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1959 won't turn over

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  • 1959 won't turn over

    i have a 1959 ford thunderbird hardtop with a 352. it has power windows, power driver seat and really nothing else out of the ordinary. i purchased the vehicle about two months ago and the car started just fine. i noticed about a month ago there was some chatter when starting and then progressed to not turning over when i turned the key. with a little persistence i was able to get it started by turning the ignition on and off, but it's at the point now that it won't turn over at all with key. i made a jumper and jumped the relay and the engine turns over, so i'm assuming the starter and drive are working correctly. i replaced the starter solenoid and i get the same result. i noticed when i turn the key, there is a click from a relay on the firewall (passenger side). the click has always been present, not just after i replaced the relay. i should add that the power seat and windows do not work at this time, but did when i received the car. it was however, intermittent on both the seat and windows. i'm at a loss as to what i can do at this point other than change cables and check grounds throughout the system. i also noticed when replacing the starter relay that it was connected backwards from what i was seeing in the manual. (the power and starter cable were reversed) the "i" and "s" were correct. when i replaced the relay i connected according to the manual and it didn't make a difference.

  • #2
    John:
    When you say you jumped the relay, and the starter turned over, I assume you took a jumper from the Bat + to the "S" terminal of the starter relay. If this is correct and it doesn't turn over when you use the ign switch, it would indicate that the starter relay is not getting 12V to engage the relay. I would check the voltage at the relay "S" terminal and see what you get when you use the ign. switch. The ign. switch is fed off of the battery + terminal on the headlight switch. If voltage is low, this area would be a good place to start looking for loose or corroded connections.
    Another quick check is to put a set of jumper cables on the battery to make sure the battery is okay and has enough load to handle any losses in the electrical system to the ign. switch.
    As for the PS and PW's, there is a relay mounted on the firewall that feeds the PW. Also attached to this relay is a 30 Amp circuit breaker for the windows. I have seen that at times when this circuit breaker gets hot from engine heat and the windows will stop working. Usually when the circuit breaker cools down it closes and the windows will work again. Doesn't sound like this is your problem, but I would check the voltage in and out of this relay. As for the PS's, they should have battery voltage at all times which feeds off of the starter relay and is a large yellow wire. This circuit also has a 30 A circuit breaker.
    As a side note, the PW and PS switches get corroded and pitted, just like ign points, and can cause intermittent operation. Cleaning the switches can help that problem. If all 4 windows quit at the same time and don't work, I would check for loss of 12V to the system. Start with the relay on the firewall.
    Nyles

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    • #3
      Try pulling up on the shift lever. If it's not in the correct place it won't engage the neutral switch and the car won't turn over. It's a common problem with Squarebirds. It's also possible that the ignition switch is bad. As Nyles mentioned the click you hear is most likely the power window relay.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #4
        My first thought was MLP, and Joe covered that one.

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        • #5
          Clicking solenoid coils and other coils that simply won't energize are due to the classic symptom of LOW VOLTAGE.

          I'm going to assume your grounds are good but a loose or painted solenoid mounting may also make it click. I will also assume your starter motor is ok because you said it cranks with jumper cables. You never explained WHERE the jumper cables were connected.

          Turn your headlights on and watch their intensity while you crank the starter motor. Tell me what happens... - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
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