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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2006, 12:18 AM
crusherdbuzz's Avatar
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No Power

Hello, what a problem I'm having!

If any of you have looked into the engine forum I posted about a rebuilt Holley carb I was going to put on my car instead of the edelbrock currently installed on it. Anyway, after a few leaks and corrections I finally got it to run with a loud whistle (not a question but I want to find out what that is).

A problem arose when I put the original carb (the edelbrock) back on with all the hookups and went to start the car. I have absolutely no power. I turn the ignition key on and the parking brake light does not light up, neither does the brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed or the headlights. I know something must have gotten hit or tapped lose somehow during the swap. I already tried jump starting the car to rule out the battery even though the battery was fine starting the engine with the Holley.

The car is a 1971 Chevrolet nova. Ignition system is HEI. I am not sure what type of alternator it is but it has two small wires with a larger red wire that connects (eventually I'm assuming) back to the + battery terminal for charging. This is one of the major things I do not like about older cars is all the bad wiring they go through the years. I am going Tuesday to get a digital multi meter and along with my assembly manual wiring diagrams and any ideas you guys can give me get to the bottom of this. This incident is just another reason to eventually shell out the 350-450ish bucks for a painless wiring kit IMO.

Any help is SO appreciated.

Regards,
Dennis
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Old 07-03-2006, 06:13 AM
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Doc here,

Traditionally, this problem is common on older Novas..

Where the main harness plugs into the firewall, check the plug, pull it and clean the terminals, be sure the contacts are burnished clean on both sides Of the plug (male / Female ) then insert the plug and try it out..If it's a Normal Nova..that should set it right.

If that is the case, then do a little engineering to make a Harness strain relief a short distance behind the firewall plug in the engine bay, and firmly attach it..

If by chance that does not cure the problem, check your fuse links, should be located at or near the starter solenoid, or at or near the battery or horn relay.BE sure they have not opened, this will kill power to the body / engine.

Check the battery cables, tight, no corrosion (at either ends)

If it still is in-op, check or install a ground buss..like this:

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

That should get you rolling...

Doc
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Old 07-03-2006, 07:35 AM
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The whistle that you hear when it is running is more than likely a vacumn leak.
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I'm going in an hour or two to get a multi-meter then I'm going to mess with it for awhile and enjoy my day off from work and the 4th! I appreciate all the good information and armed with my wiring diagrams from assembly manuals and your help I should be able to find the problem.

I will post back in a few days to report my progress, thank god for forums like this.

Regards,
Dennis
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:28 PM
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I found the gremlin. What happened is the ammeter gauge burned out apparently (how I do not know) and it is wired in series to the small cable that goes to the battery. So it cut power to everything. I just took a wire from one side of the gauge and put it to the other, by passing the gauge for now. Fired right up on the first hard crank by the starter. The multimeter I got helped a ton, wouldn't have been able to find the problem without it.

One more question. I have been studying the wiring diagrams for my car and I cannot seem to figure out where the fuse block receives its power from, can anyone answer this?

Again, I appreciate the replies and I will keep them in mind if I have another problem like this.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:27 AM
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Doc here,

An open shunt on an amp gauge will for sure render you powerless..THE Second reason I DO NOT LIKE THEM AT ALL..

The first of course being you have FULL battery potential at the amp gauge and dash board 24 /7 ,365 ..

It can short if tools or other things are dropped on the terminals, and burn the watchband right off your wist if you reach up behind the dash..

I advocate the use of a Volt gauge..works just as wel..and much safer..

The main buss power SHOULD come off the other side of that burned out amp gauge to be effective..(It should also be protected by a fuse link to be safe..)

Doc
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