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How to Replace 1994 Ford Ranger Solenoid - Vehicle Not Starting

Updated on July 19, 2018

1994 Ford Ranger Wouldn't Start When Turning Key

Not too long ago, my good old pickup that I use for weekend projects just wouldn't start. No click, no attempt to start, just nothing. I thought maybe it was the battery, however it tested fine, then I tested the connections, they seemed fine. The next step was to consider a starter. Albeit, my problem was a starter indeed, I none the less had an original 1994 factory solenoid that could not be overlooked.

A solenoid in everyday language gives the nudge to the starter to kick over. Given there was no nudge at all, investing in about $20.00 and an hour of time was well worth the try before investing in the starter. In this hub I will show in general how to locate and replace the solenoid in a 1994 Ford Ranger. Keep in mind I am not a professional mechanic, nor does my Ranger necessarily match yours.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Below is the typical tools needed, however each vehicle may vary. This hub isn't to educate on how to use tools, it does assume you already know the basics of metric sockets and wrenches. Please know your limits, if you do not feel comfortable in working on the problem, let a professional mechanic do the job. At the least you will understand a little of what is going on "under the hood."

  • Ratchet
  • Sockets to match bolts on solenoid
  • Wrench to match battery terminal clamp bolts
  • New Solenoid
  • Safety Glasses

Keep in mind you may need deep well sockets for your solenoid bolts if the thread posts are long. For my battery, a wrench was much easier to loosen the terminal clamps.

Remove Battery Terminals (At Least the Negative Wire)

When working on anything electrical in a vehicle, always disconnect the battery. While removing the negative terminal is sufficient, I like to remove them both for good measure. Be sure to tuck away the wires from the battery posts, this will prevent accidental electric shock.

Locate and Remove Battery Terminals

Battery Terminals
Battery Terminals
Remove Battery Terminals
Remove Battery Terminals
Tuck Away Battery Terminals
Tuck Away Battery Terminals

Locating and Removing Wires from Solenoid

For the Ranger I have, the Solenoid was located not too far from the battery, mounted on the sidewall of the interior fender area. There are three bolts to remove from the solenoid for the wiring as well as two screws holding the mount in place. In the photos below take note I am showing the wires removed and the two screws that hold the mount are towards the top, rear back-plate.

1994 Ford Ranger Solenoid Location

1994 Ford Ranger Solenoid
1994 Ford Ranger Solenoid
Solenoid Bolts Removed
Solenoid Bolts Removed

Replacing the Solenoid

Taking off the old solenoid is easy, however big word of caution, when tightening down the wires back onto the new solenoid, do not over tighten. It is way too easy to crack or break the solenoid plastic housing. Other than that, once you replace the solenoid, reconnect the battery. See if your vehicle starts, in my case it attempted to, however it ended up being the started, which I replaced after replacing the solenoid. Again, for the little money involved, it worth starting here before replacing a more expensive starter.

New Solenoid Mounted

Old and New Solenoid Comparison
Old and New Solenoid Comparison
New Solenoid Mounted
New Solenoid Mounted

Solenoid Replacement

Solenoid or Starter

Was the reason your vehicle wouldn't start due to a bad solenoid?

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© 2018 Ryan Hutzel

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