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Grounds with fenders off

4508 Views 32 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Coppertop
Hey everyone- I have the front clip off and have finished rewiring the front harmess... Since the fenders are off I grounded the neg battery to alternator bracket and them to radiator support where the lights are grounded...

My question is when I connected the battery the right turn signal turned on and stayed on....( key was off)..

Does the fact that I grounded it to the same ground as lights rather than fender caused this???

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UPDATE: Okay - I have fixed that problem and now have another one that I need help on...First of all, you were right, there was a ground wire on the drivers side lights that was loose and once I tightened it - VOILA it worked.

New issues:

I have replaced all the wires in the front harness, the engine harness and the dash harness using the AAW kit....I also changed to an internally regulated Alternator thereby removing the horn relay and the voltage regulator.

When I connect the battery back, I turn the key and the gen light and comes on...When I turn the key to start the car, nothing.....The flashers work and the turn signals work..

I have 12.9 volts in the battery but when I did the ground continuity test ( thanks to the stickie) the multimeter shows 1. ( no change from when I turned it on). So I am assuming I have a ground issue.....I looked and all the ground wires on the front harness and the engine harness are connected.. The negative bat cable goes to the alternator bracket and the pigtail from the neg batt goes to the radiator support...I have not touched any of the ground straps......What is the best way to try to find out where the ground is missing???

Secondly - since I am having issues with electrical, I have removed the dash so I can double check the dash wire connections...Is there a way to test to ensure that everything is connected and getting power without putting the dash back in? What are the minimal things that have to be connected in order to power everything.. Can the system be tested without the dash in as long as things are connected like the headlight switch, ignition switch???

Thanks to everyone for your help and patience....
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Thanks "finally"... It's a 71 Malibu with factory AC

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Okay so I went out and had my wife turn the motor over.. Nothing! No clicks heard from the starter.. So I presume this means there is " no power" to starter? I wired it with the starter still attached and it was a bugger trying to get my sausage fingers up there.. I think I will unbolt the starter and require it again then mount it back up and try it... Does that sound right???

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UPDATE: so I used my test light and tested everything...I have 12.29 volts from battery.I have power to the starter. Then I tested all the switches / connections with test light...Here are the results..
WITH KEY OFF: The following wires lit up
Rear Body Connection: Orange
Headlight Switch: Red and Orange
Brake Switch: Orange
Horn Relay: Red and Black
Turn Signal Switch: Brown and Black
Ignition Switch: Red
Radio: yellow
Glove box and Lighter: Orange

WITH KEY ON: The light lit on;
Rear Body: Light Blue and Light Green
Wiper: Black and Dark Blue
Turn Signal: Purple
Ignition Switch: Pink
Back Up switch: Pink
Radio: Tan

So here is what I was going to do...Please tell me if I am headed the right direction...
1. I am going to pull the starter and take starter and battery to Autozone and have them tested.
2. Test the wires to the starter to ensure power while the starter is off. Red should be hot all the time (Big cable from Battery) and purple should be hot with key on (From Bulkhead)
3. It is my understanding that the starter bolts ground the starter so there should not be a wire grounding it right?

Ill report back with findings....If I should do something else, please let me know...

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Copper top thanks for the response.. I thought that what I did was essentially what hank was saying but I figured I'd test everything ( so when I go to put the dash back in I know everything works....

I thought by turning key to run position and using the test light since the purple wire lot up on both the neutral safety switch and ignition switch then the circuit was good... I now see what your saying so when my wife gets home I will follow exactly what you said and report back...
Thanks for the help... It's greatly appreciated as I learn by trial and error

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Thanks... I didn't know the battery reading 12.3 was almost dead... That's good to know... I'll put it on a charge now.... I have an HEI so I have the purple closest to the engine and the red from alternator going to fusible link and and red from bulkhead and pos bat cable all going to bat on solenoid...
I'll post my results.. Thank you.

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UPDATE: no power on purple wire to solenoid.

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I have a 24 hr shift tomorrow so I will do it Sunday and report back... Thanks for everything...

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UPDATE: purple wire for starter solenoid test light lit with key crank... Purple wire to neutral safety switch light did NOT light at all...

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UPDATE CONT: test light lit on purple wire from neutral safety switch to ignition switch with key crank...

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Sorry - guess I shouldve slept more...( i used a test light)

I have 12 volts when the key cranks at the starter solenoid.
I do NOT have 12 volts at the neutral safety switch
I do have 12 volts at ignition switch.

So am i right to assume the neutral safety switch is bad?
I'm sorry for the confusion... No power at solenoid... No power at neutral switch but power at ignition...
Once again I apologize for the confusion.. I'm sure it's frustrating trying to help when I don't explain things right..
So I repeated all the tests... ( I don't have a purple white wire they are both purple but AAW stamped each wire with the name on it) here are the results..

Big red wire labeled 12 v battery going in to ignition switch has power at the ignition switch...

Purple wire labeled "starter solenoid" has power at the ignition switch with key turned on and goes to neutral switch.. Where it attaches to the neutral switch- it has power with key turned to run ( crank the engine).

The other purple wire that comes from firewall ( labeled neutral safety switch) goes from firewall to neutral safety switch) has no power at the neutral switch...

I hope that explains it better... Once again I sorry for the confusion and appreciate the patience as I try to learn...

What should I do now? Is there another test I need to do to help diagnose the problem???
Copper top - thank you so much.. So how do I ensure that the transmission is DEFINATELY in park as you say? Is there a way to tell rather than the gear indicator on the dash?

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UPDATE: great news- when I did the jumper wire as copper top explained- the car turned over!!! I hope that this entirely too long of a thread helps someone else like me who is new to this exciting hobby..

Thank you so very much to everyone who chimed in: especially "Finally" and "Coppertop"... I truly could not have done it with your patience and guidance...beers:

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Final update to close the thread...I tried to adjust the neutral safety switch and went the full range of motion and still nothing...So bought a replacement switch and VOILA..Car starts right up....Thanks to everyone for your help, support and patience....I have learned a ton from you guys....Next stop - pulling the engine and rebuild the 350 to 383....Wish me luck...See you on the engine part of the forum cuz I am sure I will have a ton of questions.........jb:beers:
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