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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:13 am

Well my engine seems to be having an issue. I had to get two jumps today because my car keeps dying when I shut it off. Well it seems like every two or three starts, so I assumed it was the battery because it wont fully charge.I turned my car on to put it in the garage since i parked outside to bring some groceries in. Well when I went to it gave me a hard time starting and finally turned over, and then as I went to put it in park my dash went nuts and then my gauge backlights all went out. I turned the car off (was still running) to check it and restart it, well it wouldn't restart. It didnt even attempt to crank this time, so I turned my headlights on (they work) but I went to pop the hood. My inside handle is snapped off so I have to roll down the window....well no power windows. radio works but turn signals done, doesnt attempt to crank, wipers dont work. The inside lights work right now and the headlights if i turn them on, otherwise I have no idea what could have caused this. My battery gauge completely dropped to nothing on the dash although i'm not sure if it even works anymore after this.I can flip my fan switch and turn it on and my radio though....any help guys? i'm thinking it's the battery but anything else input wise helps. thanks.

ps this didnt start until the freezing weather, hence the theory on the battery, it doesnt want to hold a charge it seems like. Anything helps :/ this is my daily driver. chevy 350 1974

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Post by bigredlaguna on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:30 am

Has the stereo been replaced? If it was a hack job there could be a short, which could drain your battery and if bad enough blow the fuse for the dash.

If you can get the car running again, check the voltage of the electrical system while it is running. It should be within .5 volt of 14 volts. Less is a bad alternator, more is a bad regulator (within the alternator).
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:37 am

it was replaced with a fan switch. where would the dash fuse be located? would that keep the car from cranking?

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Post by bigredlaguna on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:05 am

I always start diagnosing electrical problems with the basics first.

There are more than a few things that can keep the car from cranking. The #1 culprit is corrosion. Remove the cables from the battery and clean the contact surfaces. While the cables are unhooked, remove the other ends of the battery cables and make sure they are clean also.

The fuse box is above the dimmer switch on the firewall. Check all the fuses.

Check the general condition of the wire harness and fix any spots that have damaged or stripped insulation.

Just so I understand correctly, you don't have a radio because there is a fan switch there? What fan is the switch for?
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:08 am

eh long story short my fan wasnt kicking on when it was supposed to. fixed the issue.

But it just seems like an odd issue, like only certain things went. there's no corrosion, car is garage kept and cables are. car doesnt have any rust right now

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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:09 am

I had this exact same problem and it ended up being the little wire that goes to solenoid. Or the starter maybe, can't remember. I cut new wire and crimped a new eyelet on it and it's worked fine since.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:12 am

The corrosion I'm talking about isn't body rust. You must remove the cables from the battery to see if you have the corrosion that blocks electrical flow.
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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:17 am

I found it a good practice to replace the battery leads all together if you do happen to find any corrosion. I've experienced it creeping down the wire inside the coating and it will keep coming back every time you clean it.
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Post by fishhead on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:19 am

I usually go by the process of elimination with electrical bugs.Start by checking your connections at the starter solenoid and trace your wires from there to the battery,alternator,distributor,etc.It could be anything from a loose battery terminal to a burnt wire or a loose connection elsewhere.I went through 7 levels of hell because of a badly soldered lug connector on my ignition coil.It requires extra effort but you might spot other potential problems while you are up close and personal with your ignition system.

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Post by bigredlaguna on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:24 am

I've often found that electrical problems that pop up suddenly are just maintenance related. I've replaced good starters because of a dirty ground cable.

1) Clean connections
2) Check fuses
3) If still having issues, check wire harness integrity
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:27 am

Landonus wrote:I had this exact same problem and it ended up being the little wire that goes to solenoid. Or the starter maybe, can't remember. I cut new wire and crimped a new eyelet on it and it's worked fine since.


how hard would this be? im kinda limited knowledge wise

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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:31 am

bigredlaguna wrote:I've often found that electrical problems that pop up suddenly are just maintenance related. I've replaced good starters because of a dirty ground cable.

1) Clean connections
2) Check fuses
3) If still having issues, check wire harness integrity


that was the plan so far. but for them to all go out suddenly like that and only take some functions im thinking its fuse, starter, or a battery issue

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Post by bigredlaguna on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:35 am

rebel101150 wrote:
Landonus wrote:I had this exact same problem and it ended up being the little wire that goes to solenoid. Or the starter maybe, can't remember. I cut new wire and crimped a new eyelet on it and it's worked fine since.


how hard would this be? im kinda limited knowledge wise

Landonus probably had the fusible link go bad. It could also be the issue with your car. It is designed to protect the car from an electrical short. If yours is bad it will be fairly obvious by looking at it. They are available at most part stores. The hardest part is being uder the car to work on it.
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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:39 am

I had to do this at a gas staition with what I had in my car. Very hard to get my big a** under there with no jack.
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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:41 am

Also my fuseable link was two seperate wires and a bit of coathanger twisted together and bound with electrical tape... some people.
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:41 am

ill check everything tomorrow. worst thing is this happened right in front of my garage, i'd be so much happier if it happened in it considering we have a snow storm here

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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:42 am

Landonus wrote:Also my fuseable link was two seperate wires and a bit of coathanger twisted together and bound with electrical tape... some people.


holy whoa nelly....damn.

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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:50 am

well lets say its the alternator, how hard would it be to fix this issue in general? going over all the option on a scale of 1-10? i work lke 50 hrs a week.

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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:22 am

Oh yeah, i replaced the alternator on mine twice before I found my problem. They tested them and said they were bad so I'm not sure if they really were bad of if my wiring was making it look like they were bad. As for changing it, Hellen Keller could replace an alternator in under an hour. But like fishhead stated, I also recommend checking your battery leads for loose contacts, shorting out, burned, etc. Pretty easy and fairly cheap to replace the cables all together but that's just my opinion. I like to rule out stuff by purchasing new goods whenever possible.
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:26 am

yeah things are just tight until payday, it sucks. i'm on a tight budget so i'm really praying for a fuse or the battery/battery cables.

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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:30 am

I'm right there with you. I hope it's something simple. Sounds like an electrical gremlin for sure, def not my specialty. It's probably a super easy fix, just need to find the root of the problem.
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:38 am

yeah, ill keep you guys updated. Anyone else who has any suggestions please let me know.

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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:40 am

Is this your daily driver?
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Post by rebel101150 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:41 am

unfortunately yes

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Post by Landonus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:49 am

Same here. Not sure if other companies do it but I only shop at Advance and they will check your alternator for free. Not sure how much help that is though. Where do you live if you don't mind my asking. Perhaps some one on the forum lives close to you that could help you out.
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