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Good morning everyone, I decided to purchase a 1963 Galaxie 500 to work on. I'm not a mechanic by any means. But I am mechanical, and I think with the proper literature(and plenty of help from the guru's here) I will be able to get this things running and safe enough to jam my whole family in to go on Sunday cruises. Which is my end goal.

So a little bit of the cars background... 1963½ 2 door hardtop fastback has a 390, cruiseomatic trans, 3.00/1 gears.

So here we go. I took delivery of the car last night. Woke up this morning to tinker around a bit. The previous owner had mentioned the key would not start the car. So "curiosity killed the cat" I tried anyway and wouldn't you know it...it didn't even make a peep. The GEN light was the only thing "on" on the gage cluster. But if I popped hood and jumped the solenoid(I believe that's what I'm doing) with a screw driver it starts to turn over. I haven't been able to start it yet. Any suggestions on what my next steps should be to diagnose the problem with not being able to use the key would be very helpful. Thanks in advance for any/all help in this matter.
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When you turn the key to start you should get 12v at the small wire connected to the "S" on the solenoid. Here is a great diagram by puttster on how it works.
 

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The wires going to and from the battery look pretty beat. Would it be a good idea to replace them?
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have someone hold your key in the start position and check the little wires with a test light. the one that comes on goes to the s terminal, the other to the i terminal.
yes you need to replace all three battery cables. neg, bat to relay and relay to starter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok I will post back results when I can. Trying to remotely school my son. While working on the car when I can. Thanks for all of the help so far extech and puttster.
 

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Wow, those small wires need some love too. If it were mine, I'd cut them back about an inch, strip some insulation off, get some new wire and solder to them to make them longer to reach the solenoid good. After soldering, wrap one of the splices with electrical tape a bit, then add in the second one so they are separated but both covered by the tape. Finally, a good trick is to take a small wire tie and cinch it down over the end of the tape. This way, the tape won't come off even if it loses its stickiness. Then get some new 90 degree connectors for the ends that go over the screw terminals. All this will only take a few minutes but make it reliable for years. All this after determining which wire is which as stated earlier.

Pat
 

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if you don't know how to solder, find someone who does. any other connection will eventually fail
 

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^^what eXTech said, "have someone hold your key in the start position and check the little wires with a test light." If the red one has no power, the ignition starter switch (or the wire going back) is broke. If it does have power,
I'd just clip the wires to the posts (red to "S", brown to "I") and give the key a try. If it won't crank (but will crank by jumping) test the solenoid or replace it, hopefully with a quality one...
If it will crank but not start, we move to to step 2. Let the journey begin...

I hope I got that right
 

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If it doesn't have power to the "S" wire, don't forget the neutral safety switch might be out of adjustment or even not working.
The trans lever must be in "P" or "N" to get power to the "S" wire when you turn the key to "start".
 

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That is a great catch Galaxiex. The current on the red wire (red w/blue stripe on my 65) has to get through through the NSS.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You guys are absolutely amazing with all of this knowledge. I am replacing the three wires extech mentioned above, tomorrow morning. I am waiting for a voltage meter and test light. They should be here tomorrow. I will get to checking my wires as instructed when everything shows up. Thanks again for everything. I have a long road ahead if me and I can't wait to see where I end up
 

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My most used elec equip is a small light bulb with wires with alligator clips.

To test that red start wire put one clip on the wire and the other on the negative battery terminal, when you energize the wire with the start key you can see the light bulb comle on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok so I replaced those three beat up wires extech had mentioned earlier and added new TEMPORARY(when everything checks out I will solder new leads) leads to the wires on top of the solenoid. So one quick question. I bought a regular 4 gauge cable that goes from the "I" side of the solenoid(not the post)
to the starter and it seems odd to me there would be no heat shield for the cable as it is right near the passenger side exhaust manifold(or right under it to be exact). Should I buy heat shielding for it, or will it be fine? Sorry for the re-DUMBdant questions, I just don't want to create more problems down the line. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for all the questions guys just happened to notice this. It looks broken to me. It is on the passenger side of the carb. Any ideas?
 

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