Starts fine when cold then barly cranks when warm - Mustang Evolution

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Old 03-29-2015, 11:22 AM   #1
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Starts fine when cold then barly cranks when warm

79 mustang w/ 88 ford 302. Car will start just fine when it's cold then will barly crank over after you turn it off and try to restart. Checked all my connections and everything is good. Any suggestions?


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Old 03-29-2015, 12:41 PM   #2
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The same thing happened to my Stang awhile back and it turned out to be a bad starter cable.6" of insulation had rubbed off due to the cable rubbing against the bottom of the oil pan.It was basically bare wire touching metal.Resistance increases when this occurs and it also increases due to engine heat.That's why it starts fine when cold,but drags once the engine heats up.If the battery cables were the only connections you checked,make sure you check the battery neg to engine,engine to firewall and EEC grounds too if you're still using the 88 efi.Its also a good idea to add extra grounds just like described in the link below.If you're grounds are all OK,your starter might be going bad when it gets heat soaked.This is especially true if you run longtube headers.If the starter is good but its dragging only because of the heat soak,you can buy a starter blanket for it.It reflects the heat off the starter.Over advanced ignition timing will also cause your starter to drag so make sure its set to 10-14°.Since its a 79 with a 88 5.0 motor,I'm not sure what type of fuel system or ignition system you're using,but if its all 88 5.0 type stuff timing you be set to 10° stock or up to 14° if you run 91+ octane fuel and want a few extra ponies.Make sure the battery is in good shape too by using a voltmeter to test it.It should have 12.6 volts or higher if its fully charged with the engine off.With the engine running and revved to 2000 rpm,it should have 13.6-14.7 volts then turn the headlights on,voltage should drop then come back up,if the battery is good and the charging system is working OK.Now test cranking voltage: disable the ignition,leave the meter attached to the battery posts,get an assistant to crank the engine for a few seconds while you watch the gauge.If voltage falls below 9.6 volts,the battery is in need of a charge or it needs replacement.It doesn't have enough reserve capacity to keep up with the demands of the starting system.Now test the battery ground circuit:Connect the pos meter lead to the battery ground at the engine block and the neg lead to the neg battery post(not terminal) Leave the ignition system disabled.Crank the engine for a few seconds.Voltage should be between 0.1-0.3 volts while cranking.Anything higher indicates a bad ground connection. You can test voltage drop too.Example: touch pos lead to battery post and neg lead to battery terminal.Anything above 0.2 volts indicates a excessive voltage drop due to a loose connection,corroded end or cable,rusty connection,etc.
How Important are Grounds in a Ford
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:58 AM   #3
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^ true :thumbup:

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Old 03-30-2015, 08:30 AM   #4
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Definitely check your wiring and ground situation.


Had the same problem when I moved my battery to the trunk. I upgraded to 2 ground straps that I made for the front and fixed the problem.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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I'm gonna upgrade to a high torque mini starter since I have an older one on it now and also add some ground straps.




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Old 04-07-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=79FourEyedFox;2201797]I'm gonna upgrade to a high torque mini starter since I have an older one on it now and also add some ground straps.




Here's a tad bit of info about the 3G.
Fuel Injection Technical Library » 3G Install Tech
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:15 AM   #7
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Just install a 94/95 starter. Its a mini starter and higher torque than the foxes. I got the Summit one last time I got a starter for a 94/95 car and it worked like a beast.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:27 AM   #8
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94/95 starter makes heck of a difference. It took care of my fox's starting problems as you described. Especially w/ the shorty headers that would dissipate more heat for the worn-out-dinosaur starter to soak up & fail.

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Old 04-08-2015, 08:29 AM   #9
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Starter also takes like 5 minutes to change once the car is in the air.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:32 AM   #10
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I just switched to all new msd and added more and bigger grounds. Haven't ran the car much but problem hasn't come back. And I run long tube header so I actually have to take out the motor mount nut and take off my headers in order to change the starter


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Old 04-22-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
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It's probably timing ?


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