Minimum wiring to start car? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Minimum wiring to start car?

I inherited a 68 in which the previous owner was 1/2 way through a resto. It looks to me like an aftermarket harness was partially installed.

The first thing I want to do is assess the viability of the engine. I put a starter solenoid in it, and was able to use a remote trigger to turn the engine over. The alternator is present, but no wires present. When I turn the key, nothing happens.

What is the minimum wiring I need to install to get the car to start and run?

Current Project: 68 Coupe "Gift Horse" aka "Car in a Box"
Current Ride: 11 Gt Premium Convertible
Former Glory: 03 Mach1, 93 GT
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:12 PM
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Since you have a solenoid you need a cable from the + post on the battery to it and a cable from it to the starter. And a cable from the - post on the battery to the engine block.
Jumper the battery post of the solenoid to small post nearest to it with a screwdriver, baling wire or any other metal object you have handy to turn the starter.
Then you need a wire from the + post on the coil to the + post on the battery to provide power for a spark.
That's all folks!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, in this scenario, break the jumper on the solenoid to shut it down?

Bigger picture, I want to use the key to start the car. What all would I need in place for that to happen? I think all the wiring from the ignition switch is in place. Alternator is not. Haven't checked the fuse box. Right now the key does nothing, but I have the starter etc all wired up and can turn the engine over with one of those remote trigger switches.

Current Project: 68 Coupe "Gift Horse" aka "Car in a Box"
Current Ride: 11 Gt Premium Convertible
Former Glory: 03 Mach1, 93 GT
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:57 PM
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To your first question, to kill the running engine that has been jumpered, you need to disconnect the power from the solenoid + to the coil +.

To start the engine from the ignition switch circuit, you need to connect the ignition lead from the ignition switch to the coil and from the ignition switch to the solenoid "S" terminal. The power needs to come from the battery (The + post on the solenoid is the usual connection). The main underdash harness and the headlight harness need to be present and connected for the key to activate the starting/ignition circuits. Look at your wiring schematic to decipher the color coding for the wiring.

The coil - goes to the distributor points. If you have an aftermarket ignition, consult with your vendor for the ignition box wiring requirements.

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Last edited by JeffTepper; 03-20-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:46 PM
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If all you want to do is to see and hear the engine run why do you insist on starting it with the key?
Use a piece of wire with an alligator clip on each end to "hot wire" the coil. When you want to shut it off remove either alligator clip.
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