'67 Electrical Short While Cranking - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 99, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: NJ
Posts: 78

I have a '67 coupe that looks like it has an electrical problem while cranking. When the starter is cranking the engine, I can see a spark jumping from the floor to the shifter. I stops as soon as the engine turns over. Also, I was in the process of installing a new temperature gauge and fired it up to see if it was leaking (it wasn't). When I went to finish the job and put the rubber grommet on the metal wire going through the hole I drilled in the fire wall, I saw the hole had turned gray (like it was just hit with alot of heat) and the water temp wire was discolored where it passed through the fire wall. Any idea's on where to go to start troubleshooting the problem?
I have a big fat ground wire going from the engine block to the frame. Am I missing one somewhere else ? Thanks
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 99, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 564

If your car was a 68 you be in need of a new shift cable, as these are the main source for the ground circuit after the ground wire gets cut / disconnected. The sparks you see are the current jumping from the frame / engine to the body (sheet metal), Run a ground from the battery terminal to the right fender panel. This may also cure the temp switch discoulor as it is trying to carry the ground current, from the sheet metal back to the engine / frame .
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 99, 04:04 PM
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Location: Arroyo Grande/SLO, ca usa
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Your big fat ground wire from your block should go directly to your negative battery terminal. Otherwise your big ground wire wire tend corrode faster at each connector end as it passes the starter amperage. The second ground wire that you connect from your negative battery terminal to your frame then only has to be a #10 or #12 wire to service the return path for your lights, fan, and tunes. Electricity takes the path of least resistance, so if it is jumping to your console from the shifter, you have some major resistance in your big ground wire or corrosion at the connections.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 99, 09:48 PM
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to clarify. when the car is running, you do not see any sparks at all? when you engage the key switch does it turn the starter over normally? is the h20 gauge a mechanical one? if the key switch is put to "On", do you have any current drain? have you installed a fail safe primary power fuse block (15-20 amp)from the power harness from battery to the Volt. Reg. (do this FIRST to prevent any further damage or harness meltdown).
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 27th, 99, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: NJ
Posts: 78

Thanks for all of the responses.

The battery is in the trunk. The negative battery cable goes from the post on the battery to the frame below the trunk. Under the hood I have a ground strap (about a 1 1/2" flat woven metal strap) that goes from the bottom most hole on the drivers side head to the sub-frame. The car always cranks slowly (like the battery is weak - it's not - checked it and its fine). As soon as it turns over, the spark goes away. (Also, I noticed that the new mechanical temperature gauge starts to go up quickly while I'm cranking the motor (heat from the short) and goes back down as soon as the car turns over.

Thanks again
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