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Username Post: 61 283 Starting Problem        (Topic#352299)
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-02-18 04:17 AM - Post#2741755    

Last week I had the 61 out for a drive which went fine. Parked it in garage then today tried to start it & nothing; dead. Checked & found positive cable to starter separated from the end clamp connector at battery. Clamp is nearly new but wire had come loose from it. Re-connected wire but still nothing when I turned the key. No power to starter, headlights, etc. Battery seems fine (charger attached to it showed full charge). Thoughts, ideas on problem?



 




Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
08-02-18 04:20 AM - Post#2741756    
    In response to Gabster

Get a test light or voltmeter and look for power at the starter junction, as a starting point.



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2745

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
08-02-18 06:47 AM - Post#2741765    
    In response to Gabster

Your description of the cable coming loose from the terminal end, leads me to believe that the terminal end, is the type that you lay the copper wire across the end, and then clamp it down with a plate and 2 bolts? If this is the case, then I suggest that you buy a battery cable that has a lead end on it, and that the copper wire is crimped to the end. There is a good chance that there is corrosion between your present terminal end, and the battery post. The only time that I would consider the type of terminal end that I have described, is as a temporary repair to get the car home, where you have tools to properly fix the problem. Also, if the cable is old, you might have corrosion under the plastic coating, which will cause high resistance in the cable between the battery and the starter. Also check to see if the 10 gauge wire between the battery and the voltage regulator is hooked up.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-02-18 10:31 AM - Post#2741784    
    In response to junky

Thanks very much guys. I will try to check for current at the starter, then put on a new cable if no fire. Any other ideas are welcome.



 
cowfarmer350 
Senior Member
Posts: 1216

Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 02-03-01
08-02-18 12:05 PM - Post#2741790    
    In response to Gabster

Hi, there is also a main power feed coming from the positive terminal going to the main wiring harness, check that it is still connected



 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-02-18 05:32 PM - Post#2741814    
    In response to cowfarmer350

That wire is connected, but as Junky suspected, the end is one of those types that clamps onto the positive cable end. It could be faulty I guess, but it is nearly new and seems like it should work as long as the clamp is tight (which it is). I don't have a test meter so will have to get one this weekend and check for current at the starter. Thanks for the advice!



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2745

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
08-02-18 07:23 PM - Post#2741827    
    In response to Gabster

loosen the terminal where it goes onto the battery, and with the door open, so you can see the interior light, give the terminal a twist back and forth. If the light comes on, then it is the terminal end has corrosion. Also, do you know if your battery is good? If not, do you have a set of jumper cables that you can connect to your daily driver battery? There is a lot of testing that you can do without a meter. Even taking one of the terminals off the battery, and then scratching across the positive and negative terminals with a piece of copper wire will tell you if the battery has a charge in it. If it doesn't spark, it is a dead battery. Time to take out the backwoods book of automobile repair. What did we do before computers and cell phones? We improvised!

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 714
ragtp66
Reg: 12-09-07
08-02-18 07:24 PM - Post#2741828    
    In response to Gabster

Check the firewall bulkhead connector for corrosion, loose, bent or backed out terminals and make sure to use the correct grease when putting it back together. VERY common problem especially if you got caught in a rain storm or just washed the car.

Toys:
1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-03-18 07:23 AM - Post#2741846    
    In response to junky

Thanks or the extra checking ideas. If the battery is dead I will be surprised...and if so I will trash my charger for lying to me!

Another suggestion was to check the bulkhead connection. Not sure where this is but guess I can find it.



 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-03-18 07:42 AM - Post#2741852    
    In response to ragtp66

Put grease on the bulkhead connector? What kind of grease? A clue on finding the connector would help too...thanks much.



 
loslo58 
Poster
Posts: 8

Age: 72
Loc: Socal
Reg: 08-02-18
08-03-18 07:54 AM - Post#2741854    
    In response to Gabster

Dialectric (SP) grease.

58 Belair 2 DR HT. 350 TBI 4L60E trans, 4W disk brakes, Power windows, Frt 6 way power buckets.XM radio, auto headlights,and many other goodies. The car thinks its a '95 Chevy truck when you use a "scan" tool.


 
55Brodie 
Contributor
Posts: 226
55Brodie
Age: 66
Loc: Little River, SC
Reg: 12-26-15
08-03-18 09:37 AM - Post#2741865    
    In response to Gabster

There are two white rectangular connectors side by side on the firewall below the master cylinder. Each has 2 tabs to depress to allow you to unplug. Once disconnected, hit the terminals with a small brass brush.



 
55Brodie 
Contributor
Posts: 226
55Brodie
Age: 66
Loc: Little River, SC
Reg: 12-26-15
08-03-18 09:43 AM - Post#2741866    
    In response to 55Brodie

Oh, and by the way, do not use dielectric grease as it is an insulator. Either use nothing or a conductive grease.



 
Andy4639 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1211

Age: 58
Loc: Liberty, SC
Reg: 08-06-16
08-03-18 04:53 PM - Post#2741898    
    In response to 55Brodie

On my 64 SS Impala I have to wiggle those connections at the fire wall every now and then. If you open the door and have no interior lights wiggle them it will start. Mine does any way!
After 58 years of service the plastic clips that hold it in place get weak. You can put black tape around them also.



1956 Bel Air - LT-1/4l60
1964 SS Impala -350 crate/powerglide
1967 Ramp truck - 350/ 4 speed
1971 C 10 - 6.0 LS / 4l80e 4:10 gears 30 years owner
94 Elderado
2000 S-10
2008 LTZ Tahoe
2011 Treverse


 
Brian64SS 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1201
Brian64SS
Loc: Milwaukee, Wi
Reg: 09-30-00
08-04-18 09:14 AM - Post#2741943    
    In response to Andy4639

Junkys last response above is pretty much what to do whenever turning a key doesn't start a car - that is to see if there is power to dome lights, dash warning lights or headlights.

If everything is dark, the problem is a completely dead battery or no power at all from it getting to anything - an open circuit from a separated cable or wire. Connect your battery charger to the battery and see if makes the lights come on. If so, it's your battery. If not, it's a connection. Disconnect the charger if you plan on turning the key unless it's a combination charger/starter.

If lights are on but dim, some power is getting through. Battery is probably low.

If lights are on normal and bright, turn the key. If lights stay bright, starter isn't getting any juice at all to tell it to start. If lights dim and get bright again when releasing the key, it's probably the starter's connections or solenoid. If the lights dim and stay dim the battery is probably done or a bad connection. If your battery is good, a bad connection will get hot and sometimes smoke. Maybe try one of those $10 infra-red laser thermometers to check for warm connections on the ends of battery cables instead of touching them.

If you're going to put a wire across the (+) and (-) posts on the battery to check it as suggested above, wear safety goggles or face shield. Really, wear them anytime you're making sparks at a battery. Hydrogen can cause the battery (and it's acid) to explode in your face. It's rare but don't be the one it happens to.

Brian
1964 Impala SS, 283 (not original), 4-speed (26 years)
1964 Impala 4-door hardtop, 283 Powerglide (3 years)
They made a million but I only have two.


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27960
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-04-18 09:54 AM - Post#2741945    
    In response to Gabster

When doing Brian's tests, if the lights go dim when you turn the key, and then bright again when you let off, try jumping the starter solenoid. Use a heavy screwdriver and jump from the battery cable stud on the solenoid to the "S" terminal. "S" will be a small stud with a (usually) purple wire on it. Make sure that the trans is in neutral if manual, or Park if automatic, before you do this.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 189

Reg: 07-09-18
08-04-18 04:22 PM - Post#2741967    
    In response to raycow

I must agree with the junction connector at the firewall. I had one that did just that. The main power feed had become loose and didn't always make contact.



 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-05-18 04:04 AM - Post#2741985    
    In response to Mercedes

I checked the firewall connection and the screwdriver test on the starter solenoid but still dead. Finally, did the simple test with a copper wire as Junky suggested (with protective glasses on since one time I had a battery explode). Turns out the battery was dead as a doornail! VERY surprised, since it had worked fine up until a few days ago and it was a 5-year battery only 2 years old. Plus my charger indicated it was charged. Will have to get new Battery & charger! THANKS EVERYBODY!!



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2745

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
08-05-18 06:02 AM - Post#2741992    
    In response to Gabster

Batteries are like people.. Some die slowly, and others are alive and kicking one moment, and the next moment, they are dead as a doornail, like your battery.

Quote: From the book of wise censored remarks by Junky

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
55Brodie 
Contributor
Posts: 226
55Brodie
Age: 66
Loc: Little River, SC
Reg: 12-26-15
08-05-18 07:01 AM - Post#2741998    
    In response to Gabster

Don't know how hot it gets in OK, but a true fact is heat kills more car batteries than cold does.



 
Gabster 
Poster
Posts: 79

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 02-02-13
08-05-18 08:20 AM - Post#2742005    
    In response to 55Brodie

Can get pretty hot here in central (OKC metro) area but this summer has been "not so hot" maxing out mostly in low to mid 90's. The car resides in an insulated garage 90% of the time (10 degrees cooler than outside) so I doubt heat was the problem. WallyWorld exchanged the battery with a 30% credit. Next it's off to Napa or maybe O'Reilly for a new charger. Might first look online. Anybody recommend a reliable charger?



 
55Brodie 
Contributor
Posts: 226
55Brodie
Age: 66
Loc: Little River, SC
Reg: 12-26-15
08-05-18 09:37 AM - Post#2742008    
    In response to Gabster

https://no.co/g1100

I have one of these and could not be happier.



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2745

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
08-05-18 10:02 AM - Post#2742014    
    In response to 55Brodie

I have a couple of the NOCO Genius G3500 chargers, and they keep all my batteries fully charged and ready to go. I buy them used on eBay, and also look at the condition before buying. If they are clean looking, and not abused, I will buy them. Usually at least 35-35% less than new. I haven't gotten a bad one yet, and if they don't work, and the seller says that they do, you return it on the sellers dime.

NOCO-Genius-G3500-6V-12V- 3-5A-UltraSafe-Smart-Batt ery-Charger


Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 




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