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Discussion Starter #1
O.K., The car is a straight-six 250, 2-door hardtop. It was running when it was noticed that the valve cover bolts were not tightened causing oil to leak. The car was turned off, and bolts tightened. On the attempt to re-start, the starter area began to smoke, the key was immediately turned off. Now, when the key is turned; nothing! No headlights, no dashlights, no solenoid click, no nothing!

What could be the problem(s)?
Could the fusable link in the starting system disable the current flow through the headlight or dash harness, or the entire car?
I don't have to replace the whole electric system, do I?

Thanks.
 

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you probably shorted out the power cable to the starter. mostly likely very near the starter. i have had the same thing happen by shorting it out against a header that had melted the insulation. should be pretty easy to fix. just follow the lines going down to the starter and look for the damaged area. if you dont mind spending the time and money, and if this is where the problem is, you might consider dropping the starter and splicing in a quick disconnect starter harness (got mine from Sumitt but i'm sure there are other places that carry them). it is a great way to replace those wires near the starter that are often baked out and brittle, with nice new ones. also it makes changing out the starter a bunny in the future. i also added a starter heat shield but with a six you may have plenty of clearance and that may not be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And that would cause the whole electric system of the entire car to not function?
 

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in my case, when i lost that power cable i lost everything electrical in the car. let me correct that. i did not try the lights but i lost everything thing off the ignition position of the key.
 

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I agree with John. If you did, you probably just cooked the connector of the main B+ (power) lead at the starter or at the battery. If you're not hearing a click when you turn the key, check the lead at the battery + post then at the starter.

Be careful!!!!! I just had a battery blow up yesterday. All I did was turn the ignition key to start and BOOM!!!!! And this was on a daily driver. First time for me in over 50yrs of this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John,
This car is a 72 straight six Chevelle that I'm considering purchasing for a daily driver/restore.
I haven't purchased it yet but I have a good idea what to offer now. Thanks guy's for all your help.

My next question:
Could oil on the wires of the starter have caused the problem?
 

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Starter motor may have been bad or the wire from it could have shorted to the frame. On a 72 or later car it is possible to loose all power. There's a wire from solenoid B+ (big lug) that runs up the back of the engine to the horn relay next to the brake booster. This line powers the whole car. In this line, attached to the solenoid, is a fusible link. What may have burnt is the link itself, causing the smoke and shutting down the car. Can't answer what caused the link to burn but sounds like it's related to the starter or its wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Replaced link, cleaned up wire contacts, car runs, headlights work.
Problem #1 solved. Thank you!

Problem # 2:
No turn signals (probalby flasher)
No rear lights.
What are the most common causes?
 

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"No rear lights"...as in no rear tail or running lights??
Front running lights work?
Brake lights work?
Dash lights work?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John:
"Front running lights work?" Yes.
"Brake lights work?" No.
"Dash lights work?" Yes.

It is as if the rear harness is not connected or all the bulbs are blown.
 
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