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65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 05:43 PM

Wiring gone bad (terribly bad)
I just bought my 65 Mustang. When I got her, she was running great and I cruised all around. But I got up one morning to take her out and she wouldn't start. I replaced the starter and .... that wasn't it. Sooooo I jumped her like I should have in the first place and she kicked to life, only to stall out when I turned on the lights! Viola!!! Alternator problem. So I checked my wiring and I had the ground disconnected (came this way). I reconnected the ground and no help so I took out the alternator (which was fried) and got a new one!! Problem solved .... NOPE! I, being the genuise that I am and of course needing no help, wired the damn thing wrong. See I've never been much of an electrical man ... give me a math problem or mechanical issues and I'll fix her no prob with no manual, but not electrical. So I hooked my battery hookup on the alternator to (which I didn't know at the time) the positive side of the starter switch:(

So ..... I started her up and much to my surprise the starter wouldn't shut off (great right?) so I tried to disconnect the ground on the starter switch to shut it down (which worked twice) and smoke started coming out of the damn thing! Now is the time to mutter ******* under your breath while reading this! It's ok .... becuase I am in the situation. So.....we come to my question.

I'm assuming that I need a new starter switch, I should prolly get a new voltage regulator, rewire everything with new wiring, and get a new solenoid(that can't be spelled right). How would I go about checking to see if the solenoid and voltage regulator are fried? If I crank the engine and the starter jumps to life and them dies when I stop cranking do I need a new starter switch (the thing that smoke came out of)? Though I will prolly replace that lovely piece of electrical gagdritry anyway. I there anything else I should check/double check/triple check before hooking the battery back up and trying to fire my baby up. I don't want to screw up anything anymore than I already have ....

Thanks a ton in advance everyone ... and I am an idiot about electricity so go on ahead and tell me, I won't take any offense to it!

OH BTW ... the positive on the alternator does go to the positive on the solenoid ... RIGHT?


Help me get my baby running please ....

matt167 04-24-2006 05:53 PM

u wired the starter wrong. the is the starter switch your thinking of on the passanger side fenderwell? if so it's the starter relay, you probably smoked it because of that, and got stuck. you probably need a new 1.

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 06:19 PM

Well ... the starter is wired correctly to the starter switch (starter relay as you said) but I wired the slternator directly to the switch/relay which caused the problem (the alternator suppling power directly to the relay with no way of cutting it off ... hence the fact that the engine would not turn of without me manually pulling power to the damn thing)

What I want to know is how much of my electrical system might I have fried and what should I check to see if I need to replace.

matt167 04-24-2006 06:29 PM

any wires that look bubbully or burnt. there are 2 posts for small wire to go on the relay, there is a start terminal labeled S connected to the red wire and a L ( I think ) that is the black wire. how did u cross those wires? if u cross the red wire to the pos side of the battery, it will turn the motor over, so from what I'm getting, you hooked the alt direct to this?

docvette 04-24-2006 06:36 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

Wow! You really did it didn't ya?

Ok , First to test the solenoid, get out your jumper cables, remove all the wires from the Big side bolts, leave ground side of battery hooked up, and hook power to the "S" terminal..If it's working, It will go "Click" ...

With a DVOM, , set to Ohms, R X 1 scale, calibrated to 000, measure across the big bolts (one probe on each side) and read it, with the "S" wire not energized it should read infinite.

With power to the "S" side, It should read 000..If you read 000, in the non energized position, you have welded contacts , replace the solenoid.(why the starter ran away)

On the Ignition switch, If smoke came out, It can't be a good thing..crawl up under the dash, and inspect the wire harness for melted wires. (you may have to untape them.) If they are good, (not melted into a glob) Pull the switch, measure with your ohm meter from the power ( hot at all times ) to the "Run" Position with the key should read 000.

Then rotate the switch to the "Start" position, It should read 000, then infinite when rotated back to the "run" position. (for this you will be required to grow a third hand..or get a bud to help.)

Do the same with the ACC position.

Be sure none of the positions read any continuity to the switch body..If they do, or one or more positions won't read get a new switch.

Don't even worry about the regulator just yet..Get it running again first..With it running, If it's putting 13.95 to 14.4 volts across the battery, It's working.

Doc :pimp:

docvette 04-24-2006 06:54 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

After reading your replies, I think we are having some SERIOUS mis communications here..

When you say switch..Are you talking about the place where the key goes in? OR are you talking about the solenoid??? :confused: :confused: :confused:

The solenoid will have two large cables on it and two smaller wires on the front marked "S" and "I'.. = SOLENOID..

If you reversed the "S" and "I" wires, the starter will turn the engine anytime the key is on because the primary Ignition is back feeding the "s" terminal where the "I" wire was mistakenly put.

When you say the starter just runs all the time, do you mean without engine running or with it running? You said you had to remove the ground cable to shut it off..the engine or the starter?

The alternator wire goes to the battery side of the solenoid (big bolt) and should not effect run on if everything else is properly hooked up..

Doc :pimp:

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by matt167
any wires that look bubbully or burnt. there are 2 posts for small wire to go on the relay, there is a start terminal labeled S connected to the red wire and a L ( I think ) that is the black wire. how did u cross those wires? if u cross the red wire to the pos side of the battery, it will turn the motor over, so from what I'm getting, you hooked the alt direct to this?

I hooked the alternator directly to the Big post where the battery is directly connected!

Also thanks for the solenoid test Doc....Now if I can just get ahold of a voltage meter to do the test....time to go looking in the closet (of my roomate)

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 07:15 PM

Ok, just went to look under the hood and it seems that the solenoid is what I was referring to as the starter switch/relay, which was smoking. I tried to start her yesterday and when she kicked to life the starter would not disengage and just kept running. It sounded as if it were stuck on with power to it and would not shut off. This only happens when the engine is running. The left post (small one) is connected to a brown wire. The right (small) post is connected to a red and blue wire. The left post (large) is connected to the starter and the right post (large) is connected to the battery and the voltage regulator. Does the alternator connect to the right post (large) where the battery is connected?

To shut off the starter I loosened the nut on the left post (big) that was connected to the starter and i shut the starter off but the engine stayed on. The next time this didn't work and I unplugged the left post (small) and the engine shut off but the starter continued to crank with the key in the ON position (this is when I got the smoke out of it). So if I had the alternator plugged into the battery/solenoid right why would the starter not shut off? Is the solenoid fried and thats it....

The more I learn the more I believe I had it hooked up correctly so what the hell happened? The engine does not just start once the key is in the on position...but will not turn off when I turn the key to the off position which is why I thought I had the alternator hooked up wrong.

BTW this is a picture of what I was calling a starter switch/relay...

EDIT: When I say left I mean looking over the passenger side fender of the car down at the solenoid (which is mounted on the inner passenger side fender) ... so opposite of whats in the picture of the link.

red65mustang 04-24-2006 07:27 PM

send me a PM with your email address and I can send you the complete car wiring diagrams,
files are just hair over the post limit to attach here

haven't figured out what you did wrong yet or everything you do need to test

where in FL roughly are you

Matt,Doc, PM me with email if you wish, Falcon=Mustang=Comet

docvette 04-24-2006 07:28 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

If you didn't wipe out the solenoid, simply reverse the "S" and "I" wires at the front of the solenoid, It should run fine then...If the contacts didn't get welded..

To test , use a test lamp or meter, on one wire either one, and turn the switch on..If it lights the lamp or reads 12 volts, that goes to the "I" terminal..

Then test the other, The lamp or meter should only indicate in the "Start position" on the key switch and decline when released to the run position...If it does, that wire goes to the "S" terminal.

That should straighten it out.

BTW, that solenoid on EBAY can be had at auto zombie for about $7 bucks..what a rip off..

Doc :pimp:

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here, :pimp:

BTW, that solenoid on EBAY can be had at auto zombie for about $7 bucks..what a rip off..

Doc :pimp:

Good to know if i need another one...which I prolly will. Am gonna test when my buddy gets home and see whats going on.

BTW What will happen if the solenoid is fused...another rerun of the starter shorting out? What is the best way to turn off the car/starter is this happens (disconnect battery)?

OH AND: PM sent for those diagrams!!! I'm down by Disney!!!

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 07:52 PM

One more thing ... from left to right on the picture of that solenoid ... which one is the "I" post and which is the "S" post?

red65mustang 04-24-2006 08:15 PM

normally it is embossed in the plastic just above the small posts...check there

as in the picture, S=left I=right with mount flange on top

65Mustang289HIPO 04-24-2006 08:27 PM

Cool, thanx for the info gentlemen. Looks like I have some work to do in the morning and hopefully by the afternoon there will be a happy conclusion to the debauchery I instilled on my baby!!!

docvette 04-24-2006 09:01 PM

Doc here, :pimp:

Here ya go...

Start system for a 65 Mustang:

Doc :pimp:

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