measure the voltage at the connector that goes to the 2 skinny wires I get 2 different results depending on whether that connector is attached to the solenoid or not
5. with connector open / not connected to the solenoid. The 2 pins go from 0 then to 12 volts when starter switch is activated and it does it every time the starter switch is activated
6. if plug in the connector that goes to the 2 skinny wires on the solenoid and measure the voltage it only goes from 0 to about 4 or 5 volts when the starter is activated but occasionally will go up to about 10 volts and when id does the latter the starter spins
 

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2005 Ranger XP 800
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Could be that the solenoid is dying, and when it doesn't close it is causing a partial short, pulling the voltage down.

Could be that the key switch is dying, and not making a good connection most of the time. It could be still making a partial connection, enough to send some voltage down the wires but not enough to close the solenoid.

Could be some sort of weirdness with the start diode, which is meant to clamp the current that comes off the solenoid as it opens and protect the electrical system.

You could try connecting those two skinny wires to something else... like to a 12v fan or a big LED bar... something that pulls 10 amps or so, then just try to "start" it and see if the fan spins/light comes on. That would eliminate the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks vilord,
I have actually already replaced the solenoid with no change in starter behavior.
Also to rule out the starter switch I have actually directly shorted the 2 wires that come from it together but get the same behavior.

BTW the ignition switch has been replaced with a push button for the starter and a toggle switch for the dash/fuel pump and ECM. so only the two wires going to the push button starter switch.
I'm thinking the previous owner had similar issues given the starter switch replacement and when I swapped out the solenoid it look very shinny i.e. new; like they had already tried that.

one of the two wires to the solenoid is hard wired to the starter button. the other one has about 5 M ohms between the solenoid and the starter switch. I'm assuming that line is driven be an output of the ECM ( which probably ANDs that with the brake safety switch... just a guess as I have no wiring diagram)

seems like the out put of the ECM ( or where ever it comes from) is not strong enough to drive the solenoid input to 12v
 

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2005 Ranger XP 800
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At least following this 2013 manual (wiring diagrams at the very end)...
there is nothing involving the ECU/ECM at all.


One side goes directly to the start switch, for ground.

The other side goes to a splice, and all that is in that splice is the brake safety switch and the brake lights.
 

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"I already tried that"................

Would be nice if that information was included in the original post........
 
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Would be nice to not be chasing our tails, right?

OP: here's the starting system:
131012
 
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