Ford Bronco '91 won't start after warmed up...

Asked by Mar 21, 2017 at 07:35 PM about the 1991 Ford Bronco XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So I have a beastly '91 Bronco and after I start it up
and run it for a few minutes, if I shut it off, it won't
restart again. It acts like the battery is weak and
won't crank the engine enough to start. My
mechanic says there is a dead spot where it gets
heavy to turn when he manually turned the crank,
suggested that there might me metal in there
somewhere inhibiting the crank....(BAD news if
true). Second opinion? Is there anything else it
could be? I love my mountain truck and It has alot
of aftermarket stuff and a 6" lift and has gotten me
anywhere and everywhere, but a major engine
repair like a rebuild probably puts this baby to bed
for me, as it's not nice enough for me to turn
around and invest a bunch money into it.

14 Answers

72,995

He just may be feeling the compression of the engine. He should have had all the spark plugs out doing that for a better feel. If there were any metal inside the engine, you probably would have noticed a noise coming from the engine. Have the battery checked.

72,995

You should have the starter checked. Sounds more like a starter if you have a new battery.

Yeah, I somewhat suspect the battery, however it is only 3 months old and has had no issues other times....the truck periodically will crank real slow, but still start- which is what I think leads him to believe there is something else going on... Almost like when it's parked those times, it's right in the heavy spot of the rotation. I'm going to test the battery tomorrow, and report back

New starter, too...

72,995

Yea but that is an old style starter, it should be load tested. I use to rebuild them and there fussy to get right. About the only other thing would be bad battery cables, or connections. Also check all ground wires that they have a good connection.

New battery cables, have to double check connection on ground....can auto parts shops load test a starter? Other than that the battery is the only other thing....not looking good....bummed.

72,995

Well don't give up yet, it also could be in the timing. So, most auto parts stores just put 12V to it and just see if the starter spins. Its a load test that tells the story. May have to call around to find someone capable.

So.... battery, cables, and ground are all good. Talked to my buddy again and he said he cranked the motor manually while hot AND cold, and there is a definite difference in the "heaviness" in one spot while hot....which he's convinced leads to something inside the motor. Bummer. That's it for this baby. Think I'm just gonna sell it to him, as I know he'll fix it up and at least she won't rot away in some yard somewhere. Shame, she had been a great toy....

72,995

By chance is that the 351M 400 engine? If it is... there boat anchors, they last only like 120,000 miles.

351Windsor....engine and trans rebuilt at 135,000. It's at 165,000 now. Still runs great, just doesn't start sometimes until it cools down.

72,995

I bet if you pulled that engine and freshened it up it wouldn't take much to do. I'm thinking a scored piston.

Yeah, I think I'm gonna let someone do all the work on this one. I only paid $4000.00 for it 5 years ago, it's taken me across country and back, and countless trips in the Sierra mountains. My buddy will take it off my hands for $1500.00 and fix it up. I live in Venice Beach CA and don't really have a place to do a major job like a motor rebuild....Thanks for all your help....when my buddy gets it opened up I'll post back here to let you know what exactly it was....I might try one last mountain trip before I sell it to him...

72,995

Great, like to know whats up with that motor, thanks.

I'm chasing a similar problem with starter/ staying started in my 87 5.8. Rebuilt alternator and ignition new battery. Heard it's a somewhat common problem. Did y'all ever hear of a specific issue that I can start chasing?

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