I've got a 1987 F150 6 cyl. with 67000 original miles. Sometimes when starting, all I hear is one click when I turn the key. Turning the key back then forward again, the truck starts right up. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
I believe that click you hear IS the solenoid. You've either got a bad (corroded) connection somewhere or the starter is going. try cleaning up the cable terminals on the solenoid and starter. It's if you DON"T hear a click, then your solenoid is shot.
If you follow the positive cable from the battery, it should lead you to a black round piece of equipment that is mounted on your inside passenger fender and probably about 1 or 2 feet from battery. There is two posts on it, the one side comes from your battery and the other side goes to the starter. This is what I call the solenoid. I have never heard of a starter relay but that maybe right on the starter itself. I assumed that you checked the connections already and was still getting the clicking in my previous post. Sorry !! I have never had any problems with my starter on either the '87 that I had or the '94 now. The '94 was giving me problems after I put the chip in. Turn the key and nothing, go wiggle the positive on the battery and go try again and it would start right up. Bought a new battery, still the same problem. Went and bought a new solenoid, replaced and haven't had a problem since. If memory serves me correctly, I also change the solenoid out of my '87 when I had it. Hope this helps.
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Not to ruffle any feathers---It has both, I believe all convential systems have both a starter relay and starter solenoid...
The starter relay swithes large amounts of amperage with a small signal wire....
The starter solenoid is an electric-mechanical device which engages the starter bendix in to the flywheel or flexplate...
It uses a electro-magnetic field with a metallic plunger to pull a arm on a pivot which engages the bendix...
Not trying to be smart just explaining the Ford starter system 101
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Mach 1 is right about the newer trucks. The 87 solenoid/relay switches battery directly to the starter & the spin of the starter "screws" out the drive gear with no other assist. The 97's on have a solenoid on the starter that pulls the drive gear in. Mike's problem is probably a bad starter or cable.
Yes Mach 1 is correct. The true solenoid is on top of the starter and the relay is usually elsewhere (fender between battery and starter for example). The benefit of a relay is you can switch large amounts of current with a smaller "signal" or current. The relay energizes the solenoid which engages a gear on the starter with the gear ring on the flywheel. A lot of mechanics still call the relay a solenoid. Also as redlariet pointed out not all starters have solenoid actuators some are screw driven by the starter rotation.
The click you hear is your relay and your starter is not getting enough or any current to turn over. It could still be the relay even though it clicks if the contacts are burnt but this is rare. I would check cables and the starter.
Thanks to all that responded. The truck has been running fine the last week, I double checked all the battery cables and connections on the starter. probably just a loose connection. Thanks again to all who responded......
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