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Discussion Starter #41
I really appreciate all the time all of you given to my problem. I would say I have to agree with the 3 wire setup that you are saying is the better way to go. I'am going to go thru the harness while it is out of the car and make sure there are no bad spots/cuts/etc. Some areas have fresh electrical tape. A meter is on my list. unfortunately the Chevelle is outside right now under cover as my son and I have a Camaro taking up all the work areas of our garage.Snowing and raining and more snow forecast for PM here. Had the alt checked and it is good. Is it possible that the way it was wired could have cooked the battery? Thanks again,Will update with further progress when I can...Dave
 

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I really appreciate all the time all of you given to my problem. I would say I have to agree with the 3 wire setup that you are saying is the better way to go. I'am going to go thru the harness while it is out of the car and make sure there are no bad spots/cuts/etc. Some areas have fresh electrical tape. A meter is on my list. unfortunately the Chevelle is outside right now under cover as my son and I have a Camaro taking up all the work areas of our garage.Snowing and raining and more snow forecast for PM here. Had the alt checked and it is good. Is it possible that the way it was wired could have cooked the battery? Thanks again,Will update with further progress when I can...Dave
If the alternator is good and not overcharging it should not cook the batt. But, if you hook the one wire to the batt your batt will see higher voltage than if it were hooked up as the oem 3 wire system. That's because the battery sees the full alt output voltage of the alt with the one wire hook up. If you hook your charge wire through the 4 way splice near the horn relay, your accessories see the higher voltages they like to perform at their best and your battery sees less voltage because of the slight voltage drop in the run from the 4 way splice to the battery. Overcharging a batt will cook it quickly.

But we really can't know what's going on without voltage readings of your system.

If the battery goes dead and is recharged numerous time this can kill the battery pretty quick. If you store your car, you should use a battery maintainer to keep the battery charged. You only get a handful of these full discharge and recharge cycles before the battery is FUBAR. Keeping a steady battery voltage during storage keeps the batt alive.
 

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I would look for a bad ground, or a bad 12v line in a wiring harness, etc.. Maybe from the battery (-) to the chassis, or something like that. That's the easiest way for everything to go at once like that. It could also be a fuse.. especially if someone made wiring changes in the past.

Another possibility since you mention the thing with the horn, is that a wiring harness has either been chewed by rodents, burned to a crisp by a previous owner wiring something wrong (or by a larger connection going bad), etc.

What can happen is, with a main connection dead, current can flow through other devices instead - stuff that was all supposed to be connected across the 12V source ends up in series. Sometimes, the thing that ends up carrying the current gets cooked, which can lead to additional issues.

I would get a meter (you can get simple ones for quite cheap), and measure across the battery (should be 13V or so at all times), from battery neg. to chassis (should be very close to zero), from places under the dash that should be 12V to battery pos. (should be close to zero with the key on), etc.

A meter can also be used to check each fuse, and to check if the line after a blown fuse is actually shorted.
 
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