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Old 07-26-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I just bought a 1997 E350 7.3 diesel short school bus.
I installed two batteries and it won't start.
The head lights work
The hazard lights work but nothing else
Does this bus have some type of kill switch?
I turn the ignition and nothing happens at all. No dash light, No noises, and fuel pump
No beeps with the key in the ignition.
I have never hot wired anything but is that a way to test the ignition.
I remember some of my older fords had ignition switch problems years ago.

Does the panel above the drivers head have anything to do with the motor starting? (To the left of the driver while seated near the ceiling)

The ignition switch feels a little odd while turning it.

I am paying storage of $20 a day until I can get it moved any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't have a volt meter on me. The bus is 250 miles from my home but I will be close to the buses location today and tomorrow.

Thanks,
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

Lets see..
Headlites are hot (no key needed)
Same with the hazards.
There is no igniton (spark) being a diesel.
Nothing up top would have to do with running SO it does sound like the switch is where to start.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

My Eldorado has a kill switch next to the driver's seat between the seat and the body. It kills some power but I've never tried to figure out just what.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I checked mine and the switch does kill power to the starter and dash lights with no chime with the door open and a key in the switch. Switch is on the floor.

I hope your fix is that easy.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I replaced my solenoid on my diesel Excursion. Not an uncommon problem. It is under the hood bolted to the fender. Not sure about a van. To test yours, jump the two terminals with an old screwdriver or something similar. If it turns over, you have a bad solenoid. Replace it. Use OEM. It should look like this.



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Old 07-26-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I think the problem is upstream of the solinoid. You have to have the key to start poistion to put juice to it-hes not getting anything just going to run position-nothing on the dash coming.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

i would recheck the battery cables....perhaps a battery is wired in series and blew some fuse
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

Thanks for all of the quick replies.
As I was typing everything yesterday it seemed like it was probably a issue with the ignition system.
Do you guys think I should start with the solenoid on the frame under the hood or the actual keyed Ignition.

If I use a screw driver to jump the ignition solenoid will that allow it to start?

Does anyone have a picture of the shut off switch on the floor? I looked around for something obvious but nothing stood out.

The storage yard could not meet me yesterday. I just want to have as much as possible figured out before I head back out to the bus

Thanks,
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:39 PM   #9
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

Here's my kill switch:

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Old 07-27-2014, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

Can you hear any noise when you turn the key to the on position? Anything clicking? I can hear a relay to the back power (overhead) and the glow plug relay under the hood. Try your blinkers while in that position. If they come on, you have power in the on position. If thats the case, try starting it in neutral-or try moving the shifter around while the key is in start.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:18 AM   #11
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

The body is 1997 Corbeil body
I will look for the disconnect today.
No power, noise, or signals with power to the on position.
No start in neutral or any other gears.
No clicks or noises under the hood or over head.


Thanks,
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:38 PM   #12
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I got the van started.

The problem ended up being a bad starter relay. It was located in the above head compartment. Also the the igintion switch was disconnected.

I am know trying to get the heat and AC to work and bus specific lights.
It seems like the control panel has been disconnected and the factory controls don't work.

thanks
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:10 PM   #13
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deshet
I got the van started.

The problem ended up being a bad starter relay. It was located in the above head compartment. Also the the igintion switch was disconnected.

I am know trying to get the heat and AC to work and bus specific lights.
It seems like the control panel has been disconnected and the factory controls don't work.

thanks
It's running!! That's half the battle.

When I removed my bus electrical switch panel my heat & AC dash switches stopped working. Look for under-hood wires at the far left side of the engine compartment going to the heat and AC system which have been cut and spliced with those crimp-on electrical connectors. Once I re-connected the factory wiring everything worked normally.

Autozone's website has downloadable wiring diagrams for most vehicles. Knowing the stock chassis wire color codes will make your job much easier.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #14
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

I got the Bus home it made the 4 hour trip.

I ran into a few problems that I may need some more help to resolve. I will try and describe them in the order of most important to the least important.

Brakes

The brakes work but a several times during the 4 hour drive the pedal would get soft during braking. The brake pedal would get soft and get close to the floor. It seemed to only happen when the engine was turning lower RPMs. The fluid level is high and it doesnít seem like an issue with the pads. Does it sound like the brake booster pump is the problem?

AC/Heat/Fans

None of the climate control features are working. I am hoping this is an easy fix like a fuse. Can anyone tell me which fuses control AC/Heat and the fan blower? Should the Ford factory controls work to control the Heat and AC and the Corbeil Bus controls at the same time?
It seems like someone removed a radio. I have three connections that seem like they would connect to the back of a radio. The radio is not an issue at the moment, but if it only requires two connections then I need to track down the where the third disconnected wire bundle goes.

Bus Body Lights

It seems like someone disabled the bus body lights. The stop sign, the front arm that swings out and none of the bus body lights work.
I see a cut telephone style wire under the dash. I have three yellow wires coming down the driverís side pillar that donít go anywhere.
In the panel above the driver head that contents the wiring for the body some of the connections are unplugged.
The body is a Corbeil body. It would be great if someone could post a few pictures of the circuit board in the bus wiring compartment. Is it odd that nothing seems to be clearly labeled beyond the color of the wire?

Overall the bus is in great condition. It just hit 90,000 miles on the drive home. The transmission and engine worked perfectly. The body is clean and dent free.

Thanks for any help that is provided
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:48 PM   #15
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Re: 1997 E350 7.3 90K miles no start and no power

If your brake pedal was intermittently getting hard (losing power assist) at idle I'd suspect a weak vacuum pump, but yours is going soft which suggests air somewhere in the lines. How one would get intermittent air in the system is a mystery to me. Possibly something to do with the ABS system.

Do your tail lights, turn signals and brake lights work?

The E vans have two chassis fuse boxes - one under the dash near the steering column for the low draw stuff and another in the right side of the engine compartment which houses the heavy duty fuses and relays. The bus body usually adds another fuse box which confuses the situation even more.

My 2000 E-450 manual shows two light switch fuses:

1) In the under-dash box - #10 fuse (20A) main light switch

2) In the engine compartment box - #15 fuse (40A) main light switch

The fact that the headlights work suggests disconnected wiring. The wiring harness in my Eldorado had the individual wires fairly well marked but just the same I did a lot of wire tracing.
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