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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if i'm chasing ghosts or what, but went to fire the 63 up last night and it was dead. the key was left in the ACC position was my first observation. Purchased a Optima battery last Friday and ran car all weekend without issues. And i put some miles on it starting and going, our local cruise night was last weekend so i was out from Friday to Monday afternoon before it was parked. No issues all weekend. Parked it so i could try and figure out my clutch adjustment issues.

Put the charger on battery, Optimas will only charge on a slow cycle and after 30 minutes was hoping it would fire but didn't. So i pulled up Escort to try and jump it. I let it sit for 10min and tried again with out luck. I then tried to jump starter sol. and engine turned over BUT didn't fire? So i ran the RPM up on the escort and gave it a few more minutes and it still wouldn't turn over w/ key. I kept messing around and tried to get it to fire by jumping at the starter sol. Next thing i know my battery cables started smoking/melting at the Escort!!!!! pulled everything off........So i got a battery that was fully charged and hooked it up. couldn't get it to fire??

Is it possible i smoked the starter solenoid and the contacts became stuck and thats why my cables got "hot"?

Not sure what/where to start looking now. You would think i would be an expert by now with this??

Going to buy a new Starter Sol. today after work and start there. This will be my third one. I contribute the first two going bad because i was trying to figure out the wiring and figured i just burnt them up having wireing crossed and trial by elimination.

Thanks for and suggestions/help

Kevin
 

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Check the battery voltage and report back. Not uncommon for cheap cables to smoke. If battery voltage is low charge over night and check again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't think that will solve the problem, as i replaced the battery with a known good fully charged battery.
 

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It could be you don't have quite enough juice to get the job done.

You need good grounds, good wiring, and good contact. I mistakenly powder coated my brackets, which made terrible and inconsistant electrical contact. Also, wiring may look good, but is gets baked and brittle inside over the years. I ran all new wiring from the genny, to the regulator and to the solenoid.

Good luck.
 

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Understood sixty3, but part of what Arnold is saying is that battery voltage and cable condition not only contribute to sufficient starting power, but affect the other parts like the relay (solenoid) contacts and starter motor. If you are having issues of relay failures, they are often caused by low battery voltage. When the voltage drops, the starter pulls greater current, heating and damaging the relay contacts, often welding them into constant contact or conversely causing them to not conduct or conduct poorly.

The following should take less time to do than to read, unless it finds the problem ;) :
To solve today's problem I would test the relay first, testing the wire on the "S" terminal for battery voltage when the key is turned to START. If no battery voltage is there, test the same wire at the ignition switch to verify a good switch.

  • If the wire has voltage there, then track the wiring to find where the voltage signal is lost going to the relay.
  • If the wire has no voltage there, then look for where the 12v is lost in or on it's way to the switch.
Use an ohm meter to see if the relay is welded. If no continuity between the large power terminals (good), then remove the starter cable and apply power to the "S" terminal to energize the relay. The relay should click and show almost zero ohms resistance between the large power terminals and also the "I" terminal (that one feeds your ignition during cranking).

If all that tests good, move on to the cables, measuring for any bad cable or connections causing a total resistance greater than 0.5 ohms from the BATT (+) terminal to the disconnected BATT (—) cable terminal. Replace or clean any cable or connection that fails testing.

Finally, if all is good there, move to your starter. You can't test a starter with an ohm meter, but you can test it in the car by disconnecting the power cable and inserting an 8-ohm resistor between the cable and the starter. The resistor needs to have a high-watt rating, like 20W or better. You can get them at Radio Snack or NAPA for example. Have an assistant turn the key to start (only the relay will click). You should be able to measure about 0.6 to 0.7 volts between the starter power terminal and the starter case. If the reading is outside this range, pull the starter for shop testing.

That should solve the cranking, and maybe the ignition. But if no spark, test for voltage at the coil (+) terminal and a good engine ground with the key ON and report back.
:tup:
David
 

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I can't believe that you're thinking about the solenoid for a No Start issue when the Solenoid cannot Prevent the car from starting is it indeed was bad.

Seek elsewhere young Jedi. Listen to PSIG, he has a list o checks to go over for your solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Issue resolved! (for the most part)

This is a big Do'H!!

Bottom Wiring harness was unplugged at firewall.....man do i feel stupid. Started going through Davids check list and found my mistake. Must have somehow snagged it and pulled it off when working on clutch pedal adjusment.

The only thing i need to confirm is it normal for the battery to drain when the key is left in the "ACC" position? If not where should i start looking?

David(PSIG) and All members, really appreciate the advice and help!

Kevin
 

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Re: Issue resolved! (for the most part)

The only thing i need to confirm is it normal for the battery to drain when the key is left in the "ACC" position? If not where should i start looking?
Yes, it is just like leaving a light switch on in the house.
 

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Yes and no. Back then, things were pretty simple, and the key in ACC would allow power to be used, but didn't necessarily mean it would. In other words, if you left the radio on, it would drain the battery, but if nothing was 'on', then it should not drain. The easy way to test for drains is to use a DMM set to read current (usually the 10 amp setting). Disconnect the (—) cable at the battery, and connect the DMM wires to the battery and the cable so the power flows through it (series connection).

Be careful that you do NOT turn the key to any positions but OFF and ACC. Shut the door (interior lights), and read the meter. It should be zero drain with the key OFF, except if you have an electric clock. Reach in and turn the key to ACC. Read the power drain on the meter. If there is any drain, look for anything that is on. If you can't find anything, begin systematically pulling fuses and watch for changes in flow. When you see a change, look-up what stuff is on that circuit and check them out for being on or having issues causing the drain.

David
 
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