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1972 Chevelle 396
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Discussion Starter #22
It is not an unusual condition for a starter to get hot and not start. Very common and replacing the starter usually fixes it especially it it has headers. However, you keep saying the dash lights up. Are you using an aftermarket digital gauge cluster? However, you also make statements that sounds like you have an ignition switch problem and that is also very likely for your situation. My guess would be a starter issue but the dash thing has me confused. What is not stock with this car? We are gonna need to start doing some serious troubleshooting and you will need a voltmeter.
the previous owner never finished the car, and something is wrong with the wiring, whenever i put the key in run or start the car. i know it has power because the bright light and right turn signal come up on the dash (even though i have my brights off and my turn signals off) the button by the parking brake is weird. whenever i press it one headlight goes out, and if i press it again, both are back on. i know its a personal problem but those are the only problems ive seen so far with the wiring. also if i put a bulb in the dome light socket, it will stay on no matter what as long as the battery is connected (noticing this the first time, i tried taking the light out and it was extremely hot and would have probably blew up if i didnt disconnect the battery in time) oh and i also have a multimeter
 

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1972 Chevelle 396
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Discussion Starter #23
I had the exact same problem and it turned out to have zero to do with anything electrical. It turned out to be the linkage in the shifter to the parking pawl in the automatic transmission. The shifter was on the column and if it was hangin down just a little I'd get the same symptom. Click.
I'm chargin the battery checkin the alternator putting a tester on the battery checking for draws ...name it lol I checked it all.
What in the hell is goin on here ??!
Starts wont start starts wont start. Battery is good alternator is good. No draw anywhere.
Cant remember what made me think to try this but somthin made me think to try this .lol
Held the column shifter up high more in the park position and it fired right up every time .
Droopy linkage and shifter .
ill give this a try next time, i had a problem with my column before where the car wouldnt start and would just say [HOT] on the dash. i found out that my column was still in gear, but my floor shifter was in park, i ended up turning the colomn all the way to the left and it started right up. (the floor shifter is aftermarket, nonfactory)
 

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1972 Chevelle 396
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Discussion Starter #24
Disconnect both battery cables and leave it disconnected until you are done here:

Clean the battery terminals and the battery cable/connector...thoroughly. Make shiny, re-connect. A small wire brush or some emery cloth works great. Do this with your grounds as well, especially the large black/negative cable that goes to your engine block. Dirty connections will have you chasing your tail.
thank you, ill check on those connections
 

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Since this seems to clear up with sitting a bit I suspect there is either a regular relay or a thermo relay involved and after sitting it resets itself. I have always tackled issues like these by removing all wires and clean all connections. Any ground wire must have a star washer so it can bite through rust or paint. It may be just a connection on the ignition switch such I just ran into with my wife's car and needed to be cleaned and reseated. I do not think it will be the starter because that wouldn't cause a loss of power on the dash. The ignition switch could.
 

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1972 Chevelle 396
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Discussion Starter #26
My vote is on the ignition switch going bad since you mention dash lights going out and starter click. I had one go bad on a truck and it did the exact same thing. Difference being where it was mounted, i could tilt the wheel on it a couple times and all power would be restored.
to be honest, the alternator and the ignition are looking pretty old on the car, maybe it really is time to swap them out, ill do the test with the multimeter first and then see whats up
 

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1972 Chevelle 396
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Discussion Starter #27
Well, if it turns out you do need a new alternator, I have a new-in-box Powermaster 8002 100A 12SI alternator sitting on my shelf I’ll take $100.00 for (shipped).
ill do the test and get back to you, thank you!
 

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There is a Loose Wire somewhere
and that OLD External Voltage Regulator could have a something loose in it

Your Neg. / Black Wire should have a Clean Ground to the Body/Frame and the Engine should be Grounded to the Body/Frame also

I would Replace that Ext Volt Reg AND Clean up the Wires & Post Plus the Plugin Wires Male / Female Connectors

As someone also said it could be the Wires on the Starter need Cleaning &/or Tightening plus if any Wires from the Starter going to else where

The Ign on the Steering Column I would also Replace !
 
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Discussion Starter #29
Since it's hard to see electricity flowing inside a wire, a test light and/or volt meter will be your best tool choice.

On your year, you have the main battery cable going down to the starter and then at the starter have a smaller gauge wire, probably with a fusible link, that then connects to a 10 gauge wire routed up to the horn relay buss on your firewall. Off of the one stud on the horn relay buss, there is yet another large wire that then goes to and through the firewall bulkhead connector and then into the car where it branches off to different things like the headlight switch, ignition switch and fuse block.

It's possible taking the battery cable off and then back on created a better connection there at the battery or the movement of the wire has now affected another connection down at the starter.

If you think it's a battery cable connection or a ground off of the battery then when things go off and the motor does not turn over, see if the headlights and/or dome light also stop working. If the headlights and/or dome light still works, then it could be the ignition switch but if everything is dead, then it's not an ignition switch issue as the ignition switch does not control the headlight or dome light operation.

When checking things, go over all of your connections and clean if necessary and the use a meter or test light to see where it's getting lost.

With a meter too, this can tell you what the battery voltage is with the motor off and then with it running. Engine off the battery voltage should be 12.5V or so and then when the car is running you need to see at least 13.5V or slightly more. If the voltage stays the same there are alternator issues.

Jim
thank you jim, ill give this a try with my multimeter, im about to head outside, i first wanted to look over all the replies. hopefully its just a bad connection but ill see
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Since this seems to clear up with sitting a bit I suspect there is either a regular relay or a thermo relay involved and after sitting it resets itself. I have always tackled issues like these by removing all wires and clean all connections. Any ground wire must have a star washer so it can bite through rust or paint. It may be just a connection on the ignition switch such I just ran into with my wife's car and needed to be cleaned and reseated. I do not think it will be the starter because that wouldn't cause a loss of power on the dash. The ignition switch could.
if i cant find the issue do you think this can be a hazard, could my car just turn off one day on the road? if it did wouldnt it just coast?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
There is a Loose Wire somewhere
and that OLD External Voltage Regulator could have a something loose in it

Your Neg. / Black Wire should have a Clean Ground to the Body/Frame and the Engine should be Grounded to the Body/Frame also

I would Replace that Ext Volt Reg AND Clean up the Wires & Post Plus the Plugin Wires Male / Female Connectors

As someone also said it could be the Wires on the Starter need Cleaning &/or Tightening plus if any Wires from the Starter going to else where

The Ign on the Steering Column I would also Replace !
will be sure to look over everything!
 

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Good suggestions so far! Just wanted to say that this does not sound like an alternator problem, otherwise your batter would drain quickly and it wouldn't charge back up. Or in other words, everything on your car would be completely 100% dead. So don't replace your alternator just because it looks old, you'll just be wasting time and money.
 

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if i cant find the issue do you think this can be a hazard, could my car just turn off one day on the road? if it did wouldnt it just coast?
It could
If you have Power Steering / Brakes and a Auto
you maybe able to Steer it off the Road and the Brakes should work enough or not to stop in time
the Auto should slow you down either very Quickly or slowly
 
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If the issue is related to the ignition the answer is yes. I think if you clean all connections and repair any crimp type connections you may find the problem just goes away. To answer your question the answer is yes it could just die but we do not have enough info to conclusively say yes. Wiring issues can likely be resolved by fixing anything you can see, clean anything you can see and make sure grounds are all connected. There should be a braided ground wire between the engine and the body, and the body to the frame. Using a meter on resistance you should be close to 0 ohms between any metal on the car to the negative terminal on the battery.
 

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Think about your problem logically and troubleshoot accordingly. A lot of the suggestions will not prevent your car from starting or a temporary loss of power. Don't just throw parts at it.
 

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Not
to be honest, the alternator and the ignition are looking pretty old on the car, maybe it really is time to swap them out, ill do the test with the multimeter first and then see whats up

Not talking about where you put the key. There is a switch on top of the steering column, not sure where it is on your 72.
 

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Kyal this has nothing to do with your problem but PM or Conv. me your address and I'll send you a new US made voltage regulator for Free sent to your door, its for a stock charging system with external volt regulator alternator though so if yours is all stock it should work fine, its of no use to me
 

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Kyal this has nothing to do with your problem but PM or Conv. me your address and I'll send you a new US made voltage regulator for Free sent to your door, its for a stock charging system with external volt regulator alternator though so if yours is all stock it should work fine, its of no use to me
Geese Rick you are such a nice guy but why don't you ever give me free stuff. I like free stuff but if that is not possible I do accept $ in large denominations. :p
 
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