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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My falcon's been sitting for a couple weeks while I fixed a leaky exhaust manifold and did a little wiring work. Wiring still in-progress, but wanted to check the exhaust leak.

Things were fine in the "ON" position, but as soon as I kicked it over to "START", it everything went dead. No starter action or anything; basically like a blown fuse.

After that, "ON" and "ACC" are dead, as well.

According to my wiring diagram, there are like 3 fuses for the whole car, and no "main" fuse as seen in newer cars. Battery still has voltage, but the starter/ignition switch basically does nothing now. It was midnight when this all went down, so I quit for the night, so I didn't get a chance to prod up to the contacts on the back of the starter switch to double-check voltage there.

I'm assuming it's a bad starter switch...is there anything else it could be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
don't forget clean
That, I can assure you, they are...freshly coated with the good jelly stuff, too.

Seriously, if this turns out to be cables or something small like that, I'm gonna feel like a total idiot.
 

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Seriously, if this turns out to be cables or something small like that, I'm gonna feel like a total idiot.
I'll take the idiot angle if it means a quick and easy fix. Get it where you can.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There's no way I'm getting out of this without looking dumb, so here we go...

Update
Checked the battery cables and while they're a little grungy on the outside, they're still conductive.

I went ahead and started to pull the ignition switch, and after pulling the lock cylinder and starting to undo the back side, the dash lit back up.

I'm like "ooookaaay...maybe it was just a loose connection or something", so I put the cylinder back together and go to crank it.

No dice. Same problem. Everything goes dead and key becomes unresponsive. Grrrrrr...so I go about disassembling it again...and the dash lights up again. Being a glutton for punishment, I re-assemble the switch again and attempt to start again, and everything goes dead again.

So, at least we know it's repeatable.

Both start-attempts were accompanied by a clunk from the engine bay that didn't sound substantial enough to be the starter itself...I'm guessing the starter relay is making the noise?

Why would partially disassembling the ignition switch somehow "reset" parts of this system?

At this point, the plan is the following:
1) Re-disassemble/reassemble switch to get things back to life (dumb, but we've verified this works).
2) Pull starter-side connection of starter relay off and test if relay is switching properly
3) Clean up, re-crimp battery cables and starter cables
4) Test starter with hand-held trigger switch bypassing relay
5) Retry with everything connected.
6) Return to Fordmuscle with invariably embarassing update.
 

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try jumping the solinoid to crank the engine . leave the key off
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
...aaaaand I feel like an idiot.

Was walking through my debug map, and wire-brushed the cable terminals and battery terminals.

Turns out the dull grey color on the battery terminal isn't what it was supposed to look like, because before I cleaned it up, it took some scratching to get the starter to bump, even with the starter cable going directly to the terminal.

Got everything bright and shiny, all issues gone.

Anyone else have a tendency to ignore the potentially easiest, most obvious solutions? "Naaaah, couldn't be just that..."
 

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