Close



Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    Default 1986 5.0 starting issue - clicking - stumped!

    I'm stumped! I've read all the threads here about starting issues and I've tried everything but I am still getting this clicking sound.

    I have a 86 Mustang GT, all stock set up. I've actually owned the car since it was new, and I drive it daily. So I know the behavior of the car very well.

    A couple weeks ago it started making a clicking sound when cranking it up. It has never done this before.

    It is NOT the really fast/constant clicking like a dead battery.

    It is slower and not as many clicks, and more irregular. And sometimes it does it and sometimes it doesn't.
    Sometimes it might only click once or twice (or none), but other times it clicks a bunch. Very inconsistent.

    Anyway...

    The battery checked out as good, so (in order of what I tried)...

    - I replaced the solenoid (with a new motorcraft). Still clicks
    - I replaced the ignition switch/connector in the steering column. Still clicks
    - I replaced the cable to the starter. Still clicks
    - I replaced the starter itself. Still clicks!

    I figured well hell, there is nothing left at this point other than the battery! right?

    - So I replaced the battery too. STILL CLICKS! wtf?

    I am stumped. New battery, new starter, new solenoid, new cable, new ignition switch. Still clicks.

    I attached a link to video/audio so you can hear it.

    What else could it be?

    https://youtu.be/7gk96cUAayg

    Thanks!
    -Eric

  2. #2

    Default

    Eric, did you post the wrong video? I cant hear any clicking and your motor started?

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Program5 View Post
    Eric, did you post the wrong video? I cant hear any clicking and your motor started?
    yes, that's the correct video/audio. It is hard to hear.

    I'll get a better recording, but if you turn up the volume you can hear the clicks I am talking about. It isn't "right" or "normal" that's for sure!

    Yes, the engine did start. It still starts 99% of the time.

    However, I have had a couple times that it did not start. But then started later.


    I just listened to video/audio again and it sounds more like a pop in the audio. In "real life" there is more of a click to it as well. But in the video you here it as pop... pop-pop-pop and then it starts.
    Last edited by eric; 08-08-2018 at 08:13 AM. Reason: add info

  4. #4

    Default

    Just double checking, you replaced the following component, and also made sure that the new one was aligned correctly:




    If so, my suggestion is to get two cheap voltmeters (under $10 at walmart).
    Use jumper wires.
    Use your phone to recorded the meters and the sound.
    You want one voltmeter connected to the ignition-switch/relay-trigger.
    You want the second voltmeter connected to the starter terminal.

    My guess is that the ignition-switch/relay-trigger wire is doing the clicking. Maybe some rust on the push on terminal?

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
    FEP User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    south-central WY
    Posts
    52

    Default

    My hearing is not very good, too much tinnitus. What I heard:

    The warbling whir of the starter.

    Some random sounds which I would call "clunks" as the engine started to fire. Sounded more mechanical than electrical.

    Then the engine idling.

    If you haven't already, trying listening/watching under the hood while somebody else cranks it.
    -OR-
    In park or neutral, parking brake set, wheels blocked, ignition off, crank it via the solenoid. Does the noise occur?

    Repeat this test with the ignition on, listen and watch as the engine rocks on its mounts as it starts to fire. Does the noise occur?


    Edit: My browser does not play well with this forum, should have been more blank lines between sentences.
    Last edited by darkd0r; 08-09-2018 at 12:26 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    That was a good post.

    I had one car I bought cheap, guy told me it had a new starter battery and flywheel, but wouldn't let me drive it when I looked at it. He left it running the whole time. Drove it home, and the next time I went to start it up, the starter stuck on.

    The solinoid was bad. After replacing the solenoid, it used to make random clicking that sounded like the solenoid to me. Fast forward a year or two till I got it running. Starter was spinning but wouldn't engage. Pulled thw starter out, and there were teeth missing off the flywheel
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stangPlus2Birds View Post
    Just double checking, you replaced the following component, and also made sure that the new one was aligned correctly:
    Yes, I replaced that component (ignition switch) in the steering column. And I made sure it was aligned right.
    The behavior was the same before and after I replaced this part.

    Quote Originally Posted by stangPlus2Birds View Post
    My guess is that the ignition-switch/relay-trigger wire is doing the clicking. Maybe some rust on the push on terminal?
    Where exactly do you think rust could be causing the issue? You say "the push on terminal"... I am not sure exactly what you mean by that.

    I really appreciate the advice!

    Thanks!
    -Eric

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    Starter was spinning but wouldn't engage. Pulled thw starter out, and there were teeth missing off the flywheel
    Were the missing teeth on the starter side ( inside the starter ) or on the side mating up to the starter?

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darkd0r View Post
    What I heard:
    The warbling whir of the starter.
    Some random sounds which I would call "clunks" as the engine started to fire. Sounded more mechanical than electrical.
    Then the engine idling.
    Yeah, I need to get a better recording of it then I guess because that really isn't what it sounds like. All that clunking and stuff you are talking about was just me jostling around inside the car and I reached over and turned off the AC control (click click) before turning the key.

    Once I turn the key, it is a very distinct and irregular clicking sound while the starter is engaging. It sounds very much to be coming from the left of the steering wheel just beyond the dash/firewall... perhaps even inside the cabin? This makes me think the actual sound itself is coming from the solenoid (which I also replaced with a new motorcraft part).

    After the car starts it seems to purr like a kitten.

    And to me it doesn't sound like anything mechanical (clunking or pinging, etc.).

    Let me try to get a better recording later today and post again.

    Thanks!

  10. #10

    Default

    Are your starter bolts tight?

    Is your solenoid properly fastened so itís grounded?

    is your ground solid?

    are your cables all good?


    I had a starter one time with a cracked housing. It would never crank if you turned the key but short the solenoid crank pin to the battery lead and it would crank every time.

    the fix was a new starter once I noticed the crack

  11. #11
    FEP User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    south-central WY
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I don't always communicate well! My post was meant to relate what I heard in chronological order beginning with the sound of the starter. To recap:

    The sound of the starter,

    followed by the sound of the starter plus "mystery noises",

    followed by the sound of the engine idling.

    I ignored the random clicking that occurred before the sound of the starter. If my understanding of the situation is wrong, please let me know.

    A better recording would be good, as would a recording from the engine compartment. The structure of a car can transmit sounds quite a distance from where they actually occur.

  12. #12

    Default

    Ok, here's the latest update...

    After the following:
    - new solenoid
    - new ignition switch
    - new starter
    - new starter cable
    - new battery
    - new battery terminal clamps (on both pos and neg battery cables)

    Still getting the "clicking" or "popping" sound (depending on what you want to call it).
    And, the starter has "hung" engaged about 4 times, where it keeps going even after removing the key and only way to make it stop is to disconnect the battery.

    I took it to a mechanic, and they said the solenoid must be welding (shorting), so they replaced the solenoid again!

    After that, it still had the issue and the starter stuck "engaged" a few more times, even with key removed.

    Mechanic said at that point it must be something with a ground somewhere, so they checked every ground.

    They thought they had found the issue because a ground cable was grounded to the timing cover (aluminum) instead of to the block.
    So they moved that ground to the block, and checked all the other grounds as well.

    After that, they declared it fixed and I was really happy.

    Started fine (no clicking/pops) and I drove it home.
    Turned it off.

    Waited a bit, and started it again... clicks and pops again !

    I am really worried mainly that the starter will "stick" engaged again, so I put a kill-switch connection on my negative battery terminal. This way if it sticks again I know I can very quickly disconnect the battery at least.

    But I still want to fix this issue. Having a starter that wants to "stick" engaged is very unsettling!

    I talked to mechanic on the phone. He suggested I try temporarily disconnecting the clutch pedal switch (the safety switch that only let's you start the car if the clutch is pressed). I guess this makes sense that if that switch is going bad or has a short or is loose or something, it could be introducing these hiccups during starting. He said if I bypass that clutch switch and it doesn't have the issue or noise for a few days, then I have found the problem.

    So I'll be trying that next.

    Any other suggestions in the mean time... let me know.

    Oh, and here is another recording I made from under the hood. Unfortunately, it still doesn't really sound like what I am hearing in "real life". But you can hear the clicks if you listen closely. You can definitely hear it on the second start better than the first in the recording.
    https://youtu.be/YtP7rmjNbtQ

    -Eric
    Last edited by eric; 08-11-2018 at 04:23 PM.

  13. #13

    Default

    Any other symptoms? Does the clutch feel abnormal? There is a thrust bearing in the motor that located the crank front to rear. If itís failing it will cause starter spacing issues. Often also clutch disengagement changes too

    ring with the gear on the flywheel can move around and cause trouble too.


    I had a flywheel turned once and the machinist didnít get it locked square before they resurfaced it. The Center section of the clutch gradually started to deteriorate and the metal eventually broke. First one portion then another. It clicked at startup

    eventually the clutch disc broke entirely

    resurfaced the flywheel square this time. New clutch. No more clicking

    Ive seen loose bolts on the pressure plate and the flywheel cause such noises too

    a dental mirror in the clutch release fork hole and a bright light will give you a lot more to go on

    Ive had fingers on a pressure plate break and cause that type of stuff before too

    I would probably jack it up high and level then put it on stands. pull the h-pipe, pull the T5, pull the bellhousing pull the flywheel

    Inspect everything in detail. Probably put in a new clutch disc at minimum since you are there.

    Make sure you know what to look for or ask everyone here for the details of inspecting every single part

    Process of elimination.... is it the motor or trans or clutch assembly? go back on with the flywheel torqued down. Skip the clutch and pressure plate and release fork. Bolt up the bellhousibg and starter. Temporarily put exhaust in place. Fire it and see if the ticking is gone
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-11-2018 at 05:55 PM.

  14. #14
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Waikoloa , Hawaii
    Posts
    1,839

    Default

    Fat starter or mini starter? If fat, all wires but black big starter wire go to one solenoid post, aforementioned big starter wire should be ONLY wire on the the post.

    Mini starter, ALL wire go to one post except small starter trigger wire - goes to opposite post. Only other wire is Start wire on S post.

    Solenoid grounded to fender apron via its body and bolts.

    Sounds like you have a wire on the positive side receiving ground
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Any other symptoms?

    I would probably jack it up high and level then put it on stands. pull the h-pipe, pull the T5, pull the bellhousing pull the flywheel

    Inspect everything in detail. Probably put in a new clutch disc at minimum since you are there.

    Make sure you know what to look for or ask everyone here for the details of inspecting every single part

    Process of elimination.... is it the motor or trans or clutch assembly? go back on with the flywheel torqued down. Skip the clutch and pressure plate and release fork. Bolt up the bellhousibg and starter. Temporarily put exhaust in place. Fire it and see if the ticking is gone
    Clutch engagement and feel seem fine and consistent.
    Thanks for all the suggestions... I REALLY hope I don't wind up going down this path!!!

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ourobos View Post
    Fat starter or mini starter? If fat, all wires but black big starter wire go to one solenoid post, aforementioned big starter wire should be ONLY wire on the the post.

    Mini starter, ALL wire go to one post except small starter trigger wire - goes to opposite post. Only other wire is Start wire on S post.

    Solenoid grounded to fender apron via its body and bolts.

    Sounds like you have a wire on the positive side receiving ground

    Fat starter.
    Tanks for the advice, I'll go check the wiring to the solenoid terminals again to be sure.

  17. #17

    Default

    Ok, I disconnected the clutch pedal safety switch under the dash. I just removed the wiring connector and placed a 30amp fuse into the connector to bypass it.

    This has been an intermittent issue, so I hesitate to declare victory prematurely... but I think this may be the culprit.

    Since bypassing the clutch switch, I have started the car about 8 times and it hasn't made the sounds/noises I was hearing before, and so far no starter "stuck engaged" happening either. I'll keep trying it today and see if it happens again, but it is looking promising that this clutch switch may have been inducing the hiccups I was hearing during start up all along.

    I'll keep ya'll posted.

    -Eric

  18. #18

    Default

    I want to see a picture of the solenoid and the wires going to it!



    A few things:
    1) Yes, having the battery ground connect to the timing cover is not good at all.
    I moved my ground wire a long time ago.
    Still, consider the number of *stock* Stangs where that has been caused a problem with the electrical system - near zero.
    What ground connection does do is to cause the studs to rust/weld to the block and cover.
    Also, the timing cover is not a good battery ground connection for cars that have a higher current draw, because of an electric fan/etc.


    2) If the starter is staying engaged, then:
    A) The solenoid is wires incorrectly
    or
    B) The solenoid is sticking.

    Many people did the quick and easy way, when they moved to the new/mini starter. That can cause the starter to stay engaged.



    3) I did hear that clicking sound pretty clearly around the middle of the last video you posted.


    4) My best suggestion is again to connect two cheap voltmeters.
    That way, you can at least start to isolate the problem.


    Good Luck!

  19. #19

    Default

    Believe it or not, after bypassing my clutch safety switch (connected to the clutch pedal under the dash), I have not had one single hiccup or click sound when starting the car.

    Also, since everything else has been replaced (probably unnecessarily!!!) it starts so smoothly, instantly, and quietly now it is kind of funny.

    Obviously, I am going to keep starting it and driving it and see what happens. But at this point it really seems that something to do with the clutch safety switch was the culprit.

    One more thing to add... when I reached up to unplug the clutch safety switch I was surprised at how easily it just came right out, without any prying of the connector clip or tugging, no wiggling... it was like I just barely held the wires in my hand and it was unplugged.
    So I am also wondering if perhaps it was just very loosely connected and that might have been causing something ????

    I am going to drive it a few more days "bypassed" and if I don't have any issues I am going to firmly plug the clutch safety switch back in and see if the issue returns.

    -Eric

  20. #20

    Default

    Just a fyi, when my tfi module died my starter wouldn't disengage... But it sounds like you found the issue.
    1984.5 G.T.350 5.0 CFI AOD Convertible (TRX package, loaded)
    Hooker Super Comp Shorty Equal Length Headers
    GT40 heads, Edelbrock 3721, Comp cams XE254H, hypereutectic pistons, catted BBK H-pipe, full custom duals. 3.73 rear. CS5 225/60/15 on 10 holes.
    Everything else stock and fully functional.

  21. #21

    Default

    I really don't understand how the clutch safety switch could have caused. The I thought the circuit that the clutch safety switch breaks is the ignition switch connection to the starter solenoid? This would have the exact opposite affect, being that the started should have been cutting in and out during starting.

  22. #22

    Default

    Yeah, well it wasn't the clutch safety switch. It was strange because when I bypassed the clutch safety switch it seemed great for about 4 or 5 days. No clicking/noises while starting and no issues whatsoever. So I thought, well I guess that was it.

    No dice. It started doing it again. Making the noises as the starter is turning.

    A couple of times it has just done nothing when the key is inserted and turned... no starter engagement at all. Nothing. But when this happened I completely removed the key and tried again (and again) and eventually it did what it was supposed to do and started.

    However, yesterday I was stranded for a bit because I was away from home and when I tried to start it, it just made the clicking sound but didn't sound like the engine was actually turning over(this was new...hadn't done that before) so it would not start. Just a lot of clicking. Keep in mind, the battery is brand new and it was definitely getting plenty juice.

    I tried several times, and just a lot of clicking and no engine turning over. Luckily, I had tools with me. I disconnected the battery, and reconnected. Still didn't help... just clicking and no engine turning over.

    I also had my original Solenoid with me (that I had first taken off when all this crap started a few weeks ago!) so I figured, what the heck, I'll try changing BACK to that solenoid. After that, it started right up on the next try (although it did still make some clicking sounds) ! So I drove it straight home.

    So that's where I am. Still no idea what is really causing this, even with new starter, (multiple) solenoids, new starter cable, new ignition switch, new battery, and with the clutch safety switch bypassed(for now). Still having the issue. This sucks!!!!

    Here is a picture of how the Solenoid is hooked up...
    Name:  DSC_3054.jpg
Views: 6
Size:  45.5 KB

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stangPlus2Birds View Post
    I want to see a picture of the solenoid and the wires going to it!
    I just posted a pic of how the solenoid is connected. Let me know if there is something wrong with that. I'd LOVE for it to be something simple like that at this point!

  24. #24
    FEP Supporter SECESH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Catlett's Station VA
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Over the years maintaining a fleet of farm vehicles I have run across a couple of poorly built or rebuilt parts. Beware of the possibility of two concurrent problems, or of an underlying problem causing others. Have a 79 F700 here with a draggy starter that consumes amps like crazy and destroys solenoids etc. sometimes sticks on, sometimes won't crank when hot, sometimes not at all.
    If you do purchase a volt/ohm meter, try to get one with an amp clamp (under $25 at spamazon). You will be able to work your way through the circuits systematically and over the years can easily pay for itself. A remote starting switch is handy, just be double sure she's in neutral and jump the clutch switch.
    Once you meter your way through a problem like this and actually fix it the satisfaction is terrific. Electricity is a mystery to most folks, but with a meter you can "see" it, and amaze your friends. If you do get a meter, play with it on circuits that are working to get a feel for how things ought to be. You'll then spot trouble quicker.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •