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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just bought a 1968 galaxie 500 convertible with a 390. When I picked it up it was hard to start and would miss like crazy. Owner said it needed the points and condensor. So I towed it back to Miami from Detroit changed them and tried to start and starter solenoid just clicks repeadtly. Changed starter solenoid. Then I tried to pull start it (4 speed manual) and after two trips around the block nothing not even a pop. Getting fuel for sure, but no spark, or starter engagement! I connected jumper cables and still the same thing.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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So the car started before and ran like crap or does it not start at all? Does it crank and not start or no cranking too?
When the solenoid clicks away, it's usually due to not enough juice from the battery. (check voltage, (also check regulator when running) Do you have a remote starter you can try out and bypass the start side of the ignition switch? Check your hot and ground cables everywhere including the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it started and ran like crap when I picked it up. but the starter would engage fine. changed points and condensor and tried to fire it up and the starter solenoid would just click repeadetly. Could I have connected something wrong in the distributor to make this happen? also i took the battery to advance had it checked and it was good. another thing is it will only do the ckicking noise if I have jumper cables connected. if not, not even a single click.
 

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Sounds like a solenoid issue to me...is it securely fastened to the fender apron with a good ground? The mounting screws can be a problem if there is rust, dirt or paint causing a less than perfect ground path. OR, the switch itself can go bad, but they are quite hardy. Try jumping a heavy cable from the battery positive directly to the cable going down to the starter...don't be surprised if the starter jumps to life.

Recently, I had a similar starting issue but it turned out to be the starter itself which was drawing way too many amps and therefore cranking slow, a very hot cable is a good indication of a failing starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
changed the solenoid twice already just to eliminate that from the equation. do you think it has anything to do with the points? or do you think it could be something that came loose on the 1400 mile trip?
 

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Sounds like the solenoid. The remote starter would bypass that. You can also jump it with a long screwdriver. Miswiring at the points wouldn't create a no crank issue. At some point you should go through all the wiring from ignition switch to coil and solenoid.

Mine ran like crap too after a full tune-up. It turned out my coil was bad AND my regulator was bad.
 

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If the solenoid is good, then doublecheck your starter. You might want to just get under there and rap it a few times with a hammer, but not too hard. Then see if it cranks a bit.

Confirm you're getting power to the starter side of the solenoid when you turn the key to "start" position. Again, jumping it will bypass that part of the circuit.
 

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and.... double check ALL grounds. Make sure the block is grounded properly to the chassis. I think there are 2 ground straps but no sure. You can even use the jumper cable to do that temporarily.
 

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My diagnoses is, charge the battery and call in the morning. If you are changing the switch on the fender your wasting your time and money. The way I see it is either the battery is very low or dead, there's a bad wire or connection at the stater or the ground side. It could also be a bad starter. Fully charge the battery, check your connections and then look at the starter. If the battery will not hold a charge at all, you may need a battery. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok I'm going to buy a new battery and check connections and grounds. The only ground I can find is the one from the battery to behind the alt on the block am I missing any other grounds? Or wires to check?
 

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A clicking solenoid does sound like a dead battery. Did the auto parts store put a load tester on the batter or just a voltmeter? You have to load test the battery to get an accurate indication of its health.
 

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...thought we had ruled out the battery since it was tested? Either way, you should add a ground from the block to the frame and check the cable where it connects to the starter...I've seen those come loose, sometimes due to buggered-up or burnt brass threads on the stud. Worry about HOW it runs AFTER it runs...one glitch at a time, please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
It was running when I picked it up, just like crap. When i hit florida i stopped for the night stopped by a napa changed the points then the clickity solenoid started happening
 

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check the battery connections. take them loose- neg first- see if the bat posts and inside of the connecters are shiney. if not, clean them with a terminal cleaner or a pocket knife or whatever you have .
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And yes I did take the battery to get tested, the guy hooked it up to a fancy box, not like the typical load tester I've used in the past (push button type) and it printed something out, told me that it had 620 cca and was good. Maybe it wasn't a load tester and just a voltmeter?
 

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check the battery cables themselves or just replace them with high quality replacements they may look good from the outside but be corroded and broken under the insulation . they are cheap enough that i just go to tractor supply and get the correct length but as big around as possible something in the 2-4 gauge range they are capable of handling more current flow than the cheapie replacements that are normally 8-10 gauge wire . clean all the connections starting at the battery terminals then at the solenoid then the starter they can not be too clean on the positive or ground side corrosion dirt grease all create resistance resistance creates power loss which may be unnoticeable at first but will eventually lead to failure .
 

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i should add once you have it cranking if you still have no spark we can then diagnose that issue . but take it step by step a car that runs but wont start after you shut it off is not a joy to drive and definetly no fun to push start in the rain lol
 
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