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My wagon will not start and I have already replaced the starter. When I turn the key....Nothing! I am at a loss is there a starter relay? Everything else works just fine. It was actually a problem that started happening a week or so ago but after I would turn the key once and it would not start I would turn it again and the 110 hp would roar to life.
 

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Start simple; ensure good clean contacts at batteries and at starter. Poor connection/bad wire causes high resistance. I have a bad starter wire and sometimes it takes several clutch pumps to start. Is yours manual?; i.e. clutch safety switch, starter relay. You should get the car up, and see if the stater "jumpers" to eliminate it as your problem. Take test light from good ground to small wire and have someone turn key over and check for power to solenoid. This checks the rest of your circuit; ign. switch, clutch/neutral switch, fuse, relay, wiring. If all that is good, tap with hammer as someone cranks it, your brushes maybe worn.
 

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Ignition switches are an all too common failure on Escorts, at least they are on the 2nd gen. Escorts. The ign. switch is in two parts - the part the key goes into, and the part that has the electrical contacts in it. That part can be bought by itself (about $30 where I get them) and installed without too much time or trouble.
A way to check if its the ignition switch: Run a wire from the small terminal on the top of the starter solenoid (its got a push on connector on it normally), and connect the other end of the wire to the positive terminal on the battery. That bypasses the ignition switch, the neutral-safety switch on the transmission, and about 10 feet of wire. Be careful though, to have the car in park or neutral, because it does bypass the safety features.
The previous posting about checking connections is good. There are several ground connections on an Escort, and all of them really matter to one or more functions. I eliminated the strange little goody with several wires coming to it on the ground cable of the battery. I soldered them all to the body of the car, close behind the battery, where the ground cable is clamped down.

I have three 2nd gen. Escort LX's; a 91, 92 and a 94. All three of them have had the ignition switches replaced. I can tell, because all came originally with one key for doors and ignition, but now require a different key for the ignition switch. On the 92 with 218k miles on it, I recently replaced the electrical part of the switch again, separately from replacing the entire ignition switch assembly about 8 years ago.


I have to add: When you turn the key to the 'on' position, do you see the indicator lights come on across the bottom of the instrument cluster?
It is possible for the small 'blade' actuator in the key-lock section of the ignition switch to break. Then the switch would turn okay, but it would not be turning the electrical part of the switch.
This happened while my daughter was using the car. She couldnt shut the engine off with the ignition switch.** I was able to tell this had happened, because the ignition key simply turned all the way to -start- and back to -off-, with no 'feel' of the spring detents in the ignition switch. If it had broken when the electrical part of the switch was off, she wouldnt have been able to start the car, but also would not have seen the indicator lights at the bottom of the instrument cluster.

** To make the engine stop she had to put a paperback book across the open end of the throttle valve casting. Pulling the battery cable off the post didnt stop the engine. Disconnecting the large rubber air duct from mass air flow sensor to throttle valve didnt stop the engine - though it was misfiring. So she suffocated it.

There is a Neutral Safety Switch in the circuit for the starter. Its to keep you from starting the car if its in gear. For the automatic transmissions its a switch on the front of the transmission, with a couple of connectors in the wiring, which runs close under the battery; so can get damaged by acid dripping from the battery.
On the 5-speed manual transmissions there is a switch on the clutch pedal. If the pedal isnt down pretty far ( or if the wires to it got kicked loose) - starter wont function.
 
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