1978 Ford F100 bad solenoid?

Tiny
JFOUNTAIN
  • MEMBER
  • 1978 FORD F-100
  • 175,000 MILES
My Ford f100 was running fine until today, I shut it of for about an hour when I came back to start it all I got was one click everytime I turned the key, and a little smoke coming from the positive battery terminal when I would turn the key. I replaced the solenoid figuring that was the problem and it worked started right up. However, when I shut it off later and tried to restart it I got the same results as earlier 1 click and a little smoke. Any ideas what might be going on?
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 5:20 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The smoke is screaming "here's the problem". If the smoke is coming from the cable connection, clean and tighten them. If it's coming from where the wire strands go into the cable clamp, the strands are breaking off and the cable should be replaced.
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 6:47 AM
Tiny
JFOUNTAIN
  • MEMBER
I changed out the battery terminal and cable and replaced a broken fuse today still getting the same click from the solenoid. I have been told by a relative that it could be the Neutral safety switch although I dont even know where to start on that. Any other ideas?
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 11:05 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Definitely not the neutral safety switch. That would prevent the solenoid from turning on at all. You can prove that by shifting to reverse or drive and trying it. You'll see the solenoid doesn't click unless you're in park or neutral. Can't find a faster test than that.
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Friday, February 24th, 2012 AT 11:44 PM
Tiny
JFOUNTAIN
  • MEMBER
Ok so I have to admit I am NO expert when it comes to vehicle electronics at all. I really didnt think he was right when he said that it was the neutral switch. With the symtems that it is having do you think that it may just be that the starter is out or is it more likely something electronic that is wrong?
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Saturday, February 25th, 2012 AT 2:32 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What have you tested so far? Frayed starter cables were common in the '90s. Bad solenoids were common in the '70s. Loose connections were real common of Fords from the '60s through the '90s.

Do you have a voltmeter or test light, and a helper to turn the ignition switch?
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Saturday, February 25th, 2012 AT 4:05 AM

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