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  • Not Starting

    Started my 65 Bird today & drove it out of garage & it stalled & I can't get it started. Nothing, no lights etc. Put in a new battery & lights inside on but when I went to start it nothing & no lights again. Don't know where to begin to look to solve this.

  • #2
    Check your main battery leads ARE making full contact with the battery, clean them up where they fit the battery posts and clean the posts up too..

    Make sure the leads are also making contact where they are meant to and haven't broken anywhere - check your earth wire at the motor and body.

    And your positive wire at the solenoid.

    Sounds like the classic case of enough contact until a big load goes on (like when you try to start) and it burns out the contact area.
    A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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    • #3
      Do these cars have a neutral safety switch similar to the Squarebirds? If so try switching to neutral and see if it will turn over - may just be corroded contacts or out of adjustment.

      If you have a voltmeter you can check voltages from the battery to the solenoid then starter etc.

      If all else fails you can bypass the starter solenoid with a jumper cable - clamp one side to the + battery and TOUCH the other side to the starter lead side - should turn unless the starter windings opened up. BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU DO THIS. Make sure the car is in Park, ebrake on etc.

      With no lights though sounds more in line with what scumdog mentioned - good connection for low current like interior lights but as soon as high current flows for the starter that connection opens up - check the grounds too.

      Good luck - let us know how it turns out.
      Eric
      registry 5347

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      • #4
        The ground cable goes from the battery to a bolt and flag near the alternator on the inner apron, then down to the block. They all have to be clean and tight. I bet you find a bad connection in the cables. Good luck, Bob C

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        • #5
          Thanks all. I will check the connections. Probably is one of these because it started fine & then nothing. Will post what I find.

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          • #6
            Sounds like what happen to my '60 a few weeks ago. She started fine, backed her out of the garage, parked her and done some things in the garage. Went out, sometime later, to get her and put her up and nothing. I have a disconnect on the positive side of battery (I know some of you do not like putting them on positive side) and never bother the negative side. I checked the battery with tester, it was OK! Took the cables off and the positive post and cable connector had corroded inside and was not making connection. Cleaned both positive and negative post and cables, reinstalled, add some electrical grease and she fired right up!
            Richard D. Hord
            sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
            Registry #33436

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            • #7
              Hi guys -- I replaced the positive cable & nothing & then I replaced the negative cable to the battery & it started right up. Thanks for all your help, i appreciate it ---- Whitebird

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              • #8
                The members on our forum are super-eager to help. Kudos to all you guys.

                Whitebird, you did well by replacing your cables, but keep the inspection going. How is your ground cable from the engine to the body? It should be a braided strap bolted from the back of your engine to the cowl.

                Consider installing a small/short wire (#10) from your neg battery post to your car body near the battery. (All modern cars do it this way.) - 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?"
                --Lee Iacocca

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                • #9
                  "It should be a braided strap bolted from the back of your engine to the cowl."

                  Nope, not on a flairbird
                  Last edited by redstangbob; September 14th, 2011, 02:40 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Nonetheless, there is a ground strap.

                    Running with one ground wire is like putting all your connections in a big series. You found out, when the ground wire failed, nothing worked in the car. Having a separate body ground makes good sense and it may forewarn you when connections start going bad. These cars are very old. It's amazing they still work as well as they do. - 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?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      Nonetheless, there is a ground strap.

                      Running with one ground wire is like putting all your connections in a big series. You found out, when the ground wire failed, nothing worked in the car. Having a separate body ground makes good sense and it may forewarn you when connections start going bad. These cars are very old. It's amazing they still work as well as they do. - Dave
                      On a Flairbird the ground strap is the negative cable, a long one!.

                      It runs from the battery down to the lower inner fender/'frame' area where it's attached to a bolt that grounds it - then it continues on to the engine block where again it has a bolt grounding it, all one cable.
                      A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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                      • #12
                        After replacing the neg. cable on the battery it starts up fine. Another problem developed -- the amp gauge on the dash is now going like crazy back & forth from D to C. & the lights are flickering including the ones on the dash. Don't know what caused this.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks redstangbob and Scumdog. I got my info from the 1965 Ford Service Manual, but maybe we are talking about the same wire in this case:


                          Originally posted by whitebird View Post
                          After replacing the neg. cable on the battery it starts up fine. Another problem developed -- the amp gauge on the dash is now going like crazy back & forth from D to C. & the lights are flickering including the ones on the dash. Don't know what caused this.
                          This will be more difficult without a lot more information.

                          Sounds like the ammeter is responding to a circuit breaker going on and off (but I cannot be sure without further electrical checks).

                          Listen intently for a clicking sound under the dash or under the hood. Let us know what you found. We had an instance where the license plate lamp holder was shorted to ground and it caused the same kind of symptoms. Check for devices going on and off, or things that just don't work. - 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?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK, sorry my response was meant so Whitebird didn't go looking for a wire that wasn't going to be there. The neg cable leaves the battery post, goes to the top of the frame/apron just to the side of the alternator where it has a flag that is bolted to the unibody. It also has a second wire eyelet that has 2 wires, one goes the the ground post on the alternator, the other enters the harness and travels across the car over the top of the radiator. Make sure you have these ground connections clean and tight. Hope that clears things up. PS, I've found more than a few parts of the shop manual, including pictures, that were just re-used from previous years. In fact there's a picture of the rear brake shoes in the opposite locations, Just Sayin'

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                            • #15
                              The negative cable goes from the battery to the side of the engine. Another cable goes form the solenoid to I think the firewallThe other wires go from the solenoid to the alternator. There is another wire on the new neg. cable but it is short with a connection. It is about 2 1/2 inches long. The old cable didn't have this.

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