So as some of you may know, my brother and I recently ventured to Georgia to purchase a 1976 Ford F-100 that was found on craigslist. As the journey to Georgia from Boston is long and expensive the proper steps were taken prior to traveling down to make sure that the truck wasn't a dud. Between 30 and 40 pictures were exchanged and 2 videos of the car starting, running and driving were exchanged to be absolutely positive that the truck was as much of a gem as we thought.
Once things were clear we took a 5am flight down ( my first ever plane ride!) , drove a rental 2 hours to his house and when we got there we arrived to a particularly disturbing sight. The hood was popped, the front was on jacks and tools were scattered everywhere. Our hearts sank and I am pretty sure my brother puked a little seeing the disaster that trip was likely turning into. We approached the scene cautiously and after talking with the seller we found out that when he came out in the morning to get the truck ready for us it wouldn't start. In a panic he switched out the solenoid with a spare he got from the original owner to no avail and was just finishing swapping the starter motor with a brand new unit in hopes that was the issue. We let him finish, put the truck on the ground and went to go start the truck and..... nothing!
By this point the seller was frantic. After a new minutes he explained that the solenoid that he swapped might not have been brand new, so we told him we would go explore Athens for a bit and come back after a new one had been swapped to see if the trip could be salvaged. Two hours of anxiety later and we received the call that the solenoid had been swapped and it still wasn't turning over. Disappointed and dismayed I told him that we would return, I would look over the truck and see if I could find the issue. Once we returned I checked the voltages from the battery and the solenoid and upon seeing that everything seemed correct I jumped the solenoid and got the truck to crank! Good news! So after a few minutes of quiet contemplation I decided to start from the beginning. I jumped in the drivers seat, jiggled the column shifter and not only did the truck start, but she roared to life with such gusto the owner and my brother nearly collapsed.
The whole time it was the neutral safety switch keeping the truck from starting. By this point I'm pretty sure my brother was just going to throw the stack of cash we had at him and get the hell out of there, but we took if for a test ride like what we drove and bought the truck. So remember kids, never assume that someone has taken the right steps, until you have done them yourself. Now, my brother, proud new owner of a 76' F-100 thinks he is Biff Tannen, inviting people to try and start the truck, and giggling like an idiot when he is the only one who can....