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Discussion Starter #1
Hi TCCA & Forum Members,

My 2000 Duratek has ~81,000 on it. Beginning a couple months ago it began to have sluggish starting (ie. slow cranking), but only after the engine gets hot. The typical scenario is to go out for some local shopping stops. Maybe in the store for an hour, come out and it might start or the starter will be sluggish, stepping on the throttle down and up a bit while slow cranking gets it to start. If we're brave enough to drive to another store, shop for another hour, come out and it we've had what feels like a dead battery, and a jump from someone will get it to turn fast enough to start the car. Once the car cools down, it starts like normal.

I had both the battery (rated 650 CCA and tested 625) and charging system checked at the local garage and they're good.

I've read on TCCA about low fuel pump pressure, and dirty MAF sensors, but in those situations, the starters all cranked good cold or hot.

Other non-TCCA research discusses "heats soak" issues with either the starter or starter related cables. Here's a good one one that if interested:
https://www.knowyourparts.com/technical-resources/starting-and-charging/starter-will-not-crank-when-hot-heat-soak/
and
https://www.hotrodwires.com/classic-car-hot-start-problems.html

All that said, I'm thinking it might be time for a (rebuilt is fine) starter. The two links I gave above discuss heat soak due to bad cables. This one has a lot of detail on testing the cabling:
https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/How-to-Use-Voltage-Drop-to-Troubleshoot-the-Starter-System
I've never read here on TCCA about people having problems with starter cables on the old Taurus's. I'm not near any salt (road or beach) and when I change the oil filter I protect the starter from getting an oil bath (no comment on that fubar design there Ford). I've always used spray-on terminal protector and the terminal clamps and wires look ok.

This Youtube:
https://youtu.be/0mKrx-fMi_8
shows you how to easily test for voltage drop on the positive and negative sides of the starter cabling. Very handy.

This Youtuber is helpful to understand the basic parts of the starter and the basic off-vehicle run tests:
https://youtu.be/6x2hIOtBfzE
Here he shows how to do a load test on your battery with a multi-meter, using the wired-in-place starter as the load for the load test (just what we need for a quick starter test, yes!):
https://youtu.be/ab5Kk6JkbsI?t=236
This guy says we don't want to see lower than 10.5v while cranking the starter, but doesn't explain why. This article describes what voltage below 10.5, or above 10.5 while cranking means:
https://www.howacarworks.com/ignition-system/checking-the-starter-circuit

Sorry about all that research, but it helped me understand some of the starter and circuit basics. Let me ask a question that may be common knowledge to you Taurus gurus: Do these OEM starters just normally fail at around 80,000 miles?

I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Regards . . .
 

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Hi TCCA & Forum Members,

My 2000 Duratek has ~81,000 on it. Beginning a couple months ago it began to have sluggish starting (ie. slow cranking), but only after the engine gets hot. The typical scenario is to go out for some local shopping stops. Maybe in the store for an hour, come out and it might start or the starter will be sluggish, stepping on the throttle down and up a bit while slow cranking gets it to start. If we're brave enough to drive to another store, shop for another hour, come out and it we've had what feels like a dead battery, and a jump from someone will get it to turn fast enough to start the car. Once the car cools down, it starts like normal.

I had both the battery (rated 650 CCA and tested 625) and charging system checked at the local garage and they're good.

I've read on TCCA about low fuel pump pressure, and dirty MAF sensors, but in those situations, the starters all cranked good cold or hot.

Other non-TCCA research discusses "heats soak" issues with either the starter or starter related cables. Here's a good one one that if interested:
https://www.knowyourparts.com/technical-resources/starting-and-charging/starter-will-not-crank-when-hot-heat-soak/
and
https://www.hotrodwires.com/classic-car-hot-start-problems.html

All that said, I'm thinking it might be time for a (rebuilt is fine) starter. The two links I gave above discuss heat soak due to bad cables. This one has a lot of detail on testing the cabling:
https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/How-to-Use-Voltage-Drop-to-Troubleshoot-the-Starter-System
I've never read here on TCCA about people having problems with starter cables on the old Taurus's. I'm not near any salt (road or beach) and when I change the oil filter I protect the starter from getting an oil bath (no comment on that fubar design there Ford). I've always used spray-on terminal protector and the terminal clamps and wires look ok.

This Youtube:
https://youtu.be/0mKrx-fMi_8
shows you how to easily test for voltage drop on the positive and negative sides of the starter cabling. Very handy.

This Youtuber is helpful to understand the basic parts of the starter and the basic off-vehicle run tests:
https://youtu.be/6x2hIOtBfzE
Here he shows how to do a load test on your battery with a multi-meter, using the wired-in-place starter as the load for the load test (just what we need for a quick starter test, yes!):
https://youtu.be/ab5Kk6JkbsI?t=236
This guy says we don't want to see lower than 10.5v while cranking the starter, but doesn't explain why. This article describes what voltage below 10.5, or above 10.5 while cranking means:
https://www.howacarworks.com/ignition-system/checking-the-starter-circuit

Sorry about all that research, but it helped me understand some of the starter and circuit basics. Let me ask a question that may be common knowledge to you Taurus gurus: Do these OEM starters just normally fail at around 80,000 miles?

I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Regards . . .

DOHC starter on G-4's bullet proof. Same starter used on V-8's. I have had 9 with this starter, no issues. Except one where a stray bolt got stuck on it and shorted the wire, ruined the solenoid.
Pic is JY starter.
I would start with battery cables, grounds and such. Weak connection from the battery end clamp and the wire common.


-chart-
 

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I have never had a starter problem on my five Taurus with a total of just over a million miles. No cable issues, no nothing. I have read a lot of people having issues with the brushes getting packed with carbon dust and oil. Messy oil filter changes by quick lubes and rushing mechanics causes oil to leak all over the brush end of the starter and into the inside. Terrible mess.


 

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2x on bad cables. Have had 2 cars in the past with battery cable issues.
 

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2x on bad cables. Have had 2 cars in the past with battery cable issues.
Pic of my test of Lin Cont cable set with clean looking crimp. I used car battery and resistor to put 16A through the cable/clamps. Volt loss 7+X in the crimp as in the length of the wire. I solder my wire to cable end and fix that. My test on the car common 5X more loss in the crimp. Done on 4 Ford products. My '03 wagon has the Lin cable set from the JY. Wire 2 wire gages heaver. Cranks BRISK!


A weak connection gets hot and over time gets weaker and weaker. Ford does not do a good job with cables and grounds.


-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi chartmaker, Automender12345, kekaye56 & repairman54,

These were all great replies and well beyond what I expected. You guys/gals are the best!

Looks like I'm going to get some dirt on my multi-meter checking cables this coming week or next. I'll report back when I know more.

Thanks so much : )

Regards . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
P.S. I didn't want to go off-topic on this thread today, so I sewed a new thread over at https://www.taurusclub.com/forum/83-odds-ends/351133-non-ford-company-repair-shop-garage-charging-full-retail-parts.html#post3466409

That thread discusses some full-retail pricing I recently received on an A/C repair job, and the full-retail pricing business model. Maybe you'll enjoy that read.

I'll look forward to your thoughts and comments over there if you'd like to chime in on that subject. Please do not comment here on that thread.

Regards . . .
 

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You need to do a volt drop test on the batt cables and connections. Trying to measure resistance will tell you nothing. If you dont know how to do a volt drop test, Google it.
 

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So you have slow cranking on a hot engine but if someone jumps your car the car starts normally. Your battery is under the rated cranking amps also. Not sure why cables or a messed up starter would cause that. Seems like it would be a bad battery. Put your volt meter across the battery and check voltage before and during cranking. Voltage should be 12.6+ at rest no load. If battery voltage is under 10 volts while cranking the battery is weak.



Have you cleaned the battery terminals and battery end of the cables? Jumper cables are bypassing the battery and those connections.


How old is the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Jeff K and Automender12345,

As soon as I can have the car here in the morning, and the car has not been run yet that day, I'm going to first test for the voltage drop across the terminals as you recommended.

Btw, the terminals are clean, but I just had the A/C job done and maybe they wiped dielectric grease or Vaseline on the posts. I'll test the voltage drop "as is", and then I'll clean the (suspected) grease off the terminals and try the test again. I'll have to use some rubbing alcohol to remove that. Btw, there's way too much talk on the internet about using dielectric grease on battery posts and top coating the terminal assembly with it too. I've found some information that dielectric grease should not be used on mating surfaces where high amperage is involved. That would include battery terminal mating surfaces.

I also want to test that battery voltage drop on the hot engine. Let you know how this goes.

Regards . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Correction to my first post on 8/9:

I incorrectly said, " . . . when I change the oil filter I protect the starter from getting an oil bath (no comment on that fubar design there Ford)."

I was thinking about my (R.I.P) 1993 Taurus GL; not the our current 2000 Taurus SES w/ Duratek (aka "SES PLus Group" per window sticker). On the 1993 the oil filter was up above the starter (what a PITA messy filter change job). That problem does not exist on the 2000 model Duratek. Sorry for that error.

Regards . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Problem Solved! (ie. Slow sluggish starter when car hot).
Drum roll . . . . . . . . . .

In my original 8/9 post I mentioned, "I had both the battery (rated 650 CCA and tested 625) and charging system checked at the local garage and they're good." I told the shop about the "won't turn starter when hot" problem. They told me there was no problem with the charging system. But did they actually look at the starter? Apparently not (this is why I prefer to do my own work whenever possible and time allows) :

Ok, I can't see how to insert a pic file in-line here without posting it on some other server, and I'm running out of time. So I'm just going to dump them all as attachments. Geeze, this would have made a nice pictorial. Moving on:

I thank everyone who helped with this thread. It was a good learning experience for me. I hope others will find something useful here too.

Regards . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, Here's a link for the solution pics, but first, TCCA consider this:

When I (or my survivors) inadvertently or intentionally delete those pics from my online picture repository in some coming year, you're going to have a nice article here, with a lot of work that went into it, but all the supporting pics will be lost forever. That gives me the impression that you're not thinking long term for taurusclub.com. Imho, any serious forum that wants to monetize it's content or truly help the community, should be holding onto its content "in-house", and not depending on it's contributors to store the pictorial data for them. For what that's worth.

Here's the link (that would have made a nice in-line thread with more detailed explanations of what these really pics mean) :
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkejO70MYakLiEG9sAmCI8X5U1Vz?e=nWqIJq

Regards . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi TCCA,

It looks like I spoke 50% too soon on the successful fix. Apparently there were not one, but two problems with the Taurus not wanting to start when it was already heated up from a prior run.

The "Part 1" problem was the poor (or no) starter cranking after the car had been run and heated up. That "heat soak" issue was caused by the very loose nut on the starter solenoid's ignition terminal (as seen in the 1 second video).

Now that I have good cranking again, there's some other problem preventing a successful running state. The only way to get it to run is to pump in/out on the accelerator while it's cranking. And even then, it seems like it's misfiring. Then when it runs enough for the starter to disengage, takes maybe 15 seconds or so of of stuttering/sputtering/missing (runs like it's going to stall) until normal smooth engine idle is achieved. After that, there's no problem at all and you're driving down the road happy as pie with no issues.

I've let this condition remain for several days to try to get some codes into the computer. If anyone has any ideas sooner on "Part 2" of this saga, I'm all ears.

As usual, thanks for you comments and suggestions.

Regards . . .
 

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Pumping the accelerator does nothing on an EFI engine. Foot to the floor and held there during crank engages flood clear mode which inhibits injectors from firing. Other than that pumping the pedal does nothing.

Have you cleaned / lubed the IAC? With IAC sticking closed or mostly closed the engine will not start or start and run rough at very low RPM and likely stall.

FYI, if you ever need to replace the IAC use ONLY the Motorcraft part. ALL aftermarket IACs are JUNK.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Pumping the accelerator does nothing on an EFI engine. Foot to the floor and held there during crank engages flood clear mode which inhibits injectors from firing. Other than that pumping the pedal does nothing.

Have you cleaned / lubed the IAC? With IAC sticking closed or mostly closed the engine will not start or start and run rough at very low RPM and likely stall.

FYI, if you ever need to replace the IAC use ONLY the Motorcraft part. ALL aftermarket IACs are JUNK.
Hi Jeff K (and kekaye56),
Sorry for the late post, but I just got back to this a couple days ago. As you suggested, I pulled off the IAC. It took a couple sprays, some soaking for a couple minutes, and some light brushing with soft solder flux brush (not used btw) to get the carbon/etc off.

Btw, I saw a "auto repair challenged" person on Youtube fill that plunger chamber up with carb cleaner and let is soak "for a while". I bet that solenoid is working much better (not) with carb cleaning inside of it now. Anyway . . .

My plunger is not fully seated, as seen here:
215118

If you look closely under the plunger in the top chamber (as seen above), under the seal is a small silver/grey area in the center. That silver spot is actually the plunger shaft we see, because the seal is not yet fully seated.

We have not yet had a shopping day where we make multiple stops, so I don't know if the simple carb cleaner cleaning has fixed the sputtering hard-hot-start issue. Does anyone know if I'm supposed to see shaft under there, or is that plunger supposed to be seated in it's tapered seat?

Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Regards . . .

P.S. Nice that we can insert pics directly now with this new forum software : )
 
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