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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PART 1:
I went to start my convertible the other day and the starter engaged and stayed engaged while the engine ran and tried to tear it apart. I finally got it to stop by smacking the solenoid. Since I corrected the problem by smacking the solenoid I figure that was the main problem. So off I went to the parts store.

PART 2:
I came back and replaced the solenoid. I also replaced the starter since I had to drop it to check it's teeth and it was old anyway. So with a new solenoid and starter I turned the key and the starter engaged and stayed engaged. Smacked the solenoid and it stopped. Now I was currious so I disconnected the starter cable and checked the voltage at the solenoid wires while my wife turned the key. Everything seemed to work perfectly. Turning the key to on sent 12 V to the brown lead, turning the key to start sent 12 V to the red wire and activated the solenoid, and the solenoid disengaged when the key was released. This gave me enough courage to connect the starter cable again. Turned the key and it did the same thing. Smack the solenoid and scratch head.

PART 3:
Had the wife try it again and this time the car started perfectly and idled along like nothing was wrong. I motioned for her to turn the car off. It was then I noticed she was waving the keys at me. It was turned off. I had to pull the wire at the solenoid to stop the car. AH, must be the ignition switch.

PART 4:
As luck would have it there was 2 similar post on the forum about the same issue. Cool. Read up on them and even felt cocky enough to put my 2 cents in. Got a new ignition switch and installed it last night. Turned the key and the starter engaged and stayed engaged. Luckily the engine didn't start so I didn't have to run this time before smacking the solenoid in the head.

Like I said before, I fricken give up. How can I ever trust this car again. I'll be scared ever time I turn the key.
 

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Sounds like the starter gear teeth are binding on the flywheel gear teeth and not letting the starter disengage. Have you checked the condition of the gear teeth on the flywheel? Is there anything about the mounting surface of the starter (or the whole bellhousing) that would cause the starter to mis-align with the flywheel? Just a thought.
 

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Sounds like a ground problem to me. is the engine grounded to the chassie good?
 

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Everything seemed to work perfectly. Turning the key to on sent 12 V to the brown lead, turning the key to start sent 12 V to the red wire and activated the solenoid

Not perfect!
The brown lead supplies full battery voltage to the coil in the "start" position (coil energized), the red lead energizes the coil in the "start" position. Have these wires been crossed?
 

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OK, now try it all again with a different battery. I had the same troubles and a new battery fixed it.
 

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Loose mounting screws on the solenoid will also make it stick. If the screws are stripped, try a nut and bolt to allow the solenoid to make a good ground. You can also run a separate ground wire back to the battery terminal from a solenoid mounting screw.

A loose mount causes the solenoid to arc internally. This causes the contacts to weld themselves together.
 

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Just because the solenoid is new doesn't mean its any good. Replace it again. The reason the car was still running when the keys were out is when the solenoid stuck in the start position it also would be supplying a full 12 volts to the ignition coil. These cheap aftermarket solenoids arent that good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The harness is new and has been working great for the last 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not sure how that would help, but it is interesting because the battery was low when this first surfaced. But I've charged it since and it spins the starter well. Too well in fact.
 

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Well...I've had the exact same problem twice and both times it went away when I replace the solinoid. The first time it stayed fixed for a year. The second time it has stayed fixed for at least 3 years. I guess I'm with the "replace the solinoid again" crowd.

Phil
 

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That's exactly how my original battery acted also. Now this was an Optmia Deep Cycle and it wasn't but a couple years old. My Buddy kept telling me it was the problem, but I kept buying solenoids. I swicthed batteries with another one of my vehicles and BINGO, SOB was right. Still hearing about it as a matter a fact. I replaced the battery and have never had the problem since. Something about it was allowing too many amps?/volts?/watts? /forums/images/icons/blush.gif to the solenoid and cooking the contacts. Put another battery in out of something and try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I left out the part about getting the solenoid at Autozone, huh. The one I ran for the last 2 years I got from Napa. I purposely bought it there hoping it would be better quality than the Autozones and Pep Boys of the world. Maybe there's something to that.

Any ideas where the best ones would come from? Guess I'll hit Napa again.
 

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Any ideas where the best ones would come from?

Go with a HD Motorcraft from the Ford dealer. The CJ cars and larger trucks came with a totally different looking solenoid that was much larger.... Bolted up the same, wired the same.
 

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I went through a couple of the "cheap" solenoids from Autozone in two or three months on my '71 Ranchero. The starter would not disengage - I had just replaced the solenoid.
I did the same thing as you, new starter, etc. - I even dropped the steering column and replaced the ignition switch (PITA). A new, decent solenoid fixed the problem.
You can get Autozone's upgraded solenoid with Limited Lifetime Warranty for $12 - $13 (stay away from their regular cheap one) or go to another parts house like NAPA and get their good one for about the same price. (I think they are the same brand manufacturer anyway)
I also had to replace the solenoid on the Ranchero a few months back when I put on an Edelbrock Carb and intake. I put on newplug wires, distributor cap, the whole 9 yards, and I could not get the timing set where the truck had any power - If the timing was set for the truck to start, It didn't have enough power to pull the hat off of your head. If you advanced the timing (While running) so the truck would run well, it wouldn't turn over to start. I thought I had vacuum advance problems or something. Come to find out the solenoid only had 7 - 8 volts coming out of the back side, and wasn't getting enough juice to the starter.
Once I put on a decent solenoid, I have not had any more problems. They are worth the extra $10 or so.
 

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Might be a good time to look into switching to a late model 5.0 mini-starter. It has the solenoid built in and gives lots of clearance and torquey spinning. Just a thought....mines been whirring away for over a year now and no more heat soak from the try-ys....
 

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if your starter quitsts turning engine but engine runs on after ign key goes to off you still have coil voltage which can only come from ballast resistor thru ign key and neutral safety sw if auto tran or from "I" term from solenoid which is direct battery voltage thru relay contacts in solenoid to provide + V for coil voltage at starting only - these 2 Vs are wired or'ed together in wiring bundle. the 12 V from solenoid should only be there when solenoid is closed unless you; have wiring problems.
to really investigate your problem is to make measurements when condition exists but a cheap way to eliminate the 12 V fom "I" ckt is to get it started without starter continuos cranking, remove "I" term on solenoid and turn ign key off - if car shuts down then you are getting 12 V on that term from internal short in solenoid.
the continuous cranking as i posted before is either a lazy solenid, ign sw, or wiring problem. the common denominator in you case is the solenoid or wiring around it. if you want to dig deeper into it and notify me by PM and i will give you procedures - need to know if you got multimeter and know how to use it.
 

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Art is correct. The Brown wire is the coil/ignition wire, and the other wire is the starter relay initiation wire (should only read 12V when the key is in the START position).
 

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Yeap......had that problem with my 428....as it turns out the original wiring harness to the engine compartment and under dash were all corroded.....

now that theyre fixed, I have a couple of starter selenoids
including one in the trunk....

This way if it doesn happen again....i'm covered.

A selenoid is smaller than a hammer....

regards
 

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I had that problem and the two small wires on the solenoid were crossed. Starter kept going unless I turned the key to the off position.
 
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