No crank/no start, A/C compressor pulley replaced, drove, now back to no crank/no start after 1 wk

Tiny
RBOYD
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD F-150
  • 5.4L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 225,000 MILES
Bought this 2000 F150 about two months ago. Obvious damage to the bed, mud all over, must have been used off road.

3 weeks ago, the A/C stopped pumping cold air.
2 weeks ago the belt started chirping.
Last week: after the longest trip I've taken it on (3 hours), I parked it for 2 hours, drove ~11 miles to the store, come back out to no crank/no start. AAA jump start fails. We tow it back home (with front wheels dragging, not on flatbed).

I take battery in, it tests fine after a charge at the auto parts store. I install a new starter. No joy. Then I put the breaker bar on and pop the belt off. It starts right up. I hand check all the pulleys, see the A/C pulley is stuck, pick and pull and repair (just the pulley, leave the old clutch). With the belt back on everything's good and I'm back on the road. Still no cold A/C though.

Fast forward to this morning, back to no crank/no start. I pop the belt again thinking maybe the compressor's clutch is faulty and freezing the pulley, but this time it still won't start even with no belt.

Multimeter across the battery terminals reads 12.39. I brought it in and it's currently charging on a 3A max bench power supply for last 6 hours. Original cabling is in place and showing age. No corrosion but certainly rusty.

I thought to check the oil and it's dreadfully low/nearly empty. I had it changed and all fluids topped up last month right after purchase, have kept my eyes open for leaks and haven't seen anything. Possible engine seizure?

I figure in the morning I'll try to fully eliminate electrical by doing voltage drop test, checking relays and fuses. As for mechanical, can I try to turn the flex plate manually with my breaker bar and a socket? How would I go about that? Do I need to remove spark plugs?

Can a faulty alternator cause a no crank/no start? I mean hypothetically if the battery is known good/brand new.

Any other ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Sunday, August 30th, 2015 AT 10:13 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Try the breaker bar on the crank pulley first. That'll tell you if the engine is seized. Removing the plugs will make it easier, but you should be able to turn the engine over by hand with them in. Just takes a little extra elbow grease.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 7:28 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Check the radiator, too. Does it look like a chocolate milkshake? Did/Does the oil? When it ran, did it smoke? Yes, a bad alternator can cause a no start/no crank once the battery discharges sufficiently.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 7:37 AM
Tiny
RBOYD
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply! I got back under there this morning and noticed the bolt holding the ground cable to the starter had backed off a good bit. I tightened it back down and it started back up.

I'm still left wondering about the low oil. Any tips on tracking a leak? It must only leak or burn off in motion because I never see any spots on my drive. I do notice a suspect area while I'm underneath the engine that could be collecting drippage. I'll post pics soon.
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 8:07 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Yep. There's a flourescent dye that you can buy and add to the oil. Drive around for a couple days and then pass the fluorescent light over and around the engine. Any oil that has leaked out since you added the dye will fluoresce brilliantly. Does it smoke at all when running?
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 11:01 AM

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