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75 degrees crisp fall breeze, top down drive lovin life. Then disaster. I was going 60, people taking pictures, giving me thumbs up, honking. What could be better? On my way to my moms house to give her a ride in my 1966 Galaxie 7 litre convertible. My mom and wife have been teasing me for 7 years as I slowly bring the car back to factory original condition. “We will never get to ride in that car”, was mostly what I heard. So here I go to knock another bucket list item down.
Traveling about 60 and all of a sudden this horrible grinding, screeching sound coming from the transmission area. My first thought, dang the C6 green dot transmission I rebuilt is breaking apart. I was at my turn off the parkway, so drove up to the first light and shifted into neutral, then back to green dot and the sound stopped.
Drove to moms house and parked in her driveway. let it idle for a few minutes, sounded great no issues. Then turned the key off and she kept running. Got out and pulled the neg battery cable, still running. With the neg cable off pulled the pos cable off and of course still running. By this time mom, step dad and my wife were next to me snickering. I then pulled the coil plug off, expecting to get shocked and the 7 Litre finally stopped.
Put everything back in place and went to start the car. Starter was grinding and not catching the flex plate ring, just spinning. Moved the car back a little tried again no luck. Moved forward and still no luck. Called a tow truck and brought it home.
My analysis is the starter engaged going 60 and ate the ring off the flex plate. Good news, if there is any, the transmission seems fine. Haven’t checked yet, can’t seem to motivate to the garage and check it out.
So here are my questions.
Is it the ignition that went bad causing the starter to engage at 60?
Or is it the solenoid that failed causing the starter to engage while driving down the road?
Could it be both?
I am having dreams about replacing the two piece flex plate, if I can find one! DANG IT!!

It was an awesome drive for 6 miles or so. I have driven it about 40 miles since I finished it.
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My thought initally is exactly what you said, the starter engaged while driving. That sounds like an ignition issue. I would check the wiring, make sure nothing got hot and shorted, which caused the starter to engage. That would be the wiring going to the solenoid. As far as damage, you are probably looking at replacing the flex plate, and check the starter teeth. If the starter is engaging, and is not burnt, that is a good thing.

The last few months I had a bunch of issues with my starter engaging, car failing to start, then failing to turn off, and replaced the solenoid three times. The entire time it was the ignition switch, it was coming apart internally, and ended up being the cause of all the issues. It is a pretty quick replacement and does not cost much, so I would go with that. But still check all of the wiring. As far as staying running when you had both the positive and negative pulled, that is interesting, I usually was able to get the car to turn off removing the negative post. But if the alternator is still supplying power to the ignition, I guess it would still stay running. Again, check you electrical wiring for shorts.
 

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75 degrees crisp fall breeze, top down drive lovin life. Then disaster. I was going 60, people taking pictures, giving me thumbs up, honking. What could be better? On my way to my moms house to give her a ride in my 1966 Galaxie 7 litre convertible. My mom and wife have been teasing me for 7 years as I slowly bring the car back to factory original condition. “We will never get to ride in that car”, was mostly what I heard. So here I go to knock another bucket list item down.
Traveling about 60 and all of a sudden this horrible grinding, screeching sound coming from the transmission area. My first thought, dang the C6 green dot transmission I rebuilt is breaking apart. I was at my turn off the parkway, so drove up to the first light and shifted into neutral, then back to green dot and the sound stopped.
Drove to moms house and parked in her driveway. let it idle for a few minutes, sounded great no issues. Then turned the key off and she kept running. Got out and pulled the neg battery cable, still running. With the neg cable off pulled the pos cable off and of course still running. By this time mom, step dad and my wife were next to me snickering. I then pulled the coil plug off, expecting to get shocked and the 7 Litre finally stopped.
Put everything back in place and went to start the car. Starter was grinding and not catching the flex plate ring, just spinning. Moved the car back a little tried again no luck. Moved forward and still no luck. Called a tow truck and brought it home.
My analysis is the starter engaged going 60 and ate the ring off the flex plate. Good news, if there is any, the transmission seems fine. Haven’t checked yet, can’t seem to motivate to the garage and check it out.
So here are my questions.
Is it the ignition that went bad causing the starter to engage at 60?
Or is it the solenoid that failed causing the starter to engage while driving down the road?
Could it be both?
I am having dreams about replacing the two piece flex plate, if I can find one! DANG IT!!

It was an awesome drive for 6 miles or so. I have driven it about 40 miles since I finished it. View attachment 166893 View attachment 166896 View attachment 166897
Hello JIM4,

I am sorry to hear about your '66 7 litre. Not only would I replace the ignition switch and starter relay, but as mentioned check the wiring for frayed insulation and also replace the neutral safety switch. Remember the neutral safety switch has +12 volts for the back up lights also going to it. If the contacts broke apart in the switch it could have intermittently applied the +12 volts for the back up lights to the starter relay as you did mention the grinding stopped when you shifted from drive to neutral back to drive again.

As far as the car running on after the key is off is could be directly related or sheer dumb luck of another problem. Having the starter engaged for so long could have fused the "I" terminal to the battery inside the solenoid and that would bypass the ignition switch for ignition power. The Ford starter relay is only rated for intermittent duty so it would overheat if left engaged. Or it all could be a bad ignition switch. I know it's a blow to the motivation, but it would be a feel good measure to find the exact problem, even if you replace all the mentioned parts.

As for replacing the ring gear, I would also replace the bendix in the starter at the very least if the starter itself isn't cooked that is. You have to remove the starter anyway to remove the transmission to replace the flexplate so best off disassembling the starter and inspecting as you do not want to have a repeat of this again.

Good Luck.
 

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Agree with ahaywood5785 & DesertXL, sounds like an ignition switch. Though as DesertXL said, isolate and test your neutral safety switch.

The ignition switch is easy to replace. First, insert a paperclip into the little hole next to the key slot and turn the key left (counter-clockwise). That way, the lock cylinder will pop out. Next, remove the outer bezel around the ignition switch from the instrument panel by unscrewing it. There is a special tool for this, but otherwise you'll have to improvise. Once the bezel is removed, push the ignition switch assembly back before pulling it out from under the dash. Remove the "plug" connector on the back of the switch and all wires from the accessory post. Be sure to take note here so you can re-assemble everything in the same way.

Below is the ignition diagram from the 1966 Ford/Mercury full size shop manual which shows the basic layout of the ignition system. The shop manual also has the schematics which provides the color codes for all wiring. In short, when you turn the ignition key to the "Start" position, the Yellow wire (beware this is a live) at the ignition switch passes 12V power from the battery to the Red-Blue wire which sends 12V power to the “S” post on the start solenoid. This allows the solenoid to activate, enabling 12V power to pass both from the battery to the starter as well as the "I" post to the coil.

Once the engine starts and key released to the “Run”, 12V power is then passed from the Yellow wire to the Red-Green wire on the ignition switch which in turn passes the 12V power to a resistor circuit. The resistor circuit then reduces the voltage to 7-8V before it is sent to the coil via the Pink wire. From there, the motor runs on 7-8V.

There are some simple tests to run on the solenoid if necessary. But check your ignition switch first. If you never replaced it, that could be your problem. Also check the lock cylinder. If that needs replacing, its possible to remove the tumblers from your old lock and insert in the new one so you can keep the same ignition key.

166907
 

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By the way, lucky for you it wasn't worse. No doubt a transmission issue would've been a much bigger setback.

I had a similar situation 2 months after my maiden voyage. On the way to some friends for a first view, suddenly the car stalled. After pulling over and cranking the motor, heard a loud noise from the front. Initially thought the fan might be clipping the metal shroud, but it was coming from inside somewhere up fromt.

After removing the timing case, turns out the cam eccentric bolt backed out, likely due to the machine shop forgetting to use Locktite during the build back in `95. In turn, the fuel pump lever disengaged, cutting off fuel to the carb. Worse, five teeth were missing from the cam sprocket and there was metal in the oil.

In other words, I went from stalling out to an unexpected rebuild.
 

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On my rebuilt 390's maiden voyage, on I-10 engine is sudden pounding, car stuttering. I pull over. At first I could not figure out the problem because when you blow a freeze plug on the highway there's no telltale puddle under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all for the kind words and the helpful solutions. Tomorrow I feel I am able to go look and see what really happened. Will let everyone know the issues with the car. I will test the neutral safety switch and take out the ignition to test. Might even take out the starter too. Stay tuned!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
GOOD NEWS!
I found out why it happened and icing on the cake the starter gear was eaten and not the ring gear. Take a look.
The NSS wire was out of its keeper and laid on the exhaust. That caused the wires to short and start the starter. I think! Let me know if this could have happened with the NSS wire shorting. If it can then my ignition and solenoid are good. Because the starter could not engage the flex plate ring Going 60, the starter gear got eaten. Let me just tell you the noise was bone chilling.
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Interesting!
 

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Great work diagnosing the issue. This is actually the best news you could have received. Check all of those wires, repair, and starter repair or replace, and you are back in business!
 

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That is a beautiful car. I am glad it looks to be getting sorted out. I hate having to need a tow truck, but what a handy thing they are.:) Thanks for sharing that story!
 

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Great detective work! That ring gear should be fine for the time being (until you find that 2 piece flex plate ;)). As you know, it is WAAAY easier to repalce the starter than pull the trans out, so luckily a few wire splices and a new starter should have you back in business soon.

And there are few car noises as jarring as the sound as a starter engaging while an engine is running. I'm sure a little poo may have come out, lol
 
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