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Discussion Starter #1
To start off, I just bought this new t-bird not even two weeks ago, it's a white 96 with the 3.8L. This car was the replacement for my wrecked 97.

Ok so I just went outside to go take my car to take my girlfriend to the moives, and upon starting it, it made this horrid metal to metal (so it seemed) grinding sound. I didn't obviously let it run long enough to know what exactly what it was because of the chance of doing some real bad dammage to it.

So first reaction to this is to shut the car off right away. However, it wouldn't shut off. The ignition was turned off with the key out of it. It kept trying to start it seemed like, and was running so poorly. (mind you this still is with the horrible grinding sound.) I dart across the yard to grab some tools to pull the neg. terminal off of the battery, and cant find any so i just yank the thing off and the car stops. I'm not really sure where to start other than some starter issue. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Sounds like a bad relay/solenoid/ignition switch. First off, try turning your wheels--does the steering wheel hit lockout or is your entire ingition switch stuck in "start"? Some of the wiring gurus will likely jump in to give you some tips on checking the relays/solenoid as applicable. My disclaimer; I'm not knowledgeable on how the wiring to the starter is; I'm basing this off an opposite problem with my old (85) Capri-- the starter would not engage, turned out to be relay.
 

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i had the same thing happen to me a coupe of months ago the starter wouldn't retract the drive gear and the fly wheel was just grinding the crap out of the starter. replaced the starter no more problems. if you can, drain some of the oil and use a magnet in the pan to see if you grenaded the motor. change out the filter and cut it open to see if there is any metal inside. just to be sure
 

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It's just the Ford starter - not so uncommon of a failure.

The contacts in the starter solenoid fuse together and the starter continues to run - grinding away against the flywheel. Worst case would be to dress up the flywheel teeth after removing the starter. It's easy enough to inspect once the starter is out. A new starter and you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah thats what I was starting to suspect, but if I am not mistaken, if the contacts were fused together, wouldn't that mean that anytime the starter got power it would try to kick the car over? It doesn't do this when I put the battery on. I'm thinking it might be the ignition switch itself not telling the contacts to let go. Is that making sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not very savy with the electronics part, how would i go about doing that?

And if it is the switch, do you know how much one is and how difficult it is to replace.
 

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I think the starter stuck.

happens.
 

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Just put a new starter in and hope and pray it didn't damage your flywheel....this happened to me with my Bird. Unfortunately, my wife drove it all the way down the street (she's hard of hearing) before a neighbor waved her down and disconnected the battery terminals. My flywheel looked like a toothless bum!Just MHO, though.
 
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