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Mustang II Section The more economy minded, compact Mustangs which were offered from 1974-1978

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Old 03-18-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
Gregski
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Default Shouldn't the starter spin connected to battery

OK, I don't have a starter solenoid, the starter is on the engine and I hook up the negative from a good battery to the engine block as my ground, and I tap the positive battery cable aligator clamp on the positive bolt on the starter and it won't spin, why?

I thought it should spin and it just won't engage the fly wheel because there is no starter solenoid to make it move the gear forward.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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It should engage and spin if power is applied to the input stud and the unit is grounded.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
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thank your for reading, your advice, and help

in case something was binding, i decided to take the starter off the engine, then I had the bright idea of using a battery charger set to "Engine Start" to try and get it to spin, that did not work

since i couldn't spin the gear by hand both ways, I decided to take the starter apart inspect the brushes and clean it up a bit with electronic parts cleaner, battery cleaner for the corosion, and trusty WD40, after I cleaned it I could now spin it by hand

I tried the battery charger trick again and it still did not work, so I started my truck and hooked up jumper cables to it and hooked up the negative to the core, and tapped the positive on the side bolt, this made a few small sparks and still did not spin the starter

remember I am doing this to learn first, to do it right the first time is option two, plus I don't have much money to spend on this

tomorrow morning I will take it in to AutoZone and have them bench test it for me, I may pick up a brush kit for $15 bucks to learn how to rebuild a starter, I know what used brushes look like now, so if the new ones look in much better condition I will buy them

I'm learning and I'm having fun, got any ideas for me?

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Old 03-20-2010, 04:19 AM   #4
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Yes, that should work. The solenoid just controls power to the cable stud. If you use a pair of jumper cables to a battery - or the charger on start - it should operate normally. Meaning that the gear should kick out, and the motor should spin.

Your brushes should work right up to the point that they don't exist any more. So if you cleaned yours and it still doesn't work, that's not the problem. New brushes would be wasted money.

Rebuild kits and parts are hard to come by, and expensive. This is America, and everything is disposable. Have the guy at Autozone bench test it, and then buy a rebuilt one.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Took my old starter to Auto Zone today and had them test it. It ran great very strong. So it is good and I don't need a new starter. Now I don't know what the hell is going on. Someone pointed out that maybe using battery jumper cables I'm not making a good enough connection, well the machine at Auto Zone uses aligator clamps that are even smaller than the massive ones on my jumper cables and it works great. My friend works there and he showed me how he was hooking it up, basically the exact same way as I was at home.

I came home and took the battery out of my truck and put it on my garage floor, that way I could make a better connection on the top terminal posts without going over the existing terminals and things getting in the way. This time the starter spun slowly but the bendix did not jump forward.

I tried putting my battery charger on the battery set on AUTO START (as in boost the amps to start the car) and from there I ran the jumper cables to the starter and still the starter barely spun.

This is driving me crazy my dad and I used to test starters on the garage floor or in the appartment parking lot with our foot on them and they went zooom way fast, what the heck is up with this one.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #6
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You know the starter works, you saw it on the test stand. The question is, why doesn't it run on the garage floor or in the car.

One of the biggest problems with cars like these (old and well enjoyed) is poor grounds in the electrical system. The starter grounds through flange where it's bolted to the bellhousing. It's doesn't look so good in the picture. My first step would be to use a wire wheel and clean it really well.

If the battery is good (did you have your friend test that, too?), then it could be a bad ground cable or connection. Cables can corrode underneath the insulation.

You might also consider adding an extra ground strap with #2 or #4 cable from the battery connection to a starter bolt.

Is there something wrong with your starter cables?

Connect the battery charger to the battery, and then use jumper cables from the battery to the starter on the garage floor. That should simulate actual in car conditions.
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default IT WORKS

So I went to a junk yard where I bought some battery cables among other things. I cleaned the heck out of the cables and bolted them on to the battery terminals and bolted the positive cable to the bolt on the starter. Then I tapped the neggative cable to the starter housing and whalla it spins like mad and the bendix jumps forward. I owe a beer to the guys who kept saying you must have a good connection and the battery cables may not be enough. Guys thank you very much for all your help this will be the last of this post I promise. Feels good to learn something and have it work.

See the picture of the Poor Man's Starter Bench Test Setup:

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Old 04-04-2010, 11:57 AM   #8
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Sweet. I love it when a plan comes together.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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Good to see you got it going but a little advice on rebuilding parts. I have gone the cheap route and rebuilt it. Worked great at first but not much fun when you are lying on your back in a out of state parking lot replacing it with very basic tools. Now i will just buy a rebuilt. Not worth the hassle plus you get a gaurantee
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:01 PM
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