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Old 10-18-2009, 06:46 PM
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Power cuts off

My 65 Elky has a 350 with HEI distributor, Original wiring harness with lots of cobbeling to it. Every once and awhile when you turn the key to ign. the guages show 12 volts and fuel level etc. When you turn the key to start all guages go to dead zero and it won't crank. Any one else ever have this problem?
When I check I have 12 Vlt at the dist. even though the guages show nothing, and it won't crank.
Anyone else have this problem? Any help would be appreciated as this happens without warning whenever it feels like it.
Thanks , Crash

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 PM
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Every thing works in accessory mode of the switch so you know the switch is getting power. So you need to see if you have power at the stater solenoid, on the small post that has the wire from the key switch. If there is power there then the solenoid is the problem, if not the switch could be the problem.

The switch might be more intermittent then the solenoid.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:43 PM
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Another possible concern could be bad connection in either the positive or ground cables from the battery. Not all poor connections are easy to see but with a voltage drop test they can be found pretty easy.

Set your volt meter to dc volts and place one probe on the positive battery terminal and the other end on the other end at the starter solenoid. While starting it should show minimal voltage (0.5 or less) If it goes much above that you have a bad connection or wire. The same can be done with the ground cable.

Hope this helps

Greg
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:09 AM
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power cuts off

I got it started today by turning the switch to Ign. and jumping the solenoid with a screwdriver from battery lug to small terminal, it cranked over and started, so I assume its the ign. switch, or wire from switch to starter. I am adding a push button switch to the solenoid so I can at least get it home when this problem happens, until I can find the cause.
I still don't understand why everything goes dead when I turn the key to start position, the wire harness under the dash is a cobbled up jungle, so I am thinking of buying a new harness from Painless or one of those companies when I can.
Fixing all the previous owners work is starting to make me feel like I bought a money pit. But I really like the old girl.
Thanks for the ideas, Crash
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:02 AM
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With some switches when you go to the start position removes power from the acc. position. So that might be why things go dead.

You can clean up what you have. It is not that hard, just take one wire at a time.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:41 PM
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You have described a very common problem with GM electrics. This problem has been addressed many times on HR.com over the years. It is most common when the battery is moved to the trunk or behind the seat and in this move, the battery was grounded to the frame/body instead of running the ground all the way to the starter mounting bolt. If you have not relocated your battery, then clean both your battery terminals very good and re-tighten them. Next, remove the bolt securing your ground (should be on a starter bolt or on the block near the starter), clean and re-torque. Next, remove the battery lead from the big post on the starter, clean it and re-torque. If this does not solve your problem, let us know.

Trees

Edit: Another contributor to this problem is using on or more of those mickey mouse battery terminal clamps that uses a clamp to secure the cables to the terminal. If you have those, remove the whole rig and throw it as far as you can and get some new ones that are secured the way they came from the factory.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:43 PM
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"Edit: Another contributor to this problem is using on or more of those mickey mouse battery terminal clamps that uses a clamp to secure the cables to the terminal. If you have those, remove the whole rig and throw it as far as you can and get some new ones that are secured the way they came from the factory"

AMEN !!!!
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:31 PM
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Power cuts out

I will try cleaning everything up, the battery is in the original location, and I am useing good heavy terminals at the battery. In the mean time I have installed a heavy duty push button from the battery to the solenoid so I don't get stuck again.
Thanks for all the suggestions, Crash
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