In the 1980's ford crown victorias, ford used direct-drive starters that had an external starter solenoid located on the passenger's fender. When PMGR (Permanent Magnet Gear Reduction) starters were introduced as a running change part way into the 1990 model year, there was also a solenoid located on the starter itself.

Unfortunately, the starter is located under the engine and is in contact with large amounts of water and in the northeastern states: road salt. In the 1990-1995 crownvics, ford used a push-on spade connector setup that is subject to corrosion causing no-crank condition. Starting in 1996, crown victorias recieved a ring/eyelet connection for this connection. The solenoid pull-in current is around 40amps, the hold-in current is around 10amps. So it doesn't take much too corrosion to cause a no-crank condition.

Below is a remanufactured starter motor for an early 1992 ford crown victoria and a pre-owned spade connector from a 1992 crown victoria.

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This starter has never been installed on a car, but there is some light surface corrosion from sitting on a ford dealer's part shelf for around 15 years

Here's the back of the starter.

Take note of the yellow wire with the blue stripe. This wire has +12V present on it whenever the vehicle operator turns the ignition key to the "start" position.

Here's the same starter but with the red safety cap over the high current battery feeds connection points removed

And here's the starter with the solenoid engagement signal wire removed

And from a different angle

On starter motors that have actually been installed under a car for a while, you'll usually find the starter engagement terminal is somewhat corroded. But this is a NOS (New-Old-Stock) starter that has never been in contact with liquid water.

Corrosion on this terminal is not just a problem in the northeastern salt-belt states, but also a problem in states like arizona and texas where corrosion is not usually a significant issue with cars.

And the no-start condition caused by corrosion on these terminals can be intermittent too. Sometimes the car will crank, sometimes not.

A quick/dirty temporary fix to corrosion on these terminals is to remove the connector from the solenoid and then sand the terminal with some emory cloth or fine sand paper. Sometimes, just the abrasion of sliding the terminal on/off of the male spade a few times gets enough current flowing through the connection that the starter will crank over again. But for a permament fix, you'll want to upgrade to the later ring/eyelet style connection on the vehicles harness and on the starter motor itself.

Here's the starter with the engagement wire back on it

Here's the actual engagement wire and it's connector

And flipped over

Here the metal portion of the inside of the connector is visibile. The brown colored stuff inside is rust. This connector is from a 1992 crown victoria that has spent over 15 years exposed to the elements.

And from a slightly different angle

Here's the two-position protective cap from the donor 1992 crown victoria.

1996-2009 crown victorias have a 3-position safety cap instead of the 2-position unit used on 1990-1995 vehicles.

And here's the front of the 2-bolt starter that was used in the 1991-early1992 lincoln towncar. And the early 1992-1992 ford crown victoria and early 1992-1992 mercury grand marquis.

The part number tag from the box

And the cool Authorized Remanufactured Ford Engine Parts label that was used in the 1990's.

And for comparison, here is a starter from a 1998 crown victoria with the later post-type ring-eyelet connection on the starter solenoid S-terminal

With the battery cable harness installed

Without the battery cable harness installed

Here's an aftermarket AC Delco PT2382 wiring pigtail to splice onto the vehicle's electrical harness.

And the Ford Motorcraft WPT-371 wiring pigtail that can be purchased at your local ford dealer.

The two above wiring pigtails are equivalent to the F4VY-14A411-A pigtail referenced in Ford TSB 94-26-3 and Ford TSB 94-18-3. The two above wiring pigtails are also similar to Dixie Electric Part #79502-091 referenced in this aftermarket service bulletin.

To lower the number of starters that need to be stocked in parts store inventory, there are aftermarket spade->ring eyelet conversion kits avaliable to use a later starter with an early electrical harness.


WAI 76-7553

And the spade terminal conversion kit installed on a later ring/eyelet solenoid equipped starter.

WAI 76-7553

Since the early starter solenoid spade terminal connection setup is subject to no-start conditions caused by corrosion, many aftermarket remanufacturers only ship their starters with a kit that requires the installing technician to convert the vehicle's electrical harness to the later ring/eyelet connection setup.

You can view one of the instruction manuals that comes with such starter motor kits by clicking here.

WAI 76-2603

WAI is a large supplier of parts to aftermarket automotive electrical rebuilders. They also sell a kit with the above conversion adapter in it along with some heatshrink tubing/ring terminal to allow the installer to use either of the two above options.

Many service technicians prefer the kit which bolts onto the starter solenoid and gives a a spade terminal since the install time is lower.

But the vehicle's owner would probably be better off if the technician had cut off the original spade terminal and spliced on a ring terminal instead. (That is as long as the technician didn't leave so much slack in the wiring that the starter solenoid wiring melted from touching the hot exhaust manifold above.)

WAI 79-2503

And here are a some pictures of aftermarket ford crown victoria starter motors from various parts catalogs. Note that all of these starters include the spade terminal->eyelet post-type conversion kit. Including this conversion kit has a few advantages:

(3-bolt 4.6L 1992-2009 crownvic starters)

(2-bolt 4.6L 1992 crownvic starters)

(2-bolt 5.0L 1990-1991 crownvic starters)

Here's the Motorcraft WPT-877 , Ford 6U2Z-14S411-NA wiring pigtail kit that was referenced in TSB 06-19-14.

Although this kit is intended to fix a "NO CRANK / STARTER TERMINAL FATIGUE " condition on late model ford vehicles, you can also use it to convert an early crown vic with a 4.6L 3-bolt starter to the later more reliable ring/eyelet connection style if you have a spare 1996+ crown vic starter avaliable.

And the wire next to a 2000 ford f150 starter motor for size comparision.

Take note of the adhesive heatshrink tubing to prevent corrosion

-Other ford vehicles used the 1/4" male spade terminal starter solenoid S-terminal connection setup later than the 1995 model year. For instance, the lincoln mark viii used this connection setup in 1996 and the ford F-150 truck used the solenoid spade terminal setup until part way into the 1997 model year.
-F6VY-14A411-AA WT5673-B Starter Solenoid Conversion Kit