1989 starting problems, engine won't turn over. - MustangForums.com



5.0L (1979-1995) Mustang Technical discussions on 5.0 Liter Mustangs within. This does not include the 5.0 from the 2011 Mustang GT. That information is in the 2005-1011 section.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
KEM Motorworks
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Default 1989 starting problems, engine won't turn over.

New to the forum here and coming here for help. I have a 1973 mustang with a 89' 5.0. So I figured your the guys to help. We got the cat a year ago and it was cobbled together but body was too perfect to pass up. Here is what I have goin on. Pulled the engine. It ran when pulled just need to fix/ plug the dipstick hole and clean it up and new pan and cover gaskets. Never took it apart minus intake, pan and dist. When we put it back in it was acting like it was out of time. Played with it for days. Finally got it started and lost spark. The engine has a duraspark system. Went through two ignition boxes, 3 coils, 3 starters, 3 relays, and it still won't start, even turn over with the plugs in it. I did get it started a few times. At one point I put a gun on it and timed it, but as soon as I shut it off and try to start it it acts like it has a dead batt, which I have 2 brand new ones that it does the same thing with and it just won't turn over. We're at a loss. We've tried just about everything even doing away with the ford ign. box and don't the hei module and same problems. Any advise would be great. Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:35 PM   #2
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I saw your other thread but I'm responding to this one since you posted more information here.

It sounds like there may be multiple issues, but since you say it won't turn over, let's start with that.

A no crank condition has only a few possible causes. Either you have a bad starter, or no power going to it, or no signal telling it to engage. Start by making sure you have a good battery, and trace its power all the way to the starter. Check your grounds too and keep an eye out for any connections that need cleaned or replaced.

If the power supply is good, check the ignition switch and its circuit. The switches have a tendency to go bad. If everything checks out but the starter still won't engage, unbolt it and get a new one.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:01 PM   #3
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The starter engaged. It's having one heck of a time turning it over. The starter is good. It's the 3rd good starter doing this. It's almost as if it's out of time but it's not. It's in time. I hooked up a push button starter just to see and it had a good 12+volts going to it and still couldn't turn the engine over with out struggling.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:17 PM   #4
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So the starter and its circuit works, but it's still struggling to turn the engine? Is that right?

Maybe we're not talking about the same thing...

"Turning over" means rotating the crankshaft and everything connected to it. If there is resistance (other than normal compression), it could have a serious internal issue, or the transmission may somehow be in gear.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:25 PM   #5
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Yes. The starter turns the engine over. But it's such a burden it can barely turn it. As if it has a dead batt but it's a brand new batt. I've gotten it to turn over just fine a few times like it should and it starts and runs fine. Turn it off and it struggles even worst to turn it over.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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I would hope the tranny isn't in gear. If so I've got problems. Never thought of that. The drive shaft isn't hooked up so that's possible. I'm not ruling anything out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:39 PM   #7
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You also might want to try pulling the belt off, and checking the other pulleys for resistance.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:42 PM   #8
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Did that Sunday and notta. Didn't help anything. Even tried starting it without the belt and it still struggled.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:33 AM   #9
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I'd pull the plugs and turn motor over by hand, just to narrow this down, and to verify motor will spin freely.

Then as stated above, double check cables and connections. Looking for cuts in sheathing that leads to internal corrosion that can't be seen. A friend at work just had this happen on his project car. A new cable fixed it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:44 AM   #10
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We deleted all the old wires and ran new ones this past sat. Darn near a whole new harness. Even ran a 2 gauge wire to the starter. Even when I put the wire to a fresh batt it hesitates and struggles to turn it over. I hate to admit this but we're mechanics and my dad and myself. He's 60 I'm 40, and we're baffled. Only thing I can think we have not done is loosen the rocker arms and start from there. But what I don't get is when it would start the few times it did, it can very well. We just can't start it.
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