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64 Wildcat starter problem


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I had a request to help Inked Ghandi figure out his starter problem. He posted on the AACA tech forum. I rarely go there, and a lot of you don't, so I'm starting a thread here for him. I know WE can figure it out...

1964 Wildcat is meeting a nasty end:

Recently my '64 wildcat decided to stop running. And I need some major help figuring out the problem. The starter was re-manufactured no more than a week ago, the battery is new, as is the alternator, and I replaced the ignition coil, ignition switch, and also changed the fusible links. And it wont turn over for anything. Everything else comes on except for the starter. And I have had the battery and starter tested and they both test good. So any help would be highly appreciated.

Inked Ghandi

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Guest rsd9699

If you short the solenoid as suggested by Mr. Pete and it cranks - then either the Neutral safety switch needs adjustment or replaced. If a jumper across the Neutral safety switch and Ignition key switch cranks - you have the narrowed down the problem. If still no cranking - check battery cables pos and neg. Then finally either Ignition key switch is bad or broken wire. Use a bulb to locate the broken section of wire. Shop manual will guide you the quickest.


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Starter solenoid or broken wire, is my vote. Put in a fresh rebuild only to have the new solenoid not work. I hit it with a screw driver (big one), then the starter worked. Bad new solenoid.

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Check the continuity THROUGH the bulkhead connector on the firewall. Also, if the battery terminals "look" clean with the battery cable installed on them . . . REMOVE them and use the famous wire brush cleaning apparatus to clean BOTH the terminals and the inside of the cable end.

Once upon a time, in a secure storage location, I put an electronic ignition system on one of my vehicles, a 1967 to be exact. After it was all installed and the wires safely hidden away and otherwise disguised, not to mention extending the harness to hide the control box in an electrically "hot" location, but not where you'd ever suspect to look, I hit the key and it started. Three MORE times, it started . . . but the FIFTH time, nothing. The battery terminals were tight and looked good. Voltage was "everywhere", inside and out, but still "no starter activity".

I changed the solenoid for a new one, although the old one was fine . . . nothing. Still, voltage "everywhere".

As a "let's see" deal, I retreived a battery terminal brush which I'd gotten as a door prize on a car club "run" several years prior. One of those things you smile and accept, but might have liked something different . . . sort of things, which I put in my toolbox and didn't worry about. So, upon closer inspection of the battery cable ends on the battery terminals, I could see something that turned out to be a thin film of something coating the battery terminals. I cleaned it off with one end of the brush and then cleaned the inner surface of the cable ends. Still, voltage "everywhere", but NOW it started and kept starting easily! In both situations, NO voltage loss detectable on the meter.

Later, a similar situation at the gas station one day. I'd known of the "big red wire" lead through the bulkhead from an earlier situation, so I checked it and it had become loose. I pushed it back into the inside connector and things started again, as designed.

Just some "It happened to me . . . " thoughts,


Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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