North American Turbocoupe Organization

Problem with my 88 Turbocoupe...wont
Booost Offline
Junior Member
Well, I went out this morning to go somewhere, and hopped into my car to start it. Threw it in neutral (5 speed), and pushed the clutch in to start the car. cranking or anything. There is power to everything else in the car, and the battery is just fine and charged, and the terminals are clean. This has happened to me once before. The car wouldnt start for about 30 minutes, then just randomly it started and didnt give me the problem again until this morning, which is about 2 months later. To give you an idea of how it is acting, its as if you turn the key without the clutch being pushed in...nothing happens, but the turbo light on the dash, parking brake light (its always stuck on, so I dont know if this really should come on or not), the door ajar light, and the low fuel light all come on. Would the distributor cause this? It ran perfect yesterday and showed no signs of trouble.

If you could help, i'd greatly appreciate it!

Pete D Offline
The distributor won't have anything to do with the starter not turning the engine over.

With car in neutral, use a heavy gauge wire or screwdriver shank to jumper the two big terminals on the starter solenoid and see if it cranks. If it does crank then replace to solenoid. They can go bad with age. It would be a good idea to clean ALL terminals and ground also, not just the battery terminals. There is a list of grounds here: Ground Locations

By the way, I think your red brake light staying on all the time is indicative of a brake system problem. Yes it can mean the parking brake is set on, but it should go out shortly after the engine is started/brake released. Might be low brake fluid or other things, like the parking brake switch. You can pull the connector off of it, just let it hang and then see if the light behaves as above. Also see:

[This message has been edited by Pete D (edited 12-18-2004).]
Pete Dunham


Booost Offline
Junior Member
Well I took a screw drive to the solenoid by pressing the metal piece of the drive to the tow terminals....and it sparked on me the first time and I let off...I didnt hear it I tried again and it sparked again and blew 5 of the biggest fuses in the fusebox under the drivers side dash. Does this mean the solenoid is bad? I did not hear it crank at all but the fuel pump primed both times.

[This message has been edited by Booost (edited 12-21-2004).]

Qwertys Offline
Senior Member
eh, i'd be more fareful when shorting things out, its possible that when you shorted the solonoid you also shorted it to ground, causing it to blow all sorts of fuses.
replace those fuses, and look for any other fuses that need to be replaced. disconnect the battery. use a multimeter set on continuity check to see if any of the wires are shorted to ground. check all the normal "hot" wires. but only do this with the battery unplugged.
its possible your starter is shorted/burned out, or you have a loose wire somewhere.

if the solonoid was bad then what you tried with the screwdriver was basically bypassing it. since fuses were blown when you did it, it leads me to believe it is something else.
'85 TC BPV and Ford FMIC
'88 TC Kirban AFPR, Autometer Boost, FP and A/R Gauge, 8.8 to 4.10 rear, Walboro 255lph Fuel pump, Garrett GT3071R T3/T4 Dual Ball bearing Turbo, Custom AWIC.

Nsw Offline
Senior Member
that sounds like the same problem i had a while ago. my car would do the same thing and one day wouldent start at all. it was the nuetral saftey switch. its right up at the top of the clutch pedal assembly. i found that it came loose off its mount and wouldent engage when i pushed the clutch to the floor. tightened it up and it came loose again so i just spliced the 2 wires that went in and out of it togeather worked great. diddent have to push the clutch down to start it after that
1988 5speed black every option. 3inch single turbo to tail(stinger), manual boost control. k&n cone walbro fuel pump

1986 xr4ti project car..... way to many mods to list.

Booost Offline
Junior Member
Well it turns out that fuses were not blown. I figured they were but couldnt tell because they were block fuses. Anyways, I was just messing with the car and the power all came back on....but then cut back out when I put the key in the ignition and turned it to the "on" position. Any ideas on that? Also, what does the neutral safety switch look like? I have the plastic cover off under the dash above the pedals. Is it the plug that is hooked to the side of the fusebox by a snap-in clip?

**I searched and figured out that it the plug by the fusebox is what i'm looking to bypass this I just cut off the connectors and put the 2 wires together? I'm trying to figure out my power problem right now

[This message has been edited by Booost (edited 12-22-2004).]

Booost Offline
Junior Member
Update: I got power back to everything, when the solenoid sparked it tore up the positive battery wire pretty bad internally....but I couldnt really tell with the red cover over the wires. Now..I have it down to this..

The neutral safety switch must be fine if the reverse lights work...right? Also, it cant be the starter solenoid because it sparks violently back at me when I try to jump it...and I get no crank out of it. I think the next thing i'll do tomorrow morning is roll the car down my driveway (about 20-30ft long, 15 ft slope) and pop the clutch...or have a friend give me a boost with his truck down my street to see if that works (the rear bumper needs repainted anyways). If I pop the clutch and get nothing, would that result in getting the starter out and having it rebuilt? I wont buy a new one since this is just my winter car. Thanks for the help so far [Image: biggrin.gif]

Gene Offline
Got something you might try if the ignition seems loose such as having to jiggle the key a bit to make it start. One of my Fords use to have trouble starting when I turned the key and also would die sometimes after hitting a big bump when going down the road. Turns out the connectors (whatever) inside the ignition weren't making a good connection when the key was turned. What I ended up doing to fix the problem was to remove the bottom plastic peice covering the steering wheel shaft. Then I put the key in the ignition. Now you'll notice that there is a plate that is just pressed into place by bent tabs/ ears on the bottom of the ignition. If that feels loose or you can push it up any to the ignition housing, have someone push it up as much as they can and take a hammer and a punch to compress those tabs back the way they should be. I don't know if you're having the same problem I was, but my brother showed me that and saved me a bunch of cash. Just thought I'd share the info.

Matt S Offline
Posting Freak
The reverse light has nothing to do with the safety switch. Find the switch, above the clutch pedal, I believe there 2 green and something wires. Unplug the switch, and jumper the harness (not the switch) with a wire. If it does not start, it's not the switch. My car was an automatic, now a 5 speed, and came with a factory jumper on those wires and I put it back in because I'ts nice to be able to start it without sitting in it. Just don't forget if you left it in gear [Image: biggrin.gif]

I've always thought the screwdriver trick worked but have not done it on this car, unless you accidentally touched the screwdriver to the body on the positive side. Have you checked the positive cable to the starter and made sure it's not missing some insulation and grounding, or fell off the starter?

[This message has been edited by Matt S (edited 12-23-2004).]
Sold it Sad*

rairbird Offline
Senior Member
Try to see if you can jump the solenoid by applyng power, 12v, to the smaller connector on the solenoid where the nuetral safety switch circuit actually hooks up. While you have the connector off, have a friend turn the ignition key to start, clutch in, and using a voltmeter, see if you have power to the connector as well. If you get 12v to the connector, then your NSS circuit is good.

87 T/C, 5sp., Hardened Crank, Crower Sportsman Rods, J.E. full floating pistons, .030 over, Total Seal rings, Head and Main studs, Ported/Polished head, 1.89, 1.59 S.S Valves. Motorsport Lifters, A-234 cam, Fidanza Adj. cam sprocket, ported polished lower, gutted upper intake, Rod's S/S headers, 3" DP, T3/T04E 46, Gillis BCV, Forge Bypass, K&N Air Filter, Kirban Adj. FPR, Walbro 255 FP., 42# inj., EEC-Tuner. Still have to mount the GN I/C.

[This message has been edited by rairbird (edited 12-23-2004).]

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