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Old 05-11-2011, 10:18 AM
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Ignition Switch or Solenoid ? Will not start 62' Impala

Hello everyone,

Chasing a new gremlin again. My last post was about a year or so ago and the car has run like a champ since then, however in the past 2-3 weeks it's been giving me issues. I'm back because you guys were a wealth of information the last time.

Problem: The car sometimes will not start when the key is turned to "run".


There's is no obvious pattern. It does it at random. The first time it did it i was at a gast station and had to jump the "S" Terminal with a screw driver. When i got home i turned the car off then back on with no problem. It's done this a handful of times in the last 2 weeks. However yesterday the car simply will not start. I have to keep jumping the "S" terminal and Pos post on solenoid.

Because i had a similar problem last year i immediately thought the Neutral Safety Switch was to blame because the problem was identical. I did the following two things to test the NSS. 1) I used a 12v test light and i do have power at the NSS when the key is at "start" and "run". 2) i jumped both purple wires and the car did not start/run.

Let me backtrack first by stating that impala has an HEI distributor. Currently there is a lead wire that runs from the "backup" terminal under my dash through the firewall to the "Batt" terminal at the distributor. I checked for power at the terminal under the dash and at the distributor and there is 12v.

Finally i had my wife help me this morning test the "S" terminal on the solenoid in "run" and "start" positions and there is no power. Unfortunately i did not test the "I" terminal. I'm at work now typing all of this during my lunch break.


NOTE: All my lights and accessories work.

So to recap, there is power at all points except the "S" terminal on the starter solenoid. I still have not done any tests to the ignition switch itself, but my gut feelings tells me this is the culprit.

Anything else i should test?

This is what my wiring looks in the engine bay.

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Old 05-11-2011, 11:15 AM
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The more i look at my drawing and my notes i am confident it's the ignition switch.. I believe the ignition switch is not sending 12v through the violet wire to the "S" terminal...

And there would also be no need for me to check power at the "I" terminal because that wire has been decommisioned when it went from points to hei.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin7
The more i look at my drawing and my notes i am confident it's the ignition switch.. I believe the ignition switch is not sending 12v through the violet wire to the "S" terminal...

And there would also be no need for me to check power at the "I" terminal because that wire has been decommisioned when it went from points to hei.

You are headed in the right direction.

The ignition switch in these cars were never intended to last 50 years, but on a good note, they are available from NAPA at a reasonable price.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:37 PM
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Thanks Bryan.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:44 PM
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Found this post by Doc..... Going to jump the wire coming from the ignition switch to test it,



Doc here,

Then my first post will apply..

You should have power at the coil in the run position..make sure you have power out of the ignition side of the switch with the key on..If not the switch is bad.

To test this theory, remove the wire coming from the Ignition switch and jump it (the coil side of the wire, not the switch side) to the battery and try and start the car, If it fires, then the switch is bad..

One other thing too..do you have a neutral safety switch? If so it may be wired to the wrong terminal on the ignition cutting power to the points/coil instead of the solenoid.

Doc
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:58 PM
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On my 62, the contacts in the fuse block where it goes through the firewall were not making contact all the time.....was intermittent, like you are having.....Took the box apart, cleaned and straightened the contacts and all was good.......Worth a look
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:08 PM
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I believe hose have a Neutral switch as well. Try moving the shifter when you are trying to start it.

I looked at the diagram and it does have a NSS. You want to check this, it is most likely on the bottom of the steering column
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:17 PM
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He stated he tested the NSS
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy
He stated he tested the NSS
Missed that.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:55 PM
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just remember that a test light dsoesn't simulate an actual load. there could be a single strand of wire left out of a 10 strand wire and you would still get a bright test light. you gotta simulate a load to get a good reading on any circuit.
try jumping the purple wire on the back of the ign switch to a fused power source, if the starter works then it is likely the switch at fault.
if the started works when you jump power to the s terminal, then it's not the starter, so work back from there. neutral safety switch, ign switch, fuse panel.......
just a few thoughts,
dsraven
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:59 AM
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He stated he jumped the NSS so the single strand route really doesn't exist, IMO your on the right path by targeting the ing switch 1st, I had an issue once...... it turned out to be a very bad splice job, previous onwer had applied to the ing/start wire which ended up almost broken in two, removed all that crap , applied a proper splice...... all is good now
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy
He stated he jumped the NSS so the single strand route really doesn't exist, IMO your on the right path by targeting the ing switch 1st, I had an issue once...... it turned out to be a very bad splice job, previous onwer had applied to the ing/start wire which ended up almost broken in two, removed all that crap , applied a proper splice...... all is good now
So last night i did the test that Doc once suggested to test the ignition switch. I was praying that the car would start by connecting the "S" terminal wire at the coil end to the battery...I went to crank and nothing happen. Doc said if the car starts it's a faulty ignition switch but it didn't....

Thought about it for a while and decided to remove the ignition switch for a closer look. I did notice that at one point in it's lifetime, the red ignition wire was spliced. The copper was exposed and some of the connections of the harness were a little loose. Without fixing either of these, i pressed the harness and the ignition switch together with one hand and turned the key with other and the car started.

However i still don't know if the problem is in the harness connection terminals or within the ignition switch. It was late and i was tired... So i went to bed a little happier knowing that i've narrowed the search down to one specific area.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
I believe hose have a Neutral switch as well. Try moving the shifter when you are trying to start it.

I looked at the diagram and it does have a NSS. You want to check this, it is most likely on the bottom of the steering column
HOWEVER, just before the car started i did move the shifter, so could i have some how aligned the NSS prior to the car starting as i described above??...
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:37 PM
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Jump the NSS and see if it starts etc....... Like I said mine was the butchered splice, I have since replaced the ing sw etc..... and no issues
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin7
. Without fixing either of these, i pressed the harness and the ignition switch together with one hand and turned the key with other and the car started.

However i still don't know if the problem is in the harness connection terminals or within the ignition switch.

Probably a combination of both----get a new switch, and if you can, squeeze the female terminals to get a better connection.
That switch may be a pain to unplug, as there is a lock on one of the terminals or connector body at the terminal.

Look closely before yanking apart.
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