Thanks for that. That is a pretty low mileage vehicle for a 1996 by the way! I am taking it on faith that the starter motor itself is no still cranking the engine and that it is just that the gear is still engaged in the flywheel.
If the starter motor never stops trying to crank the engine (as if you never let go of the key I mean) Then that would be an electrical problem as described above.
Two mechanical answers can happen to make this happen:
1. The coil spring on the Bendix has failed and is no longer able to pull the starter gear away from the flywheel. (In this case you would need a new starter)
2. The second one is not possible since the starter was already working but involves the center to center distance between the starter and flywheel is too tight. (Some older GM starters needed to be shimmed but Ford does not use this system).
To see if the spring is broken on the starter you will need to remove it. Disconnect the battery before removing it. Remove the two bolts on the starter and slide it out of the housing. If the spring is broken you should very easily be able to move the gear in and out by hand and once it is out (extended) it should pull itself back in. If not, that is your problem. New starter needed!
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 AT 7:35 AM