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Hi, Im new to the forums and new to cars in general.

I recently replaced the battery of my 66' mustang. When I try to start it, and right before it starts, smoke comes out of the starter relay and now I turn the key and nothing happens.

Now, I did use the "search" button which i know a lot of people don't and found this great thread.

Jeff65 said:
There are four terminals on the solenoid:

a. battery terminal
b. starter terminal
c. solenoid control terminal (S)
d. ignition output terminal (I)

To test the solenoid, simply momentarily jump the battery terminal with the solenoid control terminal. The solenoid should energise and the starter motor should start turning over normally. When you jump the control terminal, the wire that normally attaches should be pulled off. If the solenoid does not click and the starter does not turn then disconnect the solenoid, unbolt it, clean the ground connection and re-try. If the solenoid clicks but the starter does not turn, the solenoid is bad or the wires connecting between battery and solenoid are not good. If the solenoid doesn't click after checking the ground and the starter doesn't turn then the solenoid is bad.

Provided all test results are positive, reconnect the wire to the solenoid control terminal (S) and try the ignition key. The solenoid should click, the starter should turn. If it doesn't the ignition switch is probably bad.
To validate this, you'll have to check several things.

a. The voltage at solenoid (S) terminal with the key held in the start position. Should be 12 volts. If not test the ignition switch and the wires and connectors in between. The starter wire is labled "S" on the ignition switch. The only time voltage is present on the "S" terminal is when the key is rotated to the "Start" position.

b. The voltage at the ignition switch "B" terminal. This is the battery side of the ignition switch and is always hot. Should be 12 volts. Voltage is always present on the "B" terminal. If not you'll have to find out where the harness wire is broken. It comes through a firewall plug and from the battery.

This exhausts all possibilities. Good luck!
Since Im new I just had questions on the terms used so I can try and performe this test.

What does he mean my "..momentarily jump the battery terminal with the solenoid control terminal."??? <-- I Don't how I would do that?

He mentions, "the starter motor should start turning over.." whats that mean???

Also, after the relay smoked I look at my new battery and its got liquid on it. (battery acid?) Could the new bat be messed up?

Thanks.
 

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Hello.Welcome.:)Your original problem is almost certainly not your starter solenoid.(Mopars have starter relays,Fords have starter solenoids :)) I'm assuming that you replaced the battery because it died on you.Your new battery sounds like it got fried also.That sounds to me like it could be either a defective voltage regulator or alternator.If it was me,the first thing that I would do be take the battery back to the store and have them check it for you.If it's bad, see if they will swap it out for you, since it's fairly new.If they won't,which is possible,I'd get another one and see if the car will start.If yes,shut it off immediately(before frying yet another battery:)) and take the alternator and the voltage regulator down to get checked.But my first guess would be the voltage regulator.Hope that helps and again, welcome.:)
 

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Veronica said:
Hello.Welcome.:)Your original problem is almost certainly not your starter solenoid.(Mopars have starter relays,Fords have starter solenoids :)) I'm assuming that you replaced the battery because it died on you.Your new battery sounds like it got fried also.That sounds to me like it could be either a defective voltage regulator or alternator.If it was me,the first thing that I would do be take the battery back to the store and have them check it for you.If it's bad, see if they will swap it out for you, since it's fairly new.If they won't,which is possible,I'd get another one and see if the car will start.If yes,shut it off immediately(before frying yet another battery:)) and take the alternator and the voltage regulator down to get checked.But my first guess would be the voltage regulator.Hope that helps and again, welcome.:)
Thanks.

I think the bat has like a 90 day return period so, hopefully, im set on that end.

I was told *cough*on another forum*cough* that it could be a short in the starter. Im gonna have Peps Boyz check it out; if it checks ok then I'll look into the voltage reg. and I hope its not the damn alternator.
 

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Hi again.:)The problem is not with the starter itself.The trouble obviously is originating upstream from the starter.The only things that make a solenoid start smoking are way too little or way too much voltage.Since the battery was fairly new it probably isn't low voltage.The only ways a battery can be overcharged on a 66 Mustang is if the voltage regulator isn't knocking the alternator output down to 12 volts or the alternator isn't alternating.:)The reason that folks quit using generators is because they charge constantly, creating exactly the situation that you have described.Alternators quit charging when the battery no longer needs charging.It's output is only running what is actually using power, like the motor, radio, etc.. That sort of problem in the alternator itself is kind of rare though.My money's on the voltage regulator.Good luck.:)
 

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hmmm. If smoke is coming out of any electrical part that did not smoke when built, problems arise. Normally smoked parts indicate a short, basically way too much amperage through a given part. A voltage reg could be the fix as Veronica said.
 
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