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Old 05-11-2003, 07:23 AM
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Post 327 Small Block Chevy that dies when I drive it

Hey everyone I have a 1965 Chevy Impala with a re built 327 Small Block Engine and I am having a problem with it.I think my problem is electrical but I am not sure.When I drive the car,all the power will just shut off and the car will die.Then about 3 or 4 seconds later,all the power will come back on and then I can start it.Does anyone know what the cause of this is?I cannot figure it out.I thought that maybe some wires were disconnected or something but everything looks fine.It has a brand new battery in it and we had the alternator checked and that is good as well.So if anyone knows what is wrong,please reply.
Keith

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Old 05-11-2003, 07:28 AM
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Right off the top of my head, The frist thing i would check out would be the distributor cap for cracks. The heat will cause the crack to open and not make contact. Then when it cools the crack will close up.
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Old 05-11-2003, 07:37 AM
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If you have a point type dist. check the condenser, if it's HEI check the pick-up module.
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Old 05-11-2003, 12:00 PM
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[quote]Then about 3 or 4 seconds later,all the power will come back on and then I can start it <hr></blockquote>

This sounds more like a circut breakers is opening...? The older cars had these in certain circuts like the primary power...? Either the breaker in question is failing from age or possibly a short somewhere in the system is causing it...? Possibly a firewall connection also...?
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Old 05-11-2003, 04:36 PM
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Just off the top, I don't know of any one thing that controls all of the power to the vehicle EXCEPT the ignition switch. Check all connections to and from the switch and don't forget grounds.
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Old 05-11-2003, 09:03 PM
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I was going through the same problem in a 1967 El Camino of ours. Didn't happen all the time but every so often it would just shut off. I finally traced the problem to a corrosion problem on the wire that feeds the back of the fuse block. The solderless connector was loose as well as rusty. I cleaned the connector and soldered it this time and the problem was solved.
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Old 05-11-2003, 11:34 PM
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i have a 1990 camaro that did that very same thing. as it turns out, the positive lead to my starter selenoid was grounding to the exhaust. not a typical problem i would imagine but a possibility to say the least. might be worth a look.....
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Old 05-11-2003, 11:46 PM
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I had the same type problem in a 72 Nova years ago. The first time, it was the starter cable like hmmm above. The second time, the big red alternator wire had melted over the carb heat crossover. Cable only hit header on hard right turns. Alt. wire only hit intake on bumps. Drove me nuts figuring those out.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:13 PM
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May want to check the coil. They normally will give problems when heated up. All had some good suggestions.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:23 PM
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My recommendation is the same as the others, check the solenoid and the fuseable links. My cutlass was going down the road one night and the lights and the car shut off, a second later back on, I drove back home 2 miles with it doing this, the power wire from the battery to the solenoid was loose.
Another time on a 79 camaro Z28, the excessively hot headers melted the solenoid internally, you`d go to start it and let off the key and the starter kept going. Then you`d shut it off and try and restart then nothing. The smaller ignition wire`s internal post was almost completely melted away which caused this gremlin. Last but not least I changed the valve covers on a 79 chevy malibu, I slid the valve cover forward which made contact with the wire going to the back of the alternator, causing a instant short and sparks flew, it blew the fusable links.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:58 PM
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Keith, I worked on old cars like yours. I did repair on electrical problem. One common problem I always notice is the connector behind the fuse panel. There is one main feed that goes to the fuse panel through a connector. After years of usage the connector start to overheat and start to loose contact. It start to oxidize from the heat. Before you realize, you will have intermittent connection. The car just dies and one minute later it's alive.
My 69 chevelle did that.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:19 PM
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I would start with all the primary battery and ground connections. Make sure the connection from the battery on the starter is clean and tight. Obviously check both battery terminals for being clean and tight. Check the ground connection to the block.
You said it has a rebuilt engine. When the engine was installed did the ground that goes from the back of the head to the firewall get re-connected. This is very important and will cause exactly what you are talking about and I have seen it many times. On that car it was probably a steel or copper braid and it usually was on the passengers side head and bolts to the firewall. If it is not there, you need to install one. The absence of this will also put more of a load on the other grounds and can eventually cause complete failure or a fire.
The bulk head connector is also another place to look but it would not be my first choice.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:15 PM
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You said alot T bucket. I`ve told many on here when they were having starter problems to add grounds. It`s shocking how much better the electrical system works when grounds are added. I go overboard with grounds but only because I know there importance.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:14 PM
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327 dies

Check for an overheated ballast resistor on the firewall.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:11 PM
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There is a little problem. There is no ballast resistor in a 65 impala. They use resistor wire in the harness, between the fuse panel to the ignition coil.
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