No, the starter switch is plug-in type on the back. 11 "posts/blades/terminals." I think the ones with the screw in posts usually have only 4 posts, maybe. You tell me what to call the connectors on this switch and I will call them that! One large plug from under dash loom that has 6(-ish) female slot attachment spaces for the blades on the back of the starter switch to go into. I currently only have 1 individual wire going to the 4 blade metal square attachment set that is the ACC attachment, and 2 separate, individual wires to the other side of the switch to the 4 blade metal square attachment. As previously stated (by you?), all the wires are basic black.
I have the key switch hanging down under the dash right now. No longer screwed into the dash. Of possible note: these problems started/happened while the switch was in the dash. Upon removing it, I have paid attention to where the wires are going, was careful not to tear any loose or break any. I also mention this because I was curious of the dash was the ground for the switch, and thus, the lack of a ground wire attached to the GRD blade on the switch. However, I have tried attaching a ground wire to that post and saw no differences.
I just went through the fuse box AGAIN, and both inspected and tested the fuses. Actually, I tested and inspected all of the modern plastic blade style fuses. There are 4-5 of the old, larger, metal guys in there that I never even knew if they were considered fuses or not! Should I? Are those things just fuses?
So, I'll recap a bit of what I have found on the key switch end:
1.) All fuses that I tested are all good, in appearance, continuity, and resistance. I did start and drive the truck several times when test driving and buying it, driving it home, and tinkering around after getting it home. I drove it over 100 miles home from the place of purchase, on small, country roads and moving relatively slowly, so took about 2.5 hours all together with a couple of stops to check things out. All systems were working that I tried.
2.) it went completely key dead on me once, and I STARTED this thread, then replaced a fuse and it worked-for about 24 hours and 5-6 starts. Then, turned key, thought I heard a small click from under the dash and all dash functions and starting functions went dead. Headlights also are not working. Last time, when it ended up being just a fuse, headlights still worked.
3.) Checked the fuse again, but no problem. Key works in ACC, not in RUN or START positions.
4.) Key gets constant electric on main wire to switch when OFF and in ACC, but goes DEAD when turned to RUN and to START (per test light).
5.) Hooked up the voltmeter to the switch. At main ignition switch blade that receives the CONSTANT electric wire, when in OFF and ACC key positions, WAS getting 12+ volts to the switch. When key is in RUN or START, Voltage goes WAY down-to 2-5 Volts. This, again, is the CONSTANT on juice/electric wire/terminal on the ignition/key switch.
6.) After testing for a while. something changed. I started trying to run my test light to different wires and trying to see if I could get juice/light anywhere else. In doing so, I one time touched the tester to the wire on the ACC side of the switch while I had the clamp end of the tester on one of the independent wires on the far side of the switch from the ACC side, and heard a quick buzzer sound (comes on when car is in RUN, or ACC, when things are working normally) which quickly went dead. This buzzer was no longer working when the switch was in RUN since this trouble started, but was still on very steadily when the key was in the ACC position. After this quick touch of the tester wires between these two wires, and fthe buzzer sound, the buzzer now comes on for a short period when the key is in ACC, but then goes off. The full-time power to the hot wire is still good in OFF, but is now decreased considerably when in ACC. This also was just before testing the fuse for the horn. I had put the key in the ACC position and tested the horn, which let out a weak bleat with the engine off but the key in ACC. After this testing of the two wires NOT in the main plug going to the starter switch, I have no reaction when pressing the horn, despite the fact that the fuse looks and tests out fine.
As I said, the voltage to the switch seems affected now, too. It still tests full 12(+) at the key switch in off, but now, when shifting into ACC, it drops to very low-anywhere from below 1.0 V, to below 6.0 V. When I switch back to OFF, the Voltage goes back up to normal (12.5-12.64 or so), but when switched to ACC it drops very low again, and stays here until turned back to OFF, where it will return to full. It still gets no/minimal voltage in RUN and START.
7. I have NO assistant, nor hopes to have one while staying here, which is basically until I get the truck running, and I do not speak exaggerate. I am traveling, in a place where I know very few people, none well, and am staying with family that left yesterday to go out of town for 5 days. I am SUPPOSED to leave the morning they return, so will have no one here to help me with turning the key switch the whole time. So ever saying "Have someone turn the key to run for you" is simply not something that happens until I hire someone to fix this, and they usually don't want you to stick around and watch and try to see what they are doing, but I WANT to LEARN how to diagnose and fix this!
8. I DID try running the tester from the hot wire to the other posts on the key switch to "jump" the juice to whichever one triggers the starter, but got no reaction from either one. I only thought this may work because I had triggered accidentally cranking of the starter with a test wire bridging a circuit in this manner before, so assumed it would work. I can try doing this more directly with a wire dedicated to do this, but, again, the involvement of the headlights makes me doubt this is the REAL issue with the lights and the dash lights, etc.
One of the first things I did was buy a new switch, but upon doing some research, I decided to see if that should be it. Since, I have not put the new switch in, as everyone seems to be telling me it is something else. However, the fact that the symptoms have now changed, again, based upon movement of the key switch, I am tempted to just try the new switch and see if that helps. If it weren't for the headlights now not working, I would still think this could be it, but somewhere in my searching before starting this thread, someone mentioned that the headlights do not have ANY association with the headlight switch, so there should be no correlation, and that must mean it is NOT the switch. Also, I didn;t want to risk hooking it up, and whatever is wrong causing trouble with the new switch, so I didn't do it yet. However, again, I am very tempted now-especially since I finally got an answer about the ground wire. Aside from the ground wire, I am sure the wires I have on it are the ones under which it was functional before, so it shouldn't cause a "meltdown" with the switch. And the fact that the switch has changed how it treats the power to it, I am now back to thinking that may be the problem-or at least part of it.
As for your solenoid suggestion, from what I saw on-line, there are 4 solenoids between the batteries and the ignition switch. I think I have found 3 of them, but have not tested any of them, as it has not been a strong recommendation as of yet. I know that of the 3 I have checked the "in" feed to them, they are getting power that far. Now that I have the digital MM with couple foot long leads, I can likely check them with the leads attached, and the display somewhere I can see it. Should I just check what the "output" post on each of these does when I turn the key?
Also, again, would this affect the headlights?
J. M. Shaw, II, D.C.
1988 International Harvester S1654 Retired UHaul truck
(Converted to Flatbed Hauler-ish)
IDI 7.3 International Diesel, 5-Speed
1989 F-350 XLT Lariat, CC, DRW, 2WD
IDI 7.3, Auto, Charity Auction Find!