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Old 01-12-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
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Okay, so my car has had starting issues since it has been in my possession although it has started and ran for about 10 minutes or so. About a week and a half ago it just turned over without any fire at all. The last time I attempted to start the car it fired so I left it alone for about at week. Today when I tried to start it, the car made a loud "clank" noise and would not even turn over. It sounds like the starter is hitting a brick wall. I really dont know where to begin and what to do. This is a built 289 4bbl with a 292 cam. I am extremely upset now.

There is quite a bit of electrical not connected but I am still trying to figure it out. Like there is a wire not connected coming from the ignition that is red. I assume it is important. I am praying that it is some odd electrical problem. It is also a C4 Auto.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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Does the starter try to turn? Pull the starter off. Try to turn the engine by hand, Put in neutral and use a large deep socket to turn engine at the crank pulley. If you can, take the starter in for testing at a parts store. It could be a wire came loose while starting, causing the starter to stop abruptly. Also could be the relay or the neutral safety switch. I'd say it's best to eliminate the motor being seized first, which seems that is unlikely the problem.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
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If it ran fine before then more than likely its not seized you starter could be bad or a bad ground even i second take the starter off and get it tested
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:15 PM   #4
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Okay, I messed with it more today. Here is what I have found now.

The starter does try to turn but sounds like it is hitting something and immediatly stopping and made a "clank" noise. Every time I tried to start it, it made the same noise and didnt make any sounds after that.

I decided to check the tranny, neutral and park both work so its not the tranny.

Last I put a socket on the crank and tried to hand turn it. Its HUGE btw. Like a 7/8 or something. seriously. But I could not get it to budge. I am very afraid my engine has seized. Also, there is GASOLINE in my OIL. I am very heartbroken. What do you guys think with that description?
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:18 PM   #5
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Does the starter try to turn? Pull the starter off. Try to turn the engine by hand, Put in neutral and use a large deep socket to turn engine at the crank pulley. If you can, take the starter in for testing at a parts store. It could be a wire came loose while starting, causing the starter to stop abruptly. Also could be the relay or the neutral safety switch. I'd say it's best to eliminate the motor being seized first, which seems that is unlikely the problem.
I am not positive that the engine was in neutral when I tried to crank it. although it might have been. I will try again tomorrow to make sure.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:19 PM   #6
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Does the starter try to turn? Pull the starter off. Try to turn the engine by hand, Put in neutral and use a large deep socket to turn engine at the crank pulley. If you can, take the starter in for testing at a parts store. It could be a wire came loose while starting, causing the starter to stop abruptly. Also could be the relay or the neutral safety switch. I'd say it's best to eliminate the motor being seized first, which seems that is unlikely the problem.
I am not positive that the engine was in neutral when I tried to crank it by hand. although it might have been. I will try again tomorrow to make sure.

The whole neutral safety switch is confusing to me, I do believe it isnt connected either though.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:21 PM   #7
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If it ran fine before then more than likely its not seized you starter could be bad or a bad ground even i second take the starter off and get it tested
I really really hope you are correct. I will look at it more soon
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:37 AM   #8
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I am not positive that the engine was in neutral when I tried to crank it by hand. although it might have been. I will try again tomorrow to make sure.

The whole neutral safety switch is confusing to me, I do believe it isnt connected either though.

The neutral safety switch is located on the drivers side of the tranny in the middle behind bell housing. It's adjustable for locating park and neutral. It won't start if it's wrong. It plugs in on the firewall near the brake booster or master cylinder (if manual brakes). It's the only electrical wire connecting to your C4.

Why do you think there's gas in your oil?

You could have a bad tooth on your starter or on the flex plate. Check to make the starter isn't loose. If not then pull it and check it first.

Make sure it's in neutral before trying to hand turn the engine, roll the car a few feet back and forth. If you still can't turn it, pull the plugs to help eliminate the compression and then turn it.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:50 AM   #9
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You could also check the ground on the starter solenoid i had that problem the car acted like the battery was dead And would engage but would spin it
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #10
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The neutral safety switch is located on the drivers side of the tranny in the middle behind bell housing. It's adjustable for locating park and neutral. It won't start if it's wrong. It plugs in on the firewall near the brake booster or master cylinder (if manual brakes). It's the only electrical wire connecting to your C4.

Why do you think there's gas in your oil?

You could have a bad tooth on your starter or on the flex plate. Check to make the starter isn't loose. If not then pull it and check it first.

Make sure it's in neutral before trying to hand turn the engine, roll the car a few feet back and forth. If you still can't turn it, pull the plugs to help eliminate the compression and then turn it.
Yes the wire is not plugged into the tranny I dont think. or at least I was having trouble finding where it goes from there.
I think the is gas in my oil because of a very heavy gasoline smell on the dipstick that wasnt there before them engine wouldnt start.
the starter seems pretty solid, I will pull it and take it in to be checked though
I will make sure those are the conditions of me trying to turn it again.
Thank you.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:28 AM   #11
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Thats odd that its not plugged in and your car still even make a noise
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:44 AM   #12
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Working under the assumption that it's not seized, when you get it rotating by hand, I would get a buddy to turn it by hand and inspect the flywheel/flexplate through the starter hole as it goes around. Or do like me and set up your phone to record video of the plate as you turn it over by hand.

Since you were hearing an audible thunk, it wouldn't hurt to make sure all the teeth are okay before trying again with that or a new starter.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:39 AM   #13
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Okay, well I will check the neutral safety switch and check the starter along with grounds and get back to you guys.

I really appreciate it. I would be screwed without this forum.

If it turns out to be seized, I have someone offering a 302 from a 97 explorer. I have heard that's a great engine to build and is very strong. I have a guy that said he would build it to whatever hp I wanted. But I don't want any emissions and I probably want it carbourated. What do you think?

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Old 01-14-2014, 03:05 PM   #14
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ok the first thing you want to do is pull the spark plugs and try to turn the engine over with the breaker bar. if it still wont turn over by hand, then get some good penetrating oil and spray the cylinders down and let it soak for a couple of hours, then try again.

also try turning the engine backwards as well. if it turns in one direction but not the other, or turns and then stops, the engine isnt seized up, but rather has a mechanical interference somewhere.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:48 PM   #15
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Great information. I will definitely do that soon. I will report my findings. Thank you

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Old 01-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #16
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Okay, I have an update for you. I gave it some muscle and I got it to turn. So I at least freed it up. So here is my plan, I am going to pull spark plugs and put some oil down there to help lube it up. Then I am going to drain the oil and drop the oil pan. Check everything out. Then I will fill her up with quality oil and try to figure out why there is gasoline in my oil. Must be a seal or something. Idk.

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:03 PM   #17
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Okay, I have an update for you. I gave it some muscle and I got it to turn. So I at least freed it up. So here is my plan, I am going to pull spark plugs and put some oil down there to help lube it up. Then I am going to drain the oil and drop the oil pan. Check everything out. Then I will fill her up with quality oil and try to figure out why there is gasoline in my oil. Must be a seal or something. Idk.

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i just hope that you didnt break a ring or score a cylinder wall in the process.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:21 PM   #18
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I do too. What's the best way to find out?

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Old 01-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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I do too. What's the best way to find out?

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You would have to take take the engine apart
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #20
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I do too. What's the best way to find out?

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You would have to take take the engine apart
yep. disassembly required.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:07 PM   #21
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Yuck. Looks like I might be calling my mechanic. Haha.

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---------- Post added at 10:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:06 PM ----------

I appreciate It guys. Doing some more work tomorrow so I will update again.

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:25 PM   #22
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Does it move easily now?

It's possible that your fuel pump is cracked between the block and pump allowing gas into the oil. Kind of a wild theory,but you never know.

You could pull the plugs and insert a camera snake in and check for damage. Easier than tearing the whole thing down. But pulling the heads isn't really that bad.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #23
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The fuel in the oil is possibly due to flooding it when you were trying to start it before. I suppose it could be an internal leak in the fuel pump that is making its way to the crankcase but I've never seen that happen.

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Old 01-16-2014, 11:16 PM   #24
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Okay, tomorrow I will remove all the spark plugs and change the oil but tonight I pulled one of the spark plugs to find that it is very rough and completely black and it smells of gasoline. So I am hoping the spark plugs are the root of my starting, and fuel in oil issues. If that is true it makes sense the engine got tight with gasoline in the oil. I am also siphoning what is left in the gas tank and putting in fresh fuel just in case. I will update again tomorrow with how everything goes.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:30 AM   #25
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I got some mobil 1 oil because of all the great things I have heard. Do I really need something with ZDDP like Valvoline? Thats what I run in my MG.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:10 AM   #26
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I found someone to rebuild my engine for me for a good price. Even though it is freed up it has a LOT of gunk under the valve covers. Might see if I can squeeze a bit more power out of it while I'm at it.

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