Driving in a charity drive this afternoon. Took a noon break. Came out and car wouldn't start. Kept trying. Got sort of a short bump but wouldn't turn over. Kept trying. Solenoid started smoking. Pos battery cable melted.
Starter cable didn't look too good either
Walked to nearby parts store and got new cables and solenoid.
Borrowed small crescent and replaced all parts.
No joy. Not even a click or bump. Nothing.
All connections tight and all wires, I'm pretty sure, are in correct place on solenoid.
Maybe the battery fried in the process?
I have no other ideas.
Currently waiting on Triple A. I'll get either a battery boost or a tow home- about 20 miles.
My wife will probably never go on another cruise with me.
How old is the battery? Sounds like it is drained or dead.
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67 conv. 289 4spd(mine), 67 coupe 289 Export(swmbo's)
I don't think it is the battery. The AAA tow truck came and tried to boost it. Nothing.
The starting system seems to be dead. Can't get a spark or anything when I short the little terminals on the solenoid. No headlights.
I turn on the ignition and everything is totally dead. Wouldn't it start, or at least try to start while being jumped from another vehicle if it was a bad battery?
We ended up having it towed home. Oh, the indignity.
I've been running this through my mind over and over. The first solenoid literally fried. The battery terminal on the solenoid melted away. I replaced the solenoid, positive battery cable and the starter cable. All the little wires hooked up the solenoid look good and I'm pretty certain I reassembled them just as they were when I put on the new solenoid. I'm not real positive about which elbow connector goes to the "I" and "S" terminal on the solenoid but I think I got it right. The red wire running to the ignition switch is plugged into the "I" terminal.
Could this event have friend the ignition switch? On my 52 Ford 8N tractor it's easy to jump across the ignition switch to bypass it. Not sure how to do that on the Mustang.
I really felt like it was the battery but if that was the case, it should have started with a jump start. I guess I could put it on a slow charge all night and check it in the morning. The thing is... this car always fired up in a split second. No cranking at all. And trying to start it this afternoon shouldn't have been a drain on the battery because each attempt lasted only a second. I had the hood up and could see the fan turning maybe halfway around and that's it. It's not like I was cranking it for a long time, which I know could drain the battery.
Electrical issues always kick my butt. They are usually very simple to fix but diagnosing them isn't easy for me.
That is a bummer. DC generates a good bit of heat, but when it heats up enough to start melting things it makes me think short, loose/corroded connections or bad ground. You might make sure your ground connections are clean at the block, battery, etc. A starter with really worn out brushes or a loose lead can pull too much current and thereby too much heat. Also what vintage was the solenoid that started smoking, a newer or older one? I've been burned more times than I care to count by the avg replacement solenoids available these days...bad ones right off the shelf. Most seem to be really low grade stuff. You can always bypass the solenoid to make sure it's not part of the problem. Good luck getting her back up...I'm sure with any luck it will turn out to be something simple as it usually does
EDIT: If you switch up the I & S poles it won't keep it from starting, but usually keep you from being able to turn it off without disconnecting the battery.
I've seen battery have a dead cell or dead short so bad they wouldn't jump off for anything. Maybe you can swap in a replacement battery temporarily from another vehicle??
I bought the car in July. It had just come off a near total, frame on, restoration. The battery looks new. As I said, it always fired up within about one second.
New clue: I have my charger on the car. The headlights will now come on if that means anything. If I turn the key to start I get nothing, but when I return the key to the off position I heard a little "Sproing" sound that is appears to be coming from the voltage regulator. Is that significant?
I agree with others- your battery is dead, maybe even shorted internally. That's why using jumper cables didn't work- your dead battery soaked up all of the juice. Leave it on the charger all night and then take it by O'reilly tomorrow and let them test it. And while you're at it you may as well remove the starter and have it tested. It may be going bad and drawing way too many amps and that's what killed the battery. Don't you wish everything was within easy reach like the 8N!
Ground problem leading to the current to find another path. Newly restored means possible paint under a ground area. Mustang solenoid s have always been a PITA. They stick all the time. Sounds like it stuck closed gave the current a path to travel which heated it up and the wires as well.
Sounds like the current found the best path back to the battery. As the whole cars body is the negative the current found the easiest way back when it lost its normal ground.
I had two instances that may shed some light.
1) vintage mini. Battery in trunk. The trunk lid has two wires that connect the body to the trunk lid. These keep it from opening too far. Started this particular car one time and one of the wires glowed like a lightbulb filament and burned off the plastic coating. The current had used the wire as a ground to the body.
2) A vintage mini moke. Was putting in the battery in the side tray. Grounded the top postto the metal of the car and fried the wiring harness almost immediately. Burned right up.
I think it's a ground problem as mentioned above
Best of luck.
1965 Fastback Restomod, GT350 replica, 5.0, SSBC 4WDB, Functional side brake cooling scoops, Fuel cell, WC 5 spd, 9 inch, 355s, Vintage air, Borgenson PS, Tri Ys, side exit exhaust. GT350 hood. GT 350 Dash Pod
1990 5.0 SSP Notchback fox mustang. MO police car with full "as in service" police equipment. F&R radar, siren, PA, Roof lights, Spotlight, rear antennas, scanner and police radio.
1967 Mustang GT Fastback, sold
2007 GT500 sold
AOLshove, I don't see anything in the diagram for my fuse panel that has any connection with the starting system. Just various lights, fans, heater, courtesy lights, radio, backup lights, etc.
Am I missing something? Would one of these fuses, if blown, prevent the car from starting.
It has been sitting on the charger for about four hours now. I tried once more to start it a few minutes ago. No good. But I did find that the two battery cables and the starter cable were very hot, just from two very brief attempts at starting.
Does that mean anything?
I gave up for the night and disconnected the charger. I'm tired of dealing with it today.
Hmmm, that might be exactly what happened. In the process of replacing the positive cable and the solenoid I never disconnected the ground. When I was bolting up the solenoid my crescent wrench came in contact with the POS post on the battery- producing a big spark and leaving a pretty good size chunk missing from the POS terminal on the battery.
Ya think that's what cause the problem? The first issue was a bad solenoid. Once that was replaced it should have fired right up EXCEPT that I might have fried the battery with that inadvertent contact between the solenoid and the POS terminal?
And I'll never do battery work again without removing the NEG terminal.
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