Ford Forums banner

21 - 40 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
I haven't done anything further, no. I've had to focus on a couple other of my cars. I wanted to use one of those remote starter sets that allows you to crank the motor without being behind the wheel. Figure I could use it to bypasd the solenoid. My grandpa gave me one years ago, but I can't find it. Thought maybe I accidentally left it behind when I moved out of my parents' house, but my dad hasn't seen it in the garage, at least that he noticed.

So, I'm left with the following possibilities, I think:

> The starter just really sucks
> The solenoid doesn't allow full current to pass through
> The negative battery cable somehow isn't making sufficient grounding contact, even though it's secure in place

I'm somewhat leaning towards the first given that the starters get goofy after a few uses, and if the other two were more likely, then I should be getting the current results even with a fresh starter. Nothing is loose, all cables are nice and tight, making what looks to be good contact. It really feels like the starters are somehow getting sufficient power to spin up, while not enough power to trigger the Bendix solenoid. Given how freely the solenoid moves, I'm left to conclude that it has to be some kind of internal wiring flaw with this brand of starter. Of course, I could be completely wrong, so who knows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Ok, so I picked up a starter from NAPA, and got it installed. After much cranking because the fuel pumping wasn't priming properly, finally got some fuel up to the carb. However, it seems like the moment it was about to start, this starter suffered the same fate as the previous starters. It stopped sufficiently extending the pinion.

Up until that moment, it was engaging properly and cranking the motor. I'd venture so far as to say I cranked it as much as it got cranked prior to the other failures. It even cranked better than the CarQuest/Advance starters.

I'm pretty much at a loss here, because it's seeming like there's something with the truck causing the starters to fail. I just don't know how that's possible given how simple the circuit is.

I'm wondering if I need to do a voltage drop test on the ground circuit. But even if the ground circuit is not so great, I don't see how it would do anything but cause slow cranking, not failure of the internal solenoid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
It's been suggested that goofy ignition timing could cause starter damage. I do know that the timing isn't quite right, and the vacuum advance is trashed. So, maybe that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,172 Posts
Hi ledzilla. I didn't read all of the post so I'm not sure if you have done so, but as RS Logan suggested in post #2 have a close look at the flywheel. When you remove this starter use a big flat screwdriver or a pry bar and from a good pry point work the flywheel around and inspect all of the teeth. They should be nicely squared off. Then make a mark one a tooth and count the teeth on the flywheel as you move it around. It should have 180 teeth. Something is off somewhere.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,953 Posts
It's been suggested that goofy ignition timing could cause starter damage. I do know that the timing isn't quite right, and the vacuum advance is trashed. So, maybe that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.
Timing being over advanced / retarded can affect the starter , either throwing it out or dragging it .But usually has to be that far out that you would notice it affecting the engine performance and other symptoms . Certainly worth double checking the firing order and timing .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Timing being over advanced / retarded can affect the starter , either throwing it out or dragging it .But usually has to be that far out that you would notice it affecting the engine performance and other symptoms . Certainly worth double checking the firing order and timing .
The guy I bought it from noted that the timing wasn't right. The vacuum advance isn't connected and looks messed up, so we surmised that the timing was manually set to favor higher RPMs.

Plus, after installing the new starter, it cranked just fine. Cranked it quite a bit, in fact. It just wouldn't start. Realized that the fuel flowed back to the tank, and the pump wasn't wanting to prime. Finally got it primed, and about when the engine was going to actually catch and run, there was some weird clunk interfering with cranking the motor, and the starter failed.

I found that the timing marks are still good on the balancer, but there's not really a good angle on the timing arrow, the best angle seems obscured by some accessory brackets. So, I think I'm going to have to have a friend more experienced in adjusting ignition timing stop over and lend a hand.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
The vacuum advance line disconnect finally tipped me off. An early 460 mod was to replace the cam timing chain and gears, that came retarded from the factory, with a set that advanced the timing to around 8 degrees. This mod required that the static timing be changed and the distributor advance curve be modified. You can then no longer rely on the stock timing marks on the harmonic damper. I think the previous owner modded your 460, but got in over his head when it came to timing. That weird clunk was probably pre-ignition which will destroy a starter if too advanced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
The vacuum advance line disconnect finally tipped me off. An early 460 mod was to replace the cam timing chain and gears, that came retarded from the factory, with a set that advanced the timing to around 8 degrees. This mod required that the static timing be changed and the distributor advance curve be modified. You can then no longer rely on the stock timing marks on the harmonic damper. I think the previous owner modded your 460, but got in over his head when it came to timing. That weird clunk was probably pre-ignition which will destroy a starter if too advanced.
Do you know where I could find info to help me determine if this was done, and what is needed to get the timing right if this was done?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
There is no easy way to do it right. You have to remove the timing cover, set number 1 at TDC, then degree the cam to tell how much it's advanced, or not. It takes a degree wheel and dial indicator. You could also compare the cam chain sprocket now in your engine to an original. The keyway notch on the crankshaft sprocket will tell. I think Ford advanced the cam for emission reasons during the mid 70's, so the one in your car will be prior to that, or aftermarket.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
I just re read my post and noticed an error. Keep in mind that it's been a few years since I had a 460 apart, but the cam timing on later 460's was RETARDED about 8 degrees. Earlier 460's were set at 0 degrees or even advanced around 3 degrees, depending on the model. Cam timing, of course, affects distributor timing. The distributor curve is also important.

I suspect your car had a retarded sprocket originally and the previous owner replaced it with an older "straight-up" sprocket, but failed to make the necessary distributor mods. This would result in way too much ignition advance if you use the stock timing marks to time the engine and thus to the problems Logan first pointed out in his post. Your car should have a crankshaft sprocket with the keyway 8 degrees AHEAD of the timing dot, but more than likely had one installed with the keyway lined up with the timing dot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
Ok, so a few thoughts occur...

I just realized that this problem sprung up shortly after replacing the ignition coil and the ignition control module. They both seem to have burned out on July 4th, making for a very inconveniently timed 15-20 mile tow. Is it possible that the new ICM had an effect on ignition timing? Or maybe with the combined new ICM and coil, it was now getting a much better spark that finally highlighted a longstanding issue?

Also, until I'm able to do something proper about this, should I be able to get it running again without destroying starters by just retarding the ignition timing by a few degrees? Because it's going to take a few months before I am able to do anything about cam timing, and I don't like the idea of my truck sitting dead for a long time where it is.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
Assuming that the problem IS wrong cam/ignition timing, then yes, retarding the ignition would help. How much is just a guess, but start with about four degrees. Hot rod shops have degree tape that you can wrap around and stick to your harmonic balancer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Yeah, I've seen that tape before. Have to clean off the balancer, though. Figure I can clean off the oil all over it by spraying some brake cleaner on a rag and wiping it down.

I had been curious about the source of the oil leak, though, but haven't spent any time tracking it down yet. If you're right about the modification of cam timing, I'm willing to bet that the leak is coming from the timing cover or crankshaft seal, given that you can see oil dripping from up front.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
You're probably right regarding the leak. It's an easy fix and a chance to check for or install the correct timing sprocket. The most difficult part of the job is pulling the harmonic dampener. Sometimes it's just easier to pull the radiator out of the way too. That gives you an excuse to replace the hoses and thermostat, and if you hate dirty engines as I do, access to do a good job of cleaning the grease and oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
Oh, I don't need an excuse for the hoses and thermostat. Already have replacements for them, just haven't gotten the work done yet. Meant to do it this last summer but somehow never did.

Not too worried about space between the motor amd radiator. There's some decent clearance there in that F-250, if memory serves correctly. Probably would help to at least remove the shroud at the minimum. It is interesting to note, though, that the body lift on it was done so half-assed that the radiator support is tied to the frame with ratching cargo straps. The lift supports have nothing to secure the radiator support to the frame. It's pretty comical, actually.

I figure if I can at least get it running now, when it warms up I can tear down the front of the motor and hit it with something to clean it off, then go to town on the timing cover and components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
Ok, so before I tear into anything, just want to be sure...

For the 460, I want to turn the distributor counter-clockwise to retard ignition timing, correct?

Also, because I'll want to make sure I don't break yet another starter... Would I still be able to sufficiently verify that I've retarded it a few degrees while only cranking, and not trying to actually start it? It's easy enough to cut off the fuel, since it's an electric fuel pump(s). I should be able to just use a remote starter button to crank while under the hood and using a timing light, right? Right now, I guess it's a bit immaterial if the markings are accurate, just so long as I'm able to determine that I've successfully adjusted igintion timing. I've just only ever seen it done in a running engine, and getting the engine running without busting a starter is a bit of a challenge at present.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
To keep from breaking another starter, I would set the timing statically to begin with. You can then crank it over with the coil disconnected if you want to double check. Set the crank at TDC and rotate the distributor until you get a spark at number 1 cylinder. I would then leave it there, or even retard it a little, since I am assuming the distributor timing is already advanced by the incorrect cam timing. Then try to start the engine with the distributor clamped just tight enough to hold it from turning with the engine running, but loose enough to turn it by hand. (Get someone to help hold the timing light while you rotate the distributor). You turn the distributor clockwise to retard timing, counter clockwise to advance. Please keep in mind that this is just guesswork at this point since we do not know the cam timing. I know it's a lot of work, but I would check/fix the cam timing and the oil leak first. And yes, the remote starter will be handy, but you might be more accurate just turning the crank by hand with a breaker bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Are you sure about which way to adjust the distributor? Because this is telling me that the distributor rotor turns counter clockwise, and I'd think turning the distributor counter clockwise would retard the ignition timing.

Just trying to get this straight in my head because I've never had to manage this before. My first car that I drive for eight years was a 5.0 EFI with a distributor-based ignition system, but it never needed adjustment while I owned it. Everything else until I got my wagon and this truck had coil packs or coil-on-plug.

And I'm not going to be able to have a second set of hands. Given that I need a stool to reach into the engine bay, or even see certain things, and I only have one stool, plus no one I can reliably count on for assistance, this is all going to be a one man job.
 
21 - 40 of 75 Posts
About this Discussion
74 Replies
5 Participants
ledzilla
Ford Forums
Ford Forum is a community to discuss all things Ford. Check out our discussions on the Ford Escape, Mustang, Edge, F-150, Raptor, Explorer, Focus, Fusion, Fiesta and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top