Deader than a doornail - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 19, 6:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Deader than a doornail

I have a "69" Malibu that threw me a curve about a hour ago. It is a sb 350 4 spd w/ headers, 2 door coupe. It has an 6al MSD box and hei distributor. A somewhat stock car with what appears to be close to original wiring. I have always fought hot start issues with this car and today I set the timing back a little to see if anything would improve. Took it out for a drive and when I got home tried to hot start it. Starter drug like crazy and wouldn't turn it over fast enough to start. The third time I tried to start as soon as I released the key the entire car was dead, no juice to anything. Popped the hood and the wire going from the battery to the Ford fender mounted solenoid that I had mounted trying to correct my hot start issues was very hot. I ran a continuity check with my ohm gauge and it checked out as did the battery ground wire. I also jumped around the Ford solenoid and could get the starter to spin, but everything else is dead, no ignition,no dome light,no nothing ! I'm guessing that I either popped a fusible link somewhere or I burned a wire or something of that nature. All under dash fuses are good. What I am after is suggestions on where to look or what to test. Tomorrow I'm going to crawl under it and see if I can see anything wrong with the wires to the starter. Had a Monte Carlo back in the "70's" that did about the same thing and it turned out to be a wire crystallized that went to the ignition key, so I 'll be checking that. I bought a mini-starter a year ago and have never installed it yet. Wondering if the time has come for that ? Thanks in advance for any help.
Ted
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 19, 7:18 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Check your fusible links. Should be one from the battery to the radiator support bulkhead terminal in front of the battery.

Check for power at the horn relay bus barr, basically the wires at the bottom of the horn relay. You'll also find a few fusible links in that area, check them too. Sight is not a good tester. You actually need to check for power with a test light or multimeter. To avoid putting holes in your wires, you can check for power at nearby terminal/connectors or the fuse box. Turn on your headlights. Got power?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 19, 8:28 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

By deader than a doornail I take that to mean that nothing electrical is working. If somethings are working, noting what works would help trace the cause. Headlights, horn, blower motor, dash gauges with the key on.....Stuff like this will give a clue.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 19, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Found the problem, I have a red 10 g wire and about 12 g red that are connected to the positive side of the battery. They go under the battery box and to a junction block on the core support. They must supply power to the rest of the chassis minus the starter. This got hot enough when the starter dragged that the solder melted enough to allow the two wires to fall out,thus cutting the power. Think itís time for the mini-starter and while Iím at it replacing the 4g starter cable with 2g. Any tips on does and donít for a mini starter, never deal with one before. Thanks again for the input.

Ted
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 19, 11:03 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Those 2 wires need a fusible link or some sort of fusible device as close to the battery as possible to prevent burning your car to the ground if you have a short down the line.

If something is getting hot enough to melt stuff, you got some issues.

Only 1 wire should head to the bulkhead terminal on the radiator support. Where does the other wire lead?

As for starter, get a PMGR starter that fits your car. (permanent magnet gear reduction) We have a current thread going on right here somewhere I just can't find it. When I do, I'll post a link.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 19, 2:07 AM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Here's the recent thread on starters. https://www.chevelles.com/forums/374...i-starter.html

You said you bought a mini starter, which one do you have? Did it come with new bolts? Most mini starters that are PGMR require a specific type of knurled bolt. The holes are metric, the knurling keeps the starter in the proper location. Without it, it will dance around and grind like a coffee grinder. The thread above will walk you through.

Inspect your wires running to the starter closely. Clean all the terminals and make sure all your cables and battery posts are clean. Don't overlook the ground terminals and the connectors to the engine or alternator bracket. All must be clean shiny metal.

A PGMR starter will help with the hard starting when hot. It doesn't hurt to buy or fabricate a heatshield to protect the starter from headers or exhaust heat.

Last edited by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK; Aug 9th, 19 at 2:23 AM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 19, 1:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Read your reply and think maybe a circuit breaker might be an option here. If I go this route, what size breaker ? 25A, 30A ?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 19, 2:34 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Quote:
Originally Posted by il69smbk48 View Post
Read your reply and think maybe a circuit breaker might be an option here. If I go this route, what size breaker ? 25A, 30A ?
A 16 gauge fusible link on the 12 gauge wire and a 14 gauge fusible link on the 10 gauge wire would be my first choices in these positions.

A fusible link can withstand momentary spikes in amperage where a circuit breaker will usually pop at its rated amperage. Short term spikes or increased amperage draw occur often in these systems.

A circuit breaker may result in nuisance trips if the correct rating is used. The use of a larger circuit breaker to prevent these nuisance trips leaves the system vulnerable.

Slow blow fuses and circuit breakers are available, but I don't feel comfortable advising their use because I don't know the condition of your system or any Gogganisms that someone could have applied in your system.

A circuit breaker can pop, then reset in a sequence that could overheat and melt wiring down the line. I've seen it happen. They can also weld the contacts closed and result in a meltdown.

The best choice, in my experience, is to use the correct fusible link for the wire size you are trying to protect. The fusible link to protect a specified wire size is 4 gauge sizes smaller than the wire it is designed to protect. Remember, the higher the gauge number, the smaller the wire.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 19, 3:34 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

If you can't find a reason for your issues, pull the radiator top plate and inspect the wiring that runs from the radiator support terminal to the horn relay. I've seen this wire in sad states and sometimes crimped or shorted against the radiator or mounts.

Your excessive resistance can be caused by a low battery or heat soaked starter. If the battery voltage is low, it increases the amperage flow through the system. If the starter is heat soaked, this too will increase the resistance. This increased resistance can cause increased amperage draw and melt or overtax the wiring system. I already told you about checking the condition of the connections, as this too will cause added resistance if not clean and making good contact.

The PGMR starter has permanent magnets, it's less affected by heat because windings are not used to create the magnetic field. This also allows more available amperage for the starter armature and solenoid.

The only benefit I see to using a Ford remote mount starter solenoid is the pos cable to the starter is only live when the solenoid is engaged. The real advantage is in protecting the pos cable from a serious meltdown if it shorts out. Once the Ford relay is engaged, the current still needs to activate the same hot solenoid and hot starter.

Last edited by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK; Aug 9th, 19 at 3:50 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 19, 10:52 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Post #9 above states things that are utter nonsense regarding what happens when resistance increases or voltage decreases. Please stop spreading BS. When resistance increases, current decreases. When voltage decreases, current decreases. It's Ohm's Law.
Similarly, people define heat soak differently, which is why I ask for a descriptoion of what's happening, not ambiguous buzzwords/phrases. I'd call a possible heat soak slow cranking with a good starter, solenoid, good charged battery (12.6V min), good (high current) wiring, correct connections and correctly placed connections (ground the engine). Not many people are willing to make sure that all those have been verified.
I'm not a fan of adding another solenoid. It just adds complexity to the problem.
The OP's no power issue is likely, as already stated by many, a bad low current connection, or fusible link.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 19, 2:44 AM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66sc View Post
Post #9 above states things that are utter nonsense regarding what happens when resistance increases or voltage decreases. Please stop spreading BS. When resistance increases, current decreases. When voltage decreases, current decreases. It's Ohm's Law.
Similarly, people define heat soak differently, which is why I ask for a descriptoion of what's happening, not ambiguous buzzwords/phrases. I'd call a possible heat soak slow cranking with a good starter, solenoid, good charged battery (12.6V min), good (high current) wiring, correct connections and correctly placed connections (ground the engine). Not many people are willing to make sure that all those have been verified.
I'm not a fan of adding another solenoid. It just adds complexity to the problem.
The OP's no power issue is likely, as already stated by many, a bad low current connection, or fusible link.
So basically what you are saying is that when resistance in the starter windings increases due to the heating of the windings, it will take less current(or amperage) to turn the same load? Who's spreading nonsense? Who's using buzz words and phrases? Your troll is off pal. An increase in the temperature of the starter windings will result in an increase in amperage required to turn the same load.

Go back and read the thread. At no point did you ask the OP a single question. His bad fusible link is likely a symptom of an underlying issue. I pointed out the likely issue as being a bad fusible link and offer advice on where to look for the root cause. What have you got to offer?.

The inference to the low battery voltage leading to added amperage draw is proven by observation of a circuit breaker in a starter circuit. At 12 .5 volts a 140 amp breaker is sufficient to pass the amperage load. But at 9 volts battery voltage, the same starter will pull more amps through the breaker resulting in a tripped breaker. explain......

I'm here to help others with their hobby. Not to troll. If trolling and negativity are your game, Facebook is your venue.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 19, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Pulled the original starter out of the Chevelle this morning with the intention of getting it load tested somewhere. Can't ever recall in my life ever having a starter tested, but what they did at the big box store left me with no more information than I knew when I walked into the place. They put the starter on a test stand and hooked up a power cable and a switch wire similar to how it's connected in the car. Spun it up and verified that the bendix was working and extending all the way. I was hoping they had something that could put that starter under load for a little bit to see if there was any power drop of any kind. This starter isn't going back in the car,but I'm trying to determine what the core cause of my hot start issues are. Any of you guys have any insight or experiences on this subject ? Do all the big box stores test starters like this or is a load test just wishful thinking on my part ? This is a little sideline to the original post by me ,but I am going through the starting system trying to eliminate possible problems and causes. In reply to 66sc not liking the Ford solenoid hack. It is greatest thing for hooking up a remote starter for bumping the engine over as most of us that tinker with these things do from time to time. Am in the process of running heavier cables to the starter ( 2 guage) and am going to run another ground from the engine block to the frame. Also moved my battery ground cable from the front of the intake ( aluminum) to a bolt hole on the head. I am also as mentioned, swapping out the original starter for a mini-starter and have the solenoid clocked as far away from the headers as I can get them. The litmus test will be to run it 10 miles or so and get her really warmed up, shut the engine down and try to immediately restart. Wish me luck !

Ted
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 19, 2:19 AM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Often the cause of a hot no start condition is a low quality solenoid (silver can, black end with fewer windings made of aluminum). They will test ok at the shop but when hot and under load they do nothing.
Try to find a solenoid labelled H.D. which are usually equipped with a purpley end cover.

A picture for reference:

https://www.speednik.com/files/2016/...1_14-52-30.jpg

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 19, 2:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Thanks for the heads up, although iím Not putting it back in I might upgrade,if necessary, and keep it for a spare.

Ted
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 19, 11:18 PM
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Re: Deader than a doornail

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK View Post
So basically what you are saying is that when resistance in the starter windings increases due to the heating of the windings, it will take less current(or amperage) to turn the same load? Who's spreading nonsense? Who's using buzz words and phrases? Your troll is off pal. An increase in the temperature of the starter windings will result in an increase in amperage required to turn the same load.

Go back and read the thread. At no point did you ask the OP a single question. His bad fusible link is likely a symptom of an underlying issue. I pointed out the likely issue as being a bad fusible link and offer advice on where to look for the root cause. What have you got to offer?.

The inference to the low battery voltage leading to added amperage draw is proven by observation of a circuit breaker in a starter circuit. At 12 .5 volts a 140 amp breaker is sufficient to pass the amperage load. But at 9 volts battery voltage, the same starter will pull more amps through the breaker resulting in a tripped breaker. explain......

I'm here to help others with their hobby. Not to troll. If trolling and negativity are your game, Facebook is your venue.

Yes, today truth is trolling and nonsense is presented as fact. If helping others is giving them BS info, I pity the others. You don't know if or why a FL cooked, and your fairytale about a breaker is just more nonsense.

Like I said, take a minute to read Ohm's Law and learn something since you obviously know nothing about electrical theory. Of course you won't though.

"One of the most important and basic laws of electrical circuits is Ohm's Law which states that the current passing through a conductor is proportional to the voltage over the resistance."

The keyword there is proportional, which means as voltage increases so does current, which refutes your claims.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Ohm%...=firefox-b-1-e
https://www.ducksters.com/science/physics/ohms_law.php
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