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Discussion Starter #1
Hello lady and gentlemen of the forum. I hope you all had a good Christmas, Hanuka, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and/or whatever else may fall on or around the end of December in which you like to celebrate or not celebrate.
I've got a 71 Mustang with a 302 and C-4 transmission. I was having problems with it running at red lights and stop signs, having to do the throttle/brake two step boogie to keep it running. So a friend of mine said, "Lets go get a new distributor" so we did.
Stuck it in and all my problems were solved. This car ran like a bat out of heck. Probably ran better than it ever has since I've had it. Great idea, friend!
And then a couple weeks ago I tried starting it and there was spark and gas, but it wouldn't fire. It was running great when I parked it the night before. But that morning it would only turn over.
I tried looking for obvious problems but nothing looked messed up. My friend was coming by the next day to help me figure it out.
I continued looking around that night and removed a valve cover to make sure the top of the motor was moving when I turned it over. It was. So I put the covers back on and decided to call it quits. And when I was just about to come inside, I thought I'd try it one more time. Even though the battery was getting weak. That dang thing started right up. I don't know why. I didn't do anything.
So everything was good up until the other night. It started acting like it was running out of gas. And then it died.
I checked for spark and there wasn't any. The next day I brought an old coil to throw on there and it started. I drove it for a block and it died again. Had to pull the car home.
Put a new coil on there and still no spark. It tried to start once, but now it just turns over. I ran a jumper from the starter solenoid to the positive side of the coil to make sure it got 12 volts. Still no spark.
I read somewhere that said that there could be an arc somewhere else, causing misfire or something, but I can't find it anywhere.
Does anyone have any ideas? This is really starting to irritate me.

Thanks
 

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Hello AnubisXII,
I feel your frustration and I must say - try to slow this down
and take things slow. I know that is not what you are wanting to hear
right now - -but there is a reason I suggest this/
You will spend money that you don't really need to and you could
complicate matters more.

My questions that will for certain help other responders as well

1. - What type of distributor? is it running points or electronic
2- - How are you checking for spark? Ar you checking at the plug
and if so have you checked for voltage at the coil or cap?
3. - Are you certain the distributor was tight when you finally got it running?
4. - Have you checked to see if the rotor was pointing to #1 when the number one piston was at top dead center on a compression stroke?
5. - When you installed the new dizzy, did you also install new points rotor and condensor.


MY thoughts
The double peddling usually is an indication of a fuel issue however it does seem as though the issue is now spark related

You need to determine what is happening. MAke certain you are getting fuel and the choke is fully opened when the motor is warm

You do NOT want to run 12 volts to the coil - will burn things out.
this should only be done as a test

My guess is the wire feeding the coil has a break or some sort of issue

If it were me - -I would bring number one piston to TDC and check the position of the rotor. You can find TDC pretty simple by
removing the #1 plug and hold your finger over the plug hole.
Slowly rotate the motor using the bottom damper bolt and a
pull bar- - you will feel the air push on your thumb as the piston starts to come up on a compression stroke. The align the timing marks and look to see if the rotor is pointing under the #1 wire on the cap.

Once you know the timing is close and you have fuel - -it is then time to trace where the "spark" is being lost.
It could be as simple as a bad wire - it does sound like a possible bad condensor or another bad coil.

Keep in mind - - today just because parts especially electrical are new - -they could often be bad. I had a friend swap 6 coils in 2 weeks before he had luck

Please try to answer the above questions and then I and others will have more advice

do NOT get discouraged - -this will get fixed

Print Dad
 

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If you know voltage at the coil is good then I would look at your ground wire/ connection. Check for high resistance or a break in the wire or a loose/ bad connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey, thanks fellas. Man it's been a long couple of weeks. I think it ended up being the brand new condenser in the brand new distributor. The reason I say I think that is because I would check voltage at the coil while I turned the motor by hand and I could see the voltage drop as the points made contact, but they wouldn't always make a spark when they opened. So I put an old condenser on there and it started and ran.
But it also ran when I took off the valve covers and put them back on.
And this was a new condenser that was bad. And get this... It says that the gap should be set at .021. But when I set the gap at .021, the points wouldn't make contact. It's like, what the hell? So I ended up setting the gap at .017 or .015 just so they would touch on the flat part.
And speaking of brand new crapola-
My starter started wearing down from all the cranking while working on my car, and it got to where I would have to turn the motor a little bit by hand so the starter would engage the flywheel instead of just grinding up against it.
Before we got started on it yesterday, we went to an undisclosed location (Oh, really? Auto parts?) to return the 6 month old starter still under warranty. They tossed it on the tester and ran numerous tests, all with negative results. The starter tester concluded that it was not a piece of Chinese remanufactured crap. I contested the assumption. They swapped out the starter but wouldn't stand behind the starter they gave me with a guarantee. Shortly thereafter we got the car running. Yay!
So last night I went for a ride. Car seemed to run fine. It had a little miss, but it always had.
So I get somewhere and hung out for a while. When I got back to my car and turn the key... CRANKGGHHGRRRCRICKOWL. The friggen starter broke. I don't know if it broke right then or when I started it earlier. But that thing was completely trashed. Not even a day old. The only undisclosed location around was the place who promised not to guarantee it (Oh really?). Luckily Little Spiffy wasn't there, but they didn't have another remanufactured object formally known as a starter at that location anyway. Closest one was 7 miles away. But the distant undisclosed location surprisingly swapped it out with another piece of crap just like it.
I was looking at the literature that came with the starter and it says that they wont swap out a broken starter like that because the starter doesn't have enough torque to break that cheap little aluminum housing, so the problem could only be a misaligned installation, bad flywheel, or bad timing that kicked the motor backwards. Thankfully, the dudes at the undisclosed location didn't read the huge-ass words printed on the first thing you see when you open the box.
So now I'm nervous. I got back to work and forth from work. But I left my car running at the store out of fear of it not starting. And I am worried about the drive to work tomorrow. If there is a drive to work tomorrow.
So here's another question: A friend of mine helped me get the car going yesterday and he did adjust the distributor a little bit. The problem with that is he did it by ear. There's no pointer down there. So that's the only way to do it.
So I'm wondering if it's firing a little too soon. If the literature I read is correct, maybe my timing is off and causing my motor to wreak havoc on the starter. If that is the case, which way would I turn the distributor to make it fire a little later on the stroke? I know I would only turn it a little bit. And I also know that I can totally screw things up if I went too far. So I will turn it slowly and carefully. But I don't want to go the wrong way. If of course, that is the problem.

Thanks. Yall are life savers. And not the crappy lemon flavored ones either.
 

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moving the dizzy wont mess the starter up. they are just junk starters. I never get mine from there. I always get mine from napa better quality. and I refuse to buy any Chinese crap. I will pay extra for made in usa.
 

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Hello AnubisXII,
Sorry very rushed right now
but I doubt timing is the issue
It sounds to me like you have the wrong starter
They make a different starter for standard shift and
automatics - -the teeth and Bendix are different between the two

Have the store - -double check the numbers - but I really think
you have the wrong starter. They look the same but are
different inside
I am pretty confident on this - [please have them run the numbers
based on your trani

Sorry gotta run - P Dad
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You know, Mr. Dad, I was thinking that a while back when I had to replace 6 or 7 Otto Zome starters within the same year. They kept blaming my flywheel (or friction plate since it's an otto matic), but my flywheel was good.
At the time, I noticed that the bolt holes in the starter flange were big enough for 7/16 bolts and the bolts I use are 3/8. So I figured there was a little movement going on and I sleeved the bolts to fit snug inside the starter holes.
When I got the starter from Oh, Really?, the holes were the right size. That starter lasted about 6 or 7 months. I should have noted that when I took it back the other day. Because now the bolt holes in their starters are 7/16.
A couple years ago, I had to replace my '71 302 with a '91 302. Thank God for AllFordMustangs.com because I would have stuck my old flywheel on there if one of yall wouldn't have said something. So I got the right flywheel from a Mustang junkie who races them on the weekends. So I truly believe I have the right flywheel.
I tried explaining that to one of the Otto Zome guys the first few times I went in for a starter, but he just looked at me like I had a duck growing out of my forehead.
And I didn't know that auto part stores had the ability to research anything other than the exact part number. It's like the only numbers they know are the ones that bring up the picture of a car part when they punch them into a computer. Any deviation from that results in you checking your forehead for ducks.
Don't reply if you're in the middle of something, Print. Although it is very appreciated, I'm just a nameless faceless dude out here in cyberworld. You have things to tend to. I can wait.
Thanks though. I appreciate your time and your endless wisdom.
 

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Hello AnubisXII,
Man you are running into a lot of bad luck.
You bring up several points that a lot of people deal with
and I would like to comment on a few.

1. - Most big box parts stores like Auto Zone or ohR etc
have people that just work there. They don't really know much about
cars but there is usually one person who has worked there and
knows what they are talking about,
I honestly know what you are running into at these stores.
Several of the cars I work on with friends have motors that have been swapped (my last swap was a 350chevy into a 61 studebaker When we go to the parts store for say a Chevy alt -they ask what year is the car? what color? what size tires? well I exaggerate but I do know what you are talking about. My advice on a situation like this is to find
a speed shop or parts store n your area that has been around for some time - -they normally know cars

2. - To clear up some confusion for people reading this and anyone that cares. A Flex Plate and a Flywheel are very much alike in their job - but they are different. They both have gears on the outer edge that the starter bendix (gear) hooks into and turns the motor.
The flywheel has a solid center where the clutch disc sits and engages- - - flywheels are heavier than a flex=plate/
Now a flexplate is used for automatics and the center section can have holes and less metal becuase the"torque convertor" attaches to the center of the Flex-plate
Most people just say "flywheel" but the 2 are different in how they are made and look

3. - I am pretty certain you are using the wrong starter for your application. when you purchased the starter - did you get it for the 91 motor?

4. - There may be another possible issue here - -when you swapped the motor - did you use the bellhousing from the newer motor?

5. - Lastly - DO NOT ever think that this issue is not important or that you are not important to us in the community. Heck most of us
here are older and like to help pass on a few thoughts and ideas. Who knows in another 20 years you may be one answering questions here for a whole new group of Mustang Lovers.
So - keep asking questions and try not to get frustrated with the situation.

I will now with this situation that happeded today to a car buddy of ours. His pick-up truck was not charging - so he went a got a alternator - put it in - started to work for moment and quit. He returned the alternator and got a second one - -then a third - yup three in a row. He is now going to try a different parts store.
So you see - it is not just you that has a string of bad luck -
Hang in there - -we will get you running right -

Be well - -I will check Sunday afternoon for any comments or progress

Print Dad
 

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As someone who worked for AZ 20 years ago, some of the comments above are valid. But it would just burn me to go thru the computer menu items, pull the part off the shelf, show it to the customer, and have it different than the part he brought in, THEN have him tell me "oh, I swapped this engine out from my brother's F100". So now have to start all over based on the engine.

Keep in mind each store has their own computer system that asks the questions in a different order.
 

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Hello Driveway
Point well taken I of course didn't mean to offend the hard working
people at these stores.
My point was - -some people at the stores don't know that much
about cars however - it is up to us (the customer) to tell the counter
person what we are actually working on.
Wanted to make this public - -that there are some GREAT helpers
at our local parts stores

AnubisXII, - -we gotta figure out what is in your set-up.
Likely the motor and bell housing are from the donor car --in that
case the starter has to be from that year

Let us know and Driveway - please keep an eye on this thread- he should not be trashing starters as you know

Thanks - Print D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Driveway, I was just about to say the same thing Print Dad just said.
It's like that in all areas of the working class. You've got people who are passionate about their trade and want to know everything about it and are eager to help, and then you get those people who are there for nothing but a paycheck, and really don't care much about anything but getting the hell out of there at 3 oclock. Those are the ones I usually end up with.
Yeah, Print Dad, my bell housing came with my transmission. And for some reason I think it's a 1965 model C-4. I will have to get under there and take a look. Maybe I can slip out there tomorrow while I'm at work. My office computer is so much faster there anyway. And the motor came out of a 1990 Econoline van. I don't know why I was thinking 1991. But that's all the more reason I need to check that number.
65? Why do I think that?
Back to you soon with more details!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can't find my dango transmission number. Man. And you wanna know whats great? I do.
Yeah, so I'm changing the oil (or "earl" if'n you're from Texas), and a buddy of mine pulls up, "Hey man. What's wrong? You need to use my truck for a couple days?"
"Nah, man. Thanks though. I'm just changing my earl".
"Well, let me know, man. I got that little truck (Toyota or something) if you need it".
And I started thinking about it. I did the math and thought about this morning being the 4th start with this new starter, and didn't feel real secure about getting two more starts out of it. So I sent my friend a text message. I decided to take his offer. No reply. None. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Daves not here.
And this morning was great. And by "Was great", I mean... "Sucked".
Got in my car, turned the key and just as it fired I could hear the starter shatter. And that brief 1/2 second after it was over, I could still hear all the little broken starter pieces collect in the bottom of my bell housing.
But I was thinking about when I changed out this motor. Some dude here told me about the difference between the way a 1990 302 is balanced verses a 1971 302. Which pretty much saved my motor.
So I had to find a flex plate with the 50 oz (or whatever) weight.
I found one. One with 157 teeth to replace my 20 oz 164 tooth one. I think I'm accurate on the tooth count.
But could that be my problem? My flywheel is too small for my starter? Do they even make one for this situation? Or do I need a new bell housing?
Man, this is getting crazy. And where might I find an ID number on my greasy old nasty funkified C4 transmission?

Thanks.
 

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they do make a starter for 50oz 157 teeth c4 trans. I got mine from summit powerhouse brand. I'm running same set up as you. 90 302, c4 trans in my 27 model t roadster.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh. False alarm on my friend with the little truck. He had his volume off and didn't see my text until the next day.
Just thought I'd let yall know for some reason. Probably because my friends are quality people who wouldn't say stuff they didn't mean.
I just counted the teeth on my old flywheel. 160 teeth. The flywheel that came with the 1990 motor had 164 teeth. The reason I had to swap it out was because it was too big for my bell housing.
I think I'm gonna start a different thread and call this one SOLVED.
I really appreciate all your help. Yall are hells of guys.
Hells of guys? Hells of some guys? Hells of a guy?
Each one of you individually is a hell of a guy.
 

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Hello AnubisXII,
Sorry for the delayed response - -I have not been feeling
well and work is really getting to me.

PLease - -this one is NOT solved - it is OK to start a new thread but
this is NOT right. This is going to be a LOT of info so bear with me

I want to help on this - -but am a little confused (likely just old age)
so please bear with me - -I want this fixed right.

You will constantly be changing starters if we don't get this fixed corrct

So lets start with a refresher - -

1. - You have a 71 MUstang with a 302 automatic
2. - You swapped the motor for a 302 from a 1990 truck

3. - When you swapped the motor - the flex plate from the 90 would not fit the bell housing that was originally in the car. So you got a different flex plate that has a 50 ounce balancer. This flex plate is a little smaller than the one that was attached to the 90 motor so that it fits in the old bell housing

This is where the trouble starts (no pun intended)

So what is happening is this - - the teeth on the starter bendix is not lining up with the teeth on the flex plate. The bendix is the gear assembly in the nose of the starter -it engages the flex plate gears.)
This is going to give you constant troubles BUT there is HOPE



So in searching around I came across this

Ford Flywheels and Flexplates

It has a lot of good info

When researching I also found this from CJ POny



164 Tooth C4 Automatic Transmission Flexplate with 28.2 Ounce Balance for 1969-1980 Mustangs with a 289, 302 or 351-2V Engine.

This standard replacement, 164 tooth flexplate is made to OE specs and features a 28.2 ounce balance. Fits C4 automatic transmissions with the larger bellhousing. C4 Transmissions came with 2 different size bell housings. The larger bellhousing requires the 164 tooth flexplate and the smaller bellhousing requires the 157 tooth flexplate.

So the way I see it - is you need a starter that will bolt to your bell housing and the bendix needs to match the flex plate.

It may help if we knew what year the flexplate was from - but we could try a few things.

Trust me - -you want to fix this or you will be fighting this issue forever.

I think I would try this:
1. - See if you see the starter "sp66stang" suggested at Summit
I would try this.

If you can't find this starter or if it doesn't work then I think you need to"make" a starter yourself. I know that sounds goofy - -but I think what you may have to do is get a starter for the bellhousing
which I am thinking is still the 71 - -then you need to get a "bendix" gear that will work on the flex plate with 157 teeth.

So what you would have to do is swap the bendix gear into the new starter. I am pretty certain it will fit but you may also have to swap the nose of the starter as well..


I sure wish we could get help from a more experienced person on starters. I can tell you that it is pretty simple to swap the bendix gear

So in conclusion - -this is NOT fixed yet.

If you do think starting a new thread may help - go for it - -but if you do - -you must list the items I wrote so that people know you have a 90 motor with a 71 bell housing and flex plate with 157 teeth.
Heck I may even try to post this - -I am curious and want this fixed right -


I sense you are loosing hope on this forum - hang in there and please check for my thread in the tech section.

Print Dad
 

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I have lost track of who's on first. :) However, you mentioned a 160-tooth ring gear on your 'old' flywheel. The early 289s came from the factory with 160-tooth and Ford later changed the design of the same flywheel, same diameter and all EXCEPT the new ones has 157 teeth. Neither of those are interchangeable with the 164 tooth variety.

Many today don't know there ever was a 160 but I have 2 of them removed from original 289s which were replaced with 157s at overhaul time. I don't know the exact date of the change but I don't think a 160 would ever have been on a 302 which was a 1968 and later engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Man, you people are the greatest. And Print Dad just talked me off the ledge.
Here's my situation with my 71 Mustang (which evidently means nothing in this realm of things). It may as well be a trike or a crop duster. Or a really ask kicking lawn mower/Gyro-copter.
Okay. Nothing is original to this car. But this is my story:
A couple years ago, I had to buy a new engine for my car. I had no time to shop around or anything like that. I just needed something that ran. Something I could bolt my stuff to. So I ended up replacing my 1971 302 with a 1990 302. My 1971 302 had a 160 tooth flexplate (earlier I think I said it was a 164. But it was for sure a 160 tooth). Luckily, a member of this extremely helpful website told me about the 50 oz imbalance (or whatever), so I replaced my 160 tooth flexplate with a brand spanking new 157 tooth flexplate with the 50 oz weight because the 164 tooth flexplate that came with the new motor was too big for my bell housing.
I used my old starter just like all my other old parts. I don't think I had any problems with it at all. Until one day when I went to start my car and nothing happened. I guess the bolts vibrated loose because my starter had fallen off the car. One ear had broken off and was still held in place with one bolt and the other bolt was gone. So I put the starter back in place (broken flange and all) and ran it like that for several months until the starter finally died. And that's when my problems began.
I've tried starters for a 1971 Mustang, a 1990 Econoline van, even a 1990 mustang. And although the starter for a 1971 Mustang worked the best, I went through at least 7 in a single year. Auto Zone stopped guaranteeing them so I went to Oreilly and tried one of theirs. It lasted for about 7 months. I guess I wore it out when I was fighting with my problem this thread was originally about.
We finally got the car firing, but the starter had had enough. It started grinding and all that. I took the starter back to Oreillys and they said it tested just fine and that there was nothing wrong with it. They swapped it out anyway, but wouldn't guarantee the new one. So I put the new starter on and my firing problem was over. Yay! That evening, the starter broke. Broke the aluminum piece right off. Took it to another Oriellys and swapped it out. Same thing. Broke.
From what an old told me and from what it sounded like, my starter was not pulling back quick enough. The noise would come at the end of the crank when my car started. My flywheel would take off when the engine fired with the starter bound up with the teeth of the flex plate. I know I'm calling it a flywheel sometimes, but it's a flex plate.
So... What I've been able to kinda figure out.
The 160 tooth flex plate was before my car was built, so being a 71 Mustang no longer has relevance. And for some reason, I was thinking my tranny was from a 65 Mustang. Which would make sense because of the 160 tooth flywheel. But that flywheel was for the 289s and smaller (I think), and was intended to go with the 5 bolt bell housing? And then it was replaced with the 157 tooth flywheel. Or something like that.
So I have a bell housing that fits a 160 tooth flywheel, but not a 164 tooth flywheel. And since the 157 tooth flywheel replaced the 160 tooth flywheel, it shouldn't be that big of a deal, right?
A Mustang guy told me to call CJ Pony out in Cali, which I did. The nice young man on the phone listened to my problem and gave me this Ford part number: M11000B51, which costs more than my engine did. I was going to use the part number to find the car it was made for and order a starter for that model, but we're into racing stuff now. "Yes, Orielly? Yeah, I need a starter for Matt Kenseths Sprint Cup car. Or any of the Roushe cars would be fine".
They also gave me a Power Master part number which is 9162. I haven't researched that one yet. I'm about to though.
I hope that describes my situation without too much yapping.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh, and also... I talked to this guy in Ft Worth who works at a starter, alternator/generator place, and he went to the back of his little shop and came back with a little gear in his hand, "See this? They only made this for one application. The 1985 Ford Bronco. See these teeth? See how this regular ford starter has regular teeth? Well looky here. This gears teeth are kinda hooked. And the gear itself is a little bigger. They only used it for the 1985 Bronco".
He offered to put it on whats left of my starter along with a new aluminum end piece if the starters shaft isn't bent.
With that being said...
Should I try a starter for a 1985 Bronco?
 

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Hello AnubisXII,
Before I offer a few ideas - I need to reply to
a few people here so beat with me

Iv66GT - -LOL - - I hear you - I was getting a little
dizzy on this one - -but bottom line we gotta get
to the bottom of this otherwise he will keep breaking
starters and the car will never be really dependable
Thanks for hanging in on this one

sp66stsang - -Thanks for the info on my post. I really appreciate
it.I am going to offer my thoughts to AnubisXII in a moment.
This problem should get fixed. I appreciate your help

OK - - AnubisXII - - I am glad I pulled you off the ledge. Honestly
I know this can be VERY frustrating - -

So here are my thoughts - -you have 3 choices at this point
Choice number one is to bite the bullet and get the starter that
Shawn suggested in my post in the tech section. I think this will
end your issues once and for all

Choice #2 - - Have the guy install the gear and nose cone on your
starter - -but it may end up costing close to the same as a new
starter for the Bronco

Choice # 3 - -Buy a starter for the Bronco - -they are not too expensive - I am just not certain if it will bolt up easily to the
bell housing - -I guess what I would do in that case is to buy
the starter - -see if bolts up - - if not return it

I am hoping the guy in the starter shop knows what he is dealing with but if he made the suggestion - -it is likely that he does.

Unfortunately $$ could likely be an issue as it is for most of us.

But the aggrivation you have already had is not worth it.

I want this fixed once and for all - -so I guess my suggestion is
to get the starter suggested by Shawn and I think your troubles
will be over once and for all.
May be worth the peace of mind

Please keep us up to date - -Print Dad
 
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