1997 Ford Elite Ignition problem

Tiny
PFLASH4001
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD ELITE
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 180,000 MILES
I stopped at a stop sign down the block a few days ago and when I dropped into first and started to accelerate the engine cut out. It felt as if I'd not given it enough gas, so I attempted to restart. When I did everything had gone dark. No lights, no instrument panel, no radio. Someone tried to give me a jumpstart, but no response. We then tried a push start, and again, nothing. I took both the battery and the starter to get tested. Both came back good. I reinstalled them and when I did the panel lit up, but when I tried to start the engine, everything went dead again. I'm at a loss as to what the diagnosis could be and I'm really financially strapped. I can't afford a big repair bill right now. I was hoping to get it done myself if I could. Obviously, I'll take it in if its too big for me to handle myself, but I've replaced a starter and alternator myself, do I tried to eliminate those possibilities. Thank you very much for any help you can offer.
Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 10:28 AM

2 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • MECHANIC
  • 33,736 POSTS
Sounds like a simple bad connection. For future reference, never remove a starter to have it tested. Any old bad starter can work fine when it's not under the load of spinning the engine, so off-the-car tests are pretty much worthless. Also, you have an entire electrical system that's going dead. The starter is just one of the many parts of that system. If it were actually defective, everything else would still work normally.

Follow the smaller positive battery wire to the under-hood fuse box and be sure that connection is clean and tight. Follow the smaller negative battery wire to the body and be sure that connection is tight and not rusty.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 6:48 PM
Tiny
PFLASH4001
  • MEMBER
  • 2 POSTS
Thank you. I'll check that tomorrow when there's light out.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 7:11 PM

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