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Old 11-10-2008, 06:14 PM
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car wont start

it doesn't crank over or anything. usually my gas gauge registers when i turn the key and it doesn't even do that. i just replaced the ignition switch and it still doesn't work. what could be the problem?

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18camaro
it doesn't crank over or anything. usually my gas gauge registers when i turn the key and it doesn't even do that. i just replaced the ignition switch and it still doesn't work. what could be the problem?
What is the "car" information?
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:48 PM
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81 camaro sb 350. super t10 4 speed non tilt steering column. i dont really kno what else could be helpful
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:55 PM
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car wont start

battery ?
cables loose or coroded ?
fuseable links ?
you have head lights when switch on ?
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:00 PM
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That may be just enough information, thank you.

Now if you have a 'side' post battery, open the hood and grab both battery cables, to see if they are loose. It is common for them to become loose.

In fact, it is so common of a problem I check them on every vehicle, no matter what reason I have the hood open for.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:13 PM
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headlights do work and dome light works. i tightened the battery cables but maybe not enough or not correctly. i found the ground cable attached to a yellow plastic thing that 2 wires went into but one wire was missing so i figured it wasnt grounded so i put it on a header bolt to ground it. could it possibly be that that isnt grounded good enough?
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:15 PM
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also what is a fuseable link?
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:30 PM
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That yellow plastic thing is a crimp connecter. That other ground wire may just be the main body ground, which needs to hook to the battery. You will need to splice it back into the ground wire.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18camaro
also what is a fuseable link?
A fuseable link is a slow burn piece of wire. These all tie into the main battery connection on your starter.

Try that ground wire first.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:38 PM
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the ground is connected to the battery but i dont kno where the other wire is i still have the yellow piece should i just get a new wire and wire it to the frame? could that be why its not working?
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18camaro
the ground is connected to the battery but i dont kno where the other wire is i still have the yellow piece should i just get a new wire and wire it to the frame? could that be why its not working?
Look around the battery. It has to be the main body ground going to the fender, without it hooked to the battery, it will make your car do all kinds of weird stuff.

Stephen

Attached are the wiring schematics for your car. Pay close attention to the two battery ground wires. The one that comes out on the left side(the shorter of the two), is the smaller 10 gauge wire. This is your main body ground. I suspect it may be under your battery, which may be the reason you may not be able to find it. It hooks to the inner fender, by the battery. The longer lead shown is the main engine ground(4 gauge). This 10 gauge wire is at most 18"s in length.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1981 Camaro&Firebird.pdf (269.7 KB, 51 views)

Last edited by carsavvycook; 11-10-2008 at 10:40 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:47 PM
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i have one thick black wire that goes to the fender. and i have one that goes to the engine. but the negative(black) has another little thin wire that idont know what it goes to. thats wat i connected to the header
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:43 PM
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If it broke off out of the ground wire crimp on the battery cable. At least lengthen it if you need to, and hook it up to the wire, that goes to the fender ground. This way it will still be basically hooked in series to the battery.

Someone hooked it up to the battery ground cable, and who knows what for.

It's worth a shot, if it solves your problem.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:23 PM
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Start out with a simple troubleshooting method

Check grounds first
1 - battery post to alternator bracket or engine (4 gauge wire);
2 - battery post to body (usually a 10 gauge wire);
3 - engine to body (usually runs to the firewall, flat wire braid;
4 - instrument panel to body (under the dash)
5 - taillights to body

Then start checking power circuits
1 - does battery itself have power (yes)
2 - do always-on accessories have power (yes, your lights work)
3 - when you switch ignition on, do gauges move and does heater blower work? (??) - if this works, then you have power to the ignition switch; if not then you have a main power wire broken, burnt or missing. This power wire probably connects to the starter lug with a fusible link, and runs up to a power junction on the firewall. From that junction it runs to the ignition switch.
4- if power comes on to the dash when you switch ignition on, but starter does not spin when you turn the key, then you have a problem with the switch, or with the wire between the ignition and the S terminal on the starter. This wire also has a fusible link on the starter end, and it runs up and connects to the ignition switch.

Bruce
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:27 PM
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One correction to my troubleshooting - the wire on the S terminal does not have a fusible link on the starter end.

Bruce
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