1988 Ford F-150 Is it the Alternator or something with the f

Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 FORD F-150
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 98,000 MILES
I have had my truck die on my a couple times with no issue of restarting or any reoccurence after it died. Just recently though, yesterday, it died and would't start again. The motor would turn but never start. When I turn the key the needle on the battery gauge would go to the beginning of the red zone. My friend jump started my car, without revving, and it started but soon died after driving for about and 1/8-1/4 of a mile. He then jumped it again, this time revving it and it was able to make it the mile and a quarter back to the apartment.
Do you
have the same problem?
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No
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 AT 4:36 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The ignition system requires 9.6 volts (minimum) to start the vehicle. Does the engine crank at all when it drops into the red? Have you had the battery load tested? Most parts stores will do it for free. Also, when it is running, does the alt gauge climb back to a normal position?

Let me know.

Joe
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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 AT 12:30 AM
Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
The engine cranks, had the battery tested and they said that it was good. After jumping the charge will be towards the + on the gauge but when it dies after that it climbs back down. When I try to start it is when it goes in the red, otherwise its just lower.
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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 AT 9:30 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Has the check engine light ever come on? It sounds like the alt is doing its job and you said the battery is good. So, now what causes it to die? Has the check engine light come on?

Let me know.

Joe
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Thursday, February 11th, 2010 AT 4:31 PM
Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
It has in the past but never for very long, sometimes it'd flash, sometimes it would only be on for like 10 seconds. One time it was on for about 3 minutes, I turned the truck off and it hadn't come back on since. We checked the alternator and it was indeed bad but it still won't start and my father thinks that when my grandpa put in the fuel injector cleaner that there wasn't enough gas. I don't know if that would cause this issue though? And if so, how do you fix it? He also thinks it is something with the starter.
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Thursday, February 11th, 2010 AT 4:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Okay, lets go a different direction. Since it won't start but the starter is working, have you checked to see if the engine is getting spark and fuel.

Let me know. Also, let me know if you need directions on how to check for them.

Joe
PS: Don't worry. We'll get it running again.
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Thursday, February 11th, 2010 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
Yes I need to know how to check it, we are going to look at it tomorrow.
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Saturday, February 13th, 2010 AT 3:25 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Here are the how to's for checking for spark and fuel. They both provide directions and a video.

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_test_an_ignition_system.htm

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_check_fuel_pressure.htm

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Saturday, February 13th, 2010 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
Ok the alternator was bad and it took over a day for it to start but it started. When im idle, the rpm or w/e its called will randomly started going below 1 then back over it and do that and almost die. Well it sometimes does die when it does that its only when im stopped or put my truck in park when it does that. I'm being advised to adjust my idle and I'm not sure how to quite do that. Something else that started yesterday is that when I go over a certain speed my speedometer needle will start wiggling around.
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Thursday, February 25th, 2010 AT 5:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It has been a while. Do you have throttle body injection or multiport?
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Saturday, February 27th, 2010 AT 12:23 AM
Tiny
SHADOWDREAM87
  • MEMBER
I know it's fuel injected. Not sure about those though.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2010 AT 10:37 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If you follow the air intake tube to the engine, it will attach to the throttle body. Look for where the throttle cable attaches to the TBI. THere should be a curb idle screw that if you tighten it, it should raise the idle. If you loosten it, the idle will lower. The throtle plate will rest against it.
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Sunday, February 28th, 2010 AT 2:38 PM

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