Originally Posted by amc49
Failing to retract would do that also............the starter is powered up as long as that solenoid arm is swung into the power points, regardless of where the key is.
Yeah, that's an old Ford problem that used to happen back in the days when the solenoid was mounted on the firewall- remember? I used to think that was so smart of then, then Ford quit doing it.
Man, I'm sorry, but I think you're going to have to remove your starter and take it back for a replacement before it runs out of warranty. If you don't, here's what will happen. You'll crank the car one day, and the starter won't disengage. If you allow the engine to run, the starter will pump voltage back into the battery (there is no diode protecting it) until it heats up and explodes. If you cut the engine off, the starter will continue turning the engine. The only way to stop it will be to remove one of the battery terminals. Hopefully your battery is not leaking hydrogen, or you'll have a boom.
One thing you can try, since it was so hard to replace, is tapping on the solenoid with a hammer. The solenoid is the small cylinder of the starter where all the wires connect. Now if you don't have a starter that looks like 2 cylinders stuck together, then maybe you have one of the last Fords with a remote solenoid. Trace the one big hot wire that you have there back up into the car, it will end on a small cylinder the size of a styrofoam cup that has 2 little wires and 2 big wires going to it. Hit that with a hammer- not hard, just tap it a few times on the side. If that stops the problem, then problem solved. If not, replace starter- or simply the solenoid if you have a separate solenoid. I think Ford quit doing that in the 90's, but maybe the SPI Focus was the last car- I don't know.