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Discussion Starter #1
2014 trail xt. 100 hours.
Everything was fine yesterday, went to start it today and it started normally. But when I turned off the key the starter was still cranking.
I turned the key back to run position and it restarted. I think it's cranking while running too. Had to pull battery cable.
Wired winch into key switch recently but I've ridden it since. Also washed with garden hose yesterday. Rode it some after.
Any thoughts? Going on vacation with it next week. Hopefully
 

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There are two things that control whether your starter motor is getting power: the key switch and the starter solenoid. I'll write this at a pretty basic level, just in case you aren't familiar with how they work.

The key switch sends low power 12 volts to the solenoid. That wire is connected to the windings inside the solenoid that cause the heavy-duty contacts to close, sending power through the large cable to the starter. Either your key switch is always sending power to the solenoid, or the heavy duty contacts are stuck in the closed position. A third possibility is that the winch control got wired in wrong and it is sending power to the solenoid, but I think you would have noticed that while installing the winch. That said, when something goes wrong it is always a good idea to think about what was worked on most recently and if it could be causing the problem.

I don't have a Trail, but the starter solenoid can be found by tracing the cable from the starter back to it. On an X, the solenoid is a few inches forward of the battery. I suspect it would be in a similar spot on a Trail. Find the solenoid and disconnect one or both of the skinny wires. If the starter stops running, the problem is probably in your key switch. It is possible there could be a short in the wiring harness, but it would have to be between a "hot" wire and the solenoid control wire and that is far less likely as a bad switch. (This is also the right time to think about how the winch control is wired.) If the starter continues to run with both skinny wires disconnected, the contacts inside are stuck. You might get it to release by tapping it with a hammer, but that would most likely only be a temporary fix.

If you need to replace the starter solenoid and don't think you can get an AC solenoid before your vacation, older Fords used an external starter solenoid that is electrically the same as your AC solenoid. Your local FLAPS (friendly local auto parts store) will likely have the Ford part in stock, or available within 24 hours.
 
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At least it's easy to get out.
Took it out and then read the part about taking off the skinny wire. So I put reconnected the power wires without the skinny and it didn't try to start.
But, I put the skinny back on and it didn't start on its own either. Started with the key like it should.
Guessing maybe moving the solenoid around made it unstick itself. I'll track down a new one.
Thanks for your help
 

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At least it's easy to get out.
Took it out and then read the part about taking off the skinny wire. So I put reconnected the power wires without the skinny and it didn't try to start.
But, I put the skinny back on and it didn't start on its own either. Started with the key like it should.
Guessing maybe moving the solenoid around made it unstick itself. I'll track down a new one.
Thanks for your help
Do some searching on the forum but some people have used the older ford type starter relay, the coil impedance is not the same and it may throw a code but will work fine.
 

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Got one ordered from Rocky mountain atv. I've had good luck with them shipping fast. Warehouse is only a few hours away
Glad it happened today. Could have been next week on a trail.
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to mine 2 years ago and it was the starter solenoid. After I had disconnected the battery cables it quit cranking. When I hooked them back up, it didn't do it anymore. So I installed a new starter solenoid and I have never had a problem since. What probably happened, are the contacts in the solenoid were burnt and just stuck. I saved the old solenoid as a back up, but like you said, it's at least easy to get at.
 
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If you go through a lot of water or pressure wash the solenoid can get water inside of it and give you problems. When you get the new one take a little silicone, or urethane caulk and seal the two halves that are just pressed together and it will keep the moisture out.
 
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