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Discussion Starter #1
hey everyone...I have a small problem that can hopefully be worked out at a fairly cheap price. It happens when I start my car....as I turn the key in the ignition, everything goes off...the power and everything. At times, after the first try, it will turn over, but recently, it has been getting progressively worse. Is this my starter going out, or is my ignition relay messed? I had the ignition switch replaced about 2 years ago. I don't know if it is still under any warranty, and I can't find the papers if it is. Need help bad.....worried I am going to be stranded very soon. :( :(
 

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Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
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Well if you're worried about being stranded always keep a hammer in your trunk to smack the starter if it freezes.

But it does sound to me like your starter is going bad. The starter uses a LOT of battery power and if it doesn't get the engine started it will eat that battery power in no time. A remanufactured starter with lifetime warranty costs about 90 bucks without the core charge. And about 130 with core charge. I'd say it's time to replace it.

-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply...thats what I thought was happening, but I wasn't too sure...how bad is it to replace the starter on my own?
 

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Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
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Depends on your tool selection. With the way the downtubes and catalytic converters are placed it's a real PITA to do. Probably take about 2 hours to get it off and the new one on. But if you have exhaust like mine it's really easy. My downtubes are made so that the cats are back by the tranny pan and I could fit my whole arm up in there. You'll also have to splice in a wire because Ford made a better switch relay on the starter. That was the main problem with them.
-Thomas
 

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I replaced my starter once. It wasn't too bad. I just put the front of the car up on jackstands and wriggled under in the driveway. It wasn't too hard to get to on my 89, but the new 96 downtubes might be troublesome.

By the way, it sounds to me like it could also be a low battery. Which could be caused by a bad starter draining the battery, but I would check the battery as well. The trouble is, if you test the starter in-car with the type of machine Advance Auto Parts has, a bad battery can throw off the reading. (Or so they say.) So, you might actually be best served taking the battery out and having them test it (since it's easier to get to) and then testing the starter once you know the battery is good.

My battery was just replaced this year under warranty, and it was acting similar to what you describe.
 

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Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
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Oh man battery totally skipped my mind. Yeah most auto parts stores will test a battery for free and it takes 5 minutes so start with that.

89-97 passenger downtubes are all the same FYI

-Thomas
 

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The Parts Guy
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Is the car losing all power when the key is turned to "ON" or when it is turned to the "START" position? If it's losing all power when turning to the "ON" position, it sounds like a bad ignition switch or connection at the battery. If it's losing all power when turning to the "START" position, it's likely either the battery, connections at the battery, or the starter.


Thomas said:
89-97 passenger downtubes are all the same FYI
Not completely true, there were slight changes in the downtubes between the 93's and 94's, and the 95's and 96's (three downtube styles were 89-93, 94-95, 96-97). These changes were made to accomodate the changes in angles of the exhaust manifolds/headers. However in this instance, none of this really matters.


-Rod
 

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Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
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Well okay I should correct my statement. All passenger downtubes are at the same angle where they meet the collector. As in all 89-97 passenger exhaust manifold will bolt up to 89-97 passenger downtubes. There were emissions hardware changes in the downtubes 3 times like Rod pointed out.
-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Basically when I turn the key to the start position, that is when everything goes off....no power going through...I can giggle the key a little, and by that time it turns over. Hope this helps..
 

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I've seen Thomas change the starter on his car. He is fast even with my crappy tools. Just watch out when he tosses the old starter. He's leathal!
 

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The Parts Guy
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If by jiggling the key the power comes back on, then I'd have to suggest replacing the ignition switch.

-Rod
 
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