Oh $H!7 Something popped (electrical) car died and smoked, won't crank now

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by criticman, Mar 30, 2006.


  1. criticman

    criticman Member

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    As title says...

    I cleaned the battery terminals, cranked her up...ran fine.

    Closed the hood and BAM! Electrical pop/crack sound, engine almost immediately died and started smoking from under the hood.

    Rushed and cut the keys all the way off and out of the ignition.

    Popped hood, couldn't tell where the smoke was coming from, but it appears to be the battery, starter solenoid, coil, ignition box area.

    After not seeing anything burnt or melted, tried to crank it again....nothing. It TRIES to crank (sounds like when the fuel system plug is pulled from the trunk and no gas is being sent) but nothing.

    The AFM PMS is not powering on at all. It normally powers on with the key in the on position but it is not even lighting up.

    Any ideas? I have undone the negative terminal to reset everything and will try to crank again.

    I am worried I have fried something or done some serious damage here and need help ASAP!

    EDIT: The hood has the insulation in it, so shouldn't be a chance that metal of hood is conducting electricity from say a battery terminal.
  2. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    u must have left some wire loose and it grounded somewhere..check by the coil...did u disconnect anything there?
  3. criticman

    criticman Member

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    No. All I did was undo negative terminal, undo positive terminal, use terminal cleaner on the terminals, use the wire brush on the cables, reconnected positive, reconnected negative.

    Cranked it up, ran fine for several minutes. Closed the hood, popping noise, car died.
  4. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    im not sure how the pms gets hooked up but was there a wire that you had to run off the pms to the battery that could have shorted out?? and im not tryin to call u dumb or anything cause things happen...but did u make sure u connected the terminals to the correct posts on the battery? or leave a wrench or some tool under the hood that could have possibly shifted once the hood came down on the car
  5. criticman

    criticman Member

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    No, the PMS gets hooked up the the EEC under the kick panel in the passenger side. No wires to the battery.

    And yeah, no worried I know you aren't calling me stupid.

    I did reconnect the terminals properly to the posts.

    I cleared all tools from the engine bay prior to cranking her up.

    Man, I wish it were that simple :nonono:
  6. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

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    i dropped a socket down in that area once. it started smoking and stuff, i thought my car was gonna catch on fire. it was just the fuseable link...
  7. criticman

    criticman Member

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    And what/where is the fuseable link?
  8. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    damn that is weird...have you checked the power wires to the EEC and is the fuel pump tuning on when ign. is on?...
  9. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

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    if i remember it came off the starter solenoid. you can get a new one at napa if that is the case. take off the coil cover and look for melted wires.
  10. criticman

    criticman Member

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    Fuel pump is NOT turning on when the key is on. So, in terms of two items that are not powering on that should be, they are the fuel pump and the PMS handheld programmer.

    I looked at all of the wires over there and saw nothing melted, checked the fused line of the upgraded PA Performance power wire, it is fine.

    I am doomed not to dyno Saturday apparently.

    Keep posting with ideas. And yes, it smells like burnt/melted plastic/rubber by the battery back towards the driver.
  11. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    the fuseable* link was my next idea i fried that myself too...it goes to the solonid up from the starter if urs is factory its probly dark green and it might look ok but squeeze it and if it feels crispy replace it...its about 7 inches long then runs into a regular black wire
  12. criticman

    criticman Member

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    If it is the fuseable link running up from the starter to the starter solenoid would that also prevent the fuel pump from coming on?
  13. criticman

    criticman Member

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    Alright I pulled up the fuse diagram http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/MustangFuseBox.gif and saw what may be an answer. There are several fuse links at the starter solenoid, one for the the EEC and fuel pump are there too.

    That diagram lists the gauge of the wire, but it fails to tell colors.

    Could the starter solenoid be dead?

    If so, what the hell killed it?
  14. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    i dunno if the soloiniod is dead i doubt it though...cheapest way out is just feel the link hat goes to the soloniod and replace..it does supply power to the fuel pump too( correct me if im wrong guys) replace it..its the cheapest way out..if that doesnt work...replace the soloniod but if its cranking it should be fine..if the soloniod wasnt good then the car wont crank at all....ur either not getting fuel or spark and ill put my money on fuel replacethat link..it should be the only one running off the coil...on the stud closest to the nose of the car
  15. criticman

    criticman Member

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    What would I call the part? A search on parts store websites show nothing for my car when I search for fusible link.
  16. Saleen0679

    Saleen0679 Member

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    I think you want this diagram for troubleshooting fusible links http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

    One discrepancy I noticed was that the fusible link for the fuel pump should be brown instead of black and the link between the two yellows should be black instead of brown.
  17. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    just go to napa or any parts store a roll of the link is like 10 bucks...looks like a regular wire inside but the outside insulation has a different feel...kinda like felt......and the wire is designed to burn instead of short out and cause a fire...sometimes they just burn over time from the power load and should be replaced anywayz if they are original on a fox...fusable link older then 10 years shoul just be a replaced..just as routine
  18. Saleen0679

    Saleen0679 Member

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    It's listed as fusible link at Autozone and NAPA should know what you're talking about. I bought a spool from them a while back.
  19. criticman

    criticman Member

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    Alright, I undid all of the wires on the starter solenoid. Could someone clear up WHICH fusible link they think would cause the problem?

    The 14GA fusible link (Green wire) off of the solenoid appears to have had the insides from under the link melted out the sides of where the link meets up with the wire and the ring terminal. According to the fuse diagram on VeryUseful, this is the "Charging Circuit".

    So based on what you guys have said, I see some conflict. First, there isn't a "fusible link" - there are several fusible links on different wires, all connected to the solenoid. Also, I am not seeing how you would buy this in rolls/spool. It looks like just a connector type.
  20. lxwants12's

    lxwants12's New Member

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    dont let the word fuseible link confuse you...it is just a wire...looks like a normal wire and acts like one expect is kinda like a safety..instead of a fuse...so it comes in a roll.....gimme a sec lemme check out ur link

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