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Old 07-11-2005, 06:49 PM
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Electrical problem on my 55 Bel Air

I just purchased this 55 Bel air and decided to clean up the wiring mess under the dash. The car ran until I changed the license plate tail light wires from a light on the plate cover to the bumper lights. The lights work but now the engine turns over but will not start. Let me add that I left the ignition switch on by mistake when I made the change. Could this have possibly damaged the electronics in the distributor? When I checked for power to the coil with the ignition switch on and it there but when go to start the power goes away. I checked for spark at the plugs and they only spark when I stop turning over the engine. Does anyone have an idea of what I might need to look for, even better does anybody have a wiring diagram that they can e-mail me so I can trace the wiring. Also let me add it has a accel super coil and an after market electronic distributor parts possibly in a stock gm distributor. Any and all help would be appreciated.

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Old 07-11-2005, 08:05 PM
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Give us some more information. Does it have electronic ignition or points? If the wiring is original you might be better off getting an aftermarket wire kit fo it.

Vince
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:07 AM
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Secondary Ignition

Doc here,

Your secondary ignition has failed , this will run from the solenoid "I" terminal to the resistor on the coil (assuming 1956 STOCK points type ignition)

Just to TEST ONLY... run a jumper direct from the battery to the coil and crank it ..it should fire right up..remove the jumper, It should continue to run with the key on...If it does, your connections on this wire have fallen apart, the wire may be cut, or the solenoid may actually be bad...("I" side of the contact pitted or burned out)

If it won't start with the jumper, then your points most likely have pitted too wide to fire, or welded themselves closed, OR the coil/ Resistor may have burned up from excessive power in a no run condition.

Doc
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
Give us some more information. Does it have electronic ignition or points? If the wiring is original you might be better off getting an aftermarket wire kit fo it.

Vince
It has an after market electronic ignition NO Points. The wire
is original. When you say aftermarket wire kit do you mean the whole electrical harness for the entire car?
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

Your secondary ignition has failed , this will run from the solenoid "I" terminal to the resistor on the coil (assuming 1956 STOCK points type ignition)

Just to TEST ONLY... run a jumper direct from the battery to the coil and crank it ..it should fire right up..remove the jumper, It should continue to run with the key on...If it does, your connections on this wire have fallen apart, the wire may be cut, or the solenoid may actually be bad...("I" side of the contact pitted or burned out)

If it won't start with the jumper, then your points most likely have pitted too wide to fire, or welded themselves closed, OR the coil/ Resistor may have burned up from excessive power in a no run condition.

Doc
Doc, The coil is a accel super coil thus eliminating the resistor and the distrutor looks stock with an aftermarket electronics in place of the points and condenser.
Is it safe to say from your first paragraph that the I terminal from the starter keeps a constant 12V when the car is started ?
I ran a jumper 12 AWG wire from the positive of the battery to the positive of the coil and turned it over but it still did not start.
This may be a dumb question but I will ask it anyway. When you turn the ingnition switch to the on postion should 12V be present on the positive side if the coil.? Or does the coil gets its power from the I terminal of the starter solinoid ?
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:01 PM
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Jim,

I know you sent your message to "Doc" but I thought I would put in my 2 cents.
The "I" terminal only supplies 12v when you are cranking the engine to help it start. The coil doesn't like to run on full 12v, it either has an internal resistance or there is one in the wire coming from the ignition switch. The wire itself could be the resistance or there could be one mounted to the firewall. Any of these is ok but not two of them at the same time because then you would not have enough voltage to keep the engine running. The dist. likes to run on around 9v after start-up.
I think there is something burnt in the dist. When you left the key in the "on" position something burnt. You will need to run a few tests on it to find out what got hurt. The reason I say this is because you hooked the 12v jumper and it did not start. If the dist. was doing what it is made to do, then it should have fired up.

Scholman
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:15 PM
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if it was my old car i had a kill switch hooked in the the trigger wire to teh dist. it would crank all day long but would never start . It was not getting pwer to the coil.

if this is a concer it was a green wire that ran in to the firse wall to he back of the ing. switch on the dash.


as silly as this sounds have you tried to rehook up the wires the way they were before you did this? Just a thought it might be they were completing a circut on the lic. fram and cuseing the car to start. if this is the case you can rehok them up and then trace those wires to where they go and correct that problem first,

if you need a new set up and want to use the factory dist. you can go to pertronix and use thier system for it it will convert it to a hel system and then it will still look as if it is the factory system

Also if it has been converted check to see if the controll modual is wroking right easiset way to do this is buy a new one and try it they are cheap and i have carried a extra one in every car i have owned up till i got the new monte i have now. they will go out with out notice. If you ahve never had one go out they can drive you nuts,

i have drive to teh store and back home shut the car off and 5min later went out to try and get it to start and it would not start.
Most of the time they have no spark when they go out and will still crank and even sound as if they are goign to crank up. drove me nuts on the first one for like 4 days before someone told me abotu it.

Good Luck
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scholman
Jim,

I know you sent your message to "Doc" but I thought I would put in my 2 cents.
The "I" terminal only supplies 12v when you are cranking the engine to help it start. The coil doesn't like to run on full 12v, it either has an internal resistance or there is one in the wire coming from the ignition switch. The wire itself could be the resistance or there could be one mounted to the firewall. Any of these is ok but not two of them at the same time because then you would not have enough voltage to keep the engine running. The dist. likes to run on around 9v after start-up.
I think there is something burnt in the dist. When you left the key in the "on" position something burnt. You will need to run a few tests on it to find out what got hurt. The reason I say this is because you hooked the 12v jumper and it did not start. If the dist. was doing what it is made to do, then it should have fired up.

Scholman
I will accept any information that will be helpful. I'm assuming the accel super coil has a built in resistor and there is no resistor in line with the wire coming from the ignition switch. Do you have any suggestions on how to test the electronic components in the distributor?
Thanks again for your input.
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey1031
if it was my old car i had a kill switch hooked in the the trigger wire to teh dist. it would crank all day long but would never start . It was not getting pwer to the coil.

if this is a concer it was a green wire that ran in to the firse wall to he back of the ing. switch on the dash.


as silly as this sounds have you tried to rehook up the wires the way they were before you did this? Just a thought it might be they were completing a circut on the lic. fram and cuseing the car to start. if this is the case you can rehok them up and then trace those wires to where they go and correct that problem first,

if you need a new set up and want to use the factory dist. you can go to pertronix and use thier system for it it will convert it to a hel system and then it will still look as if it is the factory system

Also if it has been converted check to see if the controll modual is wroking right easiset way to do this is buy a new one and try it they are cheap and i have carried a extra one in every car i have owned up till i got the new monte i have now. they will go out with out notice. If you ahve never had one go out they can drive you nuts,

i have drive to teh store and back home shut the car off and 5min later went out to try and get it to start and it would not start.
Most of the time they have no spark when they go out and will still crank and even sound as if they are goign to crank up. drove me nuts on the first one for like 4 days before someone told me abotu it.

Good Luck
Thanks for the input I will change the lic plate wiring back to the way it was. Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:20 AM
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Doc here,

Simple test, just hook a volt ohm meter up to the power on the coil, turn the key on, does it have 12 volts...(or may be 6 to 9 volts?) If not, is the wire / coil getting warm? un hook it and measure again..If 12 volts, replace the coil. If not, back track THAT wire to the open, or maybe hidden defeat switch, or even a bad ignition switch.

Next if above IS GOOD, then crank the car, do you have 12 volts (maybe 6 to 9 volts?) If not the secondary Ignition is open.


If all above IS good remove the module, take it to the auto-parts store and have it tested, It probably burned up leaving the key on for so long. If the module is bad, get a new one AND BEFORE you leave the store, demand they check it too..not once but several times to be sure it's not thermal..

That should get you running..

Doc
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:53 AM
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good point i have bought them and they were bad off the shelf . i just got in the habit of having the new ones checked also.
think that is like the weakest link in the ing. systems for GM for that style system.

Now i just need to know what happens with the new style so i can get a extra part for it so i have it on hand if needed.
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Old 07-15-2005, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

Simple test, just hook a volt ohm meter up to the power on the coil, turn the key on, does it have 12 volts...(or may be 6 to 9 volts?) If not, is the wire / coil getting warm? un hook it and measure again..If 12 volts, replace the coil. If not, back track THAT wire to the open, or maybe hidden defeat switch, or even a bad ignition switch.

Next if above IS GOOD, then crank the car, do you have 12 volts (maybe 6 to 9 volts?) If not the secondary Ignition is open.


If all above IS good remove the module, take it to the auto-parts store and have it tested, It probably burned up leaving the key on for so long. If the module is bad, get a new one AND BEFORE you leave the store, demand they check it too..not once but several times to be sure it's not thermal..

That should get you running..

Doc
Thanks for the help it ended up being the Pertronix ignitor in the distributor.
Now maybe you can enlighten me on another issue that the car had when I bought it, when you turn off the ignition the engine still runs, is it the ignition switch ? I checked it with a multimeter, but i'm not sure how if it operating correctly.
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