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  1. #26
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudgepondexpress View Post
    My goodness that trigger wire is flimsy! Please either extend the wire and route it cleanly, or at least put a new end on it. Looks like it is hanging by one or two strands...

    Probably not your issue but it still takes a few amps to trigger the solenoid.

    Kenny
    Yes. It does look like a potential point of resistance, which could cause the solenoid to jump in and out. Could contribute to it sticking.
    Simpler to replace than test. To test it set your VOM to DC voltage and place a lead on each opposite side of the connection, then have a helper turn the key. More than tiny fraction of a volt on the meter will indicate excess resistance at the tested point.

  2. #27

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    That too few strands making contact thing is what sent us to tuning jail on our 7.5L F250 pulling rig.

    Swapped the connectors and it cured the problem.

    Different wire, different problem. It was the ignition’s electronic advance in that case but the damn thing wouldn’t get out of its own damn way. Swapped that one connector and it came back to life again. Pulls **** down the road sideways again and completely does not give a **** about hills — at all

  3. #28
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    Back in the day I would touch a suspect connection (yes, ouch!) to see if it was getting hot, the heat being caused by resistance. Oh how happy i was to get a meter.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudgepondexpress View Post
    My goodness that trigger wire is flimsy! Please either extend the wire and route it cleanly, or at least put a new end on it. Looks like it is hanging by one or two strands...

    Probably not your issue but it still takes a few amps to trigger the solenoid.
    Thanks Kenny! Well, it isn't as bad as the picture looks. The connector was bent in such a way that it really looked like just a strand was connected, but I double checked and assure you it has a very solid connection to all the copy in the wire.

    That said, I agree, the wire itself looks a little flimsy.

    The wire from the solenoid trigger diappears into the harness after about 10 inches, so what should I replace if I want to beef it up? Do I just replace that portion I can access with heavier gauge and use a butt connector ?

    Thanks!
    -Eric

  5. #30

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    Ok, I am still having "hard start" issues. It actually does turn over and actually does start 99% of the time, but it usually sounds terrible in the process. Not always, sometimes it sounds perfectly normal. Especially after it has been sitting and everything has cooled down it seems...then it always cranks perfectly on the first try with no weird noises. But after things are warm, it sounds terrible when I start it... but usually does at least start. There have been a couple times that it didn't start, but after removing the key, waiting a good bit, and then cranking again it would start.

    So I got out my multimeters and started taking some readings.

    I am posting the videos here.

    In the first video, the reading on the left was just showing the reading between the positive battery terminal and the engine block. For the reading on the right I had the probes on the battery ground terminal and the solenoid trigger terminal. And then I used the key to crank the car a few times.
    VIDEO #1: https://youtu.be/Ij_xme5Epvw

    In the second video, the reading on the left was still just showing the reading between the positive battery terminal and the engine block. For the reading on the right I had one probe on the battery ground terminal and for the other probe I disconnected the solenoid trigger wire and attached the probe to the end of the trigger wire. Then I fully turned the key a few times. Of course, since I had the trigger wire disconnected from the solenoid for this second video, it doesn't actually crank but you can see the readings when I turn the key.
    VIDEO #2: https://youtu.be/0Nsqh5YveH0

    One thing to call out, I had the clutch safety switch (under dash by clutch pedal) bypassed during both of these videos/test readings.

    Really appreciating the suggestions and insights... thanks!
    -Eric
    Last edited by eric; 08-26-2018 at 02:13 AM.

  6. #31

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    Try this: start it in neutral without depressing the clutch. Then try it again in neutral with the clutch depressed. Any change in sound? You are right, it sounds horrible! I would be looking at a worn ring gear, broken starter nose cone, loose flywheel. Maybe, just maybe an old manual starter in there... In this generation, autos and manuals used the same starter... Previously, the manual had a deeper nose cone.

    Keep trying!
    Last edited by mudgepondexpress; 08-26-2018 at 09:37 PM.

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudgepondexpress View Post
    Try this: start it in neutral without depressing the clutch. Then try it again in neutral with the clutch depressed. Any change in sound? You are right, it sounds horrible! I would be looking at a worn ring gear, broken starter nose cone, loose flywheel. Maybe, just maybe an old manual starter in there... In this generation, autos and manuals used the same starter... Previously, the manual had a deeper nose cone.
    Thanks, it's interesting because if I just put the car in neutral (with clutch pedal safety switch bypassed) and start the car without pressing down the clutch it seems to work fine with no noises. What could that mean? In other words, it seems to make the noise when I have the clutch pedal depressed while starting, but does not make the noise if I start without the clutch pedal depressed.

    Man, I was bummed... I didn't go to the LMR Cruise In on Saturday because of this issue!!! It is 150 miles drive for me, which wouldn't have phased me at all but since I have been having this darn starting issue I didn't want to take a chance of getting stranded that far away from home. I really wanted to go too! Next year I guess.

  8. #33
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    I have seen the clutch safety switch circuit burn on an ECU many times before, it's normally caused from inappropriate O2 harnesses, as an auto harness has the signal returned grounded through the neutral safety switch, manual o2 harness through clutch safety switch. Mind you, this has mostly been on 87+, not sure if 86 has the same possible problems. Have you done any O2 harness work lately or has the harness been swapped in the past? You could always pull the ECU and inspect the signal return circuit as well.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  9. #34
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=eric;1889219]Thanks, it's interesting because if I just put the car in neutral (with clutch pedal safety switch bypassed) and start the car without pressing down the clutch it seems to work fine with no noises. What could that mean? In other words, it seems to make the noise when I have the clutch pedal depressed while starting, but does not make the noise if I start without the clutch"
    Throw out bearing? The ones Ford put on medium duty trucks some years back sounded like a rock bouncing around in a metal bucket, even when new.

  10. #35

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    That would be my guess also... the tranny snout, throw out bearing, clutch plate (springs) and pressure plate should all be inspected, but I'll bet it is the throw-out bearing.

    Kenny

  11. #36
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    I wonder if it could bring about the failure to crank at times. Could be an additional problem in the electrical system, or maybe something loose in the bell housing moving around like the old sailor's "loose cannon on deck", and occasionally jamming up the works.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by SECESH View Post
    I wonder if it could bring about the failure to crank at times. Could be an additional problem in the electrical system, or maybe something loose in the bell housing moving around like the old sailor's "loose cannon on deck", and occasionally jamming up the works.
    So I have just been driving it daily. The only thing I am doing differently is NOT pressing the clutch when starting the car. In other words, it is just in neutral with the parking brake on (and the clutch safety switch is still bypassed of course). Over the past few days and at least 12 starts (or more) it hasn't made any weird noise or hiccuped once!! It really seems to have something to do with starting the car while the clutch is engaged.

    Next I am going to start it WITH the clutch pedal depressed and see if the noise/hiccups return consistently...everything else staying the same.

    The other weird thing is that less than two years ago I had a complete clutch replacement, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing, retainer, new fly-wheel, rear main seal, new fork and pivot stud, new bearing retainer...and a new clutch of course...and even a new bellhousing spacer plate all done at the some time.
    And since then I have keep my hands off the shifter unless I am actually shifting, and I have been driving the car in a pretty tame way to be honest.
    So it would just surprise me if any of those new parts, such as the throw-out bearing or flywheel, would already be causing an issue.

    I am hoping maybe it is just a bad mating up of the starter gear and the flywheel, or something with the new starter itself.

  13. #38

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    If I have a weird issue or new parts, I beat the crap out of the car when I don't need it. I like to give every thing a good beating before I need it...
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  14. #39
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
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    If, with the clutch pedal up, no unusual noises occur, then I think the ring gear and starter pinion are OK. When the clutch pedal is depressed the pressure plate is levered away from contact with the disk. The throw out bearing contacts the fingers on the p plate, and it requires a lot of force to move it against its springs.
    It has been a very long time since I did a clutch on a Mustang. I don't recall if there's any removable cover at the bottom front of the bell housing. I don't think so. Some of the tractors have them.
    Married to the same Mustang since 03/29/82

  15. #40

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    just giving an update.

    I haven't changed anything, just keep driving it and seeing what the behavior seems to be triggered by.

    Here's the update:

    - As long as i put the gear in neutral and do not press clutch in ( safety switch bypasses still ) - it doesn't have any issue or noise starting 99% of time. However, this is not completely fool proof. It has made the funny ticking/clicking noise a few times but continued to start.

    - If I press the clutch pedal in, it usually DOES make the ticking/clicking noise. Not all the time, but about 90% of the time.

    So it seems to definitely have some connection some way to when the clutch pedal is depressed vs. not depressed during starting.

    Also, yesterday i filled up with gas at a 7-11. After pumping, when I started it I pressed in the clutch pedal out of habit and it clicked a little but started up fine. Then I drove up 50 feet to the storefront and stopped, ran in and got a couple things, and came back out 5 minutes later. When I tried to start it, NOTHING. Silence.

    So I let it sit a bit (maybe 5 more minutes), tried again. Silence/nothing.
    Tried with clutch pedal pressed down. Nothing.
    Took out the key, put it back in. Nothing/silence.
    Gave the key/ignition a good wiggle and turning it back an forth a few times. Nothing/silence.
    Then I put the shifter into reverse ( it had been sitting in free/neutral center position through all of the above) and then pressed the clutch pedal in during the next start attempt. This time it did a quick little hiccup like it was about to try to turn over, but quickly just stopped and went silent again.
    Then I tried releasing the parking brake (I was on a very very slight backwards slope) with the car still in reverse gear. So it kind of moved a little/lunged under the weight of the car backward while still in reverse, just a little bit. Then I put the park brake back on.
    Next I put the gear shift back into neutral.
    Started right up (without clutch pedal pressed in) with no funny noise or hesitation whatsoever.

    Since then I've started it several more times (always in neutral without pressing the clutch pedal) and it is been fine without any noises.

    I hope that all makes sense. I am trying to share these nuances of the behavior.

    -Eric

  16. #41

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    I think it's time for you to bypass the neutral safety switch all together there's one on the pedal and another one on the transmission on the T5 cover plate. Sounds like to me you have an intermittent wiring problem or maybe a bad sensor that's occasionally getting stuck in mud in gear division instead of neutral and occasionally pops out when you wiggle stuff around
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    I think it's time for you to bypass the neutral safety switch all together there's one on the pedal and another one on the transmission on the T5 cover plate. Sounds like to me you have an intermittent wiring problem or maybe a bad sensor that's occasionally getting stuck in mud in gear division instead of neutral and occasionally pops out when you wiggle stuff around
    Thanks, I'll try that... and that would make a lot of sense.
    Does that need to be bypassed as open or closed? I mean, can I just unplug the connector going into the switch? Or does it need to be shorted some way to close the circuit (like I did for the clutch pedal switch bypass)?

    -Eric

  18. #43

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    Ok, I disconnected the neutral safety sensor on the transmission just by unplugging the pigtail connector.

    Since then I have started the car (with and without pressing the clutch pedal ) several times and so far it has started flawlessly and without any clicks/hiccups of any kind. Even if I start, turn-off, and then start again without waiting more than a few seconds.

    Previously I would definitely get some clicking/hiccups after starting it that many times, and especially without waiting a good bit in between starts.

    So this SEEMS to be on to something.

    Of course now my idle holds at a little higher RPM which I am sure is related to disconnecting that neutral sensor.

    What would I need to do then to replace it ? I see LMR sells a replacement part for $39.
    Is that all I would need to do is wrench off the old one and wrench in the new one, plug it in and go?
    And if so... is that feasible from under the car (on a floor jack) without disassembling anything else?
    I can reach up and grab the "nut" where the sensor screws into the top of the transmission housing, but it seems pretty tight in that area. Not sure how I'd go about getting a wrench on it from underneath.

    Thanks for the continued suggestions!

    -Eric

  19. #44

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    Didn't notice in the posts whether or not you replaced the ground cable(s) or not. FORD ground cables can wreak all sorts of havoc if they have high resistance in the cable itself, or where it connects to the motor. I can't remember whether the Foxes had 2 separate ground cables with one to the engine/trans and one to the unibody. If the engine/trans isn't grounded properly to the body all sorts or weird things can happen, even using clutch or shift cables in so-equipped cars as a ground.

    You mention the trans had been out to replace the clutch assembly and machine the flywheel. If there is oil, dirt, or corrosion present between the engine block where it connects to the bellhousing and spacer, between the mounting place for the starter to the trans even in the bolt holes or the bolts themselves to the starter. All of these things together or one alone can cause weird electrical gremlins with the start or charging system.

    There is a very real possibility that you have 2 issues here. One being the noise you hear in the clutch, clutch cover assembly, throwout bearing/fork, or pilot bearing. In certain instances if the bellhousing is not mounted squarely to the engine block, the transmission input shaft centered exactly to the pilot bearing, failures in the input shaft/headgear, clutch assembly, or flywheel can result. This may account for the weird noises when starting up, clutch pedal in or out.

    Electrical issues caused by missing or poor ground cables have been known to use the clutch cable or shift cable as ground for the body to drivetrain. Cables galling, sticking in the sleeve or breaking may result, and as the deteriorate the ground it provides deteriorates as well. I've seen this on other vehicles before, not sure if the Fox body clutch cable is situated to where it could be used as ground. This typically happens when a numb nuts ham fister has been under the hood, hacking on the car, leaving parts off, loose, or not properly attached.

    Sorry about the longish list of possibles to ponder. They come from 30 years of finding the craziest possible reasons for hard to find problems that have been in several peoples hands without resolution.. other than draining the owners pockets along the way

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    Ok, I disconnected the neutral safety sensor on the transmission just by unplugging the pigtail connector.

    Since then I have started the car (with and without pressing the clutch pedal ) several times and so far it has started flawlessly and without any clicks/hiccups of any kind. Even if I start, turn-off, and then start again without waiting more than a few seconds.

    Previously I would definitely get some clicking/hiccups after starting it that many times, and especially without waiting a good bit in between starts.

    So this SEEMS to be on to something.

    Of course now my idle holds at a little higher RPM which I am sure is related to disconnecting that neutral sensor.

    What would I need to do then to replace it ? I see LMR sells a replacement part for $39.
    Is that all I would need to do is wrench off the old one and wrench in the new one, plug it in and go?
    And if so... is that feasible from under the car (on a floor jack) without disassembling anything else?
    I can reach up and grab the "nut" where the sensor screws into the top of the transmission housing, but it seems pretty tight in that area. Not sure how I'd go about getting a wrench on it from underneath.

    Thanks for the continued suggestions!

    -Eric
    The switch on the top cover of the T-5 transmission has NOTHING to do with the starter circuit. It is NOT part of the starting circuit. The only safety switch on the starter circuit is the Clutch Safety Switch (CSS) mounted on the clutch pedal that you have already bypassed. The switch on the top cover of the T-5 is the Neutral Gear Switch (NGS) and only used to signal the PCM. The switch is operated by a small pin and a cam on the shift rail inside the top cover and is CLOSED in neutral and OPEN in all forward gears and reverse. In the CLOSED position is connects PCM pin 46 (NGS) to PCM pin 30 (SIGRTN). The PCM uses this signal - along with input from the VSS - to select proper idle and idle-down (dashpot) strategy. That is why you are having idling issue with it disconnected. Plug it back it - it is not the source of your issues.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul1958; 10-08-2018 at 05:41 PM. Reason: forgot 'reverse'

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul1958 View Post
    The switch on the top cover of the T-5 transmission has NOTHING to do with the starter circuit. It is NOT part of the starting circuit. The only safety switch on the starter circuit is the Clutch Safety Switch (CSS) mounted on the clutch pedal that you have already bypassed. The switch on the top cover of the T-5 is the Neutral Gear Switch (NGS) and only used to signal the PCM. The switch is operated by a small pin and a cam on the shift rail inside the top cover and is CLOSED in neutral and OPEN in all forward gears and reverse. In the CLOSED position is connects PCM pin 46 (NGS) to PCM pin 30 (SIGRTN). The PCM uses this signal - along with input from the VSS - to select proper idle and idle-down (dashpot) strategy. That is why you are having idling issue with it disconnected. Plug it back it - it is not the source of your issues.
    Thanks! That's a great explanation and makes a lot of sense.

    But here's the thing, since I disconnected the NGS, the car starts perfectly every time without any clicking sounds, whether I press in the clutch pedal or not (with the CSS still bypassed). I have driven it over a week now this way and it is starting 100% consistently. Even starting, turning off, starting, turning off, several times in frequent succession. No problems.

    Tomorrow I will reconnect the NGS and see what happens. I am tired of the idle constantly surging anyway with the NGS disconnected!

    -Eric

  22. #47

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    Just giving an update.

    I reattached the NGS sensor at the T5 about a week ago.

    Still starting fine.

    There have been 2 or 3 times that it made some "ticking/clicking" sound again since then, but it always started quickly even with the sounds.

    The clutch pedal (CSS) safety is still bypassed, so I have been trying different combinations of things when I start each time. Some times in neutral without pressing the clutch pedal, some times in neutral with pressing clutch pedal, some times in 1st and pressing clutch pedal, some times in reverse and pressing clutch pedal, etc. While it is starting fine/quickly in all those combinations, it seems the times where the clicking/ticking sound is more common is when I press in the clutch pedal.

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