May 2002
May 1, 2002:
Promoted Zeke to Master Sergeant in the Marines this morning.  He did it in downtown Norfolk at Waterside next to Nauticus. 

May 3-5, 2002:
Began the wiring process of the dashboard.  I had already mounted the Auto Meter Gauges a month ago but didn't get a chance to wire them together.  I used solderless connectors on the wires that connected between the gauges.  I wired all of the hot leads for the lights together and also the grounds.  I also decided to add a push button switch to use as a starter switch.  The thing with the factory-supplied switch is that it is a multi pole-multi throw switch.  A standard ignition switch will not work because the starter will engage when you turn the switch to "run". 
Cleaned up more of the wiring and worked on some of the dashboard routing.  I also hooked up the remote battery terminals.  I tried starting the car again and was relieved to here that the circuitry "sounded" like it still worked.  I was a little concerned since I haven't tried to start it since I did my wire cutting.  Unfortunately the starter is not engaging the flywheel and I still here the horrible grinding sounds.  I removed the starter and it appears that the solenoid is not pushing the pinion gear into the flywheel.  I'm going to take it back to Advanced Auto to have it replaced.  Hopefully this will fix my problem.


May 9-19, 2002:
Didn't work on the car during this time.  My parents and sister were visiting from Hawaii.  We sure got to see and do a lot.   We did the standard Hampton Roads tourist spots (Williamsburg, VA Beach, Ft Monroe) we even made it down to the Outer Banks to see the Wright Brothers Memorial.   I also graduated from ODU with my masters in engineering management during their visit.  This should free up some time for the car and other endeavors.

May 20, 2002:
Mounted the new starter that I exchanged at Advanced Auto.  Still no luck in eliminating the grinding noise.  What's stumping me about this problem is that the starter used to engage the flywheel.  That to me eliminates the possibility of a mismatched starter to flywheel.  I found out that Ford changed the number of teeth for the flywheel when they went to the 93 model.  This was evident by the different starter required for those motors.

May 24-27, 2002
Memorial Day Weekend 2002!  Weather was beautiful and I did almost everything under the sun except work on the car.  Golf, surfed, rode bike, BBQ'd and even went to a dog show!  I did buy some 1 gauge grounding cables so that I can reground the battery and engine.  Some people say that the ground could be a source of my starter problems.  I sure hope that is the fix.  I also plan on counting the teeth on the flywheel to see if I have the proper starter/flywheel combination.  

May 28, 2002:
Woo hoo!  I finally fixed the grinding starter problem that's been pestering me for the past month or two.  I had already checked the solenoid and starter so the first thing I wanted to confirm was whether or not the starter was correct for the flywheel.  I confirmed this by counting all of the teeth on the flywheel to see if it was the 157 tooth flywheel.  Ford went to a 163 (I think) flywheel in '93. 
Once I confirmed that I had the right flywheel, I installed the 1 gauge grounding wires for the car.  I changed out the wire from the battery to the frame and the wire from the frame to the engine.  Compared to 1 gauge cables, the 6 gauge cables I was originally using looked like speaker wire! 
The other thing that I adjusted was the distance of the starter from the flywheel.  I measured the distance between the flywheel and the mounting surface of the starter.  What I discovered was that the pinion was probably too close to the flywheel, if not already touching it when I had it mounted.  This led me to believe that I needed to shim or move the starter farther out.  I used one washer on each bolt to move the starter slightly away from the motor.
The moment of truth came when I reconnected everything and pressed the start button.  I heard the beautiful sound of the pinion engaging the flywheel vice the horrible grinding sound.   Once I knew that my fixes had worked, I started the car up completely.   It started without a hitch (thank goodness, since I had trimmed my wiring over the past month) and sounded great!  This was the first time I started the car since I originally cranked it in March.  Time to move forward!


Back to Journal Page