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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently changed out my front fenders and installed a new radiator support on my 71 Chevy Malibu. I reinstalled everything the way it was and it "looks" like everything is wired up correctly. However, now when I install the battery by attaching the Pos cable first then only "touch" the Neg cable to the post, I get a spark light show. Bigger than the normal small spark when you first attach a batt cable. I have installed new battery cables and have checked and rechecked my wiring. The pos cable going to the starter is not grounded out on anything either. Can a bad starter cause something like this? Before installing the nwe motor, the old motor would turn over fine so I don't think it is the Voltage regulator or horn relay. Oh, I also put in a new alternator. It was a factory duplicate of what was on it originally, just like the one that came off it. Where should I begin to look and what should I look for? Thanks!
 

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just a process of elimination

To see if it is the starter, just disconnect the POS wire from the starter and then touch the NEG cable. If you get the same results it's not the starter. If you get the same results try taking fuses out one at time and testing again until the problem stops. Whatever that fuse or relay is for is your problem circuit
 

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Doc here,

How big of a spark are you getting? like a Short type ? or just a bigger than usual size spark?

Assuming on a 71, you have no computer equipment, Your CD/Player, and alarm system (if you have these) will induce a load for active presets just sitting (Small spark) .

My first step would be, Disconnect the alternator, and see if the "Spark" or load goes away. If it does, you have a defective OR mis-wired alternator. Replace or repair.

If it is a BIG spark..using a DVOM configured for amps, MIGHT just destroy the meter, unless it has a very high AMPS scale (most are around 10 amps max)you might want to save that as a "Last resort"...

I'd Next pull ALL the fuses, and relays (make sure your fuse buss is well marked, OR make a drawing of it listing the fuse values) ..With EVERYTHING off, (or defeated, Hood lamps, domes, ect..) Connect the Battery cables, you should NOT get a spark...If it's the same, it's not within the fuse buss.

IF no Spark, Get a 2 amp fast blow Fuse, and insert it in each fuse holder until it blows..That is the offender..Troubleshoot that branch circuit and repair or disable as required.

The starter Should be OK, if the solenoid didn't try to activate when the cables were connected..

To Eliminate the "S" line as a possible suspect, Simply place it in gear, with your foot on the brake and have someone connect the cable..The Neutral safety switch will (Should) cut off any power to the solenoid "S" Terminal that might be headed that way, And hence, no Spark at the cable.

That should help you find the problem.

Doc :pimp:
 

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matt167 said:
anything more than **-->.5v<--** is a draw

Doc here, :pimp:

Didn't you mean AMPS??

Voltage measurements are not made in series (in line with the battery cable), But in Parallel (across the battery)...which will read battery voltage only, not current (Draw).

On a MODERN vehicle with computer, CD/Radio Presets, Alarm, The readings made in series, will be about .3 to .8 (less than an AMP) for normal draw..above that indicates a problem that should be reviewed.

12 volts at one millionth of an amp IS a draw...But it would take years to run your battery dead..It's the AMOUNT of current that determines the state of the draw not the voltage.

Probably a syntax error..just wanted to be sure..

Doc :pimp:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Results:
Ok, the first thing I did was disconnect the alternator wires. Bam! No more sparks. Battery was completely hooked up and the motor turned over like it should. This is a brand new, well reman., alternator. I don't think the wiring is wrong because it has a connector that can only go on one way and then the red wire connection. So, if I take back the alt should I have them test it? Will it test out ok but short out on my car? Thanks for all the replies.
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

Have it replaced..

I don't trust those guy's on testing on THEIR new stuff..

Not all are genius's on testing but guy's couldn't run a register at Taco Bell..

If they want to know why, tell them it is drawing much current static, and running the battery dead. IF they want to test it, fine..but get a replacement or refund no matter WHAT they say..

Doc :pimp:
 
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