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  • 66 TBird no power

    OK, so I am new here and in need of some help... 66 TBird newly rebuilt... Took out for a drive (10 miles) and everything worked well. Got home and turned the car off - but it did not turn off, it kept running, took the key out, turned it around (usual stuff) put it back in and still ran. Eventually popped the hood and took a wire from the starter solenoid off and it stopped - put the wire back on!
    Put key in the ignition and nothing, no power, no clicking, tried the lights - nothing, battery is fully discharged - dead! Battery is less than 3 years old (Napa top of the line).
    What could have happened to make the engine not turn off and kill my battery so quickly?

    Thanks and look forward to your answers or suggestions...

  • #2
    To further add to it... The car had started normally for several weeks (during testing) before I took it out for it's maiden voyage!

    Comment


    • #3
      As for the car not shutting off it's most likely either the ignition switch or an internal short in the solenoid. If you took one of the small wires off the solenoid and it shut off I suspect a short in the solenoid. The solenoid is only supposed to send power to the coil in the START position. If it's sending power to the coil with the key off then it's definitely bad. As for the battery going dead a shorted solenoid will constantly be sending power to the coil and will eventually kill your battery.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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      • #4
        Hi John, thanks for the info, this is a brand new solenoid from the Bird's Nest (which is literally 150 yards from my house!). I will have to take it back to them and see what they think...
        No other reason for it to go bad so quickly? (solenoid)

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        • #5
          The fact of the matter is that most parts are made in China and their reliability is questionable at best.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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          • #6
            Thanks John, will update the forum with the fixes... Or the next Solutions...
            Thanks again.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it turns out that your solenoid was bad and your battery continues to go dead then I would suspect your alternator. Your car only has an amp meter which isn't as useful has a volt meter in my opinion. Once you get the car running again I would check it with a volt meter to make sure your alternator is putting out the correct voltage.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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              • #8
                If you are not familiar with 64-66 Thunderbirds they are notorious for having problems with the main wiring harness connector on the driver side firewall. They have a tendency to corrode, overheat and sometimes melt the wire insulation and cause shorts and other nasty problems. If none of the obvious things fix your problem I would look there. It's not a bad idea to disconnect it, clean the contacts, check for any obvious damage and put some dielectric grease on it before you put it back together.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                Thunderbird Registry #36223
                jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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                • #9
                  Hi John, so I did replace the starter solenoid, looks like the wires that should have connected to the ‘S’ were in the ‘I’ location... That might have been part of the issue?
                  Charged battery for a couple of days and tested at 13.60amps. Seemed to hold its charge. Started the car and the battery was charging at 14.45amps - so that would indicate that the alternator should be good...

                  On another note, I rechecked the timing on the car with a strobe and was at 10’ (During normal idle) not really sure where it is supposed to be, it has a pertronix D134630 installed with pertronix ignition coil as well. I did note that when the revs were increased the timing looked like it remained at 10’ - was always under the impression that it should increase .
                  The engine does sound like it may be misfiring as the revs do fluctuate slightly (maybe 100 - 200 +/-). See if I can attach a vid! Looks like a no go on the vid...
                  Thanks for your input- never been on a community forum where you get the answers SO quick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know if having the wires swapped on the solenoid makes a difference. There's shouldn't be any voltage on either of those terminals in normal operation with the key off.

                    I agree that the alternator seems to be fine.

                    The standard timing is 6 degrees but advancing it to 10 degrees is fairly normal. The only issue might be some pinging with regular gas. Did you check the timing with the vacuum advance disconnected and plugged toward the carburetor. That should always be done when setting timing. It's always a good idea to reconnect the vacuum advance and check again. You should see it advance well past 10 degrees. If it doesn't then your vacuum advance unit is probably bad. Misfiring can also be a sign of a bad vacuum advance.

                    John
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                    Thunderbird Registry #36223
                    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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                    • #11
                      Hi John, yes I did plug the tube to the carb...I’ll have to check it again... this pertronix kit is new so should not be any issues with the vacuum advance system...
                      Gas is premium...
                      Hey, thanks for all your diagnostic help! I am sure there is more to come...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Paul, the posting of pix and videos can be posted on our Forum IF you are a Paid Member. Paid membership is $20yr, payable via Pay Paul, the link to which is at the top of the Forum in the Green banner. For additional information regarding Paid Membership and the advantages you get, go to the top of the Forum to the Announcements section and click on Membership Benefits And Webspace Information. The details are laid out there for you. Paid memberships are what keeps this Forum going. Without them to pay the bills, this Forum would have died years ago... An alternative to posting pix, as detailed in the New Members Welcoming to you when you joined, is to use a free photo hosting program like Photobucket, and post the link to your pix. Or you can send them to John or I to post for you. Should you rather not go the Paid Membership route, if the video clip is small enough, try emailing it to me. I will send you a Private Message with my email address in it.

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

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