Sudden no crank no start after A/C repair?

Tiny
MATTYATES12
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD EXPEDITION
  • 5.4L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 252,000 MILES
Hey y’all, so I’m at my wits end here. I am currently a 21-year-old self-employed contractor and full-time student in mechanics, who has a wife in school full time as well, two young kids, and just bought a house. As you can probably guess, I’m now broke. So, I’m doing all the repairs myself. I am by no means at all an expert, but I know enough to get by. I just bought this truck about a month ago. Got a good deal on it, had all verifiable repairs including a new transmission, new ball joints and tie rods, an all-new rear end, new drive shaft and 4x4 drive shaft. When I bought it though it did not have A/C due to a bad compressor. Before I tackled that, I put in a new air intake manifold, new exhaust manifolds on both sides, and a new EGR valve. It’s hot where I’m at, so about 3 weeks ago I decided to get A/C going. Note, truck cranked up and ran fine before I started any work on the A/C. So, I took out the windshield wiper fluid tank, the battery, battery holder, disconnected all wires, took out the starter solenoid that is mounted on the firewall. I took out the A/C compressor and accumulator. Installed new accumulator and mounted new compressor, flushed all the lines, then reconnected all the hoses to the compressor and condenser. Ran a new belt. Then Put battery and solenoid back in just to start, and it started up fine. So, I took the battery back out and solenoid back out, and put everything else (fluid tank, battery holder, wire harness) back in. When I was putting the solenoid back on, I stripped the bolt off. So, I went and got a new one. Installed it and finished hooking wires up. Tried to start and it cranked up fine. So, I got my can of coolant, connected hoses, and went to turn truck on again, it wouldn’t start. No crank no start. Just a click. Thought maybe solenoid was new and sent too much power to the relay or something. Changed all PCM relays, the diode, and any relay or fuse connected to the PCM or ignition system. Still, no crank no start. Thought maybe just a bad solenoid so I bought another new one. Still, no crank no start. Multimeter showing good battery through all of this, but still figured maybe false positive and bad cell. Took the battery out and took it to have it analyzed. Was reading a bad cell. So, I bought a brand-new Die-Hard GM battery. Hooked it up, let it slow charge on 2 amps for 36 hours, went to turn it on, no crank no start. Tried to jump it, no crank no start. Tried to bridge the solenoid with a screwdriver, same thing. Tried to jump the solenoid directly, same thing. Broke down and bought a brand-new starter motor. Installed it, hooked jumper cables up to my battery, turned the key, cranked right up and ran good. Ran until I turned it off. Waited 10 minutes or so, took the jumper cables off the battery, tried to start the truck a second time, cranked up and ran good. I thought I was finally done, and I was beyond relieved. Later that night, about 2-3 hours later, I went to turn the truck on again, no crank no start. Tried to jump it, no crank no start. Back to that single click. Put all new cable ends and terminals on all cables, no crank no start. So, I bought a new ignition switch, installed it, no crank no start. All accessories work. Chime works. Just will not crank. I have changed every single fuse is both boxes, and every relay pertaining to the ignition or PCM system. I don’t know what to do now. In a month I’ve spent about $3,000.00 on this truck, and I can’t afford to take it anywhere now, nor can I even go to work without it. I am desperate. Any help whatsoever would be more than appreciated. Basically, on my knees here. Thanks a lot, to whoever ends up receiving this.
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Monday, July 18th, 2022 AT 7:15 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If you only get a click, I realize you replaced terminals, but are they all clean and tight? Also, does it only click if you try jump-starting it?

Bear with me on this. I'm looking through the wiring schematic and am working through different thoughts. LOL

Will it start in neutral? If you go to the relay, is there constant power to the red wire? When you turn the key, is there battery voltage to the tan wire with a red tracer? I ask because if there isn't, the starter relay won't actuate and power the starter.

Do me a favor. Take a look through the wiring schematic below. Note: It was one page long, but I cut it in half to make it readable for you. I did overlap the two so you can follow from one to the next.

Reconfirm the fuses are good, in addition to checking the fuses, make sure there is power to and from them. Here is a link you may find helpful:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

Also, make sure to check the tan/red wire for power when the key is in the start position.

Let me know.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below.
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Monday, July 18th, 2022 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
MATTYATES12
  • MEMBER
I understand man, believe me I ve been doing the same for 3 weeks, lol.

To answer your questions:
-Yes, just a click when you try to jump it.
-Yes, constant power to fuses, relays and red wire.
-I m not sure which tan wire you re talking about; I don t have one on my battery.
-Yes, all terminals are clean and clear and tight.
-It still won t start in Neutral now, but before all this started, I always had to have it in neutral to start. Once in a blue moon it would start in Park.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Okay, it sounds like you have a faulty neutral position switch. However, if the starter clicks, that can't be the case. The tan wire with the red tracer is at the relay. That is what triggers the relay to send power to the starter.

I don't want to ask this, but I have to. If the starter only clicks and everything is good, could there be an engine issue? Can you turn it manually if you place a socket with a breaker bar on the crank pulley?

Let me know.

Joe
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
MATTYATES12
  • MEMBER
Nothing wrong mechanically. Especially considering it worked, then didn t, changed the starter, worked, then right back to just clicking. And gotcha on the tan wire. Yes, I have a spark-boot that goes on the solenoid and that s the red/tan wire. The only problem is I only have access to about 4 or 5 inches of that wire before it goes into the fire-wall, and I can t see at all where the path is after that.

One thing I need to mention though, it s not the starter motor that s clicking. It s the fire-wall mounted solenoid that clicks. But I know the starter is good because I hooked power up to it directly and got it to spin.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 AT 10:21 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

the tan/red wire goes between the relay and the neutral safety switch/range sensor. If the switch is bad, it won't send power to actuate the relay.

Have a helper turn the key to the start position and confirm it has power.

Let me know.

Joe
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 AT 8:00 PM

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