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  Mustangsandmore Forum Archive
  '64 1/2 to '68 1/2 -- The Classic Mustang
  mustang won't start

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Author Topic:   mustang won't start
gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-12-2003 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
i have a 1968 ford mustang w/289 2v. i bought the car without the engine installed and no tranny. this is my first car and i am new to the game. the motor is now in and the tranny. i have all the fluids in the car and the leaks are fixed. what a mess. i went to start the car and got nothing. i tried jumping the solonoid acrossed and sparked it out. i replaced the solonoid, still nothing until i jumped it acrossed. the motor turned over real slow, but didn't fire up. i had the starter checked, ok, the battery, ok...still nothing. i have 2 questions...could the new solonoid be bad (i get no power to the starter side) and how should i prep the motor for a first start after sitting. please help the rookie.

------------------
1968 mustang coupe
289 2v

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-12-2003 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Welcome to M&M !
If the engine is turning over then the solenoid is working.
I would be more suspect of the battery or the cables. Are the cables getting hot while cranking?

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

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gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-12-2003 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
it only turns over when i jump the solonoid acrossed. if i turn the key over i get nothing. could it still be the battery?

70SportsRoof
Gearhead

Posts: 1064
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 11-12-2003 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70SportsRoof        Reply w/Quote
It turned over only when you jumped it? Or just turned over after it had been jumped? Check your grounds, make sure the metal the solenoid is bolted/screwed to is clean and rust free...I usually scrape a little paint off where the solenoid is bolted. Good clean grounds are essential for a good starting/charging system. Oh, and the jumping thing, I just remembered...is your car an automatic? Might have something to do with neutral safety switch...with it not cranking. My '57 Fairlane would not start unless I jumped the solenoid, then it would start right up. Did this until I discovered NEUTRAL safety really meant neutral safety...won't start in park, just neutral. Just a thought. Oh, and welcome to M&M.

------------------
Gary M.
1946 Ford pickup
1946 Ford pickup
1957 Ford FL 500 Twn Vic
1970 Mustang SportsRoof 63B

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-12-2003 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
the car is equipped with a manual 3-speed. i will check my grounds again. as of now i have the neg. batt cable grounded to the motor, and a ground cable going from the intake manifold to the firewall. does the alternator need to be grounded? and how about the starter? i've heard that the starter is grounded through the bolts. thanks a bundle guys.

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1968 mustang coupe
289 2v
3-speed

70SportsRoof
Gearhead

Posts: 1064
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 11-12-2003 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70SportsRoof        Reply w/Quote
Starter is grounded by the bolts (and prob a bit by starter snout to bellhousing). ALT doesn't need to be grounded, well, anymore, it grounds by engine brackets. Sounds like the grounds you have are right...just make sure they are nice and clean, not grease or other crap to prevent best ground.

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Gary M.
1946 Ford pickup
1946 Ford pickup
1957 Ford FL 500 Twn Vic
1970 Mustang SportsRoof 63B

[This message has been edited by 70SportsRoof (edited 11-12-2003).]

HHStang
Gearhead

Posts: 596
From: Coastal SC, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 11-12-2003 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HHStang        Reply w/Quote
This is such a tough way to figure out problems, but you are on the right track. The posts always get me headed in the right direction, but it always comes down to time, patience and understanding the mechanical processes. Have you tried jumping from another car?
(When you do get cranking better......)
Like grandpa told me, it's either "spark or gas". It sounds like its cranking (a bit). How about gas or carb? Try spraying some carb cleaner in carb throat while holding butterflies open (and then cranking). The real mechanics always tell me all the consequences of doing this, but it's always been a great short cut for me.
Have you inspected spark plugs while they are removed from heads to see if they are sparking? That could indicate a bad coil, wires or other basic problems.

Do you have a manual?

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1967 429 Prost FBstang
1997 Cobra vert Vortech
2003 F150 4x4 Crew

RonnieT
Gearhead

Posts: 912
From: Port Allen, La. 70767
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-12-2003 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RonnieT        Reply w/Quote
Welocome to M&M.

Trouble shooting a wiring problem is going to be hard, we can give you some things to check and look at though.

Make sure the ground cable from the battery is connected to the engine block, and the mounting point is clean of paint to make a good contact. The body should be grounded by a small strap from the back of the engine to the firewall.

The first thing I would check for the no start with the ign. is to swap the 2 small wires that go to the solenoid, I have seen them backwards a few times. If this dosn't work then you will have to start at the ign. switch and work forwards. Even though you have a 3 speed the wireing for a nteral safety swith are there, the swithc is just jumped out. The connector has 4 wires coming out of it and the wires from you reverse lights will connect to it. It should be located on the firewall slightly to the left side. The jumper wire could have been removed or unplugged when disconnecting the reverse light swithch by the prior owner.

Check these things and let us know what you find.

As far as what to do before cranking the engine it is a good idea to pull the distributor and prime the oil pump, hate to spin a bearing on the intial startup.

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Ronnie
69 mach1 351W-4V engineless at the time!
70 Torino GT 351C-4v with a "shaker"
Mustangs and More Member #23

johnmustang
Gearhead

Posts: 6748
From: British Columbia , Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-12-2003 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnmustang        Reply w/Quote
Check and see where your timing is set.

------------------
JOHN
65 FASTBACK 2+2.....14.44 @ 107mph 1/4
87 TAURUS WAGON
98 F150 XLT TRITON V8 4.6, 4 WHEEL DRIVE
Member:Vancouver Island Mustang Association
M&M #1710
MyPhotoPage
MY TRUCK

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-15-2003 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
well gentleman, i have good news and bad news. the good news is that the stang is turning over from inside the car. the bad news is that it still won't fire up. it turns out that i had the solonoid on upside down. so the wires were backwards and needless to sat all f###ed up. how can i check for spark? gas is reaching the carb because i can smell it.

70SportsRoof
Gearhead

Posts: 1064
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 11-15-2003 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70SportsRoof        Reply w/Quote
To check for spark (at least to one cyl) pull off plug wire at plug, and use some thing insulated (heavy leather gloves, etc) to hold the end of the wire just off (1/4" or so) a metal part (engine block, head) and have somebody crank the ignition...you'll see if there is spark right away, and can get some idea of how strong the spark is.

------------------
Gary M
'46 Ford pickup
'46 Ford pickup-Mutt
'57 Fairlane 500
'70 Mustang SportsRoof 63B

[This message has been edited by 70SportsRoof (edited 11-15-2003).]

skips69
Gearhead

Posts: 346
From: Catlin, IL USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-16-2003 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for skips69        Reply w/Quote
I'd check timing, plug wires, see if firing order is correct, and lastly would suspect a weak coil. All things that can attribute to your problem and can be checked in the garage. If nothing else, sleep on it........Good luck, we've all been there.

adragon8u
Gearhead

Posts: 5867
From: Oceano, Ca. member# 2895
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-16-2003 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for adragon8u        Reply w/Quote
I had a similer problem with my stang when I bought it. after finding out that the timing was "WAY" off. It also had a bad vacuum leak. The fine folks here at M&M helped me locate it by suggesting starter fluid. Fortunately for me at that time, the engine would idle, but rough. you may have to enlist the help of someone to crank the engine while you sray the starter fluid.

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http://webpages.charter.net/adragon8u/mystang

RonnieT
Gearhead

Posts: 912
From: Port Allen, La. 70767
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-17-2003 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RonnieT        Reply w/Quote
gallopingghost,

Have you had a chance to check anything yet? One thing to check is to ensure you have voltae to the coil. Take a voltmeter and check the small terminals on the coil, with the ignition switch in the run position you should have somewhere around 11 volts at the terminals.
Also what type of ignition are you using? Let us know what you find and maybe we can point you in the right direction of what to look at.

------------------
Ronnie
69 mach1 351W-4V engineless at the time!
70 Torino GT 351C-4v with a "shaker"
Mustangs and More Member #23

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-18-2003 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
i haven't had a chance to check for spark or the coil as of yet. maybe later today i will have an opportunity. thanks for all of the help thus far. this site is awesome for the new enthusiast.

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-18-2003 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
here is what i know as of right now...first let me say, that i have a tachometer hooked up the coil, so i was a little confused on how to test the coil so i did it three different ways.

test 1: with tach hooked to coil i hooked the voltometer up to the power side and grounded the other...4.3

test 2: with tach hooked to coil i hooked the volt. up to the power and ground...2.65

test 3: with the tach off the coil i hooked up the volt. to power and ground...8.7

i am all over the board. help.

------------------
8F01C120929
1968 Red Mustang Coupe
289 2v
Manual 3-speed
hooker headers

adragon8u
Gearhead

Posts: 5867
From: Oceano, Ca. member# 2895
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-18-2003 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for adragon8u        Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure about this so maybe the guys will confirm or deny. But a coil should have a certain resistance rating(after all, it's an inductor, right?) My thoughts are that if you take the coil out and measure the resistance across the leads. there must be a chart somewhere that will tell you what it should be.

------------------
http://webpages.charter.net/adragon8u/mystang

johnmustang
Gearhead

Posts: 6748
From: British Columbia , Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-18-2003 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnmustang        Reply w/Quote
I can`t help you with the numbers you came up with, but like I said in an earlier post, I still think your timing is way out. There are alot of very good people on this site with a ton more knowledge about mustangs and problems like this than I have and I am sure they will get you to the root of your problem and get you fixed up.

------------------
JOHN
65 FASTBACK 2+2.....14.44 @ 107mph 1/4
87 TAURUS WAGON
03 F150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4 SHORT BOX
Member:Vancouver Island Mustang Association
M&M #1710
65 FASTBACK
2003 F150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4

68 dailydriver
Journeyman

Posts: 19
From: North CA.
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-18-2003 11:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 68 dailydriver        Reply w/Quote
Gallopingghost;
Leave the tack wire disconected from the coil post and see if it will start and run. If it does, it may indicate that the tack is drawing to much voltage from the coil and you are not getting enought spark to the dist. for firing. I had this problem with my 68 and it would start, but die while going down the road. a bad tack can do this, but my problem was traced to the original ballast resistor wire that comes from the ignition to the wire going to the coil. I ended bypassing this resistor "pink Wire" and installing a Pertronix blaster coil that has a internal 1.5 ohm resister built into the coil. I am running a Pertronix ignitor in place of the points. If Your resistor wire is the culprit, and you need to bypass it, but want to run with the original points, you will have to install a new 1.5 ohm ballast resistor on the wire to the coil. Summitt Racing has the resistor that will install on the firewall. I am not sure if this is your problem, but like you, I was getting a big voltage drop to the coil, and the tack connection was just enought to cause my Pertronix ignititor to fail due to low voltage.
68 dailydriver

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RonnieT
Gearhead

Posts: 912
From: Port Allen, La. 70767
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-19-2003 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RonnieT        Reply w/Quote
To test the coil you need a ohm meter. The resistance across the primary windings shoud be between 1.4 - 1.54 ohms. The secondary resistance should be 7600 - 8800 ohms.
I would have to agree with Dailydriver about leaving the tach diconnected and try to see if it is firing. The voltage readings at the coil with the tach disconnected seem a little low, but the battery voltage may be down some from trying to crank it.

See if you can get spark and let us know.

------------------
Ronnie
69 mach1 351W-4V engineless at the time!
70 Torino GT 351C-4v with a "shaker"
Mustangs and More Member #23

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-20-2003 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
thanks for the info guys...this may be a stupid question but...on my car if i pull the tach off of the coil their are no wires left connected to the coil. all of the wires run through this plastic piece that connects to the coil. help.

------------------
8F01C120929
1968 Red Mustang Coupe
289 2v
Manual 3-speed
hooker headers

adragon8u
Gearhead

Posts: 5867
From: Oceano, Ca. member# 2895
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-20-2003 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for adragon8u        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gallopingghost:
thanks for the info guys...this may be a stupid question but...on my car if i pull the tach off of the coil their are no wires left connected to the coil. all of the wires run through this plastic piece that connects to the coil. help.



in that case I would use an ohm meter and hopefully you have a wireing diagram. could be that your not hooking up what you think is the correct wire, or you have a couple wires maybe shorting out inside the loom?

------------------
http://webpages.charter.net/adragon8u/mystang

johnmustang
Gearhead

Posts: 6748
From: British Columbia , Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-20-2003 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnmustang        Reply w/Quote
I have an original 1968 mustang wiring diagram manual that I purchased when I had my 68 coupe. If you want it email me and you can have it for exactly what I paid for it or I will mail it to you and you can mail it back when you are finished with it. Let me know.

------------------
JOHN
65 FASTBACK 2+2.....14.44 @ 107mph 1/4
87 TAURUS WAGON
03 F150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4 SHORT BOX
Member:Vancouver Island Mustang Association
M&M #1710
65 FASTBACK
2003 F150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4

RonnieT
Gearhead

Posts: 912
From: Port Allen, La. 70767
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-20-2003 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RonnieT        Reply w/Quote
I'm a little confused now. In an earlier post you stated that:
test 3: with the tach off the coil i hooked up the volt. to power and ground...8.7

Now you say that you cannot unhook the tack without disconnecting all the wires. Were you just checking the wire in this connector during that test?

I am taking it that this is an aftermarket tach that was installed by PO. You may have to try and get the wire from the ign switch and the wire going to the distributor out of this connector and connect them directly to the coil.

Before doing anything else hook things back up like they were and check for spark at one of the plug wires, if you don't get a spark then check it at the coil wire and see if it sparks, if the coil is firing there is no reason to mess with these wires.

------------------
Ronnie
69 mach1 351W-4V engineless at the time!
70 Torino GT 351C-4v with a "shaker"
Mustangs and More Member #23

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-21-2003 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
i get confused, as well, after awhile with these wires and what PO was thinking or doing.

anyhow, i will check for spark and let you know what i find. thanks for getting me back on track.

------------------
8F01C120929
1968 Red Mustang Coupe
289 2v
Manual 3-speed
hooker headers

gallopingghost
Journeyman

Posts: 52
From: savage, mn, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-22-2003 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gallopingghost        Reply w/Quote
well gentlemen...there is no spark going to the plugs, no spark from the coil to distributor, nothing coming out of the coil. what's next?

------------------
8F01C120929
1968 Red Mustang Coupe
289 2v
Manual 3-speed
hooker headers

adragon8u
Gearhead

Posts: 5867
From: Oceano, Ca. member# 2895
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-22-2003 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for adragon8u        Reply w/Quote
well, are your wires connected. if so, are you sure they are correct? If push comes to shove, run a wire from the hot side of the batt. to the hot side of the coil and check for spark. that's an old shade tree? method so you may want to get a second opinion first before trying it. but I think that might help determine if your coil is good or not.

------------------
http://webpages.charter.net/adragon8u/mystang

HHStang
Gearhead

Posts: 596
From: Coastal SC, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 11-22-2003 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HHStang        Reply w/Quote
Bad coil? Bad wires? Bad timing? Bad flywheel? Time to call a gearhead friend to help you? Buy them a pizza, I'm betting it's something simple. We are all trying, but this is impossible for us all not to be there and see with our own eyes.

------------------
1967 429 Prost FBstang
1997 Cobra vert Vortech
2003 F150 4x4 Crew

Fastymz
Moderator

Posts: 22791
From: Reno Nv M&M #1240
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 11-22-2003 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz        Reply w/Quote
If you have another coil put it on and see if it helps.

------------------

SCOOP

2.26 60'S
14.9 @ 90.86MPH

65 coupe,351w,C4,Big Boss 429 hood scoop,8" 3.40 TracLoc.

My Pics

RonnieT
Gearhead

Posts: 912
From: Port Allen, La. 70767
Registered: Jun 99

posted 11-22-2003 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RonnieT        Reply w/Quote
Might need to start with the basics first before changing a lot of parts. The first thing to check is the points, if they are the ones that were in the engine when you got it then it would be a good idea to replace them and the condenser, or at the least file the points slightly with an emery board. You can test fire the coil without cranking the engine over, bump the engine until the points are closed, then with a small screwdriver open and close the points and the coil should fire, the key must be in the "run" position to do this test.

If the points are good and you cannot get the coil to fire by the method above then run a jumper from the battery to the battery side of the coil and try it again. If you get a spark from the coil then there is a wiring problem coming from the switch that wil need to be repaired before cranking the engine. If there is still no spark then the coil could be at fault, or the wirew between the coil and the points could be bad.

I never recommend that a engine be ran by "Hot Wiring" from the battery, so much can happen if the engine cranks and you have to run around the other side to pull the wire and kill the engine. I have seen cars jump into gear, throttles stick wide open, lines blow off, fuel leaks, and many other bad things, especially on the initial cranking of an engine that has just been installed.

------------------
Ronnie
69 mach1 351W-4V engineless at the time!
70 Torino GT 351C-4v with a "shaker"
Mustangs and More Member #23

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