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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys here is my problem. I just got my whole motor assembled I changed pretty much everything. I went to turn the car over for the first time, put the key in, I got power cause my gauges moved, I turned it and got a click.

Now first let me say my starter is bad, I think it is the solenoid because when I hit it, itll start.

So knowing that I got out and started hitting it. When i went to try it again I had no power at all. My lights wont turn on or anything. I tried wiggling some wires around but still no power at all.

I am getting 12v at the battery with the key out, but when I put the key on it drops down to 2v. I suspected the battery had drained so I went and tested it today and it came up perfect. My next guess is a bad ground. What grounds would cause this? I know there are two grounds under the coil, there is a ground wire behind the driver side shock tower that goes to the battery, and there is an engine ground that goes from the starter bolt to the battery.

Everything looks alright but this thing is my next suspect. When I got the car this little box was attached to the negative battery terminal. The car worked fine, but I moved it over to where it is now to get it out of the way, and I was starting to have some problems getting a good contact. Do you guys think where I have it is not a good enough ground? Where SHOULD this thing go?

 

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if your voltage is dropping to 2 volts when you turn your key to the on position either you have a bad battery, or more likely, you have a short to ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well thats what I said, the battery is good though, does anyone know what that thing is and where it is supposed to go?

Is it possible this could blow a fuse? If so what fuse should I look at?
 

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You wont blow any fuses because of that funny looking connector in your picture. That is just Ford's strange way of bringing several ground connections together to the battery. I think it may have been used in order to allow automation on the assembly line. It gets corroded, and whatever those little wires are for dont have a good solid ground.
On my 92 Escort I pulled it apart, cut off the connectors, and stripped back the insulaton on the wires. Then I soldered them together, and soldered a large brass 'eyelet' terminal to the group of them. I bolted that to the place where the ground cable bolted, right beside the battery. I also replaced the original ground cable from the battery, using a short cable that I also bolted down where I had bolted my brass eyelet terminal. I had cleaned off the rust -down to shiny steel- at that location.
I had been having trouble with the water temp gauge reading too high (though the engine wasnt overheating) when the engine was running, but reading normally if the engine was stopped -with the ignition on. Fixing the ground wires at the negative side of the battery took care of the problem.
Now I have two more 2nd ge. Escorts, and will be doing the same thing to them - at the first sign of trouble or corrosion.
As for your other problems; an Escort has several ground connections, between the engine and the negative side of the battery, between the body and the engine, and in a couple of other places. They are every bit as important as the positive cables.
I dont care for the Ford OEM battery connections to the posts on the battery. Whenever they corrode or have corroded wires in the bundle, I either put in a new battery cable (to the starter) with the heavy auxillary wire soldered to the wire coming from that little fuse/relay box next to the battery, or else I will get one of the universal battery terminal items, that are made out of brass. That way I can solder it to the heavy cable to the battery, either positive or negative. The terminals that are made out of lead are okay to get you home from a trip - but being made of lead, its about impossible to solder the wires to them.

Just getting the ground connections to all be clean metal to clean metal can help a lot. Its also possible to have corrosion of the wires inside the insulation - so the wire may look fine, but have very high resistance.

Anytime I have the terminal off the battery posts, I take a penknife and lightly scrape the lead surface of the post, and the inside of the terminal that is going onto that post. This gets down to the shniy lead, and eliminates the lead oxide, which is a bad conductor of electricty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I can just cut all the wires off where they go into the box and just ground them all? I may just do that. I didnt have much time to tinker with it so I will mess with it tomorrow see what I can do. I got a new ground wire also for the engine, and also got new terminals. I got the marine type so I can put a terminal on everything and attatch it all to the battery.
 

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Yes, they were all grounded before, you would just be making it a good ground connection again. For the cable to the engine block - that should be a heavy wire. I think the original was an AWG #2. It is what carries the current for the starter, as well as the current for the alternator circuit (alternator is grounded to the accessory bracket, which is bolted to the head/engine-block. Regular battery cables are AWG #2. I like to use the thicker cables, like they sell for 6 volt cars. Its an AWG #00 size.
For ground cables I always use black, and for the positive cables I always use red. Sometimes I have to ask in a couple of auto parts stores to find one that carries the cables in red.
 
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