$$$$$ in tow fees, or fix this thing?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by 88GT17MA, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Im moving from my house, and need to get this car running, or pay big money in tow fees. I finally got my engine settled, started it for the first time over the weekend.

    It wouldnt stay running unless I kept cranking the ignition over. By doing this, I blew something in my ignition.....(forget to adjust the fuel pressure, rich, 65psi)

    Ive searched all threw the posts here and on the corral but cant find any solutions.

    I had a friend watching the car as I started it.....he saw sparks.....I shut it off....I gave it another turn and the strangest noise came from my steering column and smoke came from the area where my starter relay is.

    Checked the fusible links with a test light and all seem fine....checked the ignition switch and its wires.....looks good...plus no smoke in the car during the problem....

    Now when I try and start it, I get a buzz, not clicks a buzz. The only thing I could relate the sound to is of an old freight elevator doorbell. Its a loud BZZZZZZZZZZZ......for however long I hold the key in the start position.

    Anyone want to take a shot at my problem? Ive been reading, testing by myself, now I need some outside opinions.

    Thanks - Andrew
  2. Here's a checklist:

    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…

    Check battery, terminal connections, ground, starter relay switch (also known as solenoid) and starter in that order.

    A voltmeter is handy if you are familiar with how to use it to find bad connections. Measure the voltage drop across a connection: more than .5 volts across a connection indicates a problem.
    See http://www.fluke.com/application_notes/automotive/circuit.asp?AGID=1&SID=103 for help

    1.) Will the car start if it is jumped? Then clean battery terminals and check battery.

    2.) Check the battery to engine block ground, and the ground behind the engine to the firewall.

    3.) Jump the big terminals on the starter relay 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.

    4.) Then pull the small push on connector (red wire) off the starter relay (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Then jump between the screw and the terminal that is connected to the battery. If it starts, 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. See http://www.autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d80195963.gif for 88-90 year cars .OR see http://www.autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d80195964.gif for 91-93 year cars. See http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiB..._us/0900823d/80/1d/db/3c/0900823d801ddb3c.jsp for 94-95 model cars.

    6.) The starter may be hung, loosen up the bolts that hold it on, and give it a good whack with a big hammer. Tighten up the bolts and try again.

    7.) If that doesn't work, use a jumper cable from the positive lead on the battery direct to the starter post where the big wire from the relay connects. If it cranks then, it is the power wire from the relay gone bad. This will be hard to do, since there isn't much room to do it.

    8.) 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.
  3. Ive been through this list,the starter and battery are good and new, power isnt even getting past the relay.
  4. Why not just rent a car trailer from U-haul? Or you can sign up for AAA Plus and they will tow it up to 100 miles for free.

  5. Im looking into this, but Im also not sure where I'm moving yet.....so depending on where I end up, this may work.....

    I know I can get a trailer from uhaul, rent a truck, etc. But even this would probably end up costing more compared to fixing the prob.

    Downgrading from the current house, money is tight, maybe If I can get it running, it can put me in a position to sell it, who knows. I would like to drive it at least once before she goes, since I never really got a chance to...and put all my time and money into it over the last couple of years.
  6. Sounds like you need to decide what you want :)
  7. yeah i been there and i pretty sure i know what your problem is...

    first off you need a new starter solinoid, and what ever ignition you have hooked up you need to change the hot wire feeding that to a key on power source instead of only having power to it when you are in the start position on the key switch. You need to find a key on power source 12V in your fuse pannel and hood your ignition feed to that along with a fusible link somewhere inbetween the fuse box and the ignition box, a 20 amp fuse will do just fine there. Good luck on her and let us know if she runs!! :flag:

  8. I guess ill do that outside of stangnet, but since I came here to fix my car....

    I think my starter solenoid is gone too.....and I do have a MSD box wired to constant power. Ill look into hooking it up the way your talking about, thanks for the help/opinions guys
  11. What steps have you done in the checklist? Where did you get to in it and stop?
  12. I went through the list again and think the relay may be bad. Im going to swap it with a friends and go through the checklist again.

    At first the checklist was leaving me with a wiring issue, now its just making a loud buzz, Ill see what happens tonight, thanks again.
  13. Swapped the starter relay, wired an inline fuse to my ignition power box and wired it to key-on power.

    Went through the checklist again, Im in the same position.

    When I try and crank the car by jumping the 2 posts on the solenoid It makes the same noise I hear when I try and start it with the key. It will not crank....just BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (loud) like one of those trick electricuting handshake toys.

    I double checked the ignition switch and noticed the 12ga yellow wires that power the main fusible links had some sign of heat (a little melted on the connecter)

    However, tested the wires with a test light at the ignition switch and got power to these wires, assuming its still good, checked the fuseable links connected to that circuit and also got power.

    Can a bad starter make this noise? If so, how could this have happened, and how would it explain the symptoms I experienced?

  14. When you jump the two big post on the solenoid, you have eliminated most of the wiring that can cause a no crank condition.

    You are left with 3 possibilities:
    1.) Bad battery. Do a jump off a car with the engine running.

    2. Bad wiring/dirty connections. Check and clean all the connections. This includes the wiring on the starter motor. I have seen oil seep into the crimped on lugs and cause an intermittent no start condition. If you have the replacement type battery terminals that clamp the cable with 2 bolts, get rid of them and get an OEM style cable. They allow acid to seep inside the wires and corrode the cable. Look closely at the cables. A bulge in a cable may be an indication of corrosion insidle the cable. Replace any cable that has a bulge in it.

    3.) Bad starter. Pull it and have it tested.
  15. The battery is a brand new optima yellow top. When I first couldnt start the car I was at least getting a crank, but I had an old red top in there. Bought the yellow top and the car fired up.

    I tried jumping it with a running car, even with a driver in the seat holding the running car up to about 3xrpm.

    Same loud BZZZZZZZZ

    the starter is pretty old, maybe thats what the noise is, if the starter was hung, would it buzz like that? kind of as iff the motor in the starter is trying hard to turn but its stuck?

    I still dont see how this would explain the smoke unless maybe the ignition was feeding a bad starter....would it then overload?
  16. I don't mean to be a jerk, but instead of guessing where the buzz is coming from, use your ear and find the buzz. Its not that hard to locate a repeatable, loud buzz.

  17. Dont worry, no offense taken. I have looked for the obivous, and usually its easy to locate a sound, but not in this case.

  18. My first post had a description of how to find bad cables/bad connections. I suggest you follow it, and do some testing. A bad cable or connection will generate heat and may smoke.

    If after testing the cables and connections, you don't find any problems, then replace the starter.