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Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 10-23-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1968 Mustang 302 starter issues.

Hi everybody. I'm new here and looking for some advice. I have a 68 coupe that I put a 71 302 in and I am having a problem with the starter (I think). If you noticed that my profile says rookie, it's only because they dont have a step lower then that available. I got this car free from my brother who was tired of having it in his drive way. So when I start the car, it is making a loud, high pitched noise. I get some backfire from the carb and then it sputters and dies. I assumed it could be the starter and went to take it off. I noticed immediately that the bolts were loose and I could turn them by hand. I had the starter checked out and it is good. The engine has a holley 600 on it and an edelbrock performer intake. other then that it is pretty much stock. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for having me aboard! (as if you really had a choice):hihi:
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Unread 10-24-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default 1968 Mustang 302 starter issues.

Hello Free68,
FIRST - -welcome to the forum. This is a GREAT place to learn.
I think we can help you, but a little more background info could help.

Was the car running prior to you getting it? How long did it sit?

OK now for the complicated answer.

Let's start with the back-fire - - - My thinking is that you have a carb issue and perhaps it is running lean.

Common causes of Back-Fires are
1. - Timing
2. - Bad ignition - -wires, cap plugs etc
3. - Lean mixture - -possible causes - -
Vacuum line off - -
bad fuel pump
Dirty/clogged fuel filter
Carb gummed up
4. - Sticky valves could cause back-fires

This is real hard to determine what is going on without more info.

My guess is - if the car has been sitting - - you could have bad gas, gummed up carb.

In some ways - -it is good that we know it is back-firing. That kinda tells us you have spark. We gotta figure if it a well timed spark.

Because you consider your self a "Newbie" I will try to not confuse you more than I probably already have.

MY advice= - - -DO NOT think bad things like cams, timing chain etc.

No certainly not at this point - - we gotta figure how the fuel situation is.

See if you can find out a few things more:
1. - How old is the gas in the car
2. - WAs it running before
3. - Does it stay running at all?

You have a holley and we can tell you how to check for fuel in the bowls and the carb throat. DO NOT worry about these terms yet.

We WILL get you running watch and see. Just get us a little more info and we will provide step by step instructions.

For what it is worth - I'm thinking - - fuel related and may not require much to get her going.

Let us know - - -Print Dad
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Unread 10-24-2010   #3 (permalink)
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While I haven't seen it on a Mustang. Sometimes if the firing order is not set correctly, it will cause it to backfire, and the backfire of the engine will try to push the engine in a reverse rotation which will cause the starter to work harder and make funny noises.

So i would start off with checking the firing order.
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Unread 10-24-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry, The car has not been siting too long. I had it running for a little while but it turned out that the gas tank was bad and after spending an additional $300 for a new carb this is what happened. This last week I installed a fuel cell to replace the tank and put the new carb on. I adjusted the timing to the factory settings when it was running although I think it may still need to be tweaked. Once I made these changes that is when the noise started. I got everything hooked up and it fired, made the noise and kept dying out. I am not sure if its because of the noise or because I havent had a chance to adjust the carb.
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Unread 10-24-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free68 View Post
Sorry, The car has not been siting too long. I had it running for a little while but it turned out that the gas tank was bad and after spending an additional $300 for a new carb this is what happened. This last week I installed a fuel cell to replace the tank and put the new carb on. I adjusted the timing to the factory settings when it was running although I think it may still need to be tweaked. Once I made these changes that is when the noise started. I got everything hooked up and it fired, made the noise and kept dying out. I am not sure if its because of the noise or because I havent had a chance to adjust the carb.
OK, does the noise originate in the cranking process? (separate cranking from firing and running) If so, it's a starter install or malfunction. That is, if the starter is an aftermarket product, then it''s a possibility, it either needs to be shimmed (too much engagement pressure) or the drive gear is fouling in some way (not retracting).
Don't go to tuning part yet, let's try to isolate the noise.
It may idle and run bad, but that's another issue.
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Unread 10-24-2010   #6 (permalink)
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The noise does not start until the car fires up. It will crank and no noise but as soon as it turns on the noise begins.
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Unread 10-24-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, the starter is an aftermarket one.
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Unread 10-24-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free68 View Post
Oh, the starter is an aftermarket one.

I'm thinking the starter gear is binding and not releasing.
??
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Unread 10-24-2010   #9 (permalink)
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So how would I go about shimming the starter?
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Unread 10-24-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free68 View Post
So how would I go about shimming the starter?
Ok
Start with pulling the starter and taking a peek at the gear drive. See anything unusual? I think one of the local parts supply, NAPA, Advance, AutoZone has the shims in that "help you" location, where they have all of those replacements bits. I would start with adding one and seeing it it helps. There is a procedure for checking the engagement depth, but, I would have to start a search....an idea for you to "Google"?
Gould Luck!
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Unread 10-24-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default 1968 Mustang 302 starter issues.

Hello Free68,
I have just read the thread and I think you are getting great advice
kenash. It is possible when the started was loose that things got a little
chewed up on the starter bendix gear.

Then it hit me - you say you just installed a carb? Well a vacuum leam will cause a wicked high pitch squeal

Check out this video after I installed an intake. Gotta warn you - keep the volume down. Even us old guys miss things sometimes.



So the advice is to check and be certain the carb is tight (4 corner bolts) and then check the vacuum lines.

It could be a lean mixture and that would perhaps explain the back-fires.

ALso - -double check that when you ran the spark plugs wires that you didn't cross any. Start at the number one plug wire and follow the fire order and be certain each plug wire is running to the right plug.

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Unread 10-25-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Print Dad View Post
Hello Free68,
I have just read the thread and I think you are getting great advice
kenash. It is possible when the started was loose that things got a little
chewed up on the starter bendix gear.



Then it hit me - you say you just installed a carb? Well a vacuum leam will cause a wicked high pitch squeal

Check out this video after I installed an intake. Gotta warn you - keep the volume down. Even us old guys miss things sometimes.



So the advice is to check and be certain the carb is tight (4 corner bolts) and then check the vacuum lines.

It could be a lean mixture and that would perhaps explain the back-fires.

ALso - -double check that when you ran the spark plugs wires that you didn't cross any. Start at the number one plug wire and follow the fire order and be certain each plug wire is running to the right plug.

Print Dad
HI,
It is possible the drive got "mucked up " , but, when I re-read Frre68's comments, in one reply he states it doesn't make any noise while cranking, only after it fires. He described it " The noise does not start until the car fires up. It will crank and no noise but as soon as it turns on the noise begins.
He originally describes it as a "high pitched noise".
Could be a dry belt?


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Unread 10-25-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Free68,
Could the high pitched noise be a "dry" belt? Does it vary with RPMs? I'm now leaning away from the starter. My reason is, if it made the noise while cranking and continued while running, then the starter is more suspect. However, you stated the noise only began after the engine fired. So, this eliminates the starter. If the starter gear did not disengage and was being driven by the flexplate (?), then I would think it would get pretty beat up. So, I don't get a sense, of this as the restarts seem fine. Does the car run rough? The backfire through the carb, sounds like a timing issue, with the noise being a vac leak. Is the noise rhythmic, or coming from one side or the other? With the engine running, certain sounds like ticking, can indicate a loose lifter pre-load (hydraulic). Squeals, can indicate a bad bearing, alternator, water pump, or dry belts. etc.
So, can you better define the "high pitched noise"?
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Unread 10-25-2010   #14 (permalink)
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The video that was supplied sounds just like it. When I revved the engine to keep it on it got louder. So when I get a chance tomorrow or Tuesday I am going to see if I can keep it running and check my vacuum lines.
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Unread 10-26-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Well there you go. The bolts connecting my carb to my manifold were loose. I still need to get my starter back on right so I'm going to see if I can connect the bolts with a nut from behind or if it will be necessary to drill and tap it. Thanks to everyone who replied from the rookie.
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