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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My recently acquired 77 B300 has an issue with starting. The previous owner told me that it has issues detecting when it's in park, and had to be jiggled a lot to get to fire up. Plus, it needed a new alternator, which has already been taken care of.
It did fire up with a jump for the initial inspection and the trip home the next day, but my buddy was driving it (I didn't have my license that day), and I haven't managed to figure out the trick to starting it.

Right now, when I try to start it, it just clicks once when I turn the key. I'm not sure if it's the starter solenoid, though.
Lights and such seem to work fine when the key isn't in. But when I try to start it, an indicator light on the dasboard lights, then dims out. The light isn't labeled, and is just a little orange bulb recessed way back in the dashboard and sitsabove and between the instrument dials.....

Basically, is it my neutral switch, my battery, or both that keeps me from rolling?
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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It's probably the battery or terminals are dirty. Turn on the headlights if they dim or go out this is the area to look at, since you don't have the repeated clicking of the starter relay. Also the weather is getting colder, batteries tend to fail as this happens.
It can't hurt to try starting in neutral, if it works this way it may be the switch.
--B-300--
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. As a matter of fact, I can't start it in neutral either. None of the lights look dim ordinarily, should I have somebody look while I turn the key?
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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Since it won't start in neutral, the problem maybe in the neutral start switch or relay.
The wires from the starter should go up to the neutral start relay. It's mounted on the drivers side of the firewall under the hood. Put the van into "park" the short the large terminal that battery connects to the middle one an the starter should crank. If it doesn't the battery, cables, connections, or starter are culprits. If it does crank the neutral start switch/wiring to it are culprit.
If so, remove the third wire which should be orange an push-on. Using a scrap wire connect this terminal to ground and try to start it. If it works the problem is the switch or the wire. The wire should connect to the center pin on the switch, which is on the left side of the transmission between the pan and linkages. (about a foot rear of the starter) :IDEA: Mine has a factory connection in the wiring on top of the tranny and it can be pulled apart, so check there also.
--B-300--
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips, I'll try them when I get home tonight.

Brake warning light eh? It used to have a plastic lense, but it has since fallen back into the hole and I haven't taken the time to retrieve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Small problem now.....

I adjusted the linkage and I can get it started now (Smokes, stalls at idle, bad gas), but it WON'T GO INTO DRIVE!

Do you folk think it's entirely possible that I adjusted the linkage out of whack? Or perhaps the fact that I have to keep slight pressure on the pedal to keep it alive, so Drive won't engage or something? (I had a Taurus that did that. I have no idea if it was a design issue or a feature).
 

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Do It In A Van
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You mean you can't get it to shift into drive or the van won't move when you put it in drive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It can be shifted in to drive, it just doesn't go when I gas it. It doesn't seem to roll, though.....
 

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Do It In A Van
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Put the transmission in neutral and check your transmission fluid.

Did the transmission work properly before you adjusted the linkage?

When you shift to "R" does it go into Reverse okay? Does it move when you shift into "2" or "1"?

Sorry for the questions, but I want to be sure it's not a linkage adjustment problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It idles smoothly now, but I haven't had the daylight to do much else....
That's the problem with Washington....gloomy days and early sunset.

The transmission (besides the original issue) WAS fine, I drove it home from where I bought it.
I haven't shift it into reverse because I backed it in to my driveway, and I'm a little paranoid about backing into the garage door...
It hitches like the transmission is engaged when I put it in 1 nad 2, but I haven't had the opportunity to give it gas since the idle smoothed out.


Basically, when I bought it, besides that electrical issue and old gas, there were no problems noticed when driving it home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The bushings are good, surprisingly. I discovered that the indicator on the steering column is off, so I really wasn't fully shifting it aout of neutral!

So yeah, I took it around the block, and it was my first experience on a car without ABS brakes....Which I didn't think would be that different, but boy was I wrong. Brakes are good, though. That thing stops on a dime.

Unfortunately, I found out my speedometer isn't working. Fortunately, my engine isn't fully tuned up yet, so I could never get nailed for speeding.
 
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