Electrical 93 Lx. No Start. Won't Crank Even When Battery Is Fully Charged

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by Mustangsidewinder, Oct 15, 2013.


  1. Mustangsidewinder

    Mustangsidewinder New Member

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    I've had an issue with battery drain ever since I bought my 93 LX this past summer. Purchased a new Motorcraft battery a few months ago. All has been good till now. Went to start car today, and it was dead/dead. Battery voltage was down to 8. I put my Sears Diehard charger on it and it came back to a full charge of 13V. I disconnected the charger and proceeded to start the car. Nothing, it attempted to crank one revolution and that must of drained the battery back to 10.5v.

    The charger has a jump start mode like a starter box. I switched it over to this mode, and the light shined green for go. Tried to crank again, and nothing. Fuel pump kicks on when the battery is near the 12.5v to 13v range.
    #1
  2. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    You have two different problems. The no crank problem is due to a low battery. The low battery is due to something drawing power while the ignition switch is off.

    Typically it is something draining the battery. Small things like glove box or courtesy lights are often the culprits. If you have an aftermarket stereo or alarm system, it is also suspect.

    The ideal method is to disconnect the negative terminal, and connect a Digital Multimeter (DVM) between the negative terminal on the battery and the negative cable. Set the DVM on a low current scale of 2-5 amps if it doesn't auto range. Watch the current draw, and then start pulling out fuses. When you see a sudden drop in the current, that circuit is the likely culprit. Note that the computer, radio & clock will draw less than 1/10 amp to keep the settings alive.

    See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf. You will need the Adobe Acrobat viewer which is also a free download – http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

    If you can’t find the current drain by pulling fuses, then the alternator is suspect or any aftermarket sound or lighting equipment that may be on the car. Disconnect the alternator power plug then disconnect any aftermarket sound or lighting equipment while watching the current on the DVM.
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  3. madspeed

    madspeed Colonel Mustard Mod Dude Founding Member

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    bad ground gets my vote
    #3
  4. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Fix your battery drain first and then fix the no crank problem. See my first post for help with the battery drain.

    No Crank checklist for 5.0 Mustangs

    Revised 05-Oct-2010 to update Fluke references.

    No crank, slow crank and stuck starter solenoid problems have the same root causes – low battery voltage and poor connections. For that reason, they are grouped together.
    Use the same initial group of tests to find the root cause of both no crank and stuck solenoid problems.

    Since some of the tests will bypass the safety interlocks, make sure that the car is in neutral and the parking brake is set. Becoming a pancake isn’t part of the repair process…


    1.) Will the car start if it is jumped? Then clean battery terminals and check battery for low charge and dead cells. A good battery will measure 12-13 volts at full charge with the ignition switch in the Run position but without the engine running.
    A voltmeter placed across the battery terminals should show a minimum of 9.5-10 volts when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position and the starter engages or tries to engage. Less than this will result in a clicking solenoid, or slow cranking (if it cranks at all) or a starter solenoid that sticks and welds the contacts together.

    Most auto parts stores will check your battery for free. It does not have to be installed in the car to have it checked; you can carry it with you to the auto parts store.

    The battery posts and inside of the battery post terminals should be scraped clean with a knife or battery post cleaner tool. This little trick will fix a surprising number of no start problems.

    The clamp on with 2 bolts battery terminal ends are a known problem causer. Any place you see green on a copper wire is corrosion. Corrosion gets in the clamped joint and works its way up the wire under the insulation. Corroded connections do not conduct electricity well. Avoid them like the plague...

    If the starter solenoid welds the contacts, then the starter will attempt to run anytime there is power in the battery. The cables and solenoid will get very hot, and may even start smoking. The temporary fix for a welded starter solenoid is to disconnect the battery and smack the back of the solenoid housing a sharp blow with a hammer. This may cause the contacts to unstick and work normally for a while.

    A voltmeter is handy if you are familiar with how to use it to find bad connections. Measure the voltage drop across a connection while trying to start the car: more than .5 volts across a connection indicates a problem. The voltage drop tests need to be done while cranking the engine. It's the current flowing through a connection or wire that causes the voltage drop.

    See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .

    [​IMG]

    2.) Check the battery to engine block ground down near the oil filter, and the ground behind the engine to the firewall. All grounds should be clean and shiny. Use some sandpaper to clean them up.

    3.) Jump the big terminals on the starter solenoid next to the battery with a screwdriver - watch out for the sparks! If the engine cranks, the starter and power wiring is good. The starter relay is also known as a starter solenoid.

    The rest of the tech note only concerns no crank problems. If your problem was a stuck solenoid, go back to step 1.

    4.) Then pull the small push on connector (small red/blue wire) off the starter solenoid (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Then jump between the screw and the terminal that is connected to the battery. If it cranks, the relay is good and your problem is in the rest of the circuit.

    5.) Remember to check the ignition switch, neutral safety switch on auto trans and the clutch safety switch on manual trans cars. If they are good, then you have wiring problems.

    Typical start circuit...
    Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds
    [​IMG]


    6.) Pull the starter and take it to AutoZone or Pep Boys and have them test it. Starter fails test, then replace it. If you got this far, the starter is probably bad.


    Starter solenoid wiring for 86-91 Mustang
    [​IMG]


    Starter solenoid wiring 92-93 Mustang or earlier Mustang with upgraded high torque mini starter.
    [​IMG]

    Electrical checks for the switches and starter solenoid

    Remove the small red/blue wire from the starter solenoid. Use a screwdriver to bridge the connection from the battery positive connection on the starter solenoid to the small screw where the red/blue wire was connected. The starter should crank the engine. If it does not, the starter solenoid is defective or the battery lacks sufficient charge to crank the engine.

    If the starter does crank the engine, the problem is in the clutch safety circuit (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) or ignition switch.


    See the Typical start circuit diagram above for wiring information for troubleshooting.

    You will need a voltmeter or test lamp for the rest of the checks. Connect one lead of the voltmeter or test lamp to ground. The other lead will connect to the item under test.
    Look for 12 volts on the white/pink wire when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position. Check the ignition switch first.
    No 12 volts, replace the ignition switch.

    The next step will require you to push the clutch pedal to the floor (5 speed) or put the transmission in neutral (auto trans) while the ignition switch is turned to the Start position.
    Good 12 volts, check the clutch safety switch (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) for good 12 volts on both sides of the switches. No 12 volts on both sides of the switch and the switches are defective or out of adjustment. Check the wiring for bad connections while you are at it.
    #4

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