North American Turbocoupe Organization



Damage caused(potentially);starter
Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#1
Hi guys, more or less just looking for input on this.
I've been having an issue where when I go to start the car, it does nothing, but always comes back. Was going to get to looking at it, I was suspecting the neutral safety switch(is that what it's called, the one that has to do with the clutch?) but...
So I came out of the grocery store and went to start it, nothing. No big deal, try again. Well, after a few tries, it started. Problem was, it didn't STOP starting. Unfortunately, all this is a bit of a blur as I was a bit panicky at the time racing to take it all in, while also deciding what to do in a hurry. I did turn the engine off, and again the starter kept going. Fortunately I keep an old 12mm wrench in the glove box, and I was able to jump out and disconnect the battery. After standing there wondering what the hell, I decided to touch the lead back to the negative terminal. I only did this for maybe a third of a second, twice. Both times, nice blue spark, and a weld spot on the battery terminal.
I went home and came back with a multi meter, and I had continuity across the screws on the solenoid, so I'm assuming I have found the problem? What I'm wondering is what sort of damage, if any might have been caused by this. I'm guessing it's not good to have your engine running, with the starter also doing its thing...I wish I had reacted quicker and just jumped out right away and disconnected the battery. The engine may have ran as long as 30 seconds like that Sad Like I said, it was all a blur, but I think I may have also, a second time turned the key forward, which may have briefly started the car a second time.
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#2
I'm guessing the solenoid got stuck on, then something melted inside and shorted?
I cheaped out on the solenoid a few years back. Figured if it didn't last no big deal, didn't think it would die stuck on Sad
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gtbird Offline
Member
#3
I had this happen to me before. I went round and round trying to figure it out. I swapped solenoids with a brand new Motorcraft unit and it still would happen on occasion. I eventually changed the battery ground terminal to a quick release type (big threaded knob) so I wouldn’t need to fumble for a wrench. It still happened a few more times. I eventually went around cleaning all the associated electrical connections (especially the grounds) and made sure they were all tight, the problem went away and never came back. I even swapped the solenoid back to the original and no issues there.
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/dieh...0terminals
1988 T/C Silver with red interior, fully loaded except for leather. 5 lug conversion with 97 Cobra wheels, Cobra 13" brakes up front, Mustang brakes out back, Koni adjustable shocks and struts, NOS Koni lowering springs . Maximum Motorsports control arms and caster/camber plates, subframe connectors.
SOLD September 2020. Will miss this car after 19 years of building/driving/showing....time for a new chapter in my life.
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#4
Possibly the ignition switch, which are known to be issues with Ford's from this era.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#5
^^^^ +1 on the ignition switch. Ford had LOTS of issues back in the 80s with their ignition switches. I have replaced the ignition switches 3x on my 86 Tbird 5.0 and 2x on my 88 TC for various issues. I even carry a known good spare switch in the trunks of both Tbirds just in case.

Fortunately changing the switch is very easy. The switch is attached with 2 security Torx screws. I just used a Dremel to slot the screws so I can remove / install them with a regular flat blade screwdriver.
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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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#6
Thanks for the input guys, I'm going to order a solenoid as well as an ignition switch. I'll also look into those grounds etc looking for dirty connections and whatnot
So this wouldn't have caused any major damage likely?
I was surprised to find out the parts store had a solenoid in stock, sprung for the good one this time.
I asked about the ignition switch while I was there and he asked me a couple questions that made me think I better get some confirmation before I order the part. So just to confirm is this the part?
https://www.rockauto.com/en/parts/standa...witch,4700
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#7
I would honestly just change the solenoid and the ignition switch in the parking lot. Would take maybe 20 minutes. I have never tried by passing the solenoid like your talking about, but I have used those remote start switches before, maybe pick one up a H Freight, it effectively by passes the ignition switch and allows you to start from the engine bay, but again, I would just change the parts in the parking lot. I have done lots of parking lot maintenance on cars in my past, from belts, rockers arms, clutches, gas tank dropped out, busted coolant lines and hoses, ahh the memories.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#8
Thanks Kuch,
Looks like you replied to my post while I was busy changing it. I had posted about that because I didn't think I was going to be able to get a solenoid same day and I wasn't sure if I could get away with leaving the car there that long.
I'll be able to go down there today and swap out the solenoid, hopefully that's enough to get me going for today
(If anyone's wondering, I had asked if there was a way to bypass the solenoid just to get the car going and get it home without calling a tow truck)
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#9
If you have a pick and pull close by, grab one off of any ford of the 80's. Should all be the same, old Crown vics and Marquis are quite plentiful. Just a thought
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#10
We've got nothing like that here. Salvage yards are few and far between where I am, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything older than the early 2000s. Everyone crushed everything when metal prices were high. I've already got the solenoid, and the switch will be here tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'm back in good shape after this thanks for the advice guys
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