Team Chevelle banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part May's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I’m having troubles with a recent starter re-wire on my 68 SS and could greatly use some help! I’ve got a lot of additional info I can send via e-mail, but don’t want to spam everyone.

The ign/starter bypasses the NSS (not present). I tested the Purple which gives 12 volts when "keyed", and cloth 'yellow' wire lights (test lamp used instead of voltmeter) when key turned to "start". I cleaned up the Purple and cloth-coated 'yellow' wire, and connected the purple to the ‘S’ and other wire to the ‘R’ on the solenoid. The red (12#) wire was disconnected when I bought the car and I haven’t tested what this supplies power to yet.

After 3-4 dry starts and running for roughly 15 seconds, I noticed the wiring block begin to smoke... I immediately turned off the car and blew on the wiring to cool it. The cloth 'yellow' wire was the source of heat and smoke, burning off a little insulation at the bulkhead connector. I checked this wire closer to the starter and it was cool. Also, no other wires seemed hot. I checked the internal wiring (behind fuse block within cabin), fuses, and didn't see any wires w/ burnt insulation and no smell of smoke within...

- Do you think I could have crossed the resistance and solenoid wires, and caused the meltdown???
- Should the red 12# wire be connected to the junction block to complete a necessary circuit w/I the cabin?
- Is the cloth 'yellow' wire the appropriate resistance wire?
- Should there be an inline resister or fusable link in this resistance wire? I know the idiot light is supposed to provide some resistance, but it's not working... might be the problem???
- Or is there a problem inside the cabin, aggravated by checking the ign lamp?

Left Bulkhead Connector
Black (20) Lt Blue (20)
Yellow (20) Orange (16)
Blue (20) Red (12)
Purple (14) Cloth ‘yellow’ (20)

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated!!!




------------------
Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,762 Posts
"The red (12#) wire was disconnected when I bought the car and I haven't tested what this supplies power to yet."

Which red wire? There's no #12 at the starter on a 68. The small red wire from the battery to the block?

"Do you think I could have crossed the resistance and solenoid wires, and caused the meltdown???"

No, if you crossed the wires at the starter the car would not have started. They sound correct.

"Should the red 12# wire be connected to the junction block to complete a necessary circuit w/I the cabin?"

If we are talking about the small red wire from the battery to the block, yes.

"Is the cloth 'yellow' wire the appropriate resistance wire?"

Is this a points car? The resistor wire is between the bulkhead connector and (+) coil. The wire between (+) coil and the solenoid "R" terminal is not a resistor wire.

"know the idiot light is supposed to provide some resistance, but it's not working... might be the problem???"

I don't see this as the problem of why the wire burnt.

Do you have a good ground to the block? Do you have a ground wire from battery (-) to the right inside fender? Is there a wire from (+) battery to the block? Is the alternator output tied to this? Is this a points car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply! Here's some more info:

> Which red wire? There's no #12 at the starter on a 68. The small red wire from the battery to the block?

The red wire from the bulkhead connector is currently not connected, but believe it's intended for the junction block. There's a red wire from battery to the junction block, and alternator output is connected to this.

> No, if you crossed the wires at the starter the car would not have started. They sound correct.

Thanks!

> > “Should the red 12# wire be connected to the junction block to complete a necessary circuit w/I the cabin?”

> If we are talking about the small red wire from the battery to the block, yes.

I’m talking about the wire from the bulkhead connector to the junction block (as above). I plan to test connecting this wire with an inline 35A fuse (before bolting this on) after fixing the starter problems. If this wire must be connected to complete a circuit, please let me know and I’ll advance this test.

> > "Is the cloth 'yellow' wire the appropriate resistance wire?"

> Is this a points car? The resistor wire is between the bulkhead connector and (+) coil. The wire between (+) coil and the solenoid "R" terminal is not a resistor wire.

This had HEI when I bought it and a friend converted it to a Unilite distributor, Crane box, and Crane coil. He ran separate circuits from the ignition switch and power sources to wire this, bypassing the existing messy wiring.

> > "know the idiot light is supposed to provide some resistance, but it's not working... might be the problem???"

> I don't see this as the problem of why the wire burnt.

I wasn’t sure if the lamp wasn’t providing enough resistance, perhaps it’s overloading the resistor wire… again, just a thought!

> Do you have a good ground to the block? Do you have a ground wire from battery (-) to the right inside fender? Is there a wire from (+) battery to the block? Is the alternator output tied to this? Is this a points car?

Yes, I ran a new ground from the block to a cleaned spot of the firewall, engine well grounded.
Yes, I cleaned up a spot on the fender and have the battery grounded to this.
There’s a 6# (+) wire to the starter battery post. There’s a separate 10# connection to the Crane box, a separate 10# connection to the front distribution block (core support) and also a 10# connection to the alternator output through the rear junction block (firewall).

I hope this gives you some additional background. Thanks again for your assistance! I really so appreciate it!


------------------
Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,762 Posts
Wowzers, that's a lot of re-wiring.
Yes, you need the red wire to the bulkhead connector. That's the line that powers the interior of the car, including the ignition switch. Without it connected I'm only guessing how you are able to start the car.

It almost sounds like somehow there's another wire from the battery to the ignition allowing the car to start. Check where he tied the new distributor line into. It should have gone to a switched terminal on the fuse block.

If your freind ran a new wire from the ignition to the distributor, you don't need the old connection from solenoid (R) back to the (+)coil. This was only to help a points car start. You should be able to disconnect the "R" wire and the car should start and run. If it doesn't something on the topside is messed up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
John, let me run one more thing by you - just to set me straight on the wiring that's supposed to head south to the starter. I believe one wire is to provide const juice when the key is in, and other wire provides juice when key turned to crank (in this case bypassing NSS). Please correct me if this is incorrect. The starter drive is supplied by 6# wire direct to battery and ground provided by engine to firewall.

I've currently got the Purple 14# wire running to the 'S' connection (const 12v source when key in) and the cloth (yellow?) 20# wire running to the 'R' connection (cranking source when key turned). These wires are the two bottom wires in the left bulkhead connector. This cloth wire is the smoker, at the bulkhead connector (but not at the starter).

In looking at a Chilton's wiring diagram, it shows a purple resistive wire going to coil and yellow wire heading to starter... looking at this, I might be using the resistive purple wire to the 'S' and it should be to the 'R'...

As we discussed, I've got the aftermarket Crane spark box and Mallory Unilite distributor. On the spark box wiring - a) the 12v source connection is wired directly to the battery and b) spark box ignition directly to the ign switch (bridged w/ pink wire under dash).

Also out of the ignition switch, there is a brown/white bridge to a yellow wire (the NSS bypass I believe) performed before I bought it.

Again, all your help is greatly appreciated!




------------------
Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,762 Posts
"I believe one wire is to provide const juice when the key is in, and other
wire provides juice when key turned to crank (in this case bypassing NSS)."

The "S" line (purple) supplies power to the solenoid/starter in the switch
START position. At this time (START position) 12 volts goes through the
solenoid and out the "R" (yellow) wire to coil (+).. This is to give the
coil a full 12 volts as you start the car. When you release the key (switch
ON position) the connector between "S" and "R" is broken. On more modern
solenoids there is no "R" termimal. It and the yellow wire are not needed
for HEI.

"Please correct me if this is incorrect. The starter drive is supplied by 6#
wire direct to battery and ground provided by engine to firewall."

Almost. The ground is supplied by the large ground wire from battery (-) to
the block. The engine to firewall strap is too small and really isn't
needed to start the car.

"I've currently got the Purple 14# wire running to the 'S' connection (const
12v source when key in) and the cloth (yellow?) 20# wire running to the 'R'
connection (cranking source when key turned)"

Connections are correct but "S" is the line that cranks the starter. "R" is
only used as a by-pass wire for points cars.

"These wires are the two bottom wires in the left bulkhead connector. This
cloth wire is the smoker, at the bulkhead connector (but not at the
starter)."

Thought your freind hooked up a Unilite with a full 12 volts from the
fuseblock IGN terminal. Thought Unilite needed a full 12 volts. Maybe I'm
wrong but can't research it now. If the Unilite set-up wants 12 volts only,
you don't need the resistor wire to anything, including the solenoid.

"In looking at a Chilton's wiring diagram, it shows a purple resistive wire
going to coil and yellow wire heading to starter... looking at this, I might
be using the resistive purple wire to the 'S' and it should be to the 'R'...

As we discussed, I've got the aftermarket Crane spark box and Mallory
Unilite distributor. On the spark box wiring - a) the 12v source connection
is wired directly to the battery and b) spark box ignition directly to the
ign switch (bridged w/ pink wire under dash)."

Again it sounds like there is no use for the resistor wire that originally
went to coil (-) and the connector to solenoid "R". Disconnect them and
tape them back. They are only needed on an old points coil set-up.

"Also out of the ignition switch, there is a brown/white bridge to a yellow
wire (the NSS bypass I believe) performed before I bought it."

Not sure where that yellow comes from. Brown goes to the
regulator/alternator and usually to the GEN idiot light. It is not part of
the NSS circuit. Not sure why anyone would need any jumper up there.
Perhaps find out what this yellow goes to. If this is the brown that goes
out to the regulator/alternator there shouldn't be anything tied to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
John, thanks for your help - got it nailed! I snipped the resistance wire to give it a test and it started w/o any smoking wires. Now to the rest of the rat's nest


Again, thanks for all your help!
Tony

------------------
Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
I'd put money on you backfeeding the resistance wire making it have to supply more current than necessary.

There should be a #10 red wire from the left bulkhead connector that runs to a terminal block where it meets the alternator and battery wires. If you have other stuff added in then that's not correct.

Personally, I would go through all the wiring and properly fix it. At this time, you have what sounds like a potention fire hazard. Later, you'll be happy when you're not chasing wiring problems at the side of the road at night.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Peter, thanks for the addl advice! I have a 35A fuse w/ alligator clips I plan to use on the stray 10# red wire from the bulkhead connector and junction block. I figure that'd be the best next step than bolting the wire on and crossing my fingers. If the fuse holds with the lights, etc on than I'll mount it. This should be the fix for the Gen light and others.

Alternator wasn't charging at the beginning of this project, but charges now thanks to Wiring Reference #14 (and finding the correct brown wire)!


Outside of this, I've chased down the rest of the stray wires (engine side) except a 14# orange wire, which I believe goes to the heater motor (non AC car).

On the cabin side, there's a mysterious yellow wire patched into the brown/white ignition switch lead. I'm thinking it's a work-around the NSS, but not sure. The yellow wire heads into the internal loom and I haven't been able to trace it.

Fun x3!

Thanks again!

------------------
Proud father of twins - 68 Chevelle SS & 72 daily Elky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
You should not have internal dash power on anything if that red #10 wire isn't connected. So, that makes me think you'll find a wire bypassing that connection. Why? Probably because there was a broken wire or the bulkhead connector was acting up. Or, someone had no clue what they were doing and just stuck another power wire in there when power was lost instead of fixing the problem correctly.

Keep at it and get all the wiring back the way it's supposed to. If you see any non-origional looking splicing or taping in the wire harnesses I'd also pull that apart.

Peter

[This message has been edited by Peter F. (edited 09-23-2002).]
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top