Starter Problems

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by geordie, Sep 13, 2012.


  1. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    Hello Guys,
    I am having issues starting my 65 Coupe. Car has been recently restored, but doesn't get driven much, about once a week 15-20 miles. It's a high compression 302 engine, battery is located in the trunk. I keep the battery charged with a battery tender. If the car hasn't been started for a couple of days, when I turn the ignition switch the gauge lights come on, but the starter does not turn......nothing. I try again, maybe nothing, often on the third or fourth try...it turns and I'm able to start it. I go for a ride, come home, turn the ignition off, turn it back on.....it starts........repeat....it starts. Turn it off.......come back an hour later, it starts.

    Anyone have any idea what's going on?

    Can anyone suggest where i would start trouble shooting this?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    sounds like key switch or possibly starter solenoid. when it does turn over does it drag or does it turn normaly? had a starter with bad brushes do the same thing. if i taped it on the end it would start.
     
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  3. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    When it turns over, it doesn't drag, it turns normally......
    I have noticed occasional difficulty turning the key in the ignition switch.....a resistence to turn, I take the key out and put it back in, try again.....ignition switch was new as of 18 months ago......
    The solenoid is part of the starter that engages it with the flywheel....right? So are you suggesting that the starter motor may be turning but not engaging the flywheel to turn the engine?
     
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  4. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    no the starter solenoid mounts on the inner fender apron and the large wire goes from there to the starter , if you are having trouble turning the key i would suspect the key switch. the new key switches have been causing other members problems as well ,they are not very good.
     
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  5. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    OK, this (starter problem) is really starting to annoy me.......and it's stopping me from taking my car out.......I don't want to get stranded.
    It almost seems to me like there's too much mechanical resistance in the engine for the starter to overcome.....is this possible with a high compression engine (11.5:1)
    I'm not electrically savvy.....problem is totally intermittent....regularly occurs if the car has been sitting for a couple of days.
    However, can occur after the car is warmed up and stopped for a short time.
    Back to basics, I don't understand the circuit, I know where the ignition switch is (obviously), I've found the starter solenoid on the fender, I have two large cables attached to one side of it and some smaller wires to some to some other terminals, I assume the large cables are battery positive and that the starter is grounded. But what does the solenoid do, if the two battery cables are already joined on one side of it. I see the starter.
    I guess what I need help with is how can I systematically go through the circuit to find the issue?
    What electrical tests can I do to check out the various parts, or do I just start replacing stuff.
    Or should I just look for a good automotive electrician?

    Off to a local car show now that I was going to take the Stang to......but.......
    Thanks in advance guys !!!!
     
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  6. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    OK, what is mounted to the fender is the starter solenoid relay, the solenoid itself is mounted to the starter......correct?
    The starter solenoid relay reduces the amount of current that runs through the starter switch. This prevents arcing and prolongs the life of the starter switch.
     
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  7. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    do you have a ground from the motor to the body? it is usualy from the back of the intake or back of the head to the fire wall. do you have headers close to the starter? over heated starter can cause this.
    the large cables to the starter solenoid are both power cables,the cable going to the starter is only activated when the key is turned to start ,the solenoid is like a switch that connects the two cables when the key turns to start.
     
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  8. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    Thanks Horse Sense !!!
    Let me check on the ground and get back to you.
    Yes, I do have headers.
    That's what I thought the solenoid relay did, but with cable from the battery is connected to one post, and the cable from the relay to the starter is connected to the same post. So where is the switch happening? Help me understand please.
     
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  9. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    I'll see if I can post a photo....
     
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  10. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    Attached photo of my Starter Solenoid Relay......help me understand how this can function to switch the battery power to the starter......when the two are connected to the same post.
    I just came from a local car show where I saw other cars connected like this, and ones with a battery cable on each side of the relay......whats the difference?

    Solenoid Relay.jpg
     
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  11. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    pos.post from the battery hooks to the front,were you have nothing. the starter cable hooks to the terminal were you have two. only one cable hooks were you have two, and that goes to the starter motor. any wire needing power will hook to the front were the pos. cable goes to the battery. nothing other than the starter motor will hook to the back terminal.
     
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  12. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    Thanks Horse Sense....sounds like I'm all hosed up !!!
    How come it starts....sometimes......this was wired up by the shop that restored the car......not that I'm trying to doubt what your telling me.
     
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  13. horseballz

    horseballz Member

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    I'm gonna make an educated guess that geordie does not have a standard Ford starter. It is likely that he has a high torque starter that also has a solenoid/bendix actuator. I strongly dislike the mixing/marrying of the 2 types of setups, as it causes much confusion for the poor guy who didn't hook it up. There are several different ways that people "jury rig" to make it work and some ways work better than others! We really need to find out what starter he has! The simplest and seemingly most effective way that I've seen it done is to leave the stock, fender mounted, Ford solenoid wired in the stock/standard manner (geordie's is NOT) and run a jumper wire from the small actuating terminal on the starter to the large terminal of the starter that has the big cable from the right side of the fender mounted solenoid with the positive+ cable of the battery connected to the left side of the solenoid. If you notice, in his pic, there is actually a third wire attached to the large terminal. I assume that this extra wire is main vehicle power that would normally go to the left side of the solenoid along with the +pos battery cable. I would bet that one of the wires to the small left terminal of the solenoid is from the "start" position of the ignition switch and the other one on the same terminal jumpers down to the actuating terminal on the starter. The wire on the small right terminal is ??? doing nothing in this situation. As it is currently wired, the fender mounted solenoid is effectively doing nothing other than being used as 2 separate junction terminals. This is one of the more "janky" and half a$$ed ways I've seen it done and I'm kinda not surprised that he's having problems! Again, WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT HIS STARTER ACTUALLY IS! If he were to simply put in a regular Ford starter, with that solenoid wired as it is, it would simply start cranking immediately upon connecting the battery, even with the key in the "off" position. I really hate it when people design/modify wiring that they don't understand!:bang:
    geordie,
    If you are up for it, I'd be willing to lead you through, step by step, how to use a test light or multi-meter to determine what you have and get it to how it should be. It's really not very difficult and the way it is currently half baked, it may likely confuse whoever you take it to and cause them to make an even bigger mess.:notnice: If you want to PM me your phone number, we could zip through it pretty quickly.
    HTH,
    Gene
     
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  14. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    you are right Gene ,that did not occur to me that it may have the other starter
    guess i have been working on the old stuff to long.
     
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  15. horseballz

    horseballz Member

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    Yeah, I'm an electrician and had been a professional, touring sound engineer, builder and maintainer for many, many years. Wiring stuff is generally a piece of cake for me. Usually, the most difficult part is figuring out what someone else has forked up, how it originally was and how it now should be!:confused::doh:
    Gene
     
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  16. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    i agree with that, bailing wire is not a bolt or a muffler hainger and a nail is not a cotter pin. a coat hainger is not an antenna,ect.ect.
     
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  17. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    Guys,
    Attached is a shot of the starter nameplate.
    It's a VISTEON 11000, 12V, F8FUAA 0E05C

    Starter.jpg
     
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  18. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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    I'm going to try and see if i can find whether this starter is suitable for a 11.5:1 compression engine, like mine. Is there a way to electrically check a starter in the car, to see if it is bad?
     
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  19. geordie

    geordie Founding Member

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  20. bacfire

    bacfire Member

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    That looks like a great resource for late model work. Thanks for posting it!
     
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