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F150 1985 won't start

we last started the truck 9 months ago, then sold the bad transmission thinking we would get a new one soon. we were only able to find a new transmission a couple days ago… when we went to start the car, it wouldn’t start… the battery seems to be good and we bought a new solenoid but it is arching at the solenoid and the starter doesn’t even seem to try to turn the engine over… suggestions? do we need a new starter?

Have you tried turning the engine over by hand? Just disconnect the battery and use a socket and breaker bar on the front of the crankshaft. I would also have a knowledgeable person check out the battery and the solenoid installation.

yes! we turned the engine over by hand and it runs…

ps… we looked at another truck and are sure the solenoid and battery are installed right

If I understand your post correctly you’ve just installed a new transmission, and now the starter won’t turn the engine over. Is that correct?

If so, I’d closely examine how the starter is mounted. You may have it bolted on crooked such that the drive cannot engage the flex plate. If it looks correct to you take it out and CAREFULLY use jumper cables to test it. Negative to the starter case and positive to the positive post. If it spins it works.

Many times it is the battery cables. The negative one is sometimes made so cheaply that the rubber only lasts about 25 years. Check it for cracks and if any are seen, change it.

You can test this by clamping both ends of a jumper cable to the negative battery terminal and both other ends to metal on the engine block. Then try to start the engine. If it cranks nicely, change the negative cable. It might cost ten bucks.

The test worked on a 73 Maverick with a 302 about eight years ago. I had the cables and nothing better to do. You might not need a starter

Probably every one will say this is a bad idea, but people have been known to try and contact a jumper cable from the pos of the battery touch it to the pos stud on the starter motor to see if it cranks. Then you will know if it is the starter motor. Caution, danger, sparks etc.

we have a new negative cable