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  #1  
Old 03-06-2011
jayellcowen's Avatar
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truck totally dead

98 ranger 2.5 4cly 5 speed

my truck is totally dead, as in electrically. no lights, horn, radio, nothing. its like the battery is pulled out. Battery is nearly new and charged. just had a new engine put in but this happened to me once before I had the new engine installed. The truck is fine and then nothing, totally dead. the first time it happened, i went under the hood and jiggled the battery cables for a minute and it magically came back to life and started right up. This time no luck. I toyed around under the hood for a minute and then went to the interior fuse panel and pushed on it and the truck came to life. I shut it off and now nothing again. I can't figure this one out.

I did search and came up with the possibility of bad battery cables or grounds. The cables and posts are clean and seem fine. What grounds should I check? this has happened only twice. Once before the new engine and now once after. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. this is my fifth ranger and I like this one and want to keep it going a long time.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2011
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check all the grounds

Last edited by djfllmn; 03-07-2011 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Check to see if any wires are rubbing against anything that might take off their coating and leave bare wire.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Replace the battery cables. Thats what happened on mine. Especially when you live in a snow filled area like Pitt. I lived in NY when that happened to mine.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Could be the battery cables. i'd trace them all the way and you might find something, but its probably a good idea to replace them.
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Old 03-09-2011
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I cleaned all my grounds and then decided to cut back the ends of the battery cables a few inches. When I cut the sheathing off the wire, tons of corrosion was unveiled. I cut back enough to get to nice shiny copper. I put new connections on the ends of the cables, hooked them up, and then charged the battery. Truck fired right up and seems fine.

So the conclusion is that it was the battery cables. I am interested in replacing them, but the task looks daunting. Automotive wiring intimidates me and this job looks rough. How hard is replacing the cables? Where do they end? Any info would be swell.

Thanks

P.S Here are my five rangers.

Thumbnails in order.

1st. 1991 2wd reg cab 5 speed 2.3L 4cyl xlt. Sold for $75 with 215,000 miles. First car at 16 years old
2nd. 1994 4wd ext cab 5 speed 4.0L 6cyl xlt. Paid 4k for it and tranny went in 9 months. Sold for $1300.
3rd. 2007 4wd ext cab 5 seed 4.0L 6cyl xlt. Brand new and rear ended and totalled after 2 months of ownership. Bought a 08 focus and my 4th ranger with the insurance check.
4th. 2003 2wd reg cab 5 speed 2.3L 4cyl xl base. Went back to my roots with this truck. Loved it, but got divorced and had to decide between the ranger and the focus. I really destroyed it anyway so I picked the focus.
5th. 1998 2wd reg cab flareside 5 speed 2.5L 4cyl xlt. Paid $1000 for it with a bad knock in the engine. Installed a used engine with 50k miles and new clutch. This is my current truck and plan on keeping it for a while.
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Old 03-09-2011
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it shouldn't be that hard to change em' out. the negative is just gonna go from the battery to a ground spot on the frame. the positive i'm not sure about. i wanna say it goes to the starter but don't quote me on that.
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Old 03-09-2011
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positive goes to the starter. I've had to replace mine before for the same reason. Piece of cake though.
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2011
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well techically the hot goes to solenoid first, and the neutral goes to the frame
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Old 03-09-2011
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There might be a how to, I'm too lazy to search for ya,
but its not too bad, you might also want to look into putting new terminals in at the same time, i know someone did it a while back and they had pictures and everything.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2011
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Good advice guys.

I checked out autozone and the cables are as follows:

Positive cable with terminal and 1 aux lead is 20" long and $6

Negative cable with terminal and 1 aux lead (ground) is 38" long and $8

Now that I have done a little research, the job looks pretty simple. My only question is after I strip the factory electrical tape and wire loom cover off, how should I replace it and with what?

Any other tips on the job would be awesome and I'm sure someone, somewhere, sometime will find this doing a search and your knowledge may help them too.

Thanks

below is a pic of the available cables.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2011
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well you can buy wire looms and just use regular electrical tape, zip ties work wonders as well
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Old 03-10-2011
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i wouldn't use electrical tape on those. buy that heat shrink stuff. it fits over the wire and you add heat, it shrinks and conforms to the contour of the wires/connectors. comes in different sizes and most auto parts places should carry it.
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2011
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so why wouldn't you, i mean i never did anything with my battery cables, but i use electrical tape on alot of otherwireing jobs under the hood and its works fine doesn't unstick, you'd be suprised electric tape is second most useful tape, next to duck tape of course
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Old 03-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morris View Post
i wouldn't use electrical tape on those. buy that heat shrink stuff. it fits over the wire and you add heat, it shrinks and conforms to the contour of the wires/connectors. comes in different sizes and most auto parts places should carry it.
^ that stuff. i think it works better than electrical tape IMO
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Old 03-11-2011
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there is always the chance that the tap could unravel or become unsticky with road dirt and dust. at least with heat shrink, there is no unraveling or getting loose. i find that electrical tape also get firm and can loosen off because it's not contoured.
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2011
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eh true like the original tape in my tuck got all hard, good point, just wondering though, shrink tubing is some good stuff though, and a cheep alternative to cheap v-rated screwdrivers lol,
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