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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the sceniro I have replaced the starter and battery with in 4 months. I drove the car yesterday and no problems but I go out this afternoon and turn the key and the starter sounds like it is not getting enough power. My thinking is there is a slow drain on the battery but I have no idea where or what it could be. Anyone else have a problem like this?

Thanks for your help.
 

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hmmmm...
Try cleaning the cables or upgrading to larger cables for more juice. Also, look at the starter solenoid.
And don't rule out a pesky short somewhere.
 

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you can use a test light. disconnect the neg bat terminal, put the test light between the bat post and terminal. with the key out all lights off, dorrs shut, the test light should not be lit, if it is pull one fuse at a time til you isolate the circuit (light goes out). then at least yoou know where to start looking for the drain.
have you checked the alternator. how many volts are you getting at the battery while its running?
hope this helps.

rich
 

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Sounds like the alternator. You can get them checked out at parts stores like Shucks. However, I had Shucks check my alt. and battery in my truck when it was having issues, and they said it was fine. I replaced them both anyway and the problem was solved. The point being, don't always trust the guy behind the counter.


If you think it's the alternator, also replace the voltage regulator at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I have had a similar problem. I have a new alternator, new starter, and new battery. I did the light test, and there is no light.

Besides the voltage regulator, is there anything else?

Sorry Robbie, I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I figured since we had similar problems, I'd pipe in a bit.
 

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Hey Bowl...you gotta be careful with that test light scenario you present though...if you have any always-on accessories (like, say a clock) your light will light even if there's not a "real" short anywhere...

Though as you isolate the offending circuits, it should be apparent if you have come across one of those always-on ones, and continue along in your search.
 

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And now the obvious... Make sure the belts are tight.. This bit me in the A** on the caddy a couple weeks ago... Also if you have a voltmeter. check the volts at the battery with the car running. it should be 13.5 to 14.5 volts. ensure connections are clean, also if you are using those universal battery cable connectors ( the kind that clamp the stripped end of the cable to the battery connector) check for corrsion under the clamp and replace the cable if it's corroded....


My .02

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I replaced the alternator and voltage regulator and the car starts up fine. I just hope that was the entire problem. On a side note How many wires comming off the back of your alternator do you guys with a 1970 cougar with a 351 2V. I have 2 but my wiring diagram there is 3 to 4. Am I just missing some or is having 2 normal.
 
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starter soleniod possibility, check all ground wires, alternator
 

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we've only got two on the 70 and 72, on the 72 there is about 3/4" gap between the alternator and the right engine bank, the wires regularly break off cos' the connector has to be bent at such a sharp angle, this happened the other day and we only picked it up when the lights were'nt shining so well.

Could be you've got a built in regulator, that would eliminate a couple of the wires, I think.
 

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a lot of electrical problems happen with the alternator pigtail on ford products. A new one is only a couple of bucks and probably worth the effort.
 

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Electrical, Easy fix..

Not to sound to point of fact, usually if a car starts fine one day, doesn't the next then fine again the following day, this is not a case for the alternator (unless you drove through a river) what is usually the case is mostl over looked.. For some reason people like to over look the main wires.. The negative lead running to the engine block or the posative lead to the solenoid. If either wire is not snug it will give these same results,,, Also check to ensure there is no corrosion going up the wires (green) if there is any, replace them..

GNB
 

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I had sort of the same problem, It turned out to be the ground wire from the engine to the firewall. It was the LAST thing I checked!!! :cry:
 

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Back with a fresh non-starting issue

After finally figuring out my MSD distributor needed its magnetic pickup changed out, after a week of attemting to start the car, I have the car running again.

EXCEPT, I now have a similar problem, because just this morning, I turned the key and just got a half-a$$ed attempt to start, then nothing.

The car will only start with getting a jump. Even after I drove it 15 min. to get into work, when I tried to start it again, I just got a 'buzz' sound.

Also, turn signals dont work today, and reeling in the sunroof was a chore, just barely rolled back shut.

Do you think my 2-month old optima battery just needs a recharging after all my attempts at trying to start it last week? According to Optima, a normal battery charger will work to recharge the bat. Max. amperage cannot exceed 10 amps. They consider below 10.5 V as fully discharged. They say 12.4 V is req'd to start the car. Of course, after getting her running, I packed up all my tools including my Volt meter and took them home! Dang.


Other possibilities Is the Year-old powermaster alt failing or just have a loose belt? Could the starter solenoid gotten damaged last week- will change that out as yellowcat suggests, besides its the only "old" looking part under the hood now!

As always, any pointers are appreciated.
 

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I vote for replacing the easiest and least expensive parts first. You never know when you might get lucky. The solenoid falls into this category. But I also think your battery hasn't been given enough opportunity to recover from the stress you subjected it to last week. A 15 minute drive to work probably isn't enough. Your MSD was probably eating up what the alternator was replacing. After changing the solenoid, (cheap insurance) charge up the battery good and go from there.

Mark
 

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SR69
Your solenoid sounds good to me.
Sounds like U have a chg problem now. With engine off bat V should be about 13.2V and with engine running at 1000rpm 14.5V
Buzz happens when not enough current is available for the starter.
 

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General question:

Does draining a battery down shorten its overall life expectancy?

By the way, my portable, rechargeable "self-jump-station"/air compressor has been a great investment. Did not even know they existed until I had to get a jump from a security guard after finding my 300ZX dead in the Charlotte Airport parking lot a few years ago.
 

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Robbiebaer said:
How many wires comming off the back of your alternator do you guys with a 1970 cougar with a 351 2V. I have 2 but my wiring diagram there is 3 to 4. Am I just missing some or is having 2 normal.
Robbie, there are two harnesses one has a Y shaped rubber boot with an orange field wire and a black bat wire plus a ground so actually 3 wires total. The other harness has 3 wires with individual rubber boots on them white-field, white/black stripe-stator, back-bat and black plus a ground (black/red stripe) so 4 wires total. The one with the two wires in the Y shaped boot is for cars with ammeters and the one with the individual rubber booted wires is for cars with an idiot light. The two styles cant be interchanged into your car because they made the plugs different where they plug into your engine compartment harness (different arrangement of the female and male connectors). The wiring diagrams can be very vague, i find sometime if im in a manual that covers multiple years Ill look at the same circuit under the next year and what do ya know, thats more like what mine looks like. I think to save printing costs they show the ammeter circuitry in the one year section and the idiot light circuitry in the other year even though both styles were available in both years so that they dont have to print everything twice. If you want a more detailed account of why these two different style harnesses are used and where the wires go to check out this rambling reply i made near the bottom of this threads page. http://www.mercurycougar.net/forums/showthread.php?t=12421

Tom
 

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Uh, Tom,... Robbie asked his question a year-and-a-half ago...

I merely latched on to it because of the thread's title, not wanting to start a fresh post so soon, and to see if anyone could "find" me, especially cause its in the "community" forum and not the tech forum for some reason.

But you never know, maybe Robbie is out there watching...
 
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