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Discussion Starter #1
First off I don't own a Chevelle..yet. Second this is the best darn site on the internet. :D Presently I am wrenching on a 1978 Gmc shorty 3/4 shorty van. Hot cam,low rear end, trick tranny. It realy burns those guys in the foriegn cars with the loud mufflers.
About a week ago I went to get some groceries from the store.(about three blocks away) When I got out the van would not start. I have been thru the heat sink problem before. But after letting it sit for awile--no go. I walk home get the other rig come back and try jumping. usally this works. Not this time. As soon as I hit the key everything went dead according to the ammeter, and looking, no light,wipers,radio, emergency flasher, nothing. So I call a tow truck and get it towed home. I pull the lights, nothing. About an hour later my neighbor is knock'n on the door telling my lights are on. I go out try the key and everthing dies. I have replaced the battery cables, bench checked the starter, yada yada, cleaned terminals ect. Some times I can go out and it will fire right up, other times nothing. 98% of time nothing. Oh the battry is a brand new die hard. :confused: I wish this was something mechanical ;) Oh yeah one time or two I had a spark flash some where under the hood close to the battery or fuse box. I am into the wiring harness and everything looks good When the power comes on I have juice to the s terminal on starter Thanks Guys for any help
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry guys I forgot to add that I put in a new ingition switch
 

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Believe that truck has a small wire attached to the solenoid/starter large terminal along with the large positive battery cable. Could be wrong I'm just pulling a guess out of the air.
If it does there should be a fusible link in that line. A spongy looking thing. A bad connection on the fusible link would do what you are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
john, you are right about the smaller wire with big'n. I'll probe up tommorow. Sometimes when you work at something for awhile you get disgusted and can't see the tree's from the forest. Thanx
 

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Well cool. That line feeds the interior of the car. If you loose power on it the interior including the headlights goes down.
BTW
I have a Portland question for you. The Shilo in Beaverton a decent place?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wellll,, I think I found the problem. It appears that changing the starter over the years have broken several wires inside the wire. found this by putting a voltmeter on end and flexing wire back and forth since it felt wenny. I don't think that I have any fusible links so I think I lucked out (still have a fire ext. tho) I went to a parts joint, lets call it CQ and the guy didn't want to be bothered by questions about fusible links, just stated that the wire just has to be two gauges higher than the main wire. If I am not correct I read that a fusible link is a special type of wire?? :confused: Heck I could have rebuilt the whole motor by now. I guess that I just have a hard time understanding something that I can't see and have been lucky that I havn't had this problem before. Been to a few rodeo's before, I am 47 and ben fix'n my own stuff forever :cool: Thanks guys
 

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Originally posted by Bent_valve:
Wellll,, I think I found the problem. It appears that changing the starter over the years have broken several wires inside the wire. found this by putting a voltmeter on end and flexing wire back and forth since it felt wenny.
Believe the proper call on this is wienee.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It seems I fixed the problem with the starter and the complete loss of power, thanx to John. I spliced, soldered, and put silicone on top and taped off. Seem's I have a slight oil leak that want's to go down to the starter wires. :mad: Any how the guy I bought the van off of had the twist on connecter's with tape over, just got too hot and eventually with the oil just got brittle. So everything works but one curcit. I'll do another post after some research on this site. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok guys I goofed I thought the last reply would be on the old post....sooo, Anyhow I have one fuse ( the horn,dome light) that keeps blowing as soon as I put it in. I've done the take the pos post off and read the voltmeter between the + post and pos cable and read for current, and yes there is an open circut. So in the last few days between reading every post on this site and pulling every thing listed in the book for that fuse; I still have a short or open circut. I believe that there is a short on the back side of the fuse box. Antbody have any ideas or suggs? Thanks
 

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Don't believe the horn has anything to do with that fuse. Also you won't see any current draw using the "pull the cable" trick. That's because the fuse pops and stops any current draw.
That fuse should be labeled something like clock/lighter/courtesy. That's the things it runs.
The way to look at the short is to first determine which side of the fuse is the hot side. With your meter measure each side of the fuse clips to ground. One side will show 12 volts. That's the hot side. It's the "other side" you are interested in.
Disconnect the battery.
Measure between the "other side" and ground with an ohmmeter. It should read open. Remove all interior courtesy lamps like the overhead one. Unplug any add-on items plugged into the fuse block. Any of that make the short go away?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
.Ok fellas this is what happened. John the paticular 20 amp fuse is for cigarette lighter,clock,stepwell lamp,dome lamp,spotlamp,and yes, the horn. All the original dome lamps and interior lights have been replaced with five separate lights, so I have these lights,horn, and lighter on one fuse. These never worked when I bought the van about three years ago..everything else worked fine so I was legal except for thw horn. If it ain't broke-broke then don't mess with it. :D So when the above happened I decided to fix everything. This is a hot rod/custom van. I got rid of the air conditioner,(don't need it up here in Oregon) and factory cruse control, (to much crap hanging off of the performer manifold), took the dash and grill off. I got crap hanging everywhere. :D I tried with the ohm meter, didn't help me, so I unpluged everything. So instead off working from the box back, I worked from the end towards the front. I popped about 20 fuses. To cut thru the crap, apparently with all the custom lights there was an aftermarket connection that was put in upside down. I turned 'r over and everything worked. There might have been a short in the lighter, I just sniped it right outta there. I'll find out later. I think you where right Dean. Thanks. Also if anyone wants that cruise controll i'll give it away, you goota shell for the shipping. ;)
I also scoured the internet and found two good articles that might shed some light on trouble-shooting.
http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/electrical.htm and
http://www.misterfixit.com/short.htm
Thanks a million
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I guess that I didn't get it.
Started to put everything together, she started blowing fuses again. Went to the harness into the connector right before the door and the short is in the orange wire after the conn. which is for the interior lighting. Snipped that, and everything else is ok. Really don't want to take the whole inside of the van apart to find the intermittent short :mad: I can live without the interior lights,,,but was wondering If maybe I could make an independent in line fuse for this paticular application. There are 6 1056 bulbs and I am wondering if this is dogging the original circut. Especially since Dean mentioned that he remembers his van had a 30 amp fuse for his van. I don't need a fire, although I always carry a fire extingusher in all my rigs. Also it has a factory theft alarm wired to the same curcit, which is in the owners manual but doesn't have it listed in the fuse table/box. Really weird. It has a key switch on the left front fender well. So I was wondering if some of you smart fellas have any ideas on this?
I gotta admit I am having a mental block on this stuff and am left handed. lol. Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #15
well I tried an independent in-line fuse and it blew so that answers my question in the last post
Screw it.
 

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Well, taking a stab at it, I'd look towards one of the courtesy lamps being the problem. If it pops a 20 amp fuse, a 30 won't make much difference.
Courtesy light problems tend to be either a bad bulb or a bad socket.
I've seen those links you posted before and they will work, though I still prefer to use a meter. Whatever method you use to monitor the short, try removing the bulbs one at a time and see if the short goes away. Next try disconnecting the sockets from the frame and wiggling the wires as they enter the socket. The short can be either the orange touching the white or the orange shorting to the body. Both are ground.
The only thing I use my right hand for is scratching my butt. I drive an automatic.
 
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