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Ive got a 1970 buick skylark 350, completely stock, and i just had some trouble starting it today. Its my daily driver, so its pretty important that i get it all figured out. I tried starting it up today, and it turned over twice, then everything went dead. The lights went out in the cab, none of the indicator lights would turn on, nothing. So i got a friends car to try to jump it, and that worked. But as soon as i turned on the headlights, it died. my best guess is that one of the cells in the battery shorted or something, but im new to car problem troubleshooting. Anybody got any ideas to what might be wrong?
 

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Doc here, :pimp:

Check the cables first, clean and tighten ALL connections (at both ends).

Measure the battery with a DVOM set to DCV VX50 or higher, it should read more than 10 volts..if not it's shot..you COULD try a 10 hour charge at 10 amps..but I doubt it will come back..

Should the battery be good, check the fuse links if you have them, but I doubt that if it jump starts fine.

If you replace the battery, check again the voltage as above it should read 14.4 at idle with no load..if at 12 volts the alternator is not charging..Replace or rebuild..the battery will go dead again.

Check to see there is no drain just sitting..make sure sources of drain are OFF or defeated, domes, hoodlamps ect..set your DVOM to AMPS , configure the probes properly,set it for highest scale (usually 10 amps) pull one battery cable and place one probe on the cable the other to the battery.Note reading while scaling the meter back..until it almost pegs out. This will be your true reading. Normal draw will be 03 to 08 (less than an amp) . If more, you have a drain..

Disconnect the alternator. read again if the drain is gone..you need a set of regulator diodes, or a new alternator.

If it does not drop, pull all the fuses and relays, and monitor your meter..plug the fuses and relays back in one at a time until the reading jumps up..that is an offending circuit..troubleshoot or disable , and continue on.

Doc :pimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks doc, ill try it in the morning, when i can get back to it. (its currently in the parking lot of wal-mart) :drunk:
 
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