View Full Version : Very inexperienced new guy needs help

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 02:39 AM

This post is gonna be somewhat lengthy, so I pray you don't get impatient and you'll hear me out.

Let me start by saying that I live near the St.Louis area in Granite City, Illinois and I have a White 93 SC Automatic that I've had since 1995, so it's a 2 owner car that has 96000 miles on it. I have always LOVED this car, but I made the idiotic mistake of letting my beloved coupe sit for about 3-4 years after the throttle was sticking on me. I got too scared to drive it and was too broke, lazy and busy to get it fixed. I know right.....it's an awful stupid thing to have done and I was downright neglectful in my duty as a lucky owner of such a beautiful car. Time went much too quickly, and before I knew it, the car had sat for waaaaaay too long.

Well, I recently decided that enough was enough and took it to get it fixed. It turns out that there was a burr on the throttle cable causing it to stick, a very minor problem that made me feel even more stupid. That problem was fixed.

However, I am now experiencing "bad karma" as payback for my neglectful ways. The shop I took my car to belongs to an old high school buddy of mine that I've known for 30 years. He's more like an acquaintance as we've only ran into each other here and there over the years. Anyway, he gave the car a major tune up as well as a set of new tires and some cosmetic work along with replacing the throttle cable. The day he was bringing the car back to me, he blew the head gasket. I had to get both heads resurfaced, which I now know from reading these forums is a common problem for 3.8 liter super coupes, and both head gaskets were replaced. Problem solved, I thought.....

When I got the car back I noticed some things that weren't right. These are the issues I am now facing. I am nowhere near mechanically inclined so I have to rely on mechanics to fix these issues. (I can barely replace a battery...lol)

1) The car is having a very hard time starting. It cranks and cranks but wont start. I can hear the fuel pump click on when I turn the key and have replaced the battery and starter and still this occurs. Is this a spark problem? A timing issue? A fuel issue like maybe a clogged fuel filter? Could it be the Engine Control Module?

2) My RPM gauge is not working. Sometimes it will kick on while I'm driving it, and other times it won't. Also, sometimes my oil change cluster thingy goes blank (the cluster that monitors my fluids such as oil, gas, radiator etc..). It bugs the crap out of me and I have no clue as to what is going on.

And last but certainly not least....

3) My car won't kick into overdrive. This scares me the most as I know that this could set me back alot of money. The overdrive was working fine before it sat. I talked to someone that said that there is supposed to be a "grommet" on the throttle cable and that might be the cause of this problem and that maybe my friend/mechanic didn't replace the grommet when he replaced the cable.

The car is now back in the shop, but since my friend/mechanic is kind of doing this as a side project I am getting impatient. He's had the car for about a week and he still either can't find the starting problem or he hasn't spent enough time trying to figure it out. I figure I'd give him about another week or so to sort at least that problem out, as I know he's busy and he's a nice guy. I figure first thing first......at least get it to where it starts without a problem.

Anyway, I'm out 3000 bucks so far and have a car that I desperately want in good running condition that won't even start on a reliable basis.

I guess what I'm asking for is suggestions to fix my problems and to ask if anyone in the St. Louis area knows of a knowledgeable, reliable mechanic to take my car and have it fixed, preferably on the Illinois side of the river, but it may not matter.

I've read thru alot of posts on this board and I have to admit that I am more than a bit jealous of you guys that are mechanically inclined, but most of the language and procedures that are described may as well be written in a foreign language because I am so clueless.:confused:

I have some other issues with the car as well....it's hail damaged from the storm last year....but I figure if I can get it running right, I'll get the body fixed and painted one of these days. I also need some exterior moulding for the top and bottom of the back glass and the top exterior moulding for the windshield because the plastic/rubber is almost completely flaked off.

Anyway, I posted in this particular forum in the hopes that someone in the St. Louis area could point me in the right direction. I am obsessed with this car and I desperately need help.

Any and all help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I want to join this SCCoA, but I figure I'm not even worthy until my bird is flying high once again.

Thanks a ton for any and all responses guys....I hope to be a proud member soon.

05-04-2013, 04:06 AM
Near the throttle body there are two cables. See if one isn't connected. Mine came off recently and I had to get a cotter pin and a washer. If its on the. Idk what other easy fix it coupe be. On the tach no start use search and look into bad crank sensor. With the tach issue you described it might be it. See if the symptoms match yours before you buy one.

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 04:15 AM
Thank you soo much for the quick response.

Crankshaft sensor... maybe could be the reason for it not starting as well as the problem with the tach.

MAYBE I can sleep better tonite.... Lol

05-04-2013, 04:27 AM
I know a local guy, Miguel is having that issue. And his car wouldn't start and his tach was also having issues. Again, use search and read up on what others wrote. Before you spend on it. I don't think its cheap. And I know on my sc od went out and it was due to that cable losing the groomit that held it to throttle body and car didn't drive the same. Fixed and and od was back. Good luck.

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 04:31 AM
Okay 90MN..... Will use search......

Thanks again for taking the time to try and help.

05-04-2013, 08:06 AM
While cranking the engine, check the harmonic balancer for any wobble....

Check the bolt that holds the balancer to the crank shaft.....

I had a 93 that had the same hard start / no start problem and it was due to a bad balancer....

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 08:18 AM
Thanks big e

Right now the car is in the shop but I will have him take a look at the balancer.

I took 90MNs advice and have been using search to check on bad crank sensor and most of the posts have suggested that I check the balancer as well.

Seems that the most common symptom of a bad crank sensor is that the upshift light comes on while trying to start the car. Since my tach is also out and the crank sensor is the primary source for the RPM measurement, I might actually get lucky and kill two birds with one stone.

Everyone else.... I would appreciate your input as well.

05-04-2013, 08:40 AM
On my 93, the balancer walked off the shaft just enough to separate the hall sensor ring from the crank sensor causing a no start condition....

You could hardly see any wobble at all....

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 08:52 AM

You know.... I have felt vibration sitting in the car while it is idling but I haven't checked the balancer.

I am praying that whatever is causing the starting issue is a reasonably priced fix.

I hope my train is not in need of a rebuild...... I've got every gear except it won't go into overdrive and I can hear the rpms revving but it won't shift....

Please pray for me.... Lol

At this point, I'm in too deep to turn back now.... 3000 bucks is nothing to sneeze at in my world.

05-04-2013, 09:07 AM
Check the TV cable for the missing grommet.....

This cable is responsible for shifting the trans into OD....

Very easy to fix (takes about 5 minutes).....

The other thing could be the TV cable pressure....

There is a black clip on the TV cable that allows you to set the pressure....

There should be no slack in that cable at all....

SC Freak
05-04-2013, 09:14 AM
I will call and have him check all the above.

God I hope I get lucky and these are quick and cheap fixes.

It's basically just a stock SC but I am obsessed and committed to getting my white bird back on the road.

I can't thank you enough big e

05-07-2013, 06:22 AM
You are obsessed with a car that is expensive to take to a mechanic. I'd suggest you make some SC friends in your area very quickly. Good luck.

XR7 Dave
05-07-2013, 08:01 AM
The starting problem and lack of tach signal are standard typical cam sensor symptoms. Replacement is simple and not too expensive. But even before replacing the cam sensor, make sure you have a valid crank sensor signal. This is a simple check that anyone can do - simply turn the key on and observe the yellow "upshift" light in the bottom of the tachometer dial. Then crank the motor while watching the light. It should go out and stay out as long as the engine is cranking. If it stays on during crank, then the crank sensor and possibly harmonic balancer are bad.

These are all common SC ailments and very easily verified. They usually do not trigger check engine lights, so checking for codes may not tell you much. But of course if you do get a diagnostic trouble code, then that always helps. Both cam and crank sensors can be intermittent meaning they can work one time and not the next. If the engine will not start or even fire like it wants to start, that is more typical of crank sensor. If it tries to start, starts and runs poorly, or starts and runs but no tach signal, then that is more typical of a cam sensor issue.

As for the overdrive issue, do not drive the car without first making sure that the cable is properly attached to the throttle lever. Post a picture of your linkage if you are not sure what it should be like. Also do a search on here for "TV cable" and you will probably find someone already posted a picture. If you drive the car with the cable off then you will destroy the transmission very quickly.

SC Freak
05-07-2013, 01:59 PM
That's great advice eli66048..... hopefully I can make it happen. I am willing to listen and learn the basics.


Thank you so much for your input. From what I've already read, you are VERY knowledgeable when it comes to these cars and I will be taking your post to heart.


SC Freak
05-10-2013, 07:58 PM

I thought I would give a little update for those of you who are interested in my hard start/no start issue.

So far the battery, starter, fuel filter, coil pack, ignition module, spark plugs and wires are all new and have been eliminated as possible causes. These were all replaced at the time it was tuned up, with the exception of the starter which had a "dead spot". I was told that the crank sensor was indeed bad so that was just replaced as well.

The hard start/no start issue still remains, so cam sensor will be replaced tomorrow. I'm guessing that the balancer is okay because my friend/mechanic hasn't mentioned that there was a problem with it after we discussed it as a possible cause.

Will keep you updated once the cam sensor is replaced.

As far as the AOD is concerned.... I'm told the TV cable was a bit loose, so an adjustment was made to tighten the cable. I won't know if this fixes the issue until it's been test driven.

Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to try and help with these issues. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

05-12-2013, 07:30 AM
Just to be safe, check the grommet on the throttle body that the TV cable goes into....

If its plastic, it would be in your best interest to replace it with a brass one....

The brass grommets are available from the dealer as a Mustang part #.....

I replace them on every SC that comes through my shop.....

SC Freak
05-12-2013, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the tip big e. Any idea what the part number is?

Still waiting to hear if cam sensor worked or not:mad:

05-15-2013, 11:23 AM
Had the same problem, had my car towed twice and it was the starter going out, so I had it replace and now no issues in starting:)