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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had it with the random quality of work from the various garages I have taken the Bird to while I've been here in Bahrain, and so I am trying to get my car up and running with me and a couple of buds working on it. We are stumped as to why the car will not turn over.

When we turn the key on a brand-new (less than 3 days old) battery I get nothing but a small 'click'. Everything else electric from the dome lights to the stereo works, it just doesn't start. We checked all of the grounds, replaced the starter, the starter solenoid, and the starter relay electronic control module with brand-new stuff from the local Motorcraft dealer and we still get the same small 'click' when we turn the key. It seems almost like it is not getting enough cranking amps from the battery (or the battery doesn't have enough charge), but it is a 650 CCA battery (the recommended amount from the manual) and it won't start even if assisted by jump-starting.

On a related note, the battery I replaced in the car that was completely drained and will not hold a charge. It wasn't a cheapo battery (it cost around a total of 180 bucks to get it out here.) and I would like to get it fixed if possible. Is there any way to recondition a car battery like you would some other types of batteries?

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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sounds like a grounding issue or wiring issue somewhere .

Have you tried turning the engine over by hand to see if it turns ?
 

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Also make sure the cables are in good shape, both pos and neg. If they are corroded inside (under the insulation), there could be enough voltage and current flow to operate the accs, but not enough to turn over the engine. Do the lights go real dim when you try and start it, or do they stay bright and don't dim at all?

Regarding a deep discharged automotive style battery, you can try and bring it back, but it will never be the same (as far as capacity goes). You will probably need to do it with a constant current battery charger, as a standard one will just go full voltage/low current and not get the job done. Car batteries are designed to stay fully charged, and when deep discharged, tend to shed the active material off the plates (because they are so thin). Also, the longer it stays deep discharged, the less are your odds of bringing it back to life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies! I had forgotten to mention it, but the positive battery cable was corroded and cracked and needed to be replaced and was replaced along with the battery. The negative cable is still in good shape, and didn't need to be replaced, but the store didn't have one anyway so it all works out. ;)

I will try to turn it over by hand later on after work and see what happens.
 

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one more thing you should try to jump the starting seloniod or the ignition switch itself might be bad my ingnition switch went out one time so i wired a push button starter to it run a wire from the pos. side of the battery to the little bolt on top of the seloniod to see if theres any responce if not then try to jump the seloniod with two screw drivers but remember to have the key to the on postion when doing this
 

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Did it turn over and start before the dead battery. When did the problem start (no pun intended)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem started when I got the car out of the last garage and the mechanic said it didn't hold a charge. I asked why, and he shrugged. A sign of a truly great mechanic. The car was at this garage for about 4 months. Other than fix the transmission, nothing really was done that I asked to be done and rather than argue with the guy, (and probably end up going to mast) I took the car home.

The car was running when I picked it up and it almost made it home. I was sitting in traffic waiting to move and it died. I pushed it off to the side and had to leave it there until I could get another vehicle to come and jump it. I got it to start after jump starting it for an hour with another battery. (the battery it died on was drained completely and would not hold a charge.)

I left the car sit overnight, and when I went to start the car in the morning the battery was dead. (and now it won't hold a charge.) I realized there was a drain on the battery from somewhere. I think the accessory line is being powered even when the car is off. Either that, or the stereo and alarm were wired incorrectly. We have removed the stereo and alarm from the picture and we did a drain test on the battery and it seems to be ok now.

But now it won't start at all, even with everything replaced. I haven't been able to test to see if I can turn it over by hand yet; work + foot injury = less time for bird. I have been relying on my friends to help me with the car.
 

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Check to see if it will try in Neutral.
Or move the shifter a bit when in park trying.

And since the negative cable is still old, make sure it is real clean where it connects to block and to battery terminal. Scrape until shiny if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I tried starting it in Neutral and while cycling through the gears with the same effect.

I am going to go the parts store in the morning and get a new ignition switch to see if that is the problem.

I haven't tried turning it over by hand yet. I don't know how to do it and unless it is a simple thing to do I'm going to wait until my friend gets off of duty to help me with it.

Before I got this car, the most extensive things I knew how to do was change the oil and sparkplugs. And now, because of crappy garages, I am replacing starters and such. (with help of course) Who knows? Perhaps in a year or so I'll be getting my hands dirty with the timing belt or fixing transmissions. I've found I enjoy working on cars. It's almost the same as working on computers. I wish I had gotten into cars years ago.
 

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I don't think it's so major requiring turning the engine by hand.

Do your gauges jump when you try to start it. Someone else mentioned if the lights stay bright.
Let us know.

I have had a switch go out so that you had to turn the key reeeeeeeal far to get it to hit the starter portion of the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is everything that happens when I try and start the car-

I open the door. The dome lights are on. I put the key in the ignition and turn it to on. The electronic instrument panel lights up, (with the e-brake, seatbelt, and door-ajar lights lit) I turn the key to start it and everything on the electronic display goes blank except the three warning lights; the dome light stays on. At the same time I hear the soft 'click' in the engine. After I return the key to the 'on' position the key-in-ignition warning chime starts (because the door is open) and the electronic display lights back up.

The key will not turn any farther than I turn it. However, I had a problem a while back that the warning chime would stay on while I was driving, and the only way to turn it off was to fiddle with the key until I found the 'perfect' spot. Supposedly that was fixed.
 

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It really sounds like the neutral safety switch.
 

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I could be way off but here goes. I would check to make sure nothing got caught in the flywheel. Guy working on a Mach 1 mustang put a new engine in it, went to crank it, turned once and nothing. All it would do is click like you said. Turns out the rubber plug on the bellhousing somehow got in between the starter and flywheel. So like thy said see if it will turn over by hand, check your cables, check your ground, check everything dealing with starting the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How would you be able to tell if it was the Neutral Safety Switch for sure? When I was testing to see if the car would start in Neutral and in other gears, I noticed that the 'click' would only happen in 'Park' and in 'Neutral'. I assume that would be the Safety Switch at work, right?

I didn't notice anything stuck in the flywheel when we swapped out the starter, but you could only see that small section, so I guess the only way to tell for sure is to remove the flywheel casing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, there is nothing in the flywheel.

The 'click' is coming from the front right of the engine. (as you are standing in front of the car looking towards the car) I can't think of what it might be.
 

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The click is from your solenoid switch. It's on the driver's side fender support. You need to find out if the engine will turn over by hand. Just put a 15/16 socket and breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt and turn clockwise.
 

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Didn't you replace the solenoid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Yes, we replaced the solenoid, along with the starter. Apparently you can't buy one from the Ford place here without the other.

I need to see how the starter is wired and how the starter relay is wired. There were too many hands in the cookie jar, and I have no idea if the wires are where they are supposed to be. It'll be a bit before the Haynes manual gets delivered, and the car is needed for basic point A to B travel now. Do any of you guys have a picture or a diagram of which wires go where?

As of right now, the starter isn't connected to the flywheel, I am just trying to get the plunger to activate in the starter assy. The starter relay is receiving voltage, but it seems like it isn't going anywhere from there, and I've replaced it. So the only thing I can think of is A) the wiring is messed up, B) the wires themselves are bad, or C) I replaced a faulty starter relay with a newer faulty starter relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We hooked the starter up directly to the battery, and the plunger activates, so it isn't the starter or solenoid. It is either the wires leading from the starter relay to the starter, or the relay itself. (although we have replaced it already) We tested the wires and they seem to be good, but we really can't be sure if the relay works correctly unless we know for sure if it is wired up right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, it starts now. I took everything apart, and started from scratch. Turns out the ground for the battery was in the wrong place. I had thought we checked that earlier, twice, but we were wrong. All that effort and it was just as simple as the ground. *bleh*

There is still a draw on the battery when the car is off. The battery drains too low to start it within about 20-30 minutes. I would still like to see if we have it wired correctly to see if the draw is happening because it is hooked up wrong.

Come to think of it, the alarm system might be the cause of it... it looks like it was installed by an autistic monkey. Twisted wires, zip ties, electrical tape, and bypassed fuses. *blehx2*
 
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