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Dies when key is released

Rock Auto and Advance Auto Parts both list a ballast resistor for this car.

Flyboy89002: "I got it to work it was the ignition switch ". Thank you for bringing all of the speculation to an end.

"I got it to work it was the ignition switch ". Thank you for bringing all of the speculation to an end.

Unfortunately the car won’t start now.

Perhaps I am forgetting my exact failure modes here… On many a Ford Starter Solenoid there is an “i” terminal… Guess what its for? This terminal is to supply ignition power While cranking…when that terminal goes bad…we see either no power to the ignition system while cranking or none after the key is released.

Now how did mine fail…Im starting to think that I recall my engine would crank and and then try to start but as soon as I released the key she would shut down. At any rate…look into this “i” terminal and how it is wired to the system. The problem could be in there somewhere… ASSUMING you tested your ignition output wire in the column first…of course.

I still stand behind that solenoid tho… It bothered me that it was the solution for a long while…I dont know why Ford wired the solenoid in that fashion…they can fail by somehow not allowing ignition power to flow in the key on position…but allow it in the starter position…DROVE ME NUTS…thats why I wont ever forget it.

Make sure you look at your old starter solenoid…YOU MAY have bought the wrong one…as Im not sure which ones they use where… SOME DONT have the “i” terminal… I made this mistake too many times in the past…so you might have installed a bad new one…or you dont have the “i” terminal that you need…or it isnt working properly.

Trust me…I will NEVER forget the trouble I went thru…scratching my head trying to figure why a starter solenoid would have anything to do with ignition system power…because we all know…that is not exactly needed…or not needing to come via the solenoid…just let the ignition do that job… Probably a design issue in the ignition tumbler that dictates what is needed and from where.

Certainly we can have other issues here…which is why I said to check the ignition power wire on the column to verify it holds power for the ignition. But do not ignore this Solenoid theory…

Look it up yourself actually

Anywho…just trying to help… AND YES I have seen MANY a bad “New Part” out of the box…far too many.


This may be of some help … See whatcha get


Which is why we ALL suggested to test the ignition switch first perhaps ??

We are ALL more effective ONSITE… Sometimes I literally SMELL the problem with a car that is being totally ignored by the OP… Happens so often… Smell what smell? That smell of ATF burning! That smell of brake pads burning silly ! Smell what smell ? LOL

Remember almost every engine running issue has a simple cause and effect solution…you just need to know how they operate or what they rely on to be present and accounted for… Find whats missing and you find the solution

In this case…as we mentioned…check the ignition switch outputs see whatcha get…

Oh well…Im off to finish final repairs on a 1974 GE ELEC TRAK Electric Riding mower !!! Want to talk about a contact switch nightmare…lots of corroded contacts to clean ! 6 Golf Cart Batteries…A powered Snow Blower…a Powered Mow Deck… Even a Welding attachment. What is old is new again with the GE ELECE TRAK… Look these dinosaurs up… Thats what I will be working on in a moment. LOL Fun never ends


I’m a little unsure if the problem is fixed or not, but if it is fixed, glad you got your car purring like a kitten again OP!

The OP has started another thread about the fact that the vehicle is broken again.

New thread-( 86 mustang won’t run )

I had it running just dine but when i got to my buddies and try to start it up again nothing happened all lights work but no cranking no grinding no clicking nothing at all


I had it running just dine but when i got to my buddies and try to start it up again nothing
happened all lights work but no cranking no grinding no clicking nothing at all

Given that you just changed the ignitiion switch, and that apparently resolved your previous charging problem, I would:

  1. Make sure your battery is still charged.
  2. Verify the voltage coming into your ignition switch (the always available input).
  3. Then verify when you switch the key to “on”, an output line of the switch now has voltage.
  4. Then turn the switch to “start” and verify another wire output from the switch has voltage - and double check it again at the solenoid at the starter.

If the starter solenoid isn’t getting turned on when in the START mode then you need to check the safety switch operation. If you have a manual transmission the switch is on the clutch pedal. Power from the ignition switch passes through the safety switch and on to solenoid, which connects power to the starter motor.

If I replaced an ignition switch to correct one problem and the result was more problems related to the ignition switch my next move would be to make certain that the new switch was working correctly by verifying every circuit going in and coming out.

Crikey…just supply the starter solenoid with what you know it needs… The problem child can be sussed out very rapidly after you do this.

Either bridge the mains on the solenoid…or supply its trigger wire with 12VDC… Things will happen quickly after this…