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1965 Continental Doesn’t Start

Bill –
My car doesn’t start. Nothing happens when I turn the ignition. Battery
has power (lights turn on, windows, signal lights all other electrical
is working). Their is no sound. I thought it might be the starter so I
called Lincoln Land and described what I experienced. I purchased the
solenoid after briefly explaining the problem.
Replaced the solenoid but still nothing. Wondering if I should next
replace the starter or are there other tests to narrow the issue? I
wouldn’t call myself a mechanic but I want to understand basic
diagnostics before the pain of pushing the car out of the garage and
having it towed to a shop.
I live in Brooklyn, NY.
Greetings JB –
The easiest way to diagnose this issue is at the starter solenoid. Have a helper sit in the drivers seat with the transmission selector in Park and his foot firmly on the brake pedal. He then turns the ignition with the key to the cranking position while you test the two large cables at the solenoid for power with a 12v test light. The solenoid should activate and both cables should have power. If they do, that indicates that power is being sent to the starter and the starter should then crank the engine. If the starter does not operate when receiving power then it or its wiring need service. If however no power is detected at the starter cable side of the solenoid, the solenoid is defective or it is not being activated by the starter cranking circuit from the ignition switch. Power should be detected at the “S” terminal push on connector plug at the solenoid with the key and ignition switch in this cranking position. If NO power is received at either of the two female push on terminals of the solenoid you will need to trace the wire to the neutral safety switch and the ignition switch as per the shop manual wiring diagram. Keep in mind that those two small female plug in wires can easily be “crossed in error ” at the solenoid and cause your exact problem.
The above diagnostic suggestions are assuming that you have a fully charged and capable battery and that no other unknown wiring problems or misconnects exist. Good luck with the testing and we will have any necessary parts available for you as required.
Bill –

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