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Author Topic: 77' Pinto Starting Issue  (Read 6530 times)

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Offline Ford_Pinto

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77' Pinto Starting Issue
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:52:32 PM »
So here's what I'm working with:  The starter is good, starter solenoid is new and good, and I can turn the key forward and start the car by using a jumper at the solenoid, but turning the key forward like a normal car gets me nothing.

I was told I needed a new ignition cylinder, so I tried another one but still have the same problem.  The only things I could see being wrong now could be a switch I found near the base of the of the steering column, or there's an electrical box of some kind on the driver side fender that I believe is somehow involved.

Any ideas or suggestions on what the check/replace would be appreciated so as not to throw any more unnecessary money into this beast.

Thanks!
Shawn
1979 Ford Pinto 
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Offline dave1987

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 11:49:37 PM »
There should be two boxes on the driver side fender. The small square one with the fewer wires is the voltage regulator for the alternator and charging system. The larger box with the two pigtails of wires is the "ECM" which more or less controls your ignition system (i.e. spark).

I would suspect the ignition switch at the base of the column.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline Ford_Pinto

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 01:29:17 PM »
Dave,
 
Thanks for the reply.  I'll order that now and see what happens.
 
 
1979 Ford Pinto 
1977 Ford Pinto (68K miles)
1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (for sale)
1988 Merkur XR4Ti (for sale)
1992 Saab 9000 Aero

Offline r4pinto

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 04:34:19 PM »
My car did the same thing so as a temporary fix I wired up a starter button inside the car. What I found to be the problem is the neutral safety switch.
 
I started with the solenoid & found it was not bad. Replaced the ignition switch & found it was not bad either. The only thing left is the neutral safety switch & that will be getting taken care of when I get to a junkyard to get one. Too expensive at a parts store or I am too cheap to buy one at a parts store. Can't decide which it is lol
 
Matt Manter
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Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 05:55:54 PM »
I would go to wal-mart and get a test light for $1.99 and diagnose the problem instead of throwing parts at it. Just sayin'......
The ign box has nothing to do with cranking the engine. As r4 says, if you have an auto trans the nss could be bad or just out of adjustment. Put the trans in neutral and see if it will crank. If not, hold the key to the crank position and move the shifter up & back a little and see if it cranks. There again, a test light........
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Offline dave1987

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 09:54:39 PM »
An easy way to distinguish a faulty neutral safety switch is to put it in neutral and try cranking it. If that doesn't work, you could try a bit more dangerous route and try starting it in drive or one. Just turn the key enough to hear the starter turn over a bit, but not quite start the car.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline Ford_Pinto

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 05:23:25 PM »
Hey guys, thanks for all the help.  Sorry I haven't been on, I have this account setup to an old e-mail so I wasn't getting the notifications.
Anyway, ignition switch was a fail.  I have a test light, but working by myself there's only so much I can check.
I'll check out the neutral safety switch this weekend and see where that gets me.  For now I've got it wired up a little better looking with a nice switch under the dash.
Thanks again.
1979 Ford Pinto 
1977 Ford Pinto (68K miles)
1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (for sale)
1988 Merkur XR4Ti (for sale)
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Offline redwinggirl

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 09:21:58 AM »
Hey, saw your topic and I'm having the same trouble. What was your end result?

Offline amc49

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 05:33:46 AM »
You MUST get 12 volts at the small wire on front of solenoid when the ignition switch is turned to the start position. If not then wiring, trans safety switch or ignition switch issue.

To redwinggirl, not necessarily your problem, you mention solenoid clicking, it cannot do that if no power to the small wire.

Offline redwinggirl

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 05:47:43 PM »
Thanks, my friend. I'm still having problems. I have a manual so no NSS.

Offline amc49

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2013, 04:03:41 PM »
Solenoid clicking says not enough battery power to solenoid. It clicks meaning contact has moved to 'on' but not enough volts to crank the starter up and going.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 05:54:18 PM »
Or maybe an interruption somewhere between the battery and solenoid?..
Art
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Offline Ford_Pinto

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 03:16:20 PM »
Sorry guys, haven't been on here in a while.  I just wired up a cheap push button ignition switch a long time ago to bypass it and have been using that since.  Finally decided to dig deeper though, and it is the neutral safety switch. 

Thanks for your help
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1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (for sale)
1988 Merkur XR4Ti (for sale)
1992 Saab 9000 Aero

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 77' Pinto Starting Issue
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 05:08:58 PM »
Glad to hear the problem is solved.
Art
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