She's DEAD! - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 07, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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She's DEAD!

So I was taking my '68 out for a cruise when she just died at a stop sign around the corner from my house. I turned the ignition off and tried to restart, but got nothing. The starter didn't turn, and it didn't even sound like the solenoid was engaging. I let it sit for a minute when my girl friend asked if smoke should be coming out from under the hood. I laughed until I realized that there was indeed a little smoke coming from under the hood. I jumped out and popped her open to see my wires frying. Fortunately I have a quick disconnect switch on the battery terminal that stopped the juice from flowing. It looks like the wires melted somewhere between the MSD box, the remote solenoid, the (Mallory) coil and over near the alternator. I have no clue what happened as the guy who installed my engine for me ran all the wiring and electrical taped EVERYTHING together. I wanted to upgrade the wiring to the Painess system for more modern electronics, fuses and heavier gauge wires, but it wasn't really at the top of my list. I'm okay with doing the work now, but I'd like to make sure it doesn't happen again. So here are the questions: 1) What could have done this?, and 2) Would an upgraded electrical system such as Painless Part #PRF-20101 prevent this from happening? I'm sure I'll be upgrading the alternator shortly as well.

P.S. There was some smoke in the engine compartment but not as much as from underhood. Does this mean the under-dash stuff got damaged or could it just be seeping through the firewall?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 07, 06:44 PM
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Re: She's DEAD!

most likely it came from underhood to inside car. but i would check under dash too make sure no wires burnt inside.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 07, 06:54 PM
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Re: She's DEAD!

Sorry to hear this man!....May she rest in peace!.....I'd be punching that guy in the head until he made it right for you!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 07, 07:38 PM
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Re: She's DEAD!

How new was the MSD? They seem to sometimes fail right off after installation.

1968, M20 PDB 12posi-3.73 400SB (KB125 5.7"r AFR195 CS286H 750cfm-mech-annular_boost 10.2CR AirGap 6AL)
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 07, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: She's DEAD!

The engine was installed about a year and a half ago. The MSD box went in at the time of the installation. I had ignition troubles about four months after the install, but I managed to sort it all out and it was functioning well since then. I really like the 6AL, but if it's going to cause this much trouble, I should probably be looking at another ignition system. Can anyone recommend a good ignition system and wiring kit? I've read a lot about Painless being pretty painful... I like the idea of upgraded electronics and heavier gauge wires. Ideally, I'd like to make some other upgrades to the car in the not-too-distant future that may require additional circuits. Furthermore, I'd like to prevent this issue from happening again. Should I use a fusable link somewhere to protect the rest of the wiring from utter destruction?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 07, 01:34 AM
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Re: She's DEAD!

Be sure all the fusible links are in place. Fusible links are safety devices, and protect the wiring before the fuse box. When a direct short occurs, the fusible links are supposed to melt saving the wiring and possibly saving the car from a fire. If you wire anything extra directly off the battery, be sure its also protected with either fusible links or fuses. More info on fusible links.

Greg U

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 07, 07:24 PM
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Re: She's DEAD!

How close were the wires to anything in the engine bay that can get HOT? Such as the exhaust manifolds, etc. Anything along their run where they could rub and get cut? You could have had a small creature get in there and chew through some wires or you could have had the wires break down over time/over heat over time and finally got to the point where they toasted.

Only thing to do is be thankful you didn't do major burn up of the car and that you only have to take the time to replace the wires to be back on the road.
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