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Old 09-06-2007, 06:33 PM
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engine and electric shut down on me

Hi everybody,
I have a 78 Trans Am w/Pontiac 400 that I bought about a month ago.
driving home from work today the radio would cut out for 1-2 seconds,then come back on.I looked at the voltmeter and it too would drop at the same time.This happened about 5 or 6 times during my half hour drive,then the engine and ALL electric just cut out on me in the middle of the road.I was very close to home and managed to coast home.What could this be?I tested the battery and it is fine. I know there is not a fuse that would control the entire electrical system.Maybe a bad fusible link?
Please help!

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Old 09-06-2007, 09:29 PM
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If your power wiring is like my '75 truck, the starter terminal is used as a junction for the entire electrical system. If you don't have a good connection where the large battery cable connects to the starter, you will lose power to the entire vehicle. It can be intermittent, since this junction is exposed to the elements and to engine vibration.

Disconnect the positive cable at the battery. Then crawl under the vehicle and make sure the other end of the cable is tight on the starter. If you can rotate it back and forth at all, you need to tighten up the nut. Make sure the large battery cable goes on the bolt first, then the smaller cables that have the fusible links. Then use a lock nut or star washer under the nut and tighten it until you can't move the cables back and forth by hand.

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Old 09-06-2007, 09:33 PM
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Grounds for a fusable link?

It COULD be a fusible link....but I'm betting on either a bad electrical connection, a bad alternator, or most likely a bad ground. It could be a few other things, but these are the most likely.

Start with inspecting and then cleaning the battery cables at the battery AND at the other end - battery negative goes to the engine block in most cases and positive to the starter solenoid..in most cases. Evaluate the diameter and condition of these cables. Look for a green contamination on the copper wire of the battery cables.

Take the alternator in to get tested. It could have gone bad. Have them test the battery at the same time just to verify condition.

Look at the fuse box to see if there's anything obvious there and check all fuses. Remove them to evaluate and inspect for contamination at the connection points. If you haven't found anything obvious by now, disconnect the battery and take off the fuse box and look behind it. I found a problem there once with contamination of some substance causing all sorts of weird problems.

Get a meter and find the fusible link and measure resistance and verify continuity.

Check for a ground wire going from the engine to the body and remove and clean the connection points. Wire brush or some fine grit sandpaper works. Dialectric grease if you have any.

After you do all of that, let us know if you found anything and we can go from there. I'll bet you find at least one thing in checking all of the above, and I'll also bet the chances are good of more than one issue going on at the same time electrically.

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Old 09-07-2007, 04:46 PM
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engine electrical

Just a little safety note, you should always disconnect a battery by the negative cable first, then the positive cable. When you reconnect it, positive end first then negative end last.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:29 PM
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Having similar issues in my 83 K5 Blazer. Diagnosis is pointing towards the ignition switch/module or fuse box/harnass
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