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Old 01-22-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
rseiber
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86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

Got this Bronco after it had been in storage many years. It would start but I had problems keeping it running. Figured out that fuel filters were clogged. Many hours and parts later confirmed that the fuel system was working correctly. Then it stopped starting.
I found that when the key is in "on" position that the engine starts turning over but it will not start when the key is turned to start. Thought perhaps it was the ignition switch and changed both that and the neutral switch.
I have had two other people run the electric system and everything appears to be working and no wires crossed. I want to sell it as a running vehicle, not as scrap, but I cannot figure out this ignition problem.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

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Originally Posted by rseiber View Post
Got this Bronco after it had been in storage many years. It would start but I had problems keeping it running. Figured out that fuel filters were clogged. Many hours and parts later confirmed that the fuel system was working correctly. Then it stopped starting.
I found that when the key is in "on" position that the engine starts turning over but it will not start when the key is turned to start. Thought perhaps it was the ignition switch and changed both that and the neutral switch.
I have had two other people run the electric system and everything appears to be working and no wires crossed. I want to sell it as a running vehicle, not as scrap, but I cannot figure out this ignition problem.
It's possible that the solenoid is worn out or wired incorrectly. I'd start there.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

I have replaced the solenoid twice. I pulled the wire going into it and used a test light in the wire. When the key is turned to on it lights up, so the problem is somewhere before that.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #4
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

I have replaced the ignition switch twice thinking I had a bad one the first time, I have taken the ignition switch off the column and used a tool to move it manually and same results. Cranks when in on position and nothing in start position. I replaced the solenoid. There is one hot wire going to the post on the solenoid. Pulling the wire (red&blue) off the solenoid I hooked a test light to it. It lights in the on position. The engine will crank when I jump the neutral switch with a wire. I replaced the neutral switch which is the plunger type with a new one. Still will not crank unless I use a jump wire. I have rewired and sodered two harness connections that were corroded, no change. It also seems I am not getting juice to the electric fuel pump on the frame. When I shoot starting fluid into the intake it starts but of course not wanting to burn up the starter I shut it down. The fuses look good. I am totally lost being on unfamiliar ground working with the ford system. Ran great before these issues. Thank you for your input! Randy
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

"Cranks when in on position and nothing in start position".(?) Sounds like the starter might be stuck in the ring gear. Remove the starter motor and inspect the bendix gear travel. Make it extend by hand. If it travels out too far then the snap ring on the end of the armature shaft is out of place or missing. This can make it stick in the ring gear making it crank when you turn the key to "on". Then inspect the ring gear all around for bad, rough teeth. HTH
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

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"Cranks when in on position and nothing in start position".(?) Sounds like the starter might be stuck in the ring gear. Remove the starter motor and inspect the bendix gear travel. Make it extend by hand. If it travels out too far then the snap ring on the end of the armature shaft is out of place or missing. This can make it stick in the ring gear making it crank when you turn the key to "on". Then inspect the ring gear all around for bad, rough teeth. HTH
I dissconnected the one (1 red & light blue) wire going to the solenode and connected a test light to the wire. When I turn the key to the on position it lights up which tells me it is giving juice to the starter in the on position. When continuing to turn the key to the start position there is nothing. I will pull the starter if after knowing this you feel it may still be the starter? Thank you for your time! Randy
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

No way a bad starter would cause this. The starter can't crank the engine without a power source. Something with the linkage to the ignition switch is misadjusted or defective.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: 86 bronco turns over in 'on' but won't start

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No way a bad starter would cause this. The starter can't crank the engine without a power source. Something with the linkage to the ignition switch is misadjusted or defective.
I removed the ignition switch from the steering column and used a screwdriver to mechanically move the switch and it cranks continuously in the on position. If I move it forward to the start position it does nothing.
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