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Old 03-09-2008, 03:24 PM
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1961 electrical problem

First question: I have a 1961 Chevy Belair with a 350 and an alternator. It has a new American Autowire engine harness to the starter and a new harness for an alternator that also runs to the headlights. It also has a new 1963 horn relay with a wire from the positive terminal on the battery to the battery terminal on the horn relay jsut as American Autowire says to do it. The car starts in the crank position, but quits when I let up on the key to the run position. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong please?
The second question: The gas gauge buries when the key is turned on. Since the dash was painted, does the gauge need to be ground on a good clean surface? Thanks, Rich

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Old 03-09-2008, 03:51 PM
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Yes your grounds need to be on a clean unpainted surface. Your ignition wire might be on the wrong post either at your starter solinoid or perhaps at the ignition switch. It might be a good idea to re-read your instructions on your harness kit and re-check them.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:58 PM
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1961 electrical problem

The purple wire goes to the inside closest to the motor terminal on the solenoid
and the green wire goes to the outside terminal. I tried switching them, but then it wouldn't do anything. There were not any instructions with the harness, but not hard to figure out where the wires go. I'm wondering if the ignition switch is bad?
The painted surface where the gauge mounts needs to be cleaned off or can I ground the gauge another way? I really don't want to disassemble the dash.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:09 PM
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1961 electrical problem

One other question. Is the brown wire that goes to the gas tank sender supposed to light up a test light when the ignition switch is on?
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:25 PM
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starter and gas gauge

the 12 volt start wire from the solenoid is right, it sounds like you have no 12 volt run circuit. either at the ignition switch or the voltage resistor before the coil. when the stater engages it sends 12 volts to directly to the coil. when you let up on the switch you should have 12 volts to the resistor and about 8 volts out of the resistor.
The brown wire should have a cycling voltage on a test light. in other words it blinks on and off on a trst light. if it is steady the voltage regulator for the gauges may be shorted.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:33 AM
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1961 electrical problem

Thanks for the input. I need to do some more research on it in the next few days. I'll post my findings as soon as I know the outcome. Thanks, Rich
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:14 AM
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I work on a lot of 60-66 chev pickups. I assume the ign wiring is similar.

There was a resistor wire taped up inside of the original starter wire harness. That's the wire that feeds the coil when the car starts and you let go of the key to stop cranking.

Then there was a "jumper" wire coming up from the "I" terminal on the solenoid, that hooks to the + side of the coil.
That jumper gives full voltage when starting, and then the resistor wire takes over after it starts.

I put an AutoWire in a 60 P/Up. There was no resistor wire or external resistor (in the new kit) like the 50's chevys had. So, I wired in a external ceramic resistor in the wire that goes from "IGN" on the ign switch, and goes to the + side of the coil. Then I put a solid non-resistor wire from the "I" terminal on the solenoid connected to the + side of the coil.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barflymark
the 12 volt start wire from the solenoid is right, it sounds like you have no 12 volt run circuit. either at the ignition switch or the voltage resistor before the coil. when the stater engages it sends 12 volts to directly to the coil. when you let up on the switch you should have 12 volts to the resistor and about 8 volts out of the resistor.
The brown wire should have a cycling voltage on a test light. in other words it blinks on and off on a trst light. if it is steady the voltage regulator for the gauges may be shorted.
Not to make you angry, but that info is incorrect I hate to see someone pull their hair out trying to trace a problem, using wrong test info. Hope you are not offended.

The resistor can show a full 12.5v (engine off), "IF" the points are "open". (if he has the stock points-type dist) An ignition resistor will not resist voltage if there is no load on the wire.

Also, the ignition resistors don't "blink". You are referring to a voltage limiter used on some brands of cars that only feed the gauges.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:23 PM
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not angry at all. gauge wire

you misread my answer. the resistor i was talking about is the resistor for the gauges. I was answering his post about the brown wire to the gas gauge sending unit. have a nice day
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:38 AM
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This condition usually results from wiring the Ignition System to an “ACCESSORY-SWITCHED ON/OFF” rather than “IGNITION-SWITCHED ON/OFF.
Check to see if your accessory circuits are live in the “RUN mode” and dead when the Ignition Switch is in the “START" mode.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barflymark
you misread my answer.
You are absolutely correct, I apologize
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:06 AM
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1961 electrical problem

Thanks for the input guys. I've been gone for a week and haven't looked at it anymore. I forgot to mention the car has HEI using a new HEI harness along with a new alternator harness. I plan to get serious now and look into the problem now that I'm back and see why there is not any voltage on the tan/white wire. I'll let you know if there are further issues/questions now that I can devote some time to it. Thanks, Rich
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