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Speed Density/Carb/SSP section This section is for the Speed Density or Carb vehicles, as well as Special Service Package 'Stangs

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Old 01-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
docOB

 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Vehicle: 1990 Ford Mustang
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Angry Starter spinning, not engaging

I have a 1990 four cylinder to 302 conversion. Bought it with the battery in the trunk, but got annoyed with the slow cranking that happened approximately 30% of the time. Moved the batter back under the hood. First two times I cranked it, it worked fine. The next morning, I went to start it and the starter is spinning but not engaging. Here's the rub. I replaced the starter, I replaced the solenoid, I replaced the battery, I've run new cables (both positive and negative) and it still does the same thing. The only thing I can think is that it's a problem with not being grounded. I used a voltmeter and when I engage the starter, 11.3 volts are going to the starter. I have wrapped both the starter cable and the positive cable with the plastic insulator. On my 1987, there is a bracket with rubber in it that the starter cable goes through that is bolted to the motor, but I don't have that in this car. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm at wit's end here. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:34 AM   #2
dawson1112
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If the starter is spinning but not engaging the fly wheel , then it is a problem with the starter drive bendix , gear or flywheel missing teeth.

If this is a manual gearbox car put the car in gear and rock it back and forth a few times then try and hit the starter. If its an auto trans , you can put a breaker bar on the crank and rotate the engine a little the try and crank it. If its the fly wheel this will move the section with bad teeth on it and it may engage then.

FYI there are tons of guys running there battery in the trunk with no problems as long as the ground is connected properly and the cables are the correct gauge.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:20 AM   #3
docOB

 
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Dawson,

Thanks for the help...I've push started the car twice and it works fine. My next step is to take out the starter and check the teeth on the flywheel and get another starter to see if that solves it. The problem is that both the old starter (which was less than a year old) and the new starter are doing the same thing. I'm wondering if it's because I'm not using a 'grounding strap" which stock vehicles have that the cable to the starter runs through. the problem is that the dealership doesn't sell a grounding strap for a 23 year old car and parts places won't have it. So I'm going to have to go to a couple of boneyards to see if they have one (or make one).

in regards to the battery being in the trunk, everyone I've talked to has had the same "slow cranking" problem. I think it has to do with the length of the power cable to the trunk, but I'm guessing the guys that don't have any problems are running a HUGE cable? Both my mustangs with the battery in the trunk turned over slow and messed up the starter. Thanks so much for your post, I appreciate it.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:42 PM   #4
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just go to autozone and buy a battery cable with two ring ends bolt one side to the block and the other side to the frame...
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:06 AM   #5
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rmodel65,

Great minds must think alike, because that was one of the first things I did. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to pull the starter and have it bench tested this weekend. I'm hoping that they sold me a bad starter. If it's not the starter but a grounding problem, I don't know what the heck I'm going to do.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docOB View Post
rmodel65,

Great minds must think alike, because that was one of the first things I did. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to pull the starter and have it bench tested this weekend. I'm hoping that they sold me a bad starter. If it's not the starter but a grounding problem, I don't know what the heck I'm going to do.
sounds like you are not getting enough amperage to the big starter , my suggestion is you invest in a mini starter for your setup, its high efficient-low amps and produces more torque,btw the 5.0 chassis is NOT A GOOD GROUND,I use to have my radio turn itself off until running a ground directly to battery
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aode08 View Post
sounds like you are not getting enough amperage to the big starter , my suggestion is you invest in a mini starter for your setup, its high efficient-low amps and produces more torque,btw the 5.0 chassis is NOT A GOOD GROUND,I use to have my radio turn itself off until running a ground directly to battery
After all the consternation, it was a bad starter. I took off the starter and had it bench tested and the gear was not engaging the flywheel. This was a BRAND NEW starter (and the second I've had on the car from Autozone in the past six months). aod08, I'm going to get one of the mini-starters just so my mind is at ease. The employee at AutoZone told me (when the manager was out of earshot) "We get 3-4 starters returned everyday, I wouldn't put one of these pieces of garbage on my car." Lesson learned.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:02 AM
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302 conversion, starter, wiring problem

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