2.3 Ford Mustang --crank wont start


Asked by Nov 02, 2013 at 10:29 AM about the 1980 Ford Mustang Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a January 1980 Ford Mustang 2.3 non turbo, we were driving, stopped at a stop sign, turned the corner and it shut off, now it wont start will just crank, we have replaced the following: cap, rotor, fuel lines, fuel pump, ignition coil, ignition module, spark plugs, wires.  Checked to make sure it is getting spark, tried putting fuel in the carb still didn't start, checked to make sure fuel getting to carb and it is, pulled the valve cover gasket off to check the lifters, valves, cam and they are all working as they are supposed to.  At this point I am at a loss for what it could be, any help would be greatly appreciated.

11 Answers


Have you checked the timing belt? It may have jumped time, at least these little engines aren't valve benders if the timing belt goes bad.


yap checked timing belt, re-timed, advanced timing 180 still didn't work right now I am thinking it might be the pick up coil on the distributor.


If it was the pickup you wouldn't get any spark at all, did you check the rotor timing with the engine TDC? I have seen the pin shear on the distributor shaft gear.


yes we did check that, we also re-timed it to TDC and still wouldn't start just crank


Have you checked the fuel shut off switch. I know in the earlier styles of these switches they had problems with those. They are generally located in the trunks or on the fire wall. They installed them in the event of a roll over. At a certain angle they trip, like I stated they has some problems with those when they first came out. That would be one area to check as well


Run a compression check. The rule of thumb for those older units are: if you have fuel, spark at the right time and compression it should run. If the compression seems low try squirting in a little oil then recheck, the cylinders may be washed if cranked too much while the fuel is being delivered.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

We are currently going to get a compression tester, and hope that gives me answers...Thanks for all your advice.


Any luck yet? If you have spark, fuel, and air it should be doing something. How was the car running prior to turning the corner? Here is something to check if you have all of the above, check inline fuses. Sounds crazy but it's simple. I have seen this happen as well. They are called fusible links. They can be burnt and you'll never see it until ya chk them with a multimeter. How about fuses and relays?


it was running great before this happened, better than it has since I bought it, checked fuses and inline as well. But we did just notice that the intake manifold bolts were loose and after tightening them the car has done more than it has before now it actually sounds like it wants to start


You will most likely wind up replacing the intake manifold gaskets to get it to run properly, if the manifold was loose then it most likely sucked up part of the gasket.


i have exactly same problem with my 89 2.3 manual. Most recent garage professional claims I have 2 bad cylinders,yet car never smoked, never misfired nor lost power.

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