Engine Weird Problem Stalling

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by D Durden, Jan 6, 2013.


  1. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    Okay, I've got a '65 with a 351W. She starts just fine, runs fine, and then about 10 minutes in, it acts like it's out of power (gas or electrical) . . . but isn't. When I try to restart, the starter won't turn over but once, BUT when I let off the key, it turns fast once (not enough to start). All the other power stuff works FINE, and the electric fuel pump is running, too.

    Now, let it sit 2 or 3 hours, poop, no problems.

    It's not vapor lock.

    I'm thinking oddball starter solenoid issue.

    What say ye professionals?
    #1
  2. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    you might have a solenoid issue. does it happen when it is idling? or when you are running down the street? the other thing to check is for coil overheating.
    #2
  3. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    Coil is remote mounted/MSD . . . so I think I'm okay there.

    It happens just driving. I haven't noticed it being moving or sitting preferential.

    Reckon it's a solenoid?
    #3
  4. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    yes it is very possible to have a bad solenoid, though usually you end up with an intermittent miss that you can ever seem to find. they are cheap enough, go ahead and replace it as it is probably quite old anyway.
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  5. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    Aw, crap man, I had 2 in the trunk when this one went bad! LOL! I learned that one young.

    Growing up, my two biggest problems were breaking the long alternator bolts and blowing starter solenoids. For what it's worth, they used to make 2 different solenoids . . . one with a shiny mount and one all black, and the all black ones failed constantly.

    I'm going to put the new one on Wednesday and see what happens. The ****ER is that I have to drive it about 10 minutes to see if it fails or not, and that kinda' sucks. I'll probably drive it around WalMart and Lowes parking because if she stalls out again, I can leave her sit a couple of hours, and then drive 'er home. LOL!
    #5
  6. Mr67Stang

    Mr67Stang Active Member

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    Are you still running points ignition? What distributor do you have? Mechanical or vacume advance? This sounds like a timing issue when you say upon restart, "the starter won't turn over but once, BUT when I let off the key, it turns fast once (not enough to start)". That turn over fast may be kick back (turning backwards) from too much advance in the timing curve. Possible stuck adv plate in the distributor. If it's an old vacume advance style then it's very possible. Have someone else try to start the car after the stall and watch to see if the engine is kicking back on you. If it is, take the cap off the distributor and look at the plate and see if you can move it counter clockwise. It moves clockwise to advance it's self as you move up in rpm. So if it's sticking, it will be to advanced to start. Please come back and let us know what you find.
    #6
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  7. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    I'm MSD everything (ignition included), so I don't think those are issues. And the motor runs great . . . till it completely stalls out. GOOD POINTS ALL (including the good points on bad points :D), but I should have been more clear on my setup.

    Basically, the roof on my car is stock . . . so is the trunk lid. After that, eh, probably not. LOL!
    #7
  8. SoCalCruising

    SoCalCruising Founding Member

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    Is your electric fuel pump up to the job? Particularly, is it mounted too high (relative to the fuel tank) and has to pull vacuum to supply fuel? As the pump heats up (from the load needed to pull fuel, then push it), it losses efficiency and the problem spirals. If your other fixes don't solve the problem, next time it stalls, pull the air cleaner and pump the linkage manually and see if your get a squirt of fuel in the carb. If not, you're fuel starved. You may have to relocate the pump to where it can be gravity fed, and maybe get a beefier pump.
    #8
  9. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    The fuel pump is a brand new Holley unit . . . it's a beast . . . figgin' shakes the whole car. I'm thinking that if it were the fuel pump, the starter would still turn over okay. I MAY try the carb test, though . . . should have done that. Good idea!
    #9
  10. dannyshelby

    dannyshelby New Member

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    I had an issue on my GTO where the sock over the fuel pickup in the tank was varnished 1/2 way up.
    We went through everything. Spent a fortune but that was it.
    As soon as the fuel hit that level it stopped getting through.
    #10
  11. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    H
    Hey Danny, how long (running) did it take to happen? That sounds like something that would happen to me! LOL!

    If the rain will break for a while, I'm going to try and change out the solenoid tonight . . . wish me luck, eh?
    #11
  12. TuneUpsNSuch

    TuneUpsNSuch Member

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    How is your battery ground set up? What starter are you using and has the pinion to ring gear lash been checked? Sounds kinda like starter heat soak. For a quick clue, get a voltmeter and check the voltage during cranking when you have the problem. If the voltage drops significantly that would indicate a high current draw on the starting system (timing, compression, flooding, etc.). If the voltage hardly drops at all that speaks to a circuit issue (starter motor windings/brushes, poor battery cable connections, etc.). By the way, is this a trunk mounted battery? If it is, did you run a ground cable or are you using the body for ground return?
    #12
  13. dannyshelby

    dannyshelby New Member

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    I trucked the car in from Ca.
    It was sold as having a new motor but had sat for 6 years in a airplane hanger
    I sent it right to the shop for a new convertible top and the first day out it happened.
    As long as fuel was full or splashing over the line in the pickup it was perfect.
    The time and money we spent under the hood till someone said...the sock
    #13
  14. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    Okay, update here . . .

    I put a new starter solenoid on, and either bravely or stupidly went for a drive. All went well. As a matter of fact, the car started better than ever. On cruise number one, I drove her about 4 or 5 miles in sixty degree weather. No issues.

    Tried cruise number two and did about 15 miles. No issues. Another one at 35 miles, and I figured the problem was solved. As a sanity check, I drove her about 40 miles yesterday in 35ish degree weather (and raining), and still no issues.

    I'm pretty sure it was the starter solenoid. Side note, I put a Duralast solenoid in it, and while it looks the same as the old one, it felt heavier. dunno . . .
    #14
  15. Mr67Stang

    Mr67Stang Active Member

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    Well a wise man once told me that electrical parts need smoke to operate; once they let their smoke out, you have to replace them.
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  16. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    sounds like the problem is solved.
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  17. SoCalCruising

    SoCalCruising Founding Member

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    You won't really know until it behaves itself in hot weather.
    Wish you the best with it.
    #17
  18. D Durden

    D Durden DEEP FAT FRY Founding Member

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    :) Thanks! Actually, it got up to temperature as we had temps in the high 60's this past weekend . . . as I stare at the ice outside.
    #18

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