Not starting

Tiny
BRONCOSAURUS
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 FORD BRONCO
  • 5.8L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,800 MILES
Okay, so here is the deal in a nutshell, got this vehicle about a week ago off of Craigslist (my first mistake). It was running frat I put about four hundred miles on it without any problems. Drove it to work the other night and it was fine, but when I went to leave work the car would not start.

When I attempted to start it at first all the accessories would turn on but when you would try and turn it over there was nothing. So after some brief research I was able to get it started by bridging the terminals on the starter solenoid and it ran fine for me to get it home.

Now today I replaced the starter solenoid and still nothing but bridging it again still got it started so that bring me here. I am wondering if anyone has had similar problems or knows where I should go from here? Any help is greatly appreciated. Trying to make this a reliable daily driver.
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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 AT 6:06 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you hear the starter solenoid make a fairly loud single clunk each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank"?
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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 AT 6:20 PM
Tiny
BRONCOSAURUS
  • MEMBER
No when I turn the key all the way there is nothing, just crickets.
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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I really do not know what "crickets" means.
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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
BRONCOSAURUS
  • MEMBER
Just an expression sorry for the confusion, there is no sounds at all when you turn the key all the way.
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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 AT 4:21 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. First try starting the engine with the shifter in "neutral". If that works, suspect the neutral safety switch.

Observe if the red "Brake" warning light on the dash turns on when you turn the ignition switch to "crank". If it does not, the ignition switch is out of adjustment. It is half way down on the side of the steering column and will shift position if the mounting screws work loose.

Next, unplug the red / blue wire from the starter solenoid on the inner fender. Momentarily connect a jumper wire from that small stud to the large one that is connected to the battery's positive post. Be sure the transmission is in "park" or the ignition switch is off. The solenoid should click loudly, and the engine should crank. If it doesn't crank, the solenoid is bad or it isn't mounted solidly to a good ground.

If the starter cranks the engine with that jumper wire, have a helper turn the ignition switch to "crank" while you test for voltage on that red / blue wire. A test light will be more accurate than a digital voltmeter for this test. If no 12 volts appears, you'll need to find the neutral safety switch and take some readings on it.

That switch is on the side of the transmission and should have an eight pin connector, probably with five wires. Back-probe through the back of the connector on the two red / blue wires. Both should have 12 volts when your helper turns the ignition switch to "crank". If one of them does not, shift to different gears and see if it shows up. If you always only get 12 volts on one of those wires, use a stretched-out paper clip to jump those two wires together. The starter should work now in any gear, so be careful in case the engine starts in gear. If that doesn't work, the jumper is likely not making good contact with the terminals. Disconnect that plug, then jump those two wires on the terminal end.

If you don't get 12 volts to either red / blue wire at the neutral safety switch, double-check that the clip lead for the test light is making solid contact. Next, either the ignition switch is bad or there's a break in a wire to or from it. There's two yellow wires on that switch. Both should have 12 volts all the time. If you do find that, check for 12 volts on the red / blue wire when you turn the switch to "crank". If you don't get 12 volts on the red / blue wire, the switch is bad. If you do get 12 volts, but not at the neutral safety switch, that wire has a break in it.
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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 AT 5:39 PM

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