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Old 08-06-2007, 03:11 PM
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What's wrong with ignition??

ok. 1983 K5 Blazer 350 SBC 700R4 Tranny

sometimes there is no juice getting to the starter solenoid when I turn the key. sometimes there is. I just replaced the ignition switch on the steering column and it made no difference. It isn't the neutral switch cause the key won't turn at all if it isn't in either Park or Neutral. It seems that it will work more often in the morning when cold. Also it often works when starting immediately after shutting it off. more often than not, it doesn't work and I have to pop the hood and manual start (I spliced a wire into the wire to solenoid so that I simply touch it to the battery to engage the solenoid. Crude but effective)

Any ideas as to the cause of this?

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Old 08-06-2007, 03:44 PM
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Need to recheck the NSS

Inside the cloumn there is a mechanical means of keeping the lock cylinder from turning when not in PARK or NEUTRAL.

There is also the neutral safety that needs to be in adjustment.
these can come out of adjustment over the years.

The ignition switch as well needs to be adjusted.
If I remember correctly, the switch needs to be moved toward the firewall for a rod that is not pulling all the way into the START position.

IF you have a tilt column----very common for the rack & rod to be worn to the point of failure.
(happened to me twice on my 79)
This would be another item to look for.

Wires to the NSS should be Violet

Bryan

-----Tilt column in my 79 has been the cause for replacing:
Rack & Rod-----2x
Turn sig. sw.---3x----------broken wires due to tilt movement
Tilt 'pins'-----1x
Tilt is the most used option in all my cars----the 79 Chev C-10 has over 400,000 miles on it.--I am original owner.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:47 PM
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same problem

I just looked at your post. My post is "starting" I have the same problem I thought it was the starter replaced it and it did not start. I also get power after the safety switch. For some reason it does start if I have a jump but it is not the battery. I hope someone has an answer. If you figure it out please post. Good luck
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:55 PM
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What's wrong with ignition.

Start at the ignition switch and do a voltage drop test of the starter solinoid circuit. That will tell you if you have a bad nuetral safety switch or a bad connection in the wiring harness.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:43 AM
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"Start at the ignition switch and do a voltage drop test of the starter solinoid circuit"

Please elaborate on this procedure.

Ignition switch module is adjusted properly. Still getting same symptoms although after replacing the switch it seems to start via the key more often then it was but....I actually manually tried engaging the switch prior to installing the rod but to on avail.

Where is the NSS located. I cannot see up in there worth a crap and I really don't wanna remove the entire column. I do have another tilt column in the garage so I suppose I could replace the entire column.....I honestly think it has something to do with the Neutral Safety Switch...I played around with the multimeter under the hood yesterday and as far as I can tell, all the wiring under the hood is fine.

Bits of info I should have put in the original post:

Originally this was a diesel rig w/ 6.9 in it but has since had a gasoline engine installed (prior to me owning it) yet the diesel harnass wasn't replaced so all the electrical is a little funny to begin with. Ever since I have had this rig there has always been an electrical "ghost" somewhere with something. Every time I fix one thing, something else will give me grief...I know, I really oughta replace the harnass with a Painless kit or similar.....

By "rack and rod" are you refering to the toothed rack that the key tumbler actuates? I believe this works fine as I checked proper operation when installing the ignition switch. the key does start it sometimes and even when it wouldn't start the truck it was still moving the rod and engaging the ignition switch.

I am pretty good at fixing stuff and have gotten several rigs very, very cheap because the owners said they would never run again and with a little tinkering have driven them home shortly afterwards....this one really has me baffeled.

How can I bypass the Neutral Safety Switch?? At least long enough to deem it the source of my problems??
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:02 AM
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What's wrong with ignition.

I'll do my best to elaborate, be forewarned, I had an operation on my wrist yesterday and I'm a little loopy from the pain meds.
When you do a voltage drop test you're measuring the difference in voltage between 2 points in any circuit. This is best done with a digital meter.An easy example would be of connecting the negative clamp of your DVOM to the center post of the battery, not the cable, but the post itself. Connect the positive end of the DVOM to the engine block near the main ground wire. Then you have to put a load on the electrical system either by turning all of the accesories on, or my personal choice because it puts the most load on the system, crank the engine over. If the DVOM displays .2 volt or less you have a good ground. To voltage drop test your ignition circuit I would connect one end of my DVOM to the ignition switch wire that feeds the solinoid. Connect the other end of your DVOM to the small wire at the solinoid. Crank the engine over, anything less than .2 volts is acceptable. In the real world I've seen slightly higher readings that didn't cause a problem. If you see, for example, 5 volts that tells you that there is too much resistance in the circuit somewhere. I would leave my DVOM connected at the ignition switch and work the positive end along the circuit until I came to a spot where the voltage reading dropped dramatically. That tells me that I'm on the upstream side of the excessive resistance in the circuit. Then it's a matter of moving the positive cable end downstream until the reading jumps up again. Keep working back and forth unbtil you zero in on the wiring proble.
I'm going to rest my hand for a minute, then continue my explanation.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:09 AM
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?

First I don't have the same car. I think the switch should have two wires one in one out ( mine does). If you connect them that will bypass it. I think they are purple possibly purple and green. You might try and I would be leery but it might work. Run a wire to positive put in a switch and put it to the starter. Put the key in the on position and flip the switch. I took my alarm out today will see if that works. My problem is inter mitten also but has the same symptoms. I am changing my ground cable but the old one is almost new. I still think it is a battery problem but mine test good.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:20 AM
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What's wrong with ignition.

In a voltage drop test you're looking for resistance to current/amperage flow. The reason that is so superior to testing with an ohmmeter is that you can have a corroded connection but it'll never show up on an ohm meter. An ohm meter measures resistance to a very small flow of electrons. With a voltage drop test you're measuring with a large flow of electrons, a more valid test. (BTW, two reasons for using a DVOM: the DVOM is more accurate at fractions of a volt and it doesn't matter which end the circuit you connect your tester leads too. If you connected the leads backwards you'll get a negative number. Just mentally put a plus in front of your reading and move on.) If you've been repairing cars for a while you've probably run into a situation where a car won't start. Someone turns on the lights and figures that proves the battery and connections are ok........not so! You may have a connection that the 15 amps the lights need will flow through with no problem. But when the 300 amps the starter needs tries to flow through the same connection they won't flow becaue of too much resistance. In your example of the nuetral safety switch if you have a bad switch you'll read .2 or something close too it on the inlet side of the switch, but battery voltage on the other side of it. Why, because the electrons won't flow through the switch so the outlet wire acts as a ground for your meter.
That seems clear to me, but then again I'm heavily medicated..............LOL.
Maybe Doc or someone else can step in and explain it more clearly. I'm no instructor by any stretch!
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:21 AM
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" You might try and I would be leery but it might work. Run a wire to positive put in a switch and put it to the starter. Put the key in the on position and flip the switch."

did you read the original post...? I already have this setup only without the switch...I just touch the wire to the battery... i don't want to make this a permanent setup but would like the truck to start with just the key like every other vehicle....
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:29 AM
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I understand the theory. No need for more explanation. I will try to get some time in on it today but am not sure if I will be able to find the time. I have my 7mo old daughter all day and getting much else done w/ her is difficult at this age but maybe while she is napping...
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:32 AM
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sorry forgo

Sorry forgot. I thought you could try it before or after the safety switch but I did not exactly say that. Sorry wont try to help anymore.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:44 PM
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Painless

I have a 5 month old. I made some calls today figured out the problem not the ground, battery, switch or ignition. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:57 PM
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Doc here,

The NSS is SIMPLY tested, by REMOVING the coil + wire...

Turn the key to crank, and slip the shifter through the range several times trying to duplicate the problem...If that won't duplicate..

You can wait until it does..put a Meter on the purple wire going into the NSS switch from the Ignition switch, measure it for 12 volts...If not there, it's the Ignition switch, adjustment, or wire between..If it has power to the NSS, but none out..It's the NSS..either bad contacts or out of adjustment.

Simple.

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Old 08-07-2007, 06:18 PM
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Doc---
In my 79, it is not possible to turn the key to 'START' unless the column is in "PARK" or "NEUTRAL".

Having converted this truck to a manual in the early 80's-----I still get little brain farts when the column housing starts to vibrate from 'P' to 'R'

When this first happened to me----took over an hour to figure out why the silly truck would not start----could not even turn the key .

If I EVER find a tilt column for a 79 and a 4-spd-----I will buy it----have'nt found one yet.

Bryan
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan59EC
Doc---
In my 79, it is not possible to turn the key to 'START' unless the column is in "PARK" or "NEUTRAL".

Having converted this truck to a manual in the early 80's-----I still get little brain farts when the column housing starts to vibrate from 'P' to 'R'

When this first happened to me----took over an hour to figure out why the silly truck would not start----could not even turn the key .

If I EVER find a tilt column for a 79 and a 4-spd-----I will buy it----have'nt found one yet.

Bryan
Doc here,

So your saying the Column on that car is mechanical lockout followed by contacts in "P" and "N"? (a duel system?, and Stick as well?)

One would think they would have gone to a Clutch over ride..Instead..it would have been easier..with a standard NSS on the column..

If you have a Spare Manual column, I'll bet with a little torch time you could add a 3 Rd Reverse linkage for reverse..and clean it all up with I Didit chromies...

The only EC I ever had was a 74...a Monday Car..went away with the mill in the bed..we had to pull it by hand..on the street..Full Dress..and stick it in the back to evaluate it..(turned out to be not worth saving..)


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