68 - 289 wont start - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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68 - 289 wont start

A week ago I cranked up the mustang for the first time in 9 months or so. It cranked pretty quickly and I just let it run for a bit with the garage door open. After it ran I backed it halfway out of the garage and let it idle some more. In this span of time I cranked it a handful of times. It died and I tried cranking it again and just got a click. Went to the store and bought a battery and solenoid (battery is old so I just decided to replace it). Unfortunately I still can’t get it to crank.

Brand new battery and two new solenoids, from from autozone and one from CJPP, new battery cables as well. Still not starting. When I turn the key it clicks. I’m getting 8.5 volts on the starter side of the solenoid but get 12 on the battery side. + to - on the battery gets me 12 as well. Checking voltage from the + terminal to the starter gets me 12v. Jumping from the S terminal to the + battery terminal gets me a click.

I just threw the charger on the week old battery. Will attempt again sometime this week.

I’m at a loss as to what’s wrong. Could this new battery be bad? Could it be the starter, if so how do I know? Any other checks I should run to see where the problem is?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:39 PM
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The most common cause for starting problems is always the cables. Check not only where they hook to the battery (even up inside the cables, they can get all corroded!) but also where the ground hooks to the block.

If it's not making good contact, this will cause the problems you're describing - and a lot more. Even if it shows 12V, a lot of times, you may not be able to draw enough amps to start your car because of a bad connection. Fortunately, it's usually the main cables that have this problem, instead of the smaller wires. Also check your cable down to the starter.


If you're getting a weak 'click' when you turn the key, that's an indicator that at least things are hooked up properly. You're just not getting enough current for some reason.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Cables are brand new
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HammockDriver View Post
two new solenoids, from from autozone and one from CJPP

Both Cheap Chinese Crap. Buy nothing except a genuine Motorcraft solenoid.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Both put out the same voltage, seems really weird they would do the same thing? Where can I pick up a motor craft solenoid?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 10:35 PM
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Hate to tell you , but the Motorcraft solenoid is made in China .
I last looked at one at work a couple weeks ago .
I need to look at the Standard Motor Products solenoid to see where it's made .

68 302-4V w/1.84",1.54" ported , Comp XE268H , 2200 rpm Hughes converter, 3.25 9" w/10x2.5" shoes , MSD box/distrib , RPM intake , 670 Holley , cross flow aluminum radiator , Granada discs......


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 08:55 AM
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If its the solenoid or the solenoid is questioned- you should be able to "jump it" out and rule this out (or in)- You should have 12 v at starter though so this is why it is clicking

It could be solenoid- but I am guessing bad connection or bad grounds. Clean all connections with whatever (sandpaper, file, etc) but make them shiney- If you have the dielectric grease (prevents corrosion and improves your connection) use this on the new shiney areas- even if the solenoid is bad......this is good maintainance and will serve you well for many years.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:43 AM
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Hate to tell you , but the Motorcraft solenoid is made in China.

Yes, but the Chinese are capable of building a quality part if the American company is willing to pay a fair price for it.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:50 AM
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8.5 on the starter side? Either that battery is also dead or the starter is toast.....I would take both of them to the parts store and have them tested.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 03:46 PM
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I have a 68 coupe with a 289 and I just replaced the starter a few months ago. My coil went out and I was unaware that it was the coil and I tried to start it a few times and then it just started clicking. I immediately went to NAPA and got a new starter, and it started turning over again. I then replaced the coil and the car was running in tip-top shape after, and still is. I guess better for the starter to go out in my driveway then anywhere else LOL. So if I were you I would give the starter a shot. A new starter from Napa is like 50 bucks and it comes with a lifetime warranty, and most stores can get it overnight if they don't have it in stock. But NPD has some options too.

Matthew
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 04:24 PM
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You only have part of the picture with just voltage readings. You also need to know how many amps the starter is drawing. If the starter is shorting out, it might be drawing so much current that the battery looks like it's not providing enough voltage. I have a "clamp on ammeter" that will tell me this, but unfortunately I can't seem to find one with a real quick amazon search. Hopefully someone here can provide a useful link.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:23 PM
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Double check your ground wire from the engine to the frame. Mine is located on the passenger side intake towards the back and then to the firewall. If you don’t have a return path for voltage back to the battery it will just click and have low voltage as well.

1966 Mustang Ive had for 20 years. Mild built 289, 4-speed coupe. Runs strong but the rest of the car needs help!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 07:13 PM
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If it's not doing anything when you jump the solenoid (and clicking when you turn the key, but doing nothing else) then you either have bad connections/wires (and I know you changed the wires!), you don't have enough juice from the battery, or the starter itself is defective.


Having chased down the first, and gotten a new battery, I'd lean towards number three.

"No matter what you are, be the best one you can." -Abraham Lincoln
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