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Offline redwinggirl

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Pinto won't start
« on: August 12, 2013, 03:36:19 PM »
My 1978 Pinto quit starting. It has a new voltage regulator, starter solenoid and as of today a new starter. When I turn the key lights come on, radio works but no grinding at all. Ideas?

Offline 289Wagon

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 03:55:24 PM »
 There could be several reasons. I would start by checking the ignition switch mounted on the lower part of the steering column.
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Offline 289Wagon

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 04:09:26 PM »
 If you have someone available, have them hold the ign. key in the 'start' position and check for 12V power at the 'S' terminal on the starter relay'
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Offline HOSS429

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 06:55:08 PM »
if it is an automatic set the brake and try to start it in neutral ...neutral safety switch ?

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 07:20:31 PM »
So do you have the rubber elbow the goes to the S terminal on the solenoid ?  It should have two wires. If so the connector on the inside might be worn out. I usually cut the elbow off , soldier on a ring terminal to each wire and bolt them in place.   

Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 09:21:28 AM »
Thanks for the ideas! I'll get back to you.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 10:36:41 AM »
I'm thinking neutral switch maybe out of adjustment, try moving the shifter while cranking and see what happens..
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Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 10:52:58 AM »
Based on these replies I studied the wiring diagrams and I believe it is the ignition switch. The brake light icon goes on when I try to start without reason and per the diagrams that is related to the ig switch. Will replace wiring from there to solenoid as well.

Offline From_Jonah

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 04:58:50 PM »
I had this same problem a couple of weeks ago and it was a bad ground at the starter solenoid.
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Offline OhSix9

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 05:11:36 PM »
the odds on it actually being the switch are slim to almost none. in park jumper from where the battery connects to the solenoid to the terminal that normally holds the red/ blue wire. use a well insulated screwdriver.   does the car crank. crank yes grounds and solenoid are good. crank no change the solenoid. crank yes move the ingniotion switch to run and jumper again . will the engine run?   back to testing.   get a test light and connect it to the red/blue wire and then clip it to ground. does the bulb light when you put the key in the start position?  light yes power is reaching the solenoid in crank. again possibly solenoid or a poor ground to it. .  light no.  check the neutral start switch for continuity in park and neutral if its fine start tracing the red/blue wire looking for a fault. after all that look at the box on the bottom of the column.
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Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 09:37:35 PM »
Good advise. She's a manny; won't ever drive an automatic. Unless it's free.

Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 02:03:06 PM »
Have I mentioned how much I hate electronics? So not spark at the screw on the starter solenoid, holding the key in the start position produces clicking at the coil, but no start. Don't own a volt  meter. Just a circuit tester. Advice?

Offline Scott Hamilton

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 04:04:12 PM »
I'm going with Jonah's suggestion but at the Battery- take off the negative cable from the battery, clean and reinstall. I had a pinto once that did this and I grabbed the negative battery terminal and pushed and turned so the car would start- it became a regular thing.. After I cleaned it- it was fine.

This is fun... let's see which one will fix this issue... All are great suggestions,
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Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 05:51:33 PM »
 Even a $4 voltmeter you can find at harbor freight is a good thing to have. I got one just to keep in my car. Read the voltage right at the battery clamps without touching the posts while someone turns the key. If the voltage stays close to 12 the battery connectors arent the issue. Then check from the positive connector to a ground and do the same. If its still reading close to 12 a little more even, the ground cable is good. Then read from a ground to the other end of the cable from the positive of the battery and have someone turn the key again. If you get 12v then the positive cable is ok.

 Then check from ground to the other side of the relay, and have someone turn the key. Close to 12v again thats all ok. Then from ground to the solenoid wire on the starter. Turn the key read the voltage, same for every test.
 You could use the test light the same way. If the wires are long enough.

 Is the clicking coming from the relay mounted on the firewall not far from the battery where the positive cable goes to? It sounds like a weal battery or bad connections if so. Follow the tests youll find the culprit. If you get a lot of voltage drop at the battery connectors when someone turns the ky, read right on the battery posts and have them turn the key. If the voltage drops at the posts too, t he battery is weak. If the voltage stays at 12 the connectors arent clean or arent tight.

Offline jeremysdad

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 01:28:37 PM »
I've gotten a few faulty solenoids from part stores before. Maybe try an exchange if everything else is a dead end. :) 9/10 though, my 'clicks' have usually been battery connection related, either at the battery or at the solenoid.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2013, 02:54:04 PM »
 They can be because of the connectors not being clean or tight, and they can be from where the connector goes on  the cable too. I had both of those over the years. Of course it can be bad connections at the other end too. Its like a chain or  a big circle ( the word circuit comes from circle).

 Just keep following it from one end to the other, with the test light or cheap voltmeter. A post hole cleaner is another good thing to grab for $2 or $3

Offline jeremysdad

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2013, 03:11:30 PM »
In the following order: Battery connections clean/tight, connections at solenoid clean/tight, connections to ground clean/tight, connection from solenoid to starter clean/tight? If in doubt, disconnect everything in order, and hit it with some emery cloth or sandpaper, then reassemble and tighten properly. It's something simple, usually.

When was the last time this car started? It's a Ford, they're pretty straightforwar d (all I've owned since I got my first car in 93). lol

Offline HOSS429

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2013, 03:23:12 PM »
When was the last time this car started? It's a Ford, they're pretty straightforwar d (all I've owned since I got my first car in 93). lol
good question .. since you say it`s a stick you can have someone give you a shove with the switch on  and pop the clutch in 2nd gear and see will it run ..then always park on a hill ..... HA !!!

Offline jeremysdad

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2013, 03:53:47 PM »
good question .. since you say it`s a stick you can have someone give you a shove with the switch on  and pop the clutch in 2nd gear and see will it run ..then alway spark on a hill ..... HA !!!

Like.

Yeah, that always works. Even with a dead battery! Too many autos have ruined my mechanical brain. lol

Many a morning I spent with a dead starter, a 64 Falcon, and 5 people pushing on a flat road. :D lol 'Hey, you want a ride to school? Cool. Told you this was a bad place to go---no hill.' Now, mush, puppies!!! lol

Def 2nd gear, though...1st will throw you through the windshield. Don't ask me how I learned that.

Offline krazi

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 07:00:28 PM »
did you remember to put a nickel in it first?
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Offline amc49

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2013, 05:28:08 AM »
Battery terminal condition or battery bad the most likely issue, how old is battery? Some of the answers given here amaze me. Yank battery and charge it up and load test at the parts store, that'll tell the tale.

Clicking at the solenoid says not enough power to pull solenoid all the way in, or why it clicks.

Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2013, 05:43:40 PM »
Finally had some time to test these things out. It WILL start and run using a "remote start". I replaced thr ignition module thinking it was a link in the chain. Nothing. Batteries good, replaced the elbow on the solenoid. Traced the wiring back and there are no bad wires. I just don't get it. Help.

Offline krazi

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2013, 06:09:44 PM »
hold the key in the start position with your left hand, then move the shifter with your right hand. it might start, it might not. had this problem with a dodge I had.
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Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2013, 06:32:08 PM »
 Im not sure what you mean by a `remote start` did you use a jump starter or a remote switch?

 Get a $4 voltmeter from harbor freight or wherever and we can walk you through tracing out the voltages to see exactly where it could be getting lost at.

Offline nnn0wqk

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2013, 10:52:45 AM »
I took that that she used a remote switch at the starter solenoid. If it started at that point pretty well rules out bad battery connections etc. I do not remember a Pinto using a clutch neutral switch so that would tend to point to the switch at the base of the steering coluum. I agree that a voltmeter would be a great investment at this point, should save a lot of parts replacements.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2013, 02:06:49 PM »
 But if the relay clicks when she turns the key it doesnt seem like a remote switch would make any difference. I still think its the battery or the connections are dirty. A post hole cleaner and a $4 voltmeter will most likely be all she needs.

Offline redwinggirl

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2013, 02:41:50 PM »
finally got a voltmeter! Battery is spanking clean, has new cables, too. According to the books, there is no NSS switch on the manual trans.  There are 3 wires that come off the solenoid. 2 are red, 1 is white/ blue stripe. The wht and 1 red go through firewall into connectors and then on to ig. switch. The other red goes to the ig. module. None of these seem compromised.

Offline amc49

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2013, 04:49:25 PM »
I'm with tonij, battery not a known quantity there yet. I've fixed so many cars I can't count that owner swore up and down battery was good. Clicking at solenoid says the igntion start circuit is working. Just not enough battery to start car. Remote switch means nothing, bad battery will not crank five times then suddenly work once, battery still bad there.

The battery is bad to me until someone has passed a load test at proper CCA, a lesser CCA battery can be BRAND NEW and not crank the car. Simply checking static volts on a battery really is quite worthless.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2013, 05:57:08 PM »
Check all connections and make sure there's no corrosion anywhere.
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Offline krazi

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Re: Pinto won't start
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2013, 10:23:25 PM »
I had a similar problem today at work. try tapping on the solenoid with a lighter or something of similar size.
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