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Old 11-23-2011, 13:36   #1 (permalink)
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1987 TC not starting

Hey guys. I just joined this forum bc i am stumped on the issue with my dads 87 T-bird Turbo Coupe. Let me start off with a little bit of info on the car...Its a 1987 T-bird Turbo Coupe in canyon red, all stock, 2.3 l4 turbo, 5spd, fully loaded with every available option except leather seats. The car has about 153,xxx on it and still runs good. My dad has had the car for about 20 years now, using it as a daily driver for the first 5 or so, then garaging it and barely using it after that.

Now about this issue, when i turn and hold the key in the start position the first try, i get a grinding noise coming from the drivers side. The second time i turn it, i get absolutely nothing. If i remove the key from the ignition and try the whole process over again, the same thing happens. I took the ignition wire (the smallest wire) off the solenoid then took a separate wire and touched it to the ignition terminal on the solenoid back to the positive on the battery trying to jump the starter, and got the same click. The only difference is that each time i touch the wire to the battery, i get the click and if i hold it on the battery its a constant grinding kind of noise. I can feel the battery vibrate and the sound seems like its coming from under the battery area. Im pretty sure its not the starter or the solenoid. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-23-2011, 15:03   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

Tried a jump start ? Could be a lazy starter , take it out and bench test thereby eliminating that .
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Old 11-23-2011, 16:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

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Tried a jump start ? Could be a lazy starter , take it out and bench test thereby eliminating that .
I had to jump start the battery to try it out bc the battery is getting weak bc the cars been sitting in the garage for a couple months. But the sound didnt sound like a dead/weak battery, and i checked the battery which read 12.6 on my multi-meter as i was jumping it. I could bench test the starter though and see what that turns out to be like, not sure when ill get to it though lol but ill keep ya updated.
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Old 11-23-2011, 16:38   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

If it's turning over fast enough probably starter o.k . A lazy starter will drag a lot of power from battery and be slow in turning over , so may not be that .If it's been lying for a while may have to check basics i.e is it getting fuel , spark , compression . Plugs could now be wet also with trying to start . Hard to guess what would cause noise apart from pulleys / belts.Someone else may be along later with a possible solution , all the best .
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Old 11-23-2011, 16:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

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If it's turning over fast enough probably starter o.k . A lazy starter will drag a lot of power from battery and be slow in turning over , so may not be that .If it's been lying for a while may have to check basics i.e is it getting fuel , spark , compression . Plugs could now be wet also with trying to start . Hard to guess what would cause noise apart from pulleys / belts.Someone else may be along later with a possible solution , all the best .
Its really only been sitting maybe a month or month and a half at most, i kinda exaggerated that lol but my dad went to start it and it cranked for a min, but then the battery couldnt power it and it just did this click sound. However, after giving the battery juice, it still just clicks. And the motor wont turn over at all, i only get the clicking sound. Do you know if theres any kind of module or relay type of thing near the power steering reservoir and battery on these? I kinda have a feeling its something along those lines but im not sure...
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Old 11-23-2011, 16:59   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

It's not the starter solenoid clicking ?
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Old 11-23-2011, 18:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

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It's not the starter solenoid clicking ?
It sounds like its down lower than the solenoid...the solenoids mounted on the drivers side inner fender. I think tomorrow if i get the chance im gonna try a different solenoid on it and see what it does...
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Old 11-25-2011, 22:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

Well, i went down to Advance and picked up a new starter solenoid only to find out that it didnt fix the problem...the car still just clicks and the motor wont turn over. the battery is charged up too. so now i have a pretty good feeling its the starter so tomorrows project is to find out if that starter is any good or not...
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Old 11-25-2011, 22:24   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

Have you tried turning the engine over by hand?
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Old 11-30-2011, 14:43   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1987 TC not starting

Starter had a dead spot in it lol i went under there and gave it a few taps, got in it and it started right up. Hasnt given me a problem since.

Today though, i suddenly noticed that the power steering was awfully noisy, noisier than usual. i added some fluid to it, which seemed to then quiet it down. after taking it for a less than a mile ride, it got noisy again. I also noticed that as i was driving in third, and hit the gas, once that car got up to about 2700-3000rpm, it got a kind of "shimmy in the suspension", kinda felt more like the back, but as i let off the gas it lightened up. The power steering may have a leak though bc the passenger side front wheel had a brownish fluid on it....
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