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Thread: Won't Start/Electrical Short?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Won't Start/Electrical Short?

    Hey Guys,

    Been a Lurker here for awhile and could use some help. Back in August drove my Marauder for about an hour then stopped at a gas station for all of 40 seconds went to start back up, got one click and all interior power cut out. Car wouldn't start even with a jump. Got a new battery was good for about 3 months then the same thing happened. Warrantied same battery (bad cell) same results with warrantied battery.

    I can charge the battery and get same results interior lights kick on, all the normal chimes, fuel pump kicks, once I actually go to crank 1 click and everything cuts out. Since then I have replaced the starter, tested continuity with a voltage meter between starter and positive battery cable. I tested all the fuses and verified the major grounds (to the best of my ability). I test continuity between the block and the ground screw on the body near the battery. To me ground is ground and if I get a good reading between that screw and the block/frame ground is present to both block and frame (please correct me if that is the wrong thought). I also verified resistance/continuity between alternator and negative battery cable along with that ground too.

    When I charge the battery I get it to around 12.8v but it will drop to about 12.5-12.7 after I try that initial start. I have seen many posts about no crank no start related to fractured harness wires or a pats issue but all of those seem to retain interior power without even an effort to start (no click). I lose all power and it does not seem to come back unless I disconnect the battery and charge a bit. In my mind a bad relay would yield no click, bad alternator I would start and not retain charge, starter is new motorcraft reman so that's out. Maybe ignition switch?

    The battery is a motor craft from my local Ford dealer. Hopefully something stupid I'm missing. Not really sure where to go from here. I appreciate any help/feedback and sorry for the chapter book length explanation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    "805" Central Coast California
    I was having similar issues with a crown vic I had and went through 2 batteries. Even though all answers didn't point to the alternator, I just went to the junkyard and got an alternator to see if it would help and it totally fixed the issue. Hope that helps. Good luck man.
    Ex-owner of an '03 300a Black Mercury Marauder EOW: 02-12-2015

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Somewhere in the N.C. Triangle
    Test for voltage drop when starting. As these cable age they can get corroded internally.

    Also check all the ground (-) points, remove the cable(s) and clean the mounting surface and cable ends unit they are shiny.
    “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
    Ronald Regan

    "The only way to deal with the Islamic State - these blood thirsty, blood-drunken, terrorists -
    is to kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one, then you kill his pet goat."

    Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes, if you **** with me, I'll kill you all"
    General James Mattis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Well stupidity strikes again. I went to do the voltage drop test and noticed the cables going to the positive terminal had some slop and could move around a bit (it is not a crimp style but the one with the plate and 2 bolts that secure cables to the terminal). I snugged them tight as I could had the wife turn it over while I checked voltage and she started up. I've been able to start it a few times since. I still find it odd that it did it once then didn't show itself for months and then happened again with permanent results until now, I know I also got good resistance readings between the starter and terminal itself, as well as the fuse box cable and terminal before I noticed the loose cables. Either way it runs so we will see how it plays out. Thanks for the tips guys!

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