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.
69 'vert project big block/TKO 600 RR
68 'vert driver RS clone -- gone!