Hot Wire a '68 Mustang?

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  • #1
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Does ayone know how to hot wire a '68 Mustang? Won't start. A burnt wire along the
ignition trail.
Also, is there a shorter, faster way to check the wiring in the ignition system (from starter relay-solenoid, to the ignition switch (which is O.K. by the way)) without peeling off all the black tape and test probing every 6"-12" for a burnt wire?
Any thoughts...
 

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  • #2
Averagesupernova
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Not sure what you are after. If you know the wire from the starter relay to the switch is good then why would you need to peel it back? When you say it 'won't start', what specifically do you mean?
 
  • #3
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AvengeSuperNova,
The problem is no power, no lights - nothing, nadda.The wires from the oil pressure guage and the ammeter gauage were mistakenly touched- while the battery was stll hooked up. I smelt some burnt wiring under the dash and then there was no power to the ignition switch. I have checked the ignition switch and its wires and they are A.O.K.
 
  • #4
turbo
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OK, no power at all is very different from "won't start". Start by checking hot-to-ground at the battery, and work back through the fuse block(s) to see if you managed to burn a fuse. That would be the easiest fix, and that might be the most likely damage from an unintentional short. Good luck, and post back as you troubleshoot.
 
  • #5
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Turbo-1,
I have checked all fuses, and their clip holders for continuity. Everything checks out. But what I haven't checked yet is the wiring harness that feeds into the back of the fuse box.
By the way, how do you remove the fuse box in a '68 Mustang? Bolts, clips, pop-rivets? What a pain...
 
  • #6
turbo
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Turbo-1,
I have checked all fuses, and their clip holders for continuity. Everything checks out. But what I haven't checked yet is the wiring harness that feeds into the back of the fuse box.
By the way, how do you remove the fuse box in a '68 Mustang? Bolts, clips, pop-rivets? What a pain...
I had a '67 coupe, but sadly, it rotted into scale long ago, so I don't have it for reference. I actually love trouble-shooting cars that are non-computerized, but it's tough to be much help at a distance.
 
  • #7
Averagesupernova
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Just a hunch, but you probably smoked the ammeter. Generally ALL current except for the starter goes through the ammeter. If current is going one direction (battery charging) the meter swings to charge. The opposite should be obvious. So, take a test light with the battery hooked up and start at the ammeter.
 
  • #8
Ranger Mike
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i agree ..check amp meter..Ford had a good idea by using a separate solenoid switch. 12 volt cable ran from + side of battery to the switch. another HD cable ran from the other big lug bolt to the starter motor. The switch was controlled by a smaller red green stripe 12 gauge wire running to one of the small terminals. Take a test light and check to see you got power on one side of the large lugs..if battery is ok you should. disconnect one of the smaller wires and with ignition key on, one of the wires should be hot...if not..you fried a wire..take a jumper wire and jump from hot side of battery to one of the the small terminal lugs..this switches on the solenoid relay and the starter should crank..
 

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  • #9
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Ranger Mike,
None of the small wires on the solenoid are hot...so I have burnt a wire or fuseable link.
But I have not checked the wires going into and behind the fuse box.
Do you know how to remove the fuse box (on a '68 Mustang besides very carefully)? Are there bolts, clips, pop-rivets or whatever....
 
  • #10
Averagesupernova
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By solenoid I assume you mean the relay mounted on or next to the fender. None of the wires there should be hot except the main lug that is hooked to the battery cable. One of the wires activates the starter relay and the other is a ballast resistor bypass for the points style ignition. The heavy wire going to the starter itself should be obvious. There should be one or more wires hooked to the terminal that is the main battery cable. These are the wires you are interested in. It should end up at the ammeter. Now have you done like I asked and started at the ammeter?
 
  • #11
Ranger Mike
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hopefully you both read my post...i said with the ignition key ON..check for hot wire...
specifically..the ignition switch as an On setting..radio will play..and a turn and hold position that will throw juice to the starter relay...this is the ON I am talking about..rig the tset light so you can check the wire to the relay as you are holding the ig key at the above position..should be a hot wire and there had better be one ifin you expect the solenoid/relay to work...to see if it functioning.. use a jumper wire...nuff said???
 
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  • #12
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Ranger Mike,
I took a test light to the solenoid...got power on the large lug nut closest to the +side of the battery. Turned ignition key ON , disconnected one of the smaller wires and tested it...No power. Then disconnected and tested the other small wire...No power.Tested the ammeter with the test light...No power.
But I did get power in the oil pressure guage...Also, there's no power in the radio or any lights!
 
  • #13
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Ranger Mike,
re '68 428CJ Mustang
I am not really that good a reading complicated electrical schematics. Could you walk me threw the step by step process of what happens (the power path) in the ignition system from the time the key is turned "on" (in the cylinder) to when the engine starts cranks.
 
  • #14
Averagesupernova
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There are two smaller wires on the starter relay correct? One of them is to activate the relay to run the starter. Obviously you won't have power there until you turn the ignition switch to START. The other smaller wire is an ignition ballast resistor bypass. When the starter relay kicks in the ballast resistor is bypassed for easier starting. Ignore this wire also, it is irrelevant at this point in troubleshooting. The issue is that you don't have power at the ammeter. Although I can't quite understand why you would have power at the oil pressure gauge. You are sure you were probing the correct place? I don't know the exact path of current between the ammeter and the starter relay main battery post but I am assuming that there is a burnt off wire or opened fuse link between the starter relay and ammeter. I doubt it goes through any fuse since charging current has to go through the ammeter and at times this is quite high. Vehicles of this age didn't place fuses in this location. Also, some systems use a shunt resistor out under the hood as part of the ammeter circuit. I don't think Fords of this age did, but I could be wrong. I am probably correct in assuming you don't have power at the heavy wire on the alternator either?
-
Edit: If there is no actual ballast resistor for the points style ignition then the actual wire between the ignition switch and coil is a higher resistance wire that serves as a ballast resistor. My '65 Galaxy is this way. Also, the diagrams that Ranger Mike has posted are simplified in that they do not even show an ammeter.
 
  • #15
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Doesn't the entire car's electrical system 12+ supply other than the starter pass through the ammeter shunt?

If so, it's path would need to be restored and the ammeter replaced.

I had this happen on a mazda rx-2 where the battery tipped over and the positive terminal touched the body on a freeway offramp and it required I replace that large positively charged wire that ran from the battery/fuselinks...etc to the ammeter.

If you want to just start and run the car independant of the rest of the electrical system, that's simple.

The starter is already independant of the rest of the car other than what triggers it and the whatever is piggybacked on it.

All you need is to supply a +12v to the positive side of the coil (after removing anything else on that terminal) and to be able to jump the starter soleniod from positive supply to the trigger or "s" terminal to actuate the starter.

That said, you have to remove any chance of further conflagration by removing all other ring terminals but the large cable from battery to soleniod and large cable from soleniod to starter

If you want more, you have to fix the issue that caused the smoke to appear.
 
  • #16
Ranger Mike
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Averagesupernova pretty well nailed it..and yes, the diagram i posted does not show an amp meter. And it soinds like you did smoke the wire on the amp meter.. let us concentrate on basic automotive trouble shooting...you have 12 volts at the battery..this has been confirmed. I was taught to always work from power out backwards to power in. Di you use a jumper wire from the hot side of the battery to the starter terminal lug of the starter solenoid / relay?
 
  • #17
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Ranger Mike,
Recap-
With a test light I have checked for power on the following:
. large lug nut on solenoid (closest to +side of battery)...got power!
. disconnected smaller wires on solenoid, turned ignition key to ON then START...no power!
. with a jumper wire, jumped the hot +side of the battery to a small terminal lug...a few clicks from the solenoid, then nothing - that's all she wrote!
. heavy wire on the alternator...no power!
. ammeter...no power! (By the way, Is there a ground wire attached to the ammeter guage?)
. oil pressure guage...got power!
. fuses and ignition switch...O.K. for a continuity check!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????
 
  • #18
turbo
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No ground-wire needed to ammeter gauge, since the body of the gauge is metallic and is connected to the body of the car (negative ground). If the connection is badly corroded, there could be a loss of conductivity.
 
  • #19
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It's possible your car was seeking engine/starter ground through the ammeter circuit.

Take a set of jumper cables and both on one end to a suitable metallic part of the engine.

Hook one of the other end on the negative battery terminal and the other one to a bolt for the chassis.

What this does is guarantee you have both engine and body ground.

If jumping the starter soleniod does not actuate the starter, your +12 from the soleniod to the starter is bad or the starter itself.
 
  • #20
Ranger Mike
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the good news is that you have clicking sound at the solenoid..
probably bad solenoid..which is relatively cheap fix..but to confirm

disconnect the large battery cable from the solenoid and and touch it to the larger cable running to the starter. if the starter spins you have a defective solenoid..if it does not it is a bad starter.
we have to back track the wiring after this but we are making progress so hang in there..
 
  • #21
Averagesupernova
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I think you have a combination of problems here. I agree with Ranger Mike about bypassing the starter relay to see if the starter will actually turn. If that happens it proves the battery and connections are good. I don't think there is any chance of starter ground current going back through the ammeter circuit. Think back to what caused this in the first place which is something touching the ammeter wire as well as a couple of other wires. Smoke was released indicating excessive current in the area smoke was released. If you didn't have power at the ammeter I wouldn't have expected you to have power at the alternator. That is a good thing in that it makes sense to me. Start at the ammeter and trace back to the battery from there.
 
  • #22
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HowlerMonkey,
Could you be more clear and specific about your battery cable connections...
 
  • #23
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Ranger Mike, and Averagesupernova,
I have disconnected the large battery cable from the solenoid lug - but left the other 2 wires attached to the lug.
With a jumper wire (attached to the prevoius large battery cable), I touched the larger cable (attached to the other lug on the solenoid) running to the starter. Nothing...
I'm installing a new solenoid tomorrow and getting the ammeter checked out. Can an ammeter be rebuilt?
Q: Will I blow this new solenoid because of the current wiring problems?
 
  • #24
AlephZero
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the good news is that you have clicking sound at the solenoid..
probably bad solenoid..which is relatively cheap fix.
Every time I have had a clicking sound from the starter solenoid (probably about 4 times in 40 years, on different cars) the cause has been a poor (corroded) earth connection, usually where the the battery earth strap is bolted onto the car bodywork. Or, the battery has failed or is flat, and it can't deliver enough current to hold the solenoid and turn the starter at the same time.

Solenoids are more or less indestructible IMO.

Step 1: recharge the battery and try again (especially considering you said you shorted it, at the start of this collection of problems!)

Step 2: clean up the earth strap connections and try again.
 
  • #25
Averagesupernova
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What are you using to test for power at various points on the vehicle? A test light I assume? If so, when you do your checks under the hood, don't ground it to the negative battery post. Ground it to the chassis or fender of something. Ideally, ground it to the same place for ALL tests including the ones under the dash. A bit impractical of course, but might relieve some confusion.
 

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