Ford F-150 / 250 / 350 / 450:

1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

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#1 3/29/2010 8:51 AM

suzaninez
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Registered: 3/29/2010
Posts: 3

1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

87 460 7.5L 4BBL carburetor w/automatic trans.
When I turn the key the solenoid clicks, the engine starts to engage and then stops. The gas pedal is to the floor (not pumping) and I can see the fan blade move. What are the possible problems that I can check out? This is a stripped Chassis model in a motorhome. The result is the same in park and neutral gears.

Also need to know the best way to replace the speedometer cable,( it fried on the exhaust manifold). Mechanic recommends custom made replacement.

There is a hole in the top of the flywheel housing and oil comes out of it. Mechanic wants to charge me parts and minimum of four hours labor to fix the hole. I can't get it to start since bringing it home after having the mechanic inspect it, and I can't afford to have it towed to him 30 miles away. So I have to at least get it to start.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I also bought the Chilton's manual for it today and have most tools necessary.  Thanks

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#2 3/29/2010 3:10 PM

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Re: 1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

Tell me if I understand the problem correctly. It sounds like when you turn the key to start the engine, the starter cranks for a second (engine turning) and then stops. If the starter is cranking just fine but the engine won't start, that's a different animal altogether.

If you have a test light, you can do a quick check right to the starter. When the key is turned to start you should have 12 volts at the wire connected to the starter (Not talking about the heavy gauge battery cable). If you have the 12 volts (but not cranking) then it's either a bad starter, low voltage battery, or a poor connection in the heavy gauge cable from the battery to the starter.

If you don't have the 12 volts it could be a poor connection, bad ignition switch or starter relay.

Don't know why someone is suggesting a custom speedometer cable, but if it did melt on the exhaust, replace it and route it away from the exhaust -- shouldn't be hard to find at a part's store.

Not sure what you mean about oil coming from the hole on the top of the flywheel housing. Whether its an automatic or standard transmission, a hole in the "flywheel housing" doesn't lead to a source of oil. Unless there's a leak possibly from the rear main seal and the oil is getting flung around by the flywheel/torque converter.

If there's actually a whole in the transmission housing with transmission fluid coming out, the correct repair is to replace the housing, but you may get away with patching it with silicone sealer, JB Weld, etc.

If transmission fluid is coming out the top through a "vent port", the transmission may be over filled or some other internal problem.

Let me know if I'm reading your symptoms correctly.


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#3 3/29/2010 8:49 PM

suzaninez
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Registered: 3/29/2010
Posts: 3

Re: 1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

Thanks for such a rapid response. Sounds like you have a clear picture of my problem. I tried to give an accurate description of what was occurring during the starting process. If more detail is needed, can you tell me the additional specifics you require.

I cleaned the battery terminals and connections. The battery is being tested at the local auto parts store. The manual says to replace battery with a higher cold cranking rating as the vehicle ages; standard is 675 CCA, will replace with 850 CCA if battery is bad.

In the mean time I am going to check out the condition of the starter wiring and then check power continuity after I reinstall the battery. Could be just a problem with the battery holding a charge. I've only had the home for 1 week.  Transmission fluid is dirty and smells. Needs changing. Will get back to you when I get finished checking these items.

Update 3pm-------battery is good and fully charged and it's raining. I hooked up the battery and tried to start the home.......one click and nothing.

Last edited by suzaninez (3/29/2010 10:02 PM)

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#4 3/29/2010 10:16 PM

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Re: 1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

Gotta get down to the starter and check for voltage at the wire with the ignition in the start position. You can also run a 12 volt jumper lead to the starter. If it cranks fine that way the problem is towards the ignition switch (bad ignition switch, starter relay or poor connection). If you have the same problem it's the starter or bad connection from the battery to the starter.


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#5 3/31/2010 2:58 AM

suzaninez
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Registered: 3/29/2010
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Re: 1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

Thanks for all your help. Turned out to be the starter. replaced it with stock and it started up on the first turn of the key.  lol

The resistance in the starter blew back and melted the terminal connection so had to replace the terminal and cable. No effect on the starter relay....so now I'm focusing to the other "problems" that need less immediate attention.

Thanks again

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#6 3/31/2010 10:09 PM

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Re: 1987 460 7.5L 4BBL won't start

Not a problem...please let us know if we can help with something else -- that's why we're here!


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