Totally dead - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 12, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bill
 
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Totally dead

I drove the car then parked it. It ran fine. An hour later, I went to start it and it's totally dead. Not even a click or a movement othe ammeter gauge. I pulled the battery and had it checked, but it's OK. I've put a charger on it. but there's not a sign of life -- no clicking or anything. I've checked the fuses and found the taillight fuse (20A) was blown and I replaced it. The only thing I touched after driving it was to replace a taillight bulb. anyone have a thought or an idea how to trouble shoot?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 12, 07:32 PM
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Re: Totally dead

Do the headlights come on? Is other stuff out or just no start?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 12, 08:28 PM
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Re: Totally dead

Check your fusible links at the battery and junction post behind the battery.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 12, 08:30 PM
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Re: Totally dead

Does the car have the backdrive linkage from the trans to the column intact and adjusted correctly? I ask because it was a new for 69 safety feature that required that an auto be in park and a manual in reverse before the key could be rotated back to off to remove it. Many, many cars had the backdrive discarded when headers were installed, trans changed, whatever. Later someone buys the car and doesn't know anything is missing.

If no backdrive, and if the tab at the end of the column isn't secured in the correct position, the inner column can rotate and move the column mounted NSS to a position where it won't trigger the ignition.

So, this is one of the first things I ask about for a 69 model that suddenly won't crank. If the car was modified by a previous owner, a new owner might not know. If you know your NSS or clutch safety switch is installed correctly and functioning OK, then ignore this step.

Troubleshooting is going to require a multimeter and another person (if you have a multimeter with long enough leads, it can be done solo). Normally you'd begin at the starter connections. Disconnect the battery, and then get under the car and make sure the large gage battery cable is connected and clean on the main lug. Then inspect the purple wire (and yellow, if your car still has all OE wiring) connected to the "S" terminal. Once the battery power cable has been confirmed to be connected and not burned through or something and not badly corroded, you would want to have that battery feed wire connected and connect the red multimeter lead to the S terminal where the purple and yellow wires are attached. If you drop the red lead down from the top of the engine, and prop the meter up on the air cleaner or cowl, someplace you can see it from the driver seat, and just connect the black lead to the fender ground or any other point within reach that can be a good ground.

Go back topside, and look at the battery to engine ground wire, and make sure the end is connected and in good condition, etc.). If the ground is good, reconnect the positive and ground terminals at the battery,

Turn key to the start position and confirm you have 12V on the purple wire to the starter. If no voltage, then you'll be going inside the car to check the NSS/clutch safety switch and/or the ignition switch. If you have 12V to the S terminal, you'll be replacing the starter or solenoid.

But like I said at first, if your car is modified and missing the backdrive, it may be as simple as gripping the lower column housing near where it meets the dash and rotating counterclockwise to trick the system into thinking the car is in park. But normally, if the column isn't in the right spot, you can't pull the key out of the lock cylinder.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 12, 04:23 AM
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Re: Totally dead

Good suggestions given. If you have no lights or accessories, as David suggests, check all the connections from the positive battery post to the horn realy buss bar.

The electrical system power lead connects here and so does the battery. Remove negative battery cable, then remove all red leads and wire brush them and the buss bar - don't forget the battery junction block, reinstall red leads.

If you have lights, then follow Eric's suggestions.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 12, 06:46 AM
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Re: Totally dead

Automatic or manual?
If it's an auto with console shifter, try shifting it in and out of Park a few times. Run it through the gears and hit it hard into Park.
The neutral safety switch may need adjusting. I have the same issue... left me stranded at the grocery store a couple months ago.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 12, 08:56 PM
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Re: Totally dead

I had this same experience last year. We drove to a restaurant...no problems at all. Went in and ate, came out and nothing...absolutely nothing. Did a spark test on battery, that was not the problem.
Called AAA and the driver was a master mechanic. In just about 90 seconds, he said the ignition switch was burned up. Said he would be back in a few minutes and was back with a new ignition switch, installed it and we were good. All he wanted was the money for the switch, but I made him take a hundred.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 12, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Totally dead

Thank you for all the replies and help! I haven't had a chance to tear into it yet. The car is manual transmission. nothing on the car works -- headlights or brake lights, as well as the ignition. I'll check the fusable links and start with the steps described by Eric. That's really helpful -- gives me a place to start. I'll post what I find tomorrow, afterwork. Thanks again for the help!

Bill

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 12, 05:33 AM
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Re: Totally dead

If you are getting juice to the starter and the ignition switch powers accessories by key moving through run and on to start position I would say check the neutral safety switch first.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 12, 05:48 AM
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Re: Totally dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by braber427 View Post
nothing on the car works -- headlights or brake lights, as well as the ignition. Bill
Check battery junction block and horn relay buss bar. The red wires do corrode and no power goes through the connection.
Have to ask - battery charged? Clean posts and clamps?

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 12, 08:54 AM
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Re: Totally dead

Check the battery ground connection both at the battery and at the starter.Make sure it is tight.I had a similar problem with my car and that is what it was.The terminal at the battery "looked" fine but was not tight.It is a long shot,but some times it is something simple.

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