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Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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1985 delta 88 ignition problems

Good day to all. I have a two door 85 delta 88 and I cant start the car. I just had the starter repaired by a reputable business and the starter works fine. I have power in the cabin, (lights, windows, etc.) all mechanics are operating properly. It appears to be some sort of electrical problem. When I attempt to start car no turning over takes place whatsoever, no clicking, etc. (I'll check the fuses in the morning.) Now mind you when I purchased this car several years ago, it had a serious problem with the starting/the battery. When I first bought the car I had to keep jump starting it to get her running, then I replaced the battery and the car drove fine. The car then sat parked for several months and now I am back to the same problem. (Take into consideration that I have repaired the starter AND battery.) Please offer me any advice that may be helpful. Thank you for your time.

Last edited by Daniel2008; December 23rd, 2008 at 05:35 PM.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:06 PM   #2
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Are you getting power to the starter from the battery and the ignition switch? Do the wires have any corrosion on them? How do all of the engine grounds look?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:23 PM   #3
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reply 1

There is some corrosion on some of the battery wire. The wire to the starter looks good. I need to check the power coming from the batter to starter and switch to the starter? I think I know where your leading. How would I check the voltage with a voltmeter? Thanks.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:32 PM   #4
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Good day to all. I have a two door 85 delta 88 and I cant start the car. I just had the starter repaired by a reputable business and the starter works fine. I have power in the cabin, (lights, windows, etc.) all mechanics are operating properly. It appears to be some sort of electrical problem. When I attempt to start car no turning over takes place whatsoever, no clicking, etc. (I'll check the fuses in the morning.) Now mind you when I purchased this car several years ago, it had a serious problem with the starting/the battery. When I first bought the car I had to keep jump starting it to get her running, then I replaced the battery and the car drove fine. The car then sat parked for several months and now I am back to the same problem. (Take into consideration that I have repaired the starter AND battery.) Please offer me any advice that may be helpful. Thank you for your time.
There are a number of possible causes for your symptoms. Since the starter apparently is known to be good and the battery is good, my first inclination would be either the ignition switch or the neutral safety switch. When turning the key to the START position, try putting the shifter in NEUTRAL instead of PARK. Also try moving the shifter between gears (but be sure the emergency brake is on as the car could start in gear!!!). If the starter turns or clicks in a position other than PARK, the neutral safety switch is either misadjusted or bad. If the starter still doesn't operate, look for the neutral safety switch at the base of the steering column. It will have a connector with two purple wires. Remove this connector from the switch and jumper across the terminals in the connector with a wire or paper clip. This bypasses the neutral safety switch. If the car works now, the switch is bad.

If not, the ignition switch may be the problem. The ignition switch (as opposed to the key lock) is above the steering column under the dash. You need to drop the column to access it. If you are not comfortable doing this, your mechanic should be able to check it with no problem.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 06:21 AM   #5
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Just to follow what Dan and Joe said,definetely check your battery cables for corrosion.Make sure they're clean along with the terminals.Sometimes they can look fine but will cause problems and usually it's the simplest thing that's the problem.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #6
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'Remove this connector from the switch and jumper across the terminals in the connector with a wire or paper clip. This bypasses the neutral safety switch. If the car works now, the switch is bad. '

When I jumper where do I bridge to? I checked all of the fuses, and batter cable connections. (cleaned battery contacts a bit) I need to properly handle the neutral safety switch to be sure of that angle. Also, when I turn over the ignition I hear a slight clicking coming from under the hood, near windshield wiper and or coming from under the dashboard.

Thanks again for the post (s) I will cautiously begin working on the ingnition switch this weekend, if it leads to that.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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you connect the 2 purple wires together via a jumper wire. you don't connect them anywhere else. use a wire of appropriate gauge for this, as it will be conducting about 20+ amps.
when cleaning battery cable ends, water and baking soda are your friends.


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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:19 PM   #8
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'Remove this connector from the switch and jumper across the terminals in the connector with a wire or paper clip. This bypasses the neutral safety switch. If the car works now, the switch is bad. '

When I jumper where do I bridge to? I checked all of the fuses, and batter cable connections. (cleaned battery contacts a bit) I need to properly handle the neutral safety switch to be sure of that angle. Also, when I turn over the ignition I hear a slight clicking coming from under the hood, near windshield wiper and or coming from under the dashboard.

Thanks again for the post (s) I will cautiously begin working on the ingnition switch this weekend, if it leads to that.
Can you have someone look under the hood while you try to crank the engine to see if that clicking is coming from the starter solenoid?
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Old December 25th, 2008, 12:16 AM   #9
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Nice car. I have 2 85's at the moment.
Here's a pic for your enjoyment.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #10
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Nice car. I have 2 85's at the moment.
Here's a pic for your enjoyment.
Click the image to open in full size.

have to say you are the man!love 88s!
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Old December 25th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #11
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Unless I'm mistaken 85's do not have a neutral start switch. They're like mechanical interlock Ford columns in that the key can be turned to start only in P or N. Me 83 Custom Cruiser is that way, at least.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #12
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Unless I'm mistaken 85's do not have a neutral start switch. They're like mechanical interlock Ford columns in that the key can be turned to start only in P or N. Me 83 Custom Cruiser is that way, at least.
Well, good point. I don't remember exactly when the changeover was. My 86 CSM shows the mechanical interlock and no neutral safety switch.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #13
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I have been looking for my 85 csm......, but it got moved around in the christmas rush cleanup.
I'll dig it up later on today, and let you know.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #14
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Reply3

Im not quite certain theres a neutral safety switch under the steering column. There is a single purple line (with white stripe) connected to the same. I have unplugged/plugged to no avail. (I will jump it this weekend.) My last case scenario will be to check the ignition switch as Joe indicated. (Would have to drop the steering column/somebody go get a 12 pack of Bud!)

Thanks Joe and everybody else on the guidance and help. I will keep all posted.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #15
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What do you have in that Delta racing the Mustang? 350, 403...?
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Old December 26th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #16
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What do you have in that Delta racing the Mustang? 350, 403...?
It was a bone stock 72 455 with open small block headers. I ended up losing to the mustang twice in a row
The mustang was bone stock as well and was running 14.57
My delta could only muster up a 14.69.

my 3:08 1 legger just couldn't get the edge over his 3:73 posi in the 60 foot. I was staring at his passenger mirror the whole race.

Last month I put on some big block headers, an edelbrock performer intake, and jetted up the carb 3 sizes. Hopefully, the old junker gets a little more respect in the springtime.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 05:50 PM   #17
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The problem has been solved. The starter wires were connected incorrectly to the battery. The wire was connected to the R instead of the S. Problem solved. Thanks to all for their help and insight!
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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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Mine I had to push the shifter up into park all the way, The 400 trans didn't hook up too well

BTW I miss that car
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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:43 PM
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