Engine won't crank

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Deerhog, Nov 7, 2018 at 10:30 PM.

  1. Deerhog

    Deerhog Member

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    I've got a 1973 Comet with a 200 strait six. The car won't crank. When you turn the key all you get is one click and then power for the whole car shuts off. Lights barely visible and horn won't honk. You can disconnect the battery and hook it back up and then the dash lights will light up and horn will work until you turn the key then you get one click and everything shuts down again. I have already replaced the voltage regulator and starter solenoid. I tried jumping the solenoid and got no results. Battery reads 12.4 volts. After I put the new voltage regulator on when you turned the key I would get a bunch of rapid clicking sounds and power would stay on afterwards. It went back to its previous state of one click and then nothing after I tried jumping the solenoid one time.
     
  2. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the ground is bad.
    Might look OK but it is not. Take it off and clean all the contact points. If the cable is at all damaged or frayed, replace it. They can get corroded inside and look decent but will fail.
     
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  3. Deerhog

    Deerhog Member

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    The main battery ground? If thats the case I will go ahead and replace both cables as the last person who put those on didn't know what they were doing and wired the colors backwards, black is positive and red is negative, it's worked until now but it's always drove me nuts. Was planning on replacing them anyways. Thanks.
     
  4. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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    have the battery ...load tested.
     
  5. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    Yes, excellent idea to check that too. Battery can show 12+ volts but not have any amperage behind it.

    High starter draw can also be an issue. Check that after battery and all connections are eliminated as a cause.
     
  6. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    The negative cable has 2 attachment points besides the battery terminal. There is a metal tab midway on the cable that attaches to the body and the end goes to the engine block. If you need a pic where they attach let me know and I'll post one.
     
  7. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Yep your problem is lack of continuity under starter load. As pointed out, usually bad cable or connection to battery side of solenoid or block. If starter were drawing excessive current, lights should come back up after attempt to crank. If battery is bad/weak, removing and reinstalling cable won't make any difference.

    Solenoid is a key part in starter circuit, but you could toss regulator into street and starter should still crank.
     
  8. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    Mine doesn't. Cable goes straight to the engine block. A separate cable goes from block to the body.
     
  9. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    I dunno at what point Ford switched back to dual, but beginning with true 1970 models, all Mav, Mustang, Torino etc used one cable with body grounding tab secured by bolt holding voltage regulator. Only advantage I can see is reduced assembly line times and cheaper to use one cable. No doubt problems have been created when a std cable was used for replacement and body ground cable not added.
     
  10. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    Mine's a 77 and it was converted to V8 from a six. Even so I don't ever recall seeing a cable like that on all the Ford's I worked on. Maybe it was just a Maverick/Comet part only.
     
  11. rthomas771

    rthomas771 Member Supporting Member

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  12. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    Now there is a crusty looking ground wire!

    Both my 70 and 72 had them. Figured his 73 would too.

    Here is a pic of my 72's …….. :camera:

    IMGP0054.JPG
     
  13. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    My '72 had same.

    The '96 Ranger harness I installed has ground lead extending from battery terminal.
     

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