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Old 09-07-2005, 08:19 AM
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1984 Chevy Caprice Classic

I just rebuilt the engine (305) in this and ran it for the 20 minutes, changed oil and installed a new battery and now nothing.
The battery that was in it wouldn't take a full charge so I went and bought a new one. Installed it and now it won't start. Nothing happens when you turn the key. I have dome light and the key buzzer, but nothing except a dim check engine light and dummy lights on the dash. No headlights or wipers.
I checked the voltage on the new battery and it has 12.71 volts, so that's okay. I also checked and tightened the connections at the starter, which is new. I also checked the ground wires too. I'm thinking I might have blown a fusible link, however I don't remember seeing any. Any thoughts?

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Old 09-07-2005, 10:31 AM
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Did you change the starter after the engine had been running or before? The 12.6V battery voltage is low. Was that measured while the battery was installed, ignition off or prior to installation? Does the starter solenoid click when the key is turned?

I would check the starter connections and test for battery voltage at the starter solenoid. If so, pull the battery and charge it (Use a set of jumper cables and your other car to charge it, if you don't have a charger).

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngbw
Did you change the starter after the engine had been running or before? The 12.6V battery voltage is low. Was that measured while the battery was installed, ignition off or prior to installation? Does the starter solenoid click when the key is turned?

I would check the starter connections and test for battery voltage at the starter solenoid. If so, pull the battery and charge it (Use a set of jumper cables and your other car to charge it, if you don't have a charger).
I installed a new starter before the 20 minutes it ran. It's a new starter and it worked fine so I don't think that is the problem.
12.71 volts was measured after I installed it with the clock pulling a drain on it. My automotive textbook states that 12.4 volts is a full charge and so what I have is sufficient to start it. There isn't a sound from the starter when the key is turned.

I already checked and tightened the connections at the starter. I think the voltage at the starter solenoid would be fine seen as how my dome light is full brightness and my key buzzer works fine. If the voltage wasn't reaching the starter, wouldn't those not work also? I can check it tho.
My battery charger has a 75 amp booster on it and there was no difference when I used it.
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:11 PM
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I'm getting 12.17 volts at the starter, and the fusible links look good.

Last edited by kringold; 09-07-2005 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:45 PM
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starter problem

Sounds like the solenoid may have hung up or have an open in the coil. Try a continuity check on the solenoid, if it tests out OK then try a gentle tap on the side to pop it loose. You may end up pulling the starter and bench testing it.
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:46 AM
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starter

Doc here,


With te key OFF, grab the fan and rock the engine back and forth sharply, If the starter is stuck it will free up.

Try jumping the "S" TERMINAL TO THE Main starter bolt and see if it cranks, If so you have a bad wire or switch.

Or the Neutral SAFETY Switch is out of adjustment, unhooked or just bad..try starting it while moving the shift around.

Doc
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:16 PM
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I went out this morning and rotated the crankshaft slightly, and then tried to starty it. No luck.
When I opened the door tho, I noticed I didn't have a dome light anymore. The door buzzer was hardly audible also.
Jumped the starter solenoid and barely got a spark. I then measuered the voltage at the battery and it was 11.88 volts. Too low. Makes me think about this brand new NAPA battery I have. It lost almost a full volt overnight, and it was unhooked. Just the positive cable. I have it on the charger now.
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Old 09-08-2005, 03:22 PM
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Hmm....loosing that much voltage overnight does make one wonder.

Hook the battery up in your car fully charged and then check the voltage across the battery with everything off. You should have 12-12.5 volts just as your text states. Turn the headlight switch on. Even if the lights don't light up, leave the switch on. Check your battery voltage again. The voltage should still be 12-12.5v across the battery. If you have a dead battery and/or with a bad cell you'll see only a few volts at most, not enough to even make the filaments burn in the lamps. Once determined the voltage is low with the lights on swap batteries with a known good one, then perform my simple test again.

You should see little (a few tenths at most) to no voltage drop across a fully charged battery with the lights on. If the lights don't come on with the battery showing a full charge then obviously you have a wiring problem.

If it passes the lights test find a friend. Have them turn the key on to 'start' while you monitor the voltage. If it drops alot then you definitely have a bad or low charged battery. If it doesn't drop at all and the engine isn't cranking then you will have to trace your voltages through the solenoid terminals.

Last edited by 78novaman; 09-08-2005 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:52 PM
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Altenator

Doc here,

You have a bad regulator in the alternator..one or more diodes are crowbared in a reverse bias imposing a load on the battery just sitting over night..to verify, FULL CHARGE your battery (6 TO 10 HOURS @ 10 amps) and FULLY DISCONNECT the alternator and let it sit over night...

If it stays charged .. get a set of diodes for the regulator OR a new alternator..

Doc
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,
You have a bad regulator in the alternator...
Doc
The alternator is new also.
I pulled the starter yesterday and ran it to Schuck's and had it tested. They ran the test twice and it worked fine both times. So I took it home re-installed it, what a pain, and tried starting it. Again I got no dome light or dash lights and no headlights. I turned the key and nothing. I hooked up my charger and I got all my lights. Turned the charger to boost and tried starting it. Now atleast the starter is clicking, but it still isn't starting. I think I'm going to take this NAPA battery back and hopefully they will give me a good one this time. I might pull the alternator too, while I'm at, it and have it tested.

Last edited by kringold; 09-10-2005 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 09-10-2005, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

You have a bad regulator in the alternator..one or more diodes are crowbared in a reverse bias imposing a load on the battery just sitting over night..to verify, FULL CHARGE your battery (6 TO 10 HOURS @ 10 amps) and FULLY DISCONNECT the alternator and let it sit over night...

If it stays charged .. get a set of diodes for the regulator OR a new alternator..

Doc
DOC HERE,

Again...........

1 in 3 or 5 BRAND NEW OUT OF THE BOX alternators don't work and have some mechanical or electrical default...

You should have tested or replaced the alternator IN Stead of worrying about the starter..Since it's only the symptom not the cause....sitting static, the starter IS not going to dim lights.....or kill off a new battery...

DOC
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Old 09-10-2005, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

You have a bad regulator in the alternator..one or more diodes are crowbared in a reverse bias imposing a load on the battery just sitting over night..to verify, FULL CHARGE your battery (6 TO 10 HOURS @ 10 amps) and FULLY DISCONNECT the alternator and let it sit over night...

If it stays charged .. get a set of diodes for the regulator OR a new alternator..

Doc
Would this cause a "no start" also?
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Old 09-10-2005, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kringold
Would this cause a "no start" also?
Doc Here,


Focus here..for a minute...

If it won't crank.....how will it start?

If you want to get it running print this out and use it as a check list, and SKIP nothing..do not add anything unless it's obviously wrong, until you get this checked / inspected / repaired..or you will just go round in circles...

Anyway, If you are devoting 125% of available power to the starter Just to get it to crank, nothing is left over for the ignition..or anything else.

Using the 75 amp start jumper is well and good on at least a partial charged battery..and that is all it was ment for. On a DEAD battery, it's about 490 AMPS short of the minimum it will take to crank th engine..650 CCA to 1000 CCA

After you Check or replace the Alternator or install a new regulator diode pack...do the following:

CHARGE THE BATTERY..6 to 10 hours on a 10 amp setting...DO NOT RELAY ON THE ALTERNATOR TO BRING IT UP!! should you get it running!!! It never will , alternators were not designed to do this , not from dead ... only to SUPPORT the system while running AND replace any surface charge used (like start loads)..

PULL BOTH Cables Inspect both for corrosion at the terminals AND inside the insulation. IF ANY Is inside, replace both....

Insure the positive cable runs from the battery directly to the starter solenoid and attaches to the main solenoid terminal along with the fuse link wires feeding back into the fuse and switch buss...be sure the connection is tight, the links are good,. and tight in the ring terminals.

Next , and most important be sure your ground system is as follows...Ground from the battery run directly to a bolt at or near the starter on the block..from that same block bolt...run a battery cable from it to the frame ( cable will have 3/8 ring terminals on both ends about 6 bucks at the auto parts store) Ground it to any handy bolt on the frame..Going back to the block bolt, run 2, 10 gauge wires from there, one to the firewall, and ground there, the other will run to the alternator ground lug, or mount bolt..and ground there..

Next get some ground braid (rat shak) cheap by the roll, and run braids from the fender well/ fenders to the frame, the door posts to the doors, the hood to the firewall the trunk to the body, The gas filler flap to the body, the radiator frame mount to the frame.

At all attaching points, use a proper STAR washer (inside or outside stars) Burnish off all the paint and grease from all attaching points, use a proper nut, bolt or tech screw, and locks..

IF THE MOUNT for the alternator and / or the alternator itself is powdered white, you'll have to pull them and sand or water blast them and the hardware until it is semi shiny clean and reinstall them and the hardware using aluminum wire bonding paste.

You have electrolysis going on that will isolate the charging system from ground..

Also this will eat the water pump impeller as fast as a mild acid..so you might want to consider replacing it while your in there..

Be sure to USE the paste EVERYWHERE the alternator and mount touch steel (the block) or your just shooting yourself in the foot....

Pull the "S" wire off the solenoid and using a DMM set for V x 50 have someone turn the key to "START"

The power here should go from 000 to 12 volts if it is to operate properly.Anything less, and you must troubleshoot or just replace the wire..

Next with the "S" terminal working, pull the power wire or "Batt" from the Coil and turn the Ignition to Run.

If HEI ,. It will read 12 volts,

IF a points type, with an ignition resistor, AND the points are closed or jumpered to ground for testing, will read 6 to 9 volts..

Points Open , no jumper will read 12 volts..

Now Have someone turn the ignition to "START" does the 12 volts go away? If so your losing power during crank cycles you need to troubleshoot the wire that goes between the "I" terminal on the starter solenoid and the ignition resistor OR coil power wire...the coil is shutting off like the rest of the car when you hit start hence it'll never start..

Do these steps AS I HAVE laid them out...and you should get the car running or at a point where we can better , reliably troubleshoot it for you more..don't skip or skim..inspect, correct or mark as good as I wrote it out..else you will just chase your *** and ultimately you will be better going to an auto electric shop as you have surpassed your skill level and tools available to troubleshoot..Here they are bout $139.00 An hour...you have about a 5 hour job there..plus parts..

Doc
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:09 AM
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I fixed it. It was a short on a wire that is no longer used, that was yet to be removed. It got hot and melted. The battery did turn out to be bad, and so was the rest they had in the store of that type. Had to wait in the store while they brought one in from another. I just love NAPA!
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Old 09-19-2005, 08:36 PM
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Fix

Doc here,

Thanks for posting back and letting us know the fix...

Another example of "The part is new" ..always go back and double check..as you did before moving on.

As evidenced by the whole shelf of defective battery's on the shelf, gives you a good idea how bad the QC is on electrical! Always test (if possible) before leaving the store..several times...once you leave..it then becomes your problem! Modules are real offenders, as well as alternators, Starter motors, solenoids, and electrical controlled switches..

Always double check!

Glad to hear you got it running and didn't cost you a fortune.

Doc
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