68 camaro won't start!!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 06, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 9
68 camaro won't start!!!

My son and I bought a 68 camaro about a year ago in order to learn about working on cars. Niether of us had any experience at all before we bought this car. The car began by sometimes not starting after we had driven it for a while on any given day. However recently things have taken a turn for the worse, the car won't start at all.(by not start i mean it would do absolutely nothing when you turned the ignition, no noise or anything.) Anyways, we have tried pretty much everything we can think of to try and solve it including: replace the starter solenoid, replaced the starter, changed battery cables, but nothing has worked. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about what we could do to fix this problem. Our most recent idea is to replace the neutral safety switch, but we really have no idea what is going on. Please Help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 06, 05:54 PM
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Location: Rhode Island
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Re: 68 camaro won't start!!!

So, you're saying it won't crank over............ Should be easy to track down the problem. Start by making sure the battery has juice. If any question, have it load-tested. But it should read around 12.5 volts.

Start with the simplest of tests. Make sure battery cables are hooked up, then jump the small terminal on the starter solenoid to the main battery wire. I usually just use a screwdriver. The small terminal goes to the key switch, but by jumping it you will eliminate any problems in key circuit. You may have two terminals on the solenoid, if so, try them both (individually). The other small terminal (if present) would be used as a resistor bypass wire which feeds direct battery volyage to the points during cranking only.

Since the starter and solenoid are new, it should crank over.

If indeed it does crank over, then you know your problem is in the ignition wire to the solenoid. You'll need to use a test light and trace the voltage through the key switch, through neutral-safety and then to solenoid. Somewhere in there is a problem.

Post again with results. I, or someone else here, can surely solve the issue.

good luck

Dave F. in Rhode Island
'68 Camaro SS Accel DFI 454 (SOLD - I'm a boring Corvette owner now)
Bought my first big-block Chevy in 1970
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 06, 06:29 PM
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Re: 68 camaro won't start!!!

The "hit the starter terminals with a screwdriver" trick is simple and effective...You want the smaller terminal closest to the engine block, the other will do nothing.

Lay one edge of a large screwdriver along the bottom of the large lug where the battery cable attaches, and slide it untill it touches the small stud. Do this from under the car, with the car well supported by jackstands.


When the screwdriver toushes the small terminal, it will make a large SPARK. You will jump, and possibly bounce your head between the chassis and the garage floor a couple times. Be ready for this, it hurts.

If the key is on, it will start and run. key off, it will start and die.

You have now proven that the battery, battery cables, and starter are functional. You also have a headache.

Next: ON that inner small stud on the starter is a fair sized purple wire. That wire goes to the nuetral safty switch, which is located on the floor shifter of a console equipped automatic car. From there, another purple wire goes to the ignition switch.

There is currently a post running on nuetral safty switches. Do a search, find the post, test the switch. To test the switch, you'll need a test light or voltmeter.

You might also take a look at the "basics" stick in electrical, may help.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 06, 06:59 PM
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Re: 68 camaro won't start!!!

Do the headlights work? If so, then the battery is good. Take a test light, turn on the key and see if there is power at the fuse box. If so, then there should be power at the switch. Silly question...... Is the car in Park? The N/S switch will not allow the car to start unless the trans is in neutral or park. Last thing you could try is to jump the starter as Jim explained in the previous post. That would narrow down the possibility of the Starter or solenoid being bad.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 06, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Re: 68 camaro won't start!!!

Thank you gus so much. We did all the tests, and they all worked. We figured out that our nuetral safety switch was the problem, because when we took it off, and made a makeshift curcuit with an insulated wire, we were able to get the engine to crank just by turning the key. I am very appreciative for you guys help and am so excited that we got this working. Once again thank yall so much for your help!
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