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Unread 01-02-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy 1990 Mustang GT Starter solenoid issues. Please help me with my only working car!

1990 5.0 HO. A few days ago, the engine started dying out of nowhere. I would be driving and it would just completely die. After it died, it would no longer start. The bendex won't engage (I don't hear it click at all), and the engine won't crank. When I purchased the car, the starter solenoid (mounted against the fenderwell, not on the starter itself) was not attached properly. After many hours of sitting, the car will crank and start up, but after a few minutes, dies and won't start again. There is power going to the accesories; fuel pump engages, lights and instrument panel still show good as far as electricity is concerned. But the starter just won't go. I replaced the solenoid with a new one, put a fresh, brand new battery in...nothing. When I jump the solenoid with jumper cables straight to the starter cable, the car will crank, but not start, which from research on other sites indicate an open within the solenoid. But the solenoid is brand new! I don't know what else could be causing the starter to not engage. Can someone please give me any leads? I need this car for work and kids' doctor appointments soon. Thank you.
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Unread 01-02-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Have you pulled the started and had it tested at an autoparts store? Also, check all the grounds and make sure they are good.
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Unread 01-02-2011   #3 (permalink)
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haven't had the starter tested. But when it does fire up on its intermittent schedule, it seems fine. I don't know. But having the starter tested will be my next course of action. And I thought I checked all the grounds...I'll double check them and let you know.
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Unread 01-02-2011   #4 (permalink)
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There is a ground strap on the firewall to the rear of the engine.
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Unread 01-02-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenefariousone View Post
haven't had the starter tested. But when it does fire up on its intermittent schedule, it seems fine. I don't know. But having the starter tested will be my next course of action. And I thought I checked all the grounds...I'll double check them and let you know.
Re-check the connections, make sure they're making good contact(not painted/dirty surfaces) and don't rule out you got a bad solonoid. I've gotten bad parts before so see if they'll exchange the solonoid for piece of mind.
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Unread 01-02-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Solenoid has two bolts connected to fenderwall, cleaned both, if
bolts are loose, get a bigger bolt that fastened it to wall that is
your ground. Tigthen cable from solenoid side to starter side underneath. Check wire from solenoid connected to
ignition coil. (you said motor runs a while then dies) If all seem
connected properly, have ignition coil check at a parts store.
All that I listed are free, (coil has fine wire internally that has a cut) that could cause the car to quit running. I hope this will help. Goodluck!
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Unread 01-03-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Your battery is losing conn. Whether it be ground at firewall, battery connections, cables or alt killing everything because it isnt charging.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, so I checked all of my wires and connections. Everything seems tight and locked down. I tested the voltage of my battery at rest, and I know its getting charge because its still showing a strong 12-14 volts. The one cable going to the starter is tight and I see no forms of corrosion or wear on it. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did when I went to go work on it was turn the key, and it fired right up. Drove it around for a bit and it seemed fine. I parked it, shut it off. When I tried to start it again, nothing. No crank, no fire, nothing. I'm getting very frustrated about this. Here are some pics of my solenoid setup. Maybe someone will see something I'm not.
Attached Thumbnails
1990 Mustang GT Starter solenoid issues. Please help me with my only working car!-0103011456.jpg  1990 Mustang GT Starter solenoid issues. Please help me with my only working car!-0103011456a.jpg  1990 Mustang GT Starter solenoid issues. Please help me with my only working car!-0103011456b.jpg  
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Unread 01-03-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Ignition switch

Based on your symptoms and what you have already done, I suspect the ignition switch. Not the key/locking mechanism, but the actual ignition switch down on the steering column under the shroud.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, David. I'll be checking that next.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Just opened up the steering column. As soon as I even touched the wires leading from the ignition module, the car started. I turned it off, and it started again, and again. No problems here out. I know now where the fault is, and how to fix it. Thank you all so much for your advice!
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Unread 01-05-2011   #12 (permalink)
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There was a recall for the ignition switches back in the '90s. See if Ford dealer can research if yours was done.
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Unread 01-06-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Back in high school I had a VERY similar problem. I was getting power to everything else; battery was good. Replaced the starte relay on the wheel well. Visually chek all wireing in the engine bay, battery cables tight. Nothing siezed. Wont start.

What was my problem? Check you grounds. Namely the ground path between your battery and tha starter. My negative cable to my engine block was just loose enough to cause a no start. You have the old positive-engagement type starter right? Neveretheless, your starter grounds through its case, through the engine block and back to the battery through a ground cable. Some of the newer Ford starters I've seen have a separate gorund cable to the starter.

I also had another issue before, which not directly matching this, but close. The old positive-engagement starters are VERY sensitve to corrosion. Make sure all ends to all cables are CLEAN. Use emry cloth or even a file to clean them if they are corroded, or just replace them. Also, make sure the attachment points for the cables on the starter are clean and not corroded. Make sure your starter is tight to the block (blots tight).

edit: OOPS, shoulda finished reading the thread.

Here is a positive-engagement start just fyi for anone.
http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g9...987Starter.jpg
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