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Old 05/23/2006, 07:11 AM   #1
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Starter or Battery?

Need some help.

351W engine. C4 trans. Starter engages but wont turn engine over. Try two or three times and it usually will finally work normally. I am afraid I will get stuck out somewhere and not be able to start.

I have replaced the starter with a recon one, which died (dont know why - it just quit), and then put the old one back in. I replaced the solenoid (that did not seem to be the problem). Cranking volts is around 10v. No current volts is around 14v. Cranking amps (once it starts to turn over) is around 150. Battery is maybe 3 years old, and the situation doesnt change after I charge it.

So - do i need a new battery, a new starter, a different starter, a different battery? Any other tests I should try? (I dont think it has anything to do with the charging system). Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 05/23/2006, 08:02 AM   #2
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Casey, I assume you checked this but is the cable from the battery to the starter in good shape?
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Old 05/23/2006, 08:31 AM   #3
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Hi Casey,
A good battery should maintain over 9.6 volts during cranking. Do you hear anything other than the one click sound of the solenoid when you turn and hold the key? Does it make a whining sound? Ford's are prone to bad connections, clean the wires and terminals. Don't forget a clean ground also, from block to battery and from starter to block [if painted over]. If the voltage drops to 10 volts but does not turn the motor I would assume the starter is the problem.
Good luck, Dave.
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Old 05/23/2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm
Casey, I assume you checked this but is the cable from the battery to the starter in good shape?
I was also thinking along those lines: not only the cable(s), but are the connections good and clean (no corrosion)? I've had a few "battery" issues resolved by cleaning the posts and terminals ...
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave's Classic
Hi Casey,
Do you hear anything other than the one click sound of the solenoid when you turn and hold the key? Does it make a whining sound? Ford's are prone to bad connections, clean the wires and terminals. Don't forget a clean ground also, from block to battery and from starter to block [if painted over]. If the voltage drops to 10 volts but does not turn the motor I would assume the starter is the problem.
Good luck, Dave.
Yes, That is the odd part. The starter actually engages as if you might get the first one half turn over but then stops. Try again and the same thing. Try a couple of times and it begins to turn the engine over. It is not the usual low battery sound that eventually causes the solenoid to close or chatter.

I will go back and check all connections and wires just to be sure, but have done this before. (I did once have a problem where the wire to the starter got too close to a header pipe and burned through, but that was some time ago and I replaced all wires then). Other thoughts appreciated. Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:10 AM   #6
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Are you still maintaining 10 volts after with the starter engaged and does a jump start help?
Dave
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave's Classic
Are you still maintaining 10 volts after with the starter engaged and does a jump start help?
Dave
Yes on the 10v. I will try a jump start and let you know in a few minutes. Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by case12
Yes on the 10v. I will try a jump start and let you know in a few minutes. Casey
jump start turns it over first time and car starts. soooo....probably the battery??? (even though my cranking volts, idle volts and cranking amps seem in range?). Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:32 AM   #9
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Casey

I am not trying to throw a curve ball at you but let me explain what happened to me.

Last year, I drove my car to a show that is some 50 minutes away of freeway driving. Once there, I shut off my car. When I tried to restart, car would not do anything. It was completely dead. I could jump start, but would not start on its own. I replaced the battery and it started fine. I thought I had a bad battery that fused a cell on trip.

Within a couple of weeks, I got in the car in my garage and turned the car over. The started engaged and started the car, however the started would not disengage. I could not turn the car off. I even pulled out the key and car continued to run at idle and starter still engaged. Finally, the car died.

I posted this problem here and everyone came back and said the starter solenoid or the voltage regulator were bad. I replaced both repoduction parts (which looked very nice) with NAPA parts. Car works great. Over time, I have removed both items and painted to look repo.

Can't tell you if this is the same type of problem, but just thought I would throw that in for information purposes.

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
1965 AC Cobra Replica - 390FE - Black on Black charcoal stripes - "The Black Pearl"
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Old 05/23/2006, 09:35 AM   #10
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Yep, I would go with that. Confused why the volyage doesn't drop lower though. Battery has enough to turn over til it hits a compression stroke and can't get past it. You could always switch the battery from your other Mustang for a final test. Another trip to the parts store! I have their number memorized. Let me know how it goes. Dave.
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Old 05/24/2006, 04:02 PM   #11
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Thanks for the help. It was the battery. I feel a bit dumb, because most people would have tried that first. But, I thought I would be a smarty and do all the tests with the fancy equipment. Guess I'll go back to the 'ole trial and error method I grew up on in the future. Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 05/24/2006, 07:13 PM   #12
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3 cars, 5 kids, I'd be trying to make informed decisions too!
Glad I could help.
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