Total Electrical Loss - Page 2 - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 19, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

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Originally Posted by Malibu70 View Post
Can you clarify the description "green wire (1 of 2) in my bright beam lamp had came out of the blade connection"? Was the loose connection at the headlamp (Light Green and two black wires), at the firewall connector, in the dash, or on the headlight switch?
One of the green wires was out of the blade. I pulled apart and reinserted the green wire and now everything works. Maybe it's a coincidence? Sorry - it was at the lamp.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 19, 11:25 AM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

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Hi All. So a week ago, while driving home late at night - I experienced my first ever total electrical loss on my '69. I unfortunately had to have it towed home. Had power at battery (used jumpers to confirm) and that was it. Long story short - I found a green wire (1 of 2) in my bright beam lamp had came out of the blade connection. I read on this forum about turning on wipers while checking for shorts, etc. So I did that. Low and behold - when I rewired the blade connector with both feeds into it - the wipers went into motion, my interior lights came on - and she fired right up. How is that even possible? I'm afraid to leave the garage.
Electrical stuff is weird. I was ready to throw in the towel on my CRX autocross car last week. I had spark but no fuel, the main relay (with one circuit dedicated to the fuel pump) was bad, so I replaced it. 12v to the proper terminals on the relay closed it, and I had 12v with the key on to the requisite spades on the connector. Jumping the connector terminals ran the fuel pump, yet with the two connected, the pump wouldn't run with the key in the on position. WTH?? Turns out it was a bad ground on the engine block.

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As usual, Andy is right
If it doesn't fit, force it. If it breaks, it needed to be replaced anyway.

I have to keep reminding myself this isn't a Z16 convertible, Evening Orchid Camaro, or factory 1966 SS427 and get on with it.


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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

So everything worked well on Sunday as I took the car for a nice 50 mile ride around. Then Monday, problem reoccurred. This time, the tach started jumping erratically then I lost all power again. Got the car home, disconnected the battery overnight. Connected Monday morning, tested all interior lights, brakes, headlights, etc. Everything worked. Turned the key - lost all power. Disconnected the battery, reconnected, repeat and same thing. I did notice once that with the car in Neutral - wiggling the shifter caused some jumping of the voltmeter? Maybe unrelated? Maybe I was seeing things. I've read that the ignition switch may be on the column? Or the clutch pedal? Any thoughts?
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 1:13 PM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

You never told us the year of your car but looking at the battery post clamp, wrap on the headlight harness and your name, it looks like you have a 66.

I suggest you swap the ignition switch. These things don't last forever, if it's original, it's 53 years old.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 1:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

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Originally Posted by paul bell View Post
You never told us the year of your car but looking at the battery post clamp, wrap on the headlight harness and your name, it looks like you have a 66.

I suggest you swap the ignition switch. These things don't last forever, if it's original, it's 53 years old.
It's a 1969. Rewired completely approximately 4 years ago with an American Wiring kit. I'm not sure if they replaced that or not. Will check into this weekend.
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 1:47 PM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

Ah. Sorry, the ignition switch is more difficult to replace.

When you re-wired, did you replace the switch with new?

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 2:03 PM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

I the exact same thing in my 69 Chevelle. It turn out the main feed ( Red wire ) going to the blade connector started to overheat in the bulkhead connector. It got loose and oxidized from the heat it produced. Got so hot it was melting the plastic around the blade connector.

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 2:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

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Originally Posted by paul bell View Post
Ah. Sorry, the ignition switch is more difficult to replace.

When you re-wired, did you replace the switch with new?
Wiring was completed prior to my purchase by previous owner. I'm not sure? If the key/tumbler/lock is the same as the "switch" and all one-piece - I doubt it was replaced. I was into the steering column earlier this year to replace the blinker return cam, etc. Everything looked pretty old in the column.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 2:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

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Originally Posted by lg1969 View Post
I the exact same thing in my 69 Chevelle. It turn out the main feed ( Red wire ) going to the blade connector started to overheat in the bulkhead connector. It got loose and oxidized from the heat it produced. Got so hot it was melting the plastic around the blade connector.
I'll give this a look too! Thanks for the idea.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 2:32 PM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

The actual switch is at the base of the steering column (interior). Other than the key buzzer, there is nothing electrical in the key switch itself, but it's connected via a rod that runs down the column to the switch. It's possible the issue could be with the switch, it's not expensive to replace if it wasn't done as part of the rewiring.

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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 19, 4:28 PM
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

Before you start throwing parts at it lets try troubleshooting. The headlights do not go through the ignition switch, so of you lost all power its not the switch. Again check the main feed wire through the bulkhead connector.
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 19, 8:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Electrical Loss

Thanks to all of you - this forum has been incredibly helpful at all levels! Ran a jumper directly to fuse block from battery - car started, everything worked. So I disconnected the jumper and applied my test light to the fuse block feed, had my daughter watch the light and began shaking/chasing wires. Found the culprit in a bird's nest of wires taped and zip tied next to the starter. The hot wire was only in the blade connector with 2-3 strands of copper. Thanks again for all of your help fellas!
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