Car lost power when lights were turned on - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 08, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Car lost power when lights were turned on

Today I replaced some spark plugs and went for a test drive. All was good.
When I turn into the drive way at home , I turned the head lights on and the car died. All power was lost, the dome light wouldn't come on. Luckly I was in my yard so I got my voltage meter to start checking things out and all of a sudden I noticed the dome light was on (door was open). I got in the car and it started right up, turned lights on and all works just fine. I was moving some wires near the voltage reg and fusabe link when I noticed the dome lights was back on. Once I got it in my shop with lights, I have the car running and tried to move some wires around near the fusable link near the voltage regulator to see if I could find a loose connection and the car never acted up again. Puzzled as to what actually killed all power, engine and all.
Could a loose connection at the fusable link cause this type of failure? All wiring is still original 1969 model. Open for suggestions!!!! Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 08, 04:11 PM
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

If the engine was running during the wiggle test, it may be that the alternator is on the right side of the bad connection. Try the wiggle test with the engine off, key on. Perhaps it will reveal itself then. It certainly does act like a bad connection. Bad connections will get warm when you pull current through them. You might *carefully* feel a few connections after you've managed to load the circuit for a bit. They can get quite hot. An infrared temperature probe is a handy tool for finding hot connections if you happen to have one of those. Also look for signs of heat stress on connectors and wire insuallation.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 08, 04:12 AM
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

After you've dnult's suggestion, look at the buss bar of the horn relay, the two red wires.

Disconnect battery, then disconnect the red wires and use a wire brush to clean both wire terminals and the buss bar. Lube all items with a finger drop of oil and reassemble all disconnected wires/cables.

Reterminate those lugs if any wire strands are broken. You might even lay one terminal on top of the other one to alleviate the buss bar.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 08, 12:46 PM
 
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

I had a simular experience about 3 years ago where all power, including the engine, stopped. It turned out to be a loose connection on the "Bulk-Head" connector that plugs into the engine side of the firewall. The connector is behind the brake booster on the right side. The fuse box is on the opposite side. I disconnected the Bulk-head plug, cleaned the terminals, and resecured. I haven't had a problem since.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 08, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

I will try cleaning the red wires and then see if it happens again, if it does I will have to take a look at the bulk-head plug. Everything worked fine today with me doing nothing, so not really sure where the problem is.. Hope this is not going to be an on-going problem. Thanks for everyones help!!!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 08, 07:05 AM
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

Look for cracked wires on the ends of fuseable links too. I had one that was very frayed, cut it out, replaced with new fuseable from Auto Value and noticed my lights didnt dim at slow idle anymore

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 08, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Car lost power when lights were turned on

Thanks Jim,

I will have to give the fuseable link a look. Thanks Again!!!!
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