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Old 07-14-2019, 10:09 PM
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Engine wont crank

Ok so I got my chevy 383 in my 79 el camino. Before I put the motor in the car I've had it on a stand all year running it here and there making sure I didnt have any issues with it. So I've got all the wiring hooked up to the starter, alternator, and distributor. I hooked the battery up, made sure it was charged and when I turn the key nothing happens. All the lights in the car are on, the blower motor works, the key buzzer works but starter does nothing. I've got power to the distributor, alternator and the big lug on the starter. The small wires on the starter does not have power. I had someone turn the key while I tested the small lug on the starter and no power. I'm using a hitachi style starter so there is only two lugs on the starter. One big one small and like I said I had this all hooked up and running out of the car. The car has been sitting for about 8 years. I'm thinking it's an ignition switch or one or both of the fusible links on the starter wires. But I'm not sure how to test either of those. And I dont want to just start replacing things. Ive checked all the fuses also. So can anyone tell me how to test those or is there anything else I might be missing. Thanks.

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Old 07-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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Does the car have auto trans .......... if yes what is the state of the neutral safety switch?


Check that first.. if actuated it will, can produce the event as described
Pep
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:37 AM
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Its is a 4 speed manual
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:05 PM
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Is the wire from the starter solenoid to the ignition switch connected to the proper terminal on the solenoid. There are three terminals on the starter solenoid, the battery cable is connected to the larger terminal. The start wire from the ignition switch is connected to the small terminal marked with a “S” on the solenoid for “starter”. This is for a GM starter.

Since you have a Hatchi starter, the above may not apply.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:09 PM
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if the car was an automatic when new then it has a neutral safety on the column, grab the column and twist CCW to make sure the NSS thinks it in park
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
if the car was an automatic when new then it has a neutral safety on the column, grab the column and twist CCW to make sure the NSS thinks it in park
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevroletSS View Post
Its is a 4 speed manual
If this is an original factory 4-speed car, it will have a clutch interrupt switch that serves the same function as a neutral safety switch....blocks power feed between the ignition switch and starter solenoid unless clutch pedal is depressed. Down on the pedal hanger bracket, much like a brake light switch.

It may have also had a column interlock linkage to rotate the column cover in order to get a neutral safety switch and back-up lights switch to operate.

Been a long time since I worked on a G-body manual trans set-up, so memory is foggy....but those are a couple of things to check if starter crank wire is dead.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
if the car was an automatic when new then it has a neutral safety on the column, grab the column and twist CCW to make sure the NSS thinks it in park
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevroletSS View Post
Its is a 4 speed manual
If this is an original factory 4-speed car, it will have a clutch interrupt switch that serves the same function as a neutral safety switch....blocks power feed between the ignition switch and starter solenoid unless clutch pedal is depressed. Down on the pedal hanger bracket, much like a brake light switch.

It may have also had a column interlock linkage to rotate the column cover in order to get a neutral safety switch and back-up lights switch to operate.

Been a long time since I worked on a G-body manual trans set-up, so memory is foggy....but those are a couple of things to check if starter crank wire is dead.
It is a factory 4 speed manual. I looked down around clutch pedal. Didnt see any switches or anything attached anywhere like the brake pedal has. What exactly do you mean about the column interlock and how to check.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:27 PM
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is there a lever at the base of the steering column on the engine side of the firewall?
have you ever had this car running and driving?
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevroletSS View Post
... What exactly do you mean about the column interlock and how to check.
Column interlock was how they got neutral safety and back-up lights with 4-speed applications.
It was basically a copy of what the firewall side automatic transmission shift linkage looked like, just activated in reverse order.

A linkage rod went from shifter linkage arm to a bellcrank, then from the bellcrank up to the linkage lever on the column. What it did was turn the column cover sleeve on the interior steering column just like it would if there was an automatic transmission column shifter where there, so it could use the same neutral safety and reverse lights switch on the topside of the column under the dash as every other G-body.
Goofy seeming system that often got unhooked and thrown away by backyard mechanics, and the switch on the column bypassed, but that's how GM factory did it. Even the floor shift console automatic transmission models used the same type of linkage, I've seen this fact baffle those owners too..

Just grab the column sleeve that the auto trans column shifter stalk would have been mounted in and turn it as far counter clockwise as it will go, which will equal the "park" location in the neutral safety switch.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
is there a lever at the base of the steering column on the engine side of the firewall?
have you ever had this car running and driving?
I used to drive it all the time. I've put 3 motors in it. Haven't drove it since 2010 or 11. Never seen any lever at the base of the column but I'll check when I get off work in the morning. What does this lever do
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevroletSS View Post
I used to drive it all the time. I've put 3 motors in it. Haven't drove it since 2010 or 11. Never seen any lever at the base of the column but I'll check when I get off work in the morning. What does this lever do
the lever is where the backdrive from the shifter that Eric described attaches to the column.
http://repairguide.autozone.com/znet...528007dda8.jpg

if you haven't seen it then there probably isn't one. grab the column and twist CCW to make sure, maybe hold the key in the start position and turn the column if it will turn.
if there is no back drive then there must be a clutch pedal switch to interrupt power to the starter.
the power to the starter from the ignition switch should be a purple wire, you can check it right at the switch to see it the switch is working.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:32 PM
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I dont recall ever seeing this other rod. Only thing that's there is the rod from the clutch pedal to the z bar. And then the adjusting rod from the z bar to the clutch fork. No switches or wires were ran to any of this. I'll see if I can find the wires that goe to the ignition switch and test both sides. I'll also check to see if I can turn the column ccw. The thing I dont get is I've done all this before and never had this problem but that was along time ago. Thanks for the help. Hopefully it's something I missed and not something I have to replace. I really dont want yo have to get into the column. Seems like that would be a pain in the ***
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:22 PM
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With the starter in and hooked up make a long lead wire 14G is fine, with a ring connector and install this ring on the solenoid where the feed from the switch also installs ( the little bolt ). Bare the other end of this long lead wire and tap it on the positive battery post. It should crank. If it does problem is on the switch side, if it dosent, then problem is at the starter or main wire going to it. Of course this assumes, proper connected and sized ground, proper install of the starter, proper install of the key switch and ignition switch, etc...
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foperfoauto View Post
With the starter in and hooked up make a long lead wire 14G is fine, with a ring connector and install this ring on the solenoid where the feed from the switch also installs ( the little bolt ). Bare the other end of this long lead wire and tap it on the positive battery post. It should crank. If it does problem is on the switch side, if it dosent, then problem is at the starter or main wire going to it. Of course this assumes, proper connected and sized ground, proper install of the starter, proper install of the key switch and ignition switch, etc...
Ok sounds like a good place to start. I sure I have power going to the switch but I check everything again
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:29 AM
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The ignition switch at the base of the column has some adjustment where it mounts. It's possible it has been pushed down to the point it doesn't make contact at the spring loaded starter contact. Loosen the 2 attaching bolts and slide it up the column.
I was having intermittent starter engagement and this solved my problem.
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