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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I have been having issues with the car occasionally not starting for the last month or so....turn the key to start it, and it is as if you are trying to start with the shifter in anything that is not NEUTRAL or PARK.

About three weeks into this, my alternator from NAPA died on me...I had it tested and it failed, so I bought an autolite from Kragen with a lifetime warrenty. Installed it last Wednesday.

Charging was better, car ran better, didn't have the no-start issue, all was good. Or so I thought.

Got off work this morning, went out to the car, and it didn't start....same problem as before.


So, I am at a bit of a loss...If it is the starter solenoid, I am thinking it would be wise to change the entire starter out. I don't even think the solenoid is available separate. At least that's what max at five star ford told me.

If it is the ignition module under the column, how difficult is it to change that part?

If it is the neutral safety switch, how hard is it to change?

Any chance that it might be the battery? Car fires up, cranks quickly, voltage is always around 13 or 14 when driving, around 12 with the key on.


And could somebody do me a favor and post a photo of the starter installed in the car, so I have an easier time locating it, to try whacking it with a hammer to see if it fires up?

thanks
 

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the starter is tucked in pretty well behind some stuff, hitting it with a hammer from the ground might prove to be hard, but I haven't had to do it so I can't really say, however it is located on the passenger side, just to the rear of the front wheel, where the block meets the bell housing.
 

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There was an FSB out detaling a problem with the negative (I believe) wire rotting out under the insulation from the battery to the starter. You can't see the damage, but will act like bad battery or bad starter.
 

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the starter is tucked in pretty well behind some stuff, hitting it with a hammer from the ground might prove to be hard, but I haven't had to do it so I can't really say, however it is located on the passenger side, just to the rear of the front wheel, where the block meets the bell housing.
If you turn the wheel all the way to the right then it gives you pleanty of room to give it a nudge. I had mine up in the air with the tire off to give the starter a little love tap to get it started after the car sat for over a year. Works fine now, but if you have a constant problem I would look into the positive battery cable, or look into a new starter. And YES the solenoid is available by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think I found the problem....there was a TSB about this exact problem....starter solenoid...

NHTSA Item Number: 39872
Service Bulletin #: BC8899950401
Replacement #:
Vehicle/Equipment Make: FORD
Vehicle/Eqipment Model: THUNDERBIRD
Model Year: 1995
Mfg Component Code: 113100 ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:STARTER ASSEMBLY:SOLENOID
Date of Bulletin: 1995-04-01
Date Added: 1995-11-01
Summary: VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT A NO CRANK OR INTERMITTENT NO CRANK CONCERN DUE TO MOISTURE FREEZE UP IN THE STARTER SOLENOID. *TW

FOUND HERE:

http://www.allworldauto.com/tsbs/NHTSA__FORD_THUNDERBIRD_technical_service_bulletin_116193.html
 

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There was an FSB out detaling a problem with the negative (I believe) wire rotting out under the insulation from the battery to the starter. You can't see the damage, but will act like bad battery or bad starter.
The negative battery cable on a Thunderbird/Cougar does not run from the battery to the starter, at least on a 1997 4.6 liter V-8 it doesn't.

I know - I just replaced mine last month. It goes from the negative battery terminal/post to a stud on the engine block just back of the oil filter.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #7
that sounds about right on the neg. terminal on mine....it goes down somewhere and I can't see by looking down in....I think I'll replace both of the battery cables just for the hell of it, couldn't hurt.
 

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that sounds about right on the neg. terminal on mine....it goes down somewhere and I can't see by looking down in....I think I'll replace both of the battery cables just for the hell of it, couldn't hurt.
If you do, I HIGHLY recommend having a helper under the car to help you while you work by feel - it's impossible to see the negative cable and the stud it attaches to! I could barely get my arm and hand down there to get the socket (15mm, I think!) on the nut.

NOT something I ever want to do again!

By the way, the negative (and positive) battery cable has been discontinued by Ford. I got a new one back in April or May and my Ford parts man told me it was the last one that any dealer in the country had in stock (not sure if that's really true or not)!

Dennis
 

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try vintage parts. They had a new door handle in KM blue when everyone said there were none to be had new.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
aren't there replacement battery cables at places like napa or kragen? that seems like a pretty crazy thing to NOT have available.
 
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