Starting Issue

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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So I've replaced my starter solenoid, battery cables, checked grounds and still no start. I don't think its the battery because it was turning over fine. I didn't hear any slow cranking, or any signs of a weak battery before I was having starting issues. I'm still going to get the battery checked, but I think the starter went out. Do starters just die all of the sudden, out of the blue? Do they usually just go out with no warning. I've had 4 fox body's and never had to replace one. I didn't have any issues or hear anything funny with the starter. Was driving home from work, stopped at a few places before I got home and no starting issues. I parked the car in front of my house and a little while later went to move it and nothing. Just one solid click, not like a dead battery, which has several clicks when starting. Just curious on what you guys think before I replace the starter, which I'm thinking more than likely is my problem.

No Crank checklist for 5.0 Mustangs

Revised 24-Oct-2013 to update voltage drop figures.

No crank, slow crank and stuck starter solenoid problems have the same root causes – low battery voltage and poor connections. For that reason, they are grouped together.
Use the same initial group of tests to find the root cause of slow crank, no crank and stuck solenoid problems.

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…


1.) Will the car start if it is jumped? Then clean battery terminals and check battery for low charge and dead cells. A good battery will measure 12-13 volts at full charge with the ignition switch in the Run position but without the engine running.
A voltmeter placed across the battery terminals should show a minimum of 9.5-10 volts when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position and the starter engages or tries to engage. Less than this will result in a clicking solenoid, or slow cranking (if it cranks at all) or a starter solenoid that sticks and welds the contacts together.

Most auto parts stores will check your battery for free. It does not have to be installed in the car to have it checked; you can carry it with you to the auto parts store.

The battery posts and inside of the battery post terminals should be scraped clean with a knife or battery post cleaner tool. This little trick will fix a surprising number of no start problems.

The clamp on with 2 bolts battery terminal ends are a known problem causer. Any place you see green on a copper wire is corrosion. Corrosion gets in the clamped joint and works its way up the wire under the insulation. Corroded connections do not conduct electricity well. Avoid them like the plague...

If the starter solenoid welds the contacts, then the starter will attempt to run anytime there is power in the battery. The cables and solenoid will get very hot, and may even start smoking. The temporary fix for a welded starter solenoid is to disconnect the battery and smack the back of the solenoid housing a sharp blow with a hammer. This may cause the contacts to unstick and work normally for a while.


A voltmeter is handy if you are familiar with how to use it to find bad connections. Measure the voltage drop across a connection while trying to start the car: more than .25 volts across a connection indicates a problem. The voltage drop tests need to be done while cranking the engine. It's the current flowing through a connection or wire that causes the voltage drop.

See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .

attachment.php?attachmentid=64167&stc=1&d=1286329941.gif


Voltage drops should not exceed the following:
200 mV Wire or cable
300 mV Switch or solenoid
100 mV Ground
0.0V Connections
A voltage drop lower that spec is always acceptable.

2.) Check the battery to engine block ground down near the oil filter, and the ground behind the engine to the firewall. All grounds should be clean and shiny. Use some sandpaper to clean them up.

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

The rest of the tech note only concerns no crank problems. If your problem was a stuck solenoid, go back to step 1.

4.) Then pull the small push on connector (small red/blue wire) off the starter solenoid (Looks like it is stuck on a screw). Then jump between the screw and the terminal that is connected to the battery. If it cranks, 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.

Typical start circuit...
Diagram courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds
attachment.php?attachmentid=21328&d=1080916057.gif



6.) 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.


Starter solenoid wiring for 86-91 Mustang
attachment.php?attachmentid=52294&stc=1&d=1192414749.gif



Starter solenoid wiring 92-93 Mustang or earlier Mustang with upgraded high torque mini starter.
attachment.php?attachmentid=53216&stc=1&d=1201020653.gif


Electrical checks for the switches and starter solenoid

Remove the small red/blue wire from the starter solenoid. Use a screwdriver to bridge the connection from the battery positive connection on the starter solenoid to the small screw where the red/blue wire was connected. The starter should crank the engine. If it does not, the starter solenoid is defective or the battery lacks sufficient charge to crank the engine.

If the starter does crank the engine, the problem is in the clutch safety circuit (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) or ignition switch.


See the Typical start circuit diagram above for wiring information for troubleshooting.

You will need a voltmeter or test lamp for the rest of the checks. Connect one lead of the voltmeter or test lamp to ground. The other lead will connect to the item under test.
Look for 12 volts on the white/pink wire when the ignition switch is turned to the Start position. Check the ignition switch first.
No 12 volts, replace the ignition switch.

The next step will require you to push the clutch pedal to the floor (5 speed) or put the transmission in neutral (auto trans) while the ignition switch is turned to the Start position.
Good 12 volts, check the clutch safety switch (5 speed) or Neutral Sense Switch (auto trans) for good 12 volts on both sides of the switches. No 12 volts on both sides of the switch and the switches are defective or out of adjustment. Check the wiring for bad connections while you are at it.

So I just posted a starting issue thread and forgot to mention the little bit of smoke coming from the starter solenoid when attempting to start car. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!?!?
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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So I just posted a starting issue thread and forgot to mention thelittle bit of smoke coming from the starter solenoid whenattempting to start car. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!?!?


Thats means you have a bad connection/overheated circut.
Clean that connection and check your voltage there, actually check all your connections and do voltage drop test like discribed in jrichker's no start checklist.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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Would a bad starter cause my solenoid to smoke??
So I just posted a starting issue thread and forgot to mention thelittle bit of smoke coming from the starter solenoid whenattempting to start car. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!?!?


Thats means you have a bad connection/overheated circut.
Clean that connection and check your voltage there, actually check all your connections and do voltage drop test like discribed in jrichker's no start checklist.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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If the connection is bad, yes, the bad connection could have caused the starter problem, electricity is like water, it has to flow smoothly otherwise stuff starve, then get weak and die.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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If the connection is bad, yes, the bad connection could have caused the starter problem, electricity is like water, it has to flow smoothly otherwise stuff starve, then get weak and die.
I started having this problem when it rained, any corallation?
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
2,178
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If the connection is bad, yes, the bad connection could have caused the starter problem, electricity is like water, it has to flow smoothly otherwise stuff starve, then get weak and die.
I started having this problem when it rained, any corallation?
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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I replaced the solenoid and no luck. I hooked all the wires up the same way that they were before. Im going to have the battery tested tonight, if its bad ill replaced it, (I don't think it is). Then replace the starter. Im just stumped on way my new solenoid is smoking.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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I haven't had any wiring problems either before this, do wiring problems happen out of the blue?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Have you tried jump starting it? Or taken a screw driver accross the post on the solenoid? Do any of the cables get hot? Have you done a voltage drop test.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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polk county florida
I haven't had any wiring problems either before this, do wiring problems happen out of the blue?
Most problems don't just happen, there are hints that start out subtle, not noticed, then become more pronounced, smoking solenoid, hot wires slow cranking all are symptoms of low voltage/bad connections. Just don't over think it. I'm betting on a bad battery/battery cable or faulty connections.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
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Thanks karthief, your right. I think I am over thinking it. Ill go over everything, get the battery tested and all connections. Do you think that solenoid need to be replaced now? Probably, right?
 

jrichker

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Go back to the No Crank checklist for 5.0 Mustangs I posted. Everything you need is in there. Do it step by step, don't skip a step and you will find the problem.
 
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