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No start-key in start position
#1

I recently inherited a restored-hot rodded 1980 Shay model A reproduction. They originally are equipped with a 2.3 pinto engine. Step father has transplanted a 2.3 turbo efi out of a yet to be determined 80’s Thunderbird. It appears to be a rather poor transplant and need a lot of electrical and plumbing cleanup, but not an insurmountable project. Went to pick it to and tow home interstate, first of many questions I will probably bore you with.
Pumped the nastiness out of fuel tank, put in some fresh. Would not fire. (New battery also) A little ether and still no fire.
A few more cranks no fire while key in start, but upon release the engine lit with the key in on position. Ran a little rough for a few but smoothed out and seemed to be running quite well. Shut down, tried restart and same thing. Key in start position engine will not run, as soon as you release to on it lights. Ideas? Spark seems weak in start position but has some. As I said, it is going to require some work as his detail was poor but it is an interesting build and the exterior-interior is quite good. Except the roof-it’s gotta go. Thanks!
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#2

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My WAG would be that the ignition switch is no good and open-circuiting the ignition when you rotate the key to the start position. You can verify this by simply jumpering the starter at the solenoid while the key is in the "on" position. If you have a PMGR starter or similar that doesn't use a traditional Ford remote-mounted solenoid, jump-start it at the starter-mounted solenoid. .[Image: confused0024.gif]

BTW ~ WELCOME to TurboFord. .[Image: happy0034.gif]  What's your name? (Shay?)
Placerville, California
(former)  2.3T '78 Courier ~ (current)  2.3T '87 Ranger & '82 Mazda B2200 (smog-exempt diseasel truck)
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#3

TRUE HARRY SHAY'S are fun is it a steel body or a glass body ? if glass you may have to put heat sheilds the turbo and down pipe get hot. the way they put in the rad. you can run the air from under the car and put a small intercooler on top behind the rad. shell . the stock wheels they put on the cars if 18,19,or 21 in. are not made for the HP. and speed you can get out out of the turbo but that is maybe to work out later. but this is the place for all of your questions. the cars can be made to be able to run coast to coast. just have with your car and welcome.
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#4

Thanks for the welcomes and replies! My first thought was ignition switch, there looks to be a lot of shady wiring from the transplant. I just got her back to Idaho yesterday late, so will start diagnosing later today. Didn't really have needed tools at my mothers house. It is a glass body, wheels have been changed to more modern 15" radials. I haven't looked at the size yet. I will try to figure out getting some pictures up. Got a lot of thumbs up towing it home, it really does look good. Took the top off last night after getting in the garage and much better. Oh ya-my Name is Greg. Thanks again-

I need to figure out the year of this engine also, if you have an easy way please let me know. It has a bad oil leak when running, I am quite sure it is the rear main. This is the first time it has been run since 2015, at least it was garaged. All ignition parts need replaced also, cap, rotor ect. That needs repaired first along with the starting issue. It looks like they started using a one piece seal in later years.

Pictures here
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#5

Greg. that is a nice looking car from looking at it the wheels will be fine . if it has the stock ford starter solenoid it has two wires on the small stud one for start and one triggers the pip in the dizzy to start. one good thing with glass cars is most of the time the fire wall is molded in so no engine noise or heat coming into the car less engine/transmission rattles.
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#6

So got the remaining nasty fuel mixed with a little good out. Put 5 gallons of premium with 2 ounces per gallon Seafoam. Same no start problem. Hooked up remote starter switch, turned key to on and bazinga! Fired right up. Somewhere in crank mode it is cutting out I think ignition. The wiring is atrocious so time to get it on jack stands, pull the engine cover and wheels, and clean that up. I can even see two wires just twisted together between the firewall and engine. Can tell where they go yet, pretty cramped with the bonnet on. And then on to the rear main, I hope it’s a one piece so I can just drop the tranny.
Enjoy your day!
Went back after lunch, turned the key and started right up. Seems if you turn the key just until the starter engages it will start in the start position. Fully rotating the key creates the problem. Ignition switch? Now to figure out what they put in this old girl for a switch.
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#7

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AFAIK, most A/P stores still sell aftermarket "keyed" ignition switches, Greg. . Of course, there's always Amazon (LINK).  .[Image: confused0024.gif]
Placerville, California
(former)  2.3T '78 Courier ~ (current)  2.3T '87 Ranger & '82 Mazda B2200 (smog-exempt diseasel truck)
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#8

It’s actually an ignition switch from a 79 pinto. Much of the running gear was used in these 29 reproductions. One ordered from oreilly’s, will be here tomorrow. Chiseled loose the tamperproof bolts last night and slid the switch down a little and confirmed my suspicions. One problem solved but much more work needed to make it right IMO. And I’m sure more questions to come when I get to engine. The motor itself was rebuilt early 2000’s and hardly driven but some of the plumbing and wiring is a hack job. I know nothing about these 2.3 turbo’s. Thanks!
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