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Author Topic:   Electrical Problem Update
HHuggins
Gearhead

Posts: 112
From: Laguna Niguel, CA
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-12-2002 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HHuggins   Click Here to Email HHuggins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, I removed the alternator and took it down to a local shop. It tested bad, so I purchased a new one and installed it. I charged the battery and tried to start her up, but no go. The starter solenoid makes a clicking sound, but that is about it.

I'm completely in the dark when it comes to electrical problems, so any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

HH

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_ _____________________ _

Harley D. Huggins II
Laguna Niguel, CA

1970 Mach I
1998 GT Convertible
www.geocities.com/hh_machi/

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67 Fastback
Gearhead

Posts: 667
From: Beaverton, Oregon
Registered: Aug 99

posted 08-12-2002 02:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67 Fastback   Click Here to Email 67 Fastback     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suggest getting a new starter solenoid and a voltage regulator. Each are relatively inexpensive and quick installs.

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Jerry
Member number: I forget (Help Steve?)
www.67Fastback.com
"The danger in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished."
G.B. Shaw

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69 Sportsroof
Gearhead

Posts: 132
From: Valley, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-12-2002 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof   Click Here to Email 69 Sportsroof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Make sure your ground connections are clean and metal to metal (no paint or oil or corrosion).

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 24404
From: Saco, Maine Toys: '70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150
Registered: May 99

posted 08-12-2002 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your battery probably needs a charge. That's why you changed the alternator, right?

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All Fords since 1977!

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HHuggins
Gearhead

Posts: 112
From: Laguna Niguel, CA
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-13-2002 02:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HHuggins   Click Here to Email HHuggins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Uh, I did charge the battery (see my first post) and it started, but when I tried to start her again a few days later she wouldn't turn over. I tried jump-starting it which got the lights working but that was it - oh, that and the solenoid clicking. The battery is brand new, which would point to a drain somewhere in the system, except that the car won't jump-start - confusing.

I hate electrical problems.

HH

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_ _____________________ _

Harley D. Huggins II
Laguna Niguel, CA

1970 Mach I
1998 GT Convertible
www.geocities.com/hh_machi/

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69Cat
Journeyman

Posts: 6
From: Sask., Canada
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-14-2002 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69Cat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmm, won't start even with a known good booster battery connected to the posts of the battery that is in the car?

If I am right in that summary that would lead to:
1) Cables - ground or to the solenoid, clean all connections and try again.
Solenoid to starter likely OK since solenoid clicking indicates low voltage which is occuring even before the starter engages.

2) Sure fire way to narrow it down:
Take one booster cable and jumper the starter solenoid out. To do this go from your battery + post to the large terminal on the other side of the solenoid. You will see that the battery cable connects to one large terminal on the solenoid and the starter cable connects to the other large terminal - jumper to this one. Doing this you are applying 12V directly to the starter cable and the starter will engage. If still nothing happens your problem is in the starter cable or starter.

If starter turns then you know your battery is OK, your starter is OK and your cable connections are OK. You jumpered the solenoid therefore your solenoid is bad, likely the contacts inside the solenoid are burnt up or making poor connection - replace the solenoid and you are good to go.

Ken

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69Cat
Journeyman

Posts: 6
From: Sask., Canada
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-14-2002 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69Cat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh yeah, forgot one possibility:
If you jumper the solenoid (battery power applied directly to stater cable) and starter still doesn't turn you have to also suspect the battery doesn't have enough power. Then try a known good battery with this test also.

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69 Cougar XR-7
351C 4V
T-5

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HHuggins
Gearhead

Posts: 112
From: Laguna Niguel, CA
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-14-2002 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HHuggins   Click Here to Email HHuggins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks 69Cat! I'll give that a try.

HH

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_ _____________________ _

Harley D. Huggins II
Laguna Niguel, CA

1970 Mach I
1998 GT Convertible
www.geocities.com/hh_machi/

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69Cat
Journeyman

Posts: 6
From: Sask., Canada
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-14-2002 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69Cat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No problem Harley, if you still have problems I can help you nail it down. If the solenoid is chattering then it is likely a poor cable connection or weak battery but your attempt to boost should rule out the battery. If the solenoid makes one solid click (it has pulled in) then likely something internal with the solenoid or the starter.

Solenoids can be iffy when the contacts get bad, it may make good contact one time and no contact the next (and then the starter doesn't get power).

..... and then there are the times when the solenoid sticks closed (starter keeps running) and I had to beat on it with a wrench to get it to disengage - but thats another story.

Ken

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cobravenom71
Journeyman

Posts: 4
From: KIssimee, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 08-14-2002 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've tried this in the past: Once the car is started, remove one of the battery cables and see if the car continues to run. If it keeps running, you know at least that the alternator is working, leaving the battery,starter relay, voltage regulator, wiring or starter as one or more of the likely culprits.
If your battery is drained to an exteremly low charge, sometimes a jump-start isn't enough to get you going.
If jumping the starter relay (often called the solenoid, which is incorrect) starts the car, but it won't start with the key, then I would assume that it is probably the relay or the wiring/connections.
It's easy enough to find out if the battery is good, but don't assume it is just 'cause its new.
You mentioned that you think there is a 'drain' somewhere in the system, and it sounds like you may be right.
In the past I had a problem like this too! Very perplexing! I was just a kid, and didn't have the tools or money to take it anywhere so I did this:
Each night when the car was parked for the night, I took ONE fuse out of the fuse box. When the car did not start in the morning, I assumed that the drain was coming from a different circuit, so I reinstalled that fuse.
Each night I removed a different fuse until the car started the next morning. I left that fuse out for several days without problem. When I reinstalled it, it drained the battery overnight again. So I knew it was in that circuit.
That circuit operated the lights under the hood and trunk, and in the glove box, I think.
As it turns out, the hood light was the bad guy.
I don't know how, but after sitting for a few minutes, the under-hood light would slowly come on! I simply bent the bracket so the mercury switch was at a more severe angle, and that seemed to do the trick. Never had that problem again!
It might be time consuming, but at least its free! Good luck! Kit Sullivan

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