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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have a 1987 mustang Gt 5 speed. Recently I got gas and after filling up it just wouldn't start so i got it towed to the house. Here's the details-

When i push the clutch down and turn the ignition something under the hood hums, then i hear a electrical loud tick when still turning the ignition. I bought and changed the starter, and the starter motor relay. After changing those it still makes the same sound. I have a 3 month old optima red top battery, and a new alternator. I jumped the car, and it starts and runs fine. After i jump it and kill the engine, I can start it for about 3-4 more times, and then starts to hesitate to start, making the same loud ticking sound. It seems to be coming near the coil, and the starter motor relay. I also hear a click on near the intake tube. Have a full tank of 93 and no where to go now. I've gotten told it might be the battery, alternator, igntion switch, and all sorts of others but i don't want to replace parts that don't need to. If you guys could help that would be great. Thanks ahead of time - Dave
 

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im not positive, but i recall hearing that there was a recall on ignition switches on 87-93 stangs. possibly a problem?

it sounds like your alternator isnt charging tho... or there is a huge drain on your battery.

its possible that one of the diodes in your alternator blew in the open position, and your battery is backfeeding into the alternator.

try charging the battery to start the car, then leave it off over night. see if it starts in the morning. if it doesnt, you have a drain.

the next night, charge it up again, but before leaving her sit, disconnect the alternator plugs. in the morning, hook the alt back up and if it starts, thats your problem!

thats what happened to me.

but since you just replaced your alt, probably not the problem. worth a check tho!

hope this helps a bit
 

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That ticking noise is your starter solenoid on the passenger fenderwell under the plastic cover (if it's still there).

Have you tried another battery on it? If it starts with another battery it sounds like you have a charging problem. If it does the same thing, I'd suspect the starter solenoid , then ignition switch.
 

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Could be a bad cable too. Did the starter you got, have the big tube shaped relay mounted on it? Because the later style starter is wired a little differently. The small (traditional) solenoid, on the fender apron, sends switched current to the starter mounted relay, and constant voltage to the starter motor(It's been a while since I looked at it, but I think that's right).
 

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on your starter solenoid under the hood..the should be a small red female connector atached to it..pull it off ,clean the terminal...and slightly crimp the female connector...then put it back on...that should help..I had the same problem on my 89 stang..and a buddy from ford showed me that little trick..hope it helps...total time of repair less than 1 minute
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No luck at all but I cannot find the starter solenoid under the hood. Where is this located? I also found this out: When i disconnect the wires attached to the starter motor relay, and only connect a yellow one that leads out to four it makes the loud ticking noise, any other wire doesn't have any effect. Would you guys know what the yellow wire goes to? Thanks - Dave
 

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Ok I think you are thinking they are two different parts. The starter solenoid is really a relay.

The middle wire (pink/yellow) that pushes onto the solenoid allows current to pass when it receives a 12v signal from the ignition (when you put the keys up). This passes current to the starter.

One one side of the starter solenoid is the starter motor cable and on the other side are your positive battery cable, 12 gauge yellow wire, 16gauge blue wire, maybe one more I forget.

This is a picture of what the starter solenoid looks like.
http://www.metropartsmarket.com/catalog/Photo/Mustang/Starter_Solenoid_Fomoco.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, I replaced that part with a brand new one and it still makes the noise from it. So whatever the yellow wire leads to must be at fault right? Since when I only attach the yellow wire is when it makes the loud ticking sound.

Thanks - Dave
 

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The yellow wire is the ignition switch power wire. Have you double checked all of your fuses?

Can you have someone crank it while you check the voltage on that yellow wire?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Checked all the fuses, There all fine. I'm going to check the voltage today, along with changing the ignition switch. Also going to check the alternator just in case. Thanks for your help - Dave
 

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To change the ignition switch just lower the front two steering column nuts until they are on the last couple threads. That will lower the column enough to get a tamperproof torx i there to get the two ignition switch bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey, I changed the ignition switch, and it fixed the problem with the solenoid. I also changed the alternator since it failed on the test at the auto parts place store. But now the car turns over but will not fire up. The belt turns fine, I mean what else is there that I can fix? The starter, starter solenoid, ignition coil, ignition switch, and alternator were all replaced the last few days. So what do you think it could be? I jumped the car and it still would not start. Have a full tank of gas, oil is full. Thanks for your help once again
 

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Did you check for spark at a spark plug wire? Your ignition module on the front of the distributor may be toast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got the module checked, it's fine. I bought a fuel relay, a buddy told me that it might be fried, where is that located? other than that i can't figure what it is.
 

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But did you check for spark? Simple principles are, check for spark, then fuel. I would pull a spark plug and see if it smells like fuel. It SHOULD because of all the cranking you have been doing. And now that you've fixed your ignition switch problem your spark plugs are probably fouled to crap. I would replace them with some Autolite #24's. They are cheap, like $1.20 at part stores.

Anyways, the fuel pump relay on your car is under the drivers seat. It's a 2"x2" or smaller green box. It's easy to spot.

That's weird that all of these parts just crapped out at once, hope you get it going soon. :smoke:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Changed spark plugs, and fuel relay. Nothing. No spark on the spark plugs, checked it. Found out battery is dead, pulling around 8 volts. So i changed it with my buddy's and still got nothing. Checked the module on the distributor and it is fine. I checked the coil voltage using the spark plug tester, and it doesn't light up until after i stopped trying to start the car. it flashes really fast and thats it. I have to get it towed soon, I mean their is really nothing else to replace. Thanks again for your help really means a lot

- Dave
 

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It's Pick Up in the distributor. You can either replace it or replace the whole distributor. I'd bet money that is the problem. It's like $18 at advanced auto parts.

It looks like this.
 

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I agree with GhostDog that the distributor coil pick-up is most likely your problem based on what you have said. WOW, the price on those things have really dropped. The last one that I bought about 3 years ago at a Ford dealer was $98.00 plus tax. Autozone and Pepboys did not carry them then. All of this could have been determined fairly quickly and a lot cheaper if you used a systematic approach to troubleshooting the problem. Based on what you have posted, it appears that your original problem was a bad alternator. The other problems have been created by your hit and miss parts replacements. I know that this sounds like criticism, but it really isn't intended to be. If you are going to work on your car, you need to establish reasonable methods to get good results without so much frustration and expense. You have said that you do not have a spark. Find out why. If your coil is good, your ignition module is good, your distributor is turning, the distributor cap is not broken, the rotor is OK and installed, the coil wire is installed, and the plug wire is good, you should be able to get an arc from the plug wire to the block or across the gap of a grounded plug. If not, it is almost certain that the pickup coil is bad. I would recommend that you get a manual and follow the procedure for replacing it. Be sure to mark the distributor and block before removing it (required to replace the stator), do not turn the engine over while you have it out and you can easily put it back in where it was. Otherwise, you have to get No. 1 at TDC, etc...Pulling the gear off of the bottom of the distributor can be difficult. Getting the pin out of the gear can be difficult. Not damaging the distributor shaft while pulling the gear can be difficult, so unless you are prepared for this type of job, you might want to just pull the distributor and take it to a shop to have the new "stator" installed. Sorry to be so long winded, but you seem to be determined to fix this machine. Good luck with it and let us know if you need more information.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey guys thanks for all the help, turned out to be something with the computer, mechanic said someone befoe me fiddled with it and it kinds burnt up. I'll have all the details for you soon. Thanks again - Dave
 
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