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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys. My grandfather gifted me this super clean '95 Cougar XR7 w/ 130k Miles (see below) that'd been parked in a garage for roughly 5 years. It's said that the car had problems starting when he was last in it, and the current problem I face (after installing a new battery and fresh gas) is indeed a start issue. I imagine the culprit is either a bad starter motor or a more recent (and grave) issue such as a seized engine. I'm including a link to a video with the symptom VID_20200305_193724.mp4 . The loud knock or abrupt stopping sound is coming from the starter and/or where it meets the engine. I'm limited in my experience with engines but I'm not totally inept, I promise. Prior to attempting to start the car, I'd convinced myself that I'd do all sorts of pre-start lubes and fluid changes to ensure no damage to the engine, but my curiosity got the best of me. If it is seized up, I'm rather glad I didn't yet spend the time and money changing oil & filter, tranny fluid, coolant, etc. I did, at least, check to find that there is still oil in the engine via the dipstick. I would have tried to manually turn the engine but didn't have the correct socket ( is it 11/16?).

Sorry for the rant and thanks in advance for any insight you may provide. And please, spare my feelings when commenting on any of the above actions or inactions. Thanks.

Rocky

37845
 

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Discussion Starter #2
<<link to video removed in reply-- it let me put it in the original post>>
 

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Yeah, I think the harmonic balancer bolt is 18mm or thereabouts. Certainly seems like the starter is engaging given the click and obvious voltage drop...
 

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If you remove the spark plugs it will turn easier by hand. If it won't, you'll be more certain that there is an obstruction rather than you need to turn it harder.
 

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Something else to consider if you can't turn the car over by hand.... A relatively common occurrence with those of us who R&R the transmission is that the torque converter is easy to install without getting it fully seated on the trans input shaft. When this happens it sticks out about an extra 1/2". When the trans gets torqued up to the block, the torque converter shoves the flex plate (back of the engine, with the teeth the starter engages on to turn over the engine) up against the block causing it to bind up.

Now the chances of this being your issue are pretty much nil, but where I'm going with that is there is an inspection plate at the bottom of the bell housing you can remove. It might be worth popping that off to inspect the flex plate and see if there is anything binding between the engine and transmission. You could also potentially get a "bite" on some of the teeth of the flex plate with a big screwider, and try to turn the engine backwards (counter-clockwise facing the rear of the car). You can't do that effectively from the harmonic balancer bolt because you'd just be loosening it.
 

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No expert but I think you have an electrical issue going on with the way everything dims out when trying to turn it over. You said you replaced the battery but maybe take a look at the clamps for corrosion.

Welcome to the forums and good luck!

Joe
 

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I'd try turning it over by hand; either it's stuck, or the battery really needs a charge.

If it turns by hand, Check the battery voltage at the starter, after you recharge the battery.

If the voltage is dropping below 8V, it will never start; the EEC locks out.

If the voltage is dropping at the battery below 8V, and the wires smoke, there's a problem. :)

I've let one sit for years and not had a problem with it seizing up, so I doubt it's seized.
Lazarus sat for almost 2 years when I totalled it the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Awesome info guys, thanks so much. I'll let you know what I come up with !
 

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I would take a close look for rodent infestation, they may have chewed on some wires. Are you in a climate with 4 seasons, ie with Winter?

Al
 

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I would take a close look for rodent infestation, they may have chewed on some wires. Are you in a climate with 4 seasons, ie with Winter?

Al
Ended up getting the engine to turn over after the starter replacement. Would not run, so I tried some starter fluid and got it moving for a sec. She's not getting fuel. I pulled the line at the fuel filter and had little to no pressure there. Turned the system on and the pump appears to be doing nothing. So, I've got a pump on the way, along with a Hayne's manual. Already got the back end lifted, so it's a waiting game, then dropping the tank. Too bad there's no access port underneath the backseat, eh? Anyone here ever cut a hole to get to the pump? I've seen a few Youboobers do it.
 
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