Here is what happens. It sometimes cranks for some time and then starts or sometimes it doesnt start till I go out while leaving the key on and lift up on the solenoid till it clicks in place. I then go back in and recrank it and it starts immediately. I figured it was the solenoid.
Any suggestions or remarks as to what it might be? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You have it located. Is your boot cracked? Number one cause of failure is due to the boot. As for a cheep one - hold your breath and head to Cummins. There just aren't many ways around it without serious modifications.
When mine wasn't starting, similar to your symptoms, it was the relay on the firewall. Those are sure less $$$ than the whole solenoid. Do a search for LarryB, he has the sol. and relays for a good deal.
The solinoid is to simple of a device to fail. My 96 with 260K miles still has the original. When ever I take the solenoid off it falls apart (boot is not in good shape anymore) but it works fine when bolted in place.
Many poor starting situations that play out like you said (key on and pull up solinoid to start) are related to a week power supply to the solinoid , i.e., week batteries, dirty/corroded terminals. A very common issue is the light blue wire that connects directly to the battery and feeds this circuit can be broke or have a bad connector at the battery. Change the relay on the firewall what that controls this circut...much cheaper then the solinoid. As a last resort, change the solinoid.
if it turns out that it is the selenoid and you don't want to spend that kind of money to replace it you can convert over to a manual fuel shut-off using a pto cable for about $40 bucks total cost including the cable and all the other little incedentals you might need.
91 F350 reg.cab, SRW, 4x4, Powered by a '98 Cummins 12v. BHAF, #10 plate, 3k gsk in the near future, Di-Pricol pyro and boost gauge and VDO oil pressure gauge in a custom A-pillar mount, 4" straight exhaust, PSD intercooler, 4.10's, ZF 5spd, 4" superlift, 305/70/16's