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elchopperfreak 09-30-2012 11:16 PM

1962 impala wiring problem
Hi guys.
Been working on my 62 impala, had the car for many years a no problems whatsoever.
Well, until now.
The car would not turn over by the switch. But its intermittent, sometimes it works, sometimes theres nothing..

I have been tracing the problem and this is what I have done.

Rewired the solenoid ( wire from coil has power) the purple wire from the "sol" terminal in switch had no juice so I changed the neutral security switch and now theres like 6-7 volts. Is that enough?

I did "jump" a wire from "sol" terminal directly to solenoid and still does the same sporadic turning over.

When it does not turn over the positive on the battery gets pretty hot.

The car Always turns over by jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver, also turns over by getting the "jumped" wire from solenoid and touching the "batt" terminal at switch.

I did change the solenoid to a new one just in case

Took the plugs that go into firewall, cleaned them and put the back, also wiggled them when the key would no turn the engine to no avail.

If I turn the key to "IGN" the car starts either by jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver or jumping with the wire from solenoid.

I checked the switch and theres continuity from "sol" to "ign" and "batt"

Any clues??

I got power to the switch from the red wire like it should and also at the "ign" terminal..

Other than the switch or doing a re-wire, am I missing something??
Once the car starts it runs fine, theres no shutting down by loss of current...

Thanks in advance for the help

elchopperfreak 09-30-2012 11:22 PM

Some pics for a better idea

Switch, I noticed theres some splicing that needs to be checked, althoug I tested the wires

Notice the purple (that comes from the neutral safety switch) goes into the "sol" terminal at switch,also having a red wired jumped straight into the solenoid

Switch terminal close-up

EOD Guy 10-01-2012 03:53 AM

A little confused on your description:

I did "jump" a wire from "sol" terminal directly to solenoid and still does the same sporadic turning over

I assume this is the red wire at the switch running to the "S" terminal on the starter....

You should have 12v on the purple wire running to the "S" terminal on the starter.

Check the voltage going into the ing switch, it also should be 12v....... if you have 12v in but 6-7 out.......leads me to believe it's the ing switch

elchopperfreak 10-01-2012 08:13 AM

The last picture shows the "jumper" wire. At the beginning of my troubleshooting those two were coming out of th "sol" terminal. Used the jumper to bypass the neutral safety switch before I bought a new one.

Ill check for switch voltage again, what puzzles me is why is the battery positive is getting hot ( only when you turn the switch and the engine does NOT turn)

EOD Guy 10-01-2012 04:49 PM

If you have an internal short in the ing the contacts are slipping and causeing a arc, it'll get hot in a hurry

elchopperfreak 10-01-2012 05:40 PM

Im giving the switch a test tomorrow and will be looking for a new one, hope that solves the problem.
Still, a re-wire is in order and will do so as soon as I can.
Thanks again..

vicrod 10-01-2012 09:53 PM

The hot battery terminal could be caused by a dirty connection. Remove the battery cables from the battery and clean them with a knife or wire brush. Replace and tighten.
Better yet replace the battery cables.


elchopperfreak 10-01-2012 10:02 PM

Terminals are pretty clean, I have in schedule cleaning the neg and ground area, what seems a bit iffy is the wire that goes along with the positive which comes from ( the regulator??)
I did clean and retightened the positive from the battery into the solenoid

Thanks for the input..

vicrod 10-01-2012 10:08 PM

I only mentioned it because it is a very common problem, easy to do and to eliminate it as the fault.


elchopperfreak 10-01-2012 10:44 PM

Vicrod.. Yep, and thanks..
Just adding what Ive done to the list..and I know theres still quite some work, even of I find the culprit

Bryan59EC 10-02-2012 12:09 PM

The ignition switches in these old Chevys do have a habit of failing just like you are describing.

I bought more than a couple of cars that had push button switches in place just to crank the car.

A new ignition switch should take care of the problem, and since you already have it out, piece of cake to install (unlike my 66 Elky which requires dropping the dash out).

elchopperfreak 10-02-2012 05:20 PM

Thanks for the input Bryan, we did check the switch once more for continuity and all checked fine, still drove by autozone and bought a cheap replacement to try it out..

elchopperfreak 10-03-2012 08:32 PM

Put the new switch today, the car fired right away but after some time it did the same thing..

Then while I was working on a Fury III, we found the starter relay to be bad..

Duhhh.. I had totally forgotten about the Impalas starter relay!!!!!!!
I cleaned the terminal with a wire brush and the car seemed to turn over fine, need someone to check if the relay is clicking when the car wont turn over..
The relay could be the culprit!!!!! Will get a new one tomorrow and see whats up.

On the other hand, and non electrical question, I put the car in drive or reverse and it dies, unless I keep stomping on the gas while keeping my foot on the brake..any clues??

elchopperfreak 10-05-2012 07:18 PM

Installed the relay, seems to be working fine now, did not turn once, but has done all the time after that.
It could have been a series of things.
Going back to the oem switch and check it out.
Also found a nick on the green wire (+ coil) going into the solenoid.
Adjusted the parking neutral safety switch as well.

Got to figure out the mess coming into the switch and start changing the wiring.

elchopperfreak 10-05-2012 08:55 PM

Also found a bad splice ( old and kind of corroded) coming from the main juice box into the positive battery terminal.

Dont know if theres any relation but now the tail lights and headlights work perfect ( the low beams were not working and tail lights were iffy at best)

To sum it up and for the benefit of possible troubleshooters in the future, this is what went up.

1) Car would not run by switch, did by screwdriver "jumping" in solenoid.
2) found a wire jumped direct from the "SOL" terminal in switch to the solenoid
3) checked for spark and juice, at the coil at the rotor cap, at points and finally at spark plugs. Found no juice at plugs but a quick clean up on the points solved that
4) rewired solenoid, found that the "jumped" wire from "SOL" terminal at switch was also with the purple wire at solenoid ( leading to a faulty parking neutral safety switch)
5) Checked battery wires and grounds, cleaned, tightened.
6) replaced solenoid for a brand spanking new one
7) checked the firewall plugs, cleaned, made sure contacts were fine, wiggled them when the car would not turn over
8) checked the switch, seemed to be fine, via continuity and also by "jumping from "sol" position into "bat" and "ign" the starter turned each time
9) bought new switch and replaced just in case
10) replaced parking neutral safety switch
11) finally remembered about the starter relay, cleaned terminal, bought new one and replaced
12) adjusted parking neutral safety switch
13) repaired ( temp) main wire from battery positive terminal into car

Seems to be working fine for now, if theres any further updates I will let you know..
Most of this was searching on the web, asking questions,instinct and diagrams, never had any problems with this car so I had to figure out what the PO some 20 years ago had done..

Now to deal with the carb and the rest of the wiring

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