North American Turbocoupe Organization



bad alt, fixed, now cranks but no start
kunar Offline
Member
#1
recently had an alternator go bad in the tbird. left me stranded, fortunately within just a mile of a friends house. used some jumper cables, charged my battery enough to get it back to his place. went back a couple days later with a freshly charged battery and a good alternator. now, with the good parts installed, it would crank (fast and strong) but not start. not a single sputter, nothing at all. wiggled some wires around under the hood, started it up and it ran just fine, for a minute or two then stalled. acted like you shut the key off, no warning, no stumble, just dead. went and got some breakfast, came back an hour or so later, and it started and ran just fine. i tried and tried to get it to die, playing with wiring and connectors under the hood, but it ran just fine. at that point, i decided to risk the 10 mile trip home, but made it just fine and havent had a problem since. i still dont trust driving the car much if any. cant risk having it die on the highway, or on the way to work. would really like to know what was going on, or at least have an idea of waht to look for if it does die again., anybody have any ideas or suggestions? i suspect computer power or ground, or maybe relay. given the way it just died, i have to imagine its computer related. have even though it could be the ignition switch. what do you think?
1987 Turbo Coupe
1987 Ranger 4.0, 4x4
1991 Escort GT
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RDOG Offline
Posting Freak
#2
Ignition switch or TFI. Usually when you allow the car to cool down and she fires up and drives, its the TFI. If you are druiving along and all power goes out, its ignition switch.
1986 Turbo Coupe. Boport StageIII head, Boport 2.1, Performance Techniques 50 trim hybird, StageII.63, stinger 3" exhaust, Phenolic spacer, Boglog header,NPR FMIC intercooler setup, kirban fpr, bigrmotorsports fuel rail, diablo water meth kit, CAI, remote mount TFI, CHE rear adj control arms, MAC girdle, 8.8 rear disc, aluminum drive shaft, H&R lowerings springs Tbird Turbo Specific, y MAS!!
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#3
I vote for a bad ignition switch. Hook a test light from coil pos to ground and run wires so you can see it inside the car. If light goes out when it starts and/or dies, its very likely the switch. Might want to just replace it anyway.... cheap and easy to replace.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#4
Be sure to check the wiring and connector to the ign switch. Either can overheat. Also sometimes the switch comes apart.
http://s294.photobucket.com/user/turbopm...4.jpg.html
Pete Dunham


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kunar Offline
Member
#5
thanks for the input guys. doesnt seem like a tfi issue, it wasn't temp related at all. the ignition switch was an autozone replacement, probably a year ago. not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing, but it's worth noting. after it dies, i checked for power at the coil and it was good. next time i tried to start it though, it fired right up. worth keeping an eye on i suppose. any other suggestions?
1987 Turbo Coupe
1987 Ranger 4.0, 4x4
1991 Escort GT
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kunar Offline
Member
#6
i think i found the issue. the negative terminal on the ignition coil had some pretty bad corrosion. found i could wiggle the wire and kill all spark. after a little cleaning up the connector, all is well. i drove it to work today with confidence, and haven't had a problem since. i guess it just happened to be coincidence that the problem started the same time i was having other issues. either that, or i bumped the connector while i had the hood open...
1987 Turbo Coupe
1987 Ranger 4.0, 4x4
1991 Escort GT
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86thunderchicken Offline
Member
#7
Good to hear it's fixed! Hope you don't have any more problems!
1986 TC 240,000 miles. Walbro 255. Soon to be under the knife for an 87 5 speed swap

1992 Mustang LX 5.0, headers, H pipe, and soon to have subframe connectors to boot!
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kunar Offline
Member
#8
Nope, not that easy. The first couple days it looked great. Charged at 14.5v, started every time, etc. Then on friday, I drove it to work. Jump in to leave for lunch, its dead. Checked voltage at the battery, less than one volt. Get a jump at the end of the day and drove home. Check voltage again, 12.2 running, 11.8 off. It was dead again within a couple hours. I think my used alternator was bad, any other ideas? I haven't gotten around to trying to figure out what the drain is, Im gonna try to do that this evening.
1987 Turbo Coupe
1987 Ranger 4.0, 4x4
1991 Escort GT
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Sean Offline
Member
#9
Test the old alt. Or just splurge on a new one.

I've installed one of these.... in two of my Fords now, my TurboBird and my Bronco....they're AWESOME. Just make sure you upgrade the charge cable big time, these will cook the factory harness in seconds. I have the factory charge wire and a 2ga cable to the starter solenoid hooked up. Overkill, but oh well. His install kit comes with a big ass mega fuse as well.

Used parts are, in my opinion, a waste of money when they're parts that can and do fail in service and new ones are readily available at a decent price.

If you get the 160, you may need a new belt and tensioner if it makes the belt scream on startup for a few seconds. My Bronco needed a new tensioner when I installed the 3g in it....it was trying to work 100% to charge the battery on startup and the 19 year old tensioner was pretty weak.
1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
160 amp 3G and upgraded charge/power supply cables.
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kunar Offline
Member
#10
I didn't spend anything on the alternator. It was one I had on the shelf. The original one tested bad. The new (used) one was known good when I pulled it a few years ago. If I end up having to buy one, I'll grab a new 3G probably
1987 Turbo Coupe
1987 Ranger 4.0, 4x4
1991 Escort GT
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