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1963 Continental Starting Issues

Hey Bill!

Big fan of your blog!

My 63 continental used to turn over and start fine but recently it stopped cranking. When I put the key in the lights, antenna, etc. all work but when I turn the key all the way then the lights all turn off and I hear a click under the glove box.

I've changed the following:

-battery
-alternator
-voltage regulator
-starter solenoid
-spark plugs and wires
-condenser for distributor
-fuses in fuse box in glove compartment
-battery cables

I even tried jumping the car to see if new battery was drained.

The clicking sounds like its coming from horn relay. Would this cause it to not start?

I've checked connections and they seem to be fine. Looks like previous owner replaced starter at some point because it says NAPA on it. Looks like previous owner replaced ignition at one point as well.

I disconnected the horns from passenger fender because I didn't want them and they were all rusted. I disconnected the wire plug cleanly.

It ran after I changed the condenser but when I tried a few days later I got nothing. All the parts I've replaced are for my make/model according to AutoZone and NAPA.

Any thoughts?

Thank you

Matt

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Greetings Matt -

You don't say if your engine has been recently running but from your description I would believe that you have a bad connection in the starting circuit and the click that you are hearing is an electrical snap as the circuits disconnect because of this this poor connection. The way it usually works is that the lights and other small electrical loads work fine until you try to crank the engine with the added load of the starter. The bad contact then instantly heats up and breaks the contact with an audible snap sound. After it cools the partial contact returns and the lights will operate once more. The bad connection is usually found at the positive battery post to cable area but could also be at or near the starter solenoid. You can begin by tracing the power from the battery positive post with a 12v test light immediately after you hear the snap and the power turns off. Before doing this though I would first inspect, clean and tighten the battery cables at the battery as this may be your only problem. I assume that your battery is in fact fully charged and in good shape as you describe. Diagnosis at your end to pinpoint the fault will be necessary.

Sincerely,

Bill