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Just clicks

1618 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Shawn
I foolishly GUNKED then power washed my 1990 5.0 engine while trying to clean it up. I covered the distributor, etc. Afterwards, the car started and I drove it home. It ran fine, but now won't start. Just getting a clicking sound. I do have power to radio and lights.

I hope I didn't screw anything up too seriously. Can anyone tell me what I might have done?

Where I should start?

Much appreciated
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What do you mean with: "it only clicks"
Is the clicking noise from the starter solenoid?
Does the motor crank?

Does your battery have enough crancking power?
Check with booster first, or 2nd car.

If it only clicks at the starter but doesn't crank, it is probabely the starter solenoid. They burn out over time - the water might just have given it the rest. Check with a diret cable to the starter motor (TRANSMISSION NOT IN GEAR)

Usually water probs are also affecting:
- Ignition: (check, and dry cap, rotor, spark plug wires, coil)
- Check for wet connectors around the motor.

Good luck
Just Clicks


The battery is fine. It has cranking power and I've tried the jump. I think you're right with the solenoid. I'm guessing it's underneath the car?



If you only hear a relatively loud click from the starter, It means that the solenoid pulls the lever with the starter gear, but it doesn't close the electric circuit to the motor part of the starter assembly.
Before you take the starter out and have it rebuilt, or replaced, try to jump the starter:

Take the jumper cable - you only need one for the positive pole, you always have ground.
Watch out with that jumper cable! If you touch the ground (the car) it will arc immediately. The 12 Volts are not dangerous for your body, but if you touch the fuel line it will arc thru and your BBQ is ready in a fraction of a second!

Attach the jumper cable to the positive battery pole and hit the starters electric connector bolt, at the solenoid, with the other end of the jumper cable. If the solenoid is covered by a cap remove this cap first.
If you hear the same clicking noise but no cranking, get a hammer and hit the starter with it - this helps sometimes.

If you still only hear the clicking sound and no cranking, it is definitely the solenoid - just get a new starter.
Just Clicks

Thanks alot. I'll try this...and definitely the hammer idea!
This might blow you away...

When I recently had a "clicking" issue, I tried everything known to humankind. I tried a jump. Click. Tried the hammering trick. Click. I tried a new starter. Click. New Battery. Click. New Solenoid. Click. Checked the alternator, and even had it rebuilt. Click. New positive battery cable and new negative terminal. Click. So, what was the problem all that time? Have I gotten your curiousity up?

It turned out all that time to be that my negative cable was loose at the block!!! I found this out when I went to change the cable. I crawled under the car, and reached up to unbolt the lower end of the cable, and discovered it was barely finger tight! That was the last thing I ever expected to find.

I'm not saying these other guys are wrong. In fact they are probably more right than I am, as this is my first Fox Body car. But it would never hurt to check the last thing in the world I checked... the lower end of the negative cable. Vroom!

Just my unofficial opinion and experience.
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