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Need some battery electrical help

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 77crewcab, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Driving home from work this morning and all of a sudden the entire truck shut down, engine, lights, wipers, everything. So I pull over to the side of the road (in construction no less) and try to restart. Nothing no power at all. Tried jumping but still no power. So once the tow truck arrives I'll be changing the battery and cables for sure (was already on the to do list) What else should I be looking for? The alt. guage has been reading a steady 13 with no real fluctuations. The alt. belt is old but no slipping or anything (yep it's getting replaced too) Truck has been starting a little slow and lights a little dim etc. I think it is probably just the crappy battery and cables that are in it but want to know what else to look for if that doesn't do the trick.
    Thanks,
    Monty
     
  2. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Do you have power to anything? Lights? I would check for voltage at the battery terminals, also check the terminals for corrosion. It sounds like you might have a broken cable or the terminal broke loose inside the battery.
     
  3. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    No power at all. I was already planning on replacing the battery today, guess it decided not to wait another 3 miles for me to get home. Just wondering if there is anything else fusible links, fuses etc. to check.
     
  4. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    After you replace the battery, cables and alt belt make sure and check your alt voltage with a volt meter /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    They can do that at Autozone, Advance Auto type places right.
     
  6. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    I would just get the battery installed and check for voltage then, before trying to dig too deep.
     
  7. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, Autozone can check your alt. You just want to be sure its charging your new battery........
     
  8. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    check the simplest solution first. It sounds to me that your battery wire to the solenoid broke at the starter. Either that or the terminals on the battery are corroded. Get new battery cables and never use those terminal ends that kinda clamp onto the wire...those were made for emergency use and are not for normal everyday use. Also a tip to keep your battery terminals from corroding is after hooking up the cables coat the terminals with vaseline.
     
  9. husurddy

    husurddy 1/2 ton status

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    Same thing happened to me last month. Found I forgot to tighten the bolt on the starter solenoid that connects the battery cable after putting in a new engine. Here's my sign as the comedian would say. /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  10. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Well I found the problem. The ignition switch wire on the starter has had all the insulation wear off and is bare and came in contact with the frame and shorted out. Now how doe I go about replacing this wire? Can I buy a replacement in the part store or what?
     
  11. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    I would say just get some wire of the same gauge and splice in a new piece using waterproof crimp on connectors or solder them together and cover with heat shrink tube. Make sure to secure the new wire so it is not rubbing on any sharp edges.
     
  12. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Any idea what gauge wire it is supposed to be and where I could buy it?
     
  13. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    I'll have to look at mine, but I think it's just 14 or 12 gauge wire. You can get it at any hardware store (Lowes, Menards, Home Depot). Just buy stranded wire, not solid.
     
  14. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Really, the one on mine is about the thickness of a pencil. Maybe it has been rewired before with the wrong size wiring. Please let me know what size yours seems to be.
     
  15. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Where does the wire go to? The ignition switch? Battery?

    Is the bare conductor the size of a pencil, or the conductor with insulation?
     
  16. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    The actual bare wire is a strand sire about the size of a pencil and I just took a brief glance but is not the battery cable it is the other wire that connects to the starter and should go to the ignition switch.
     
  17. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Let me make a correction here. I am a moron as far as the sizing goes I went to take another look and the wire is about a 12ga. It turns out I need to replace both the smaller wires going to the starter. If I meassured right they are 12 and 14ga. does this sound about right? Seems that the ring terminal on one of the wires broke and shorted out burning the insulation off and the second wire seems to have been burned too. The ign. fuse was also blown. One odd thing though is that I traced the wires up by the distributor and there is what seems to be a flexible joint in both wires. Something like two rings with a rivet holding them together. Never seen anything like this just wondering if for some odd reason I need to leave this in or just cut it out with the damaged wire and make the splice?
    Thanks for the help.
    Monty
     
  18. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you found the fusible link. Its probably shot as the wire shorted out. Just ask for a replacement "fusible link" for your truck at the parts store and they should hook you up. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  19. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I've never seen a fusible link like this before the ones on my Olds and Fiero are like little plastice tubes the wire runs through. This on the truck reminds me more of a hinge with two rings and a connecting pin.

    ---[____]---- fusible link style on my other cars


    ---(I)
    (I)------- style of joint in the wire on the truck

    Maybe this helps explain better. The thing in the truck doesn't look like a fusible link I've seen unless this is the 70's style of fusible links. Where are the fusible links supposed to be on the ignition wires? These are located in the wire harness on the firewall just as it passes behind the ditributor.
     
  20. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    GM has used a fusible link that looks like just a wire, although that doesn't sound like what you're describing. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words. I'll have to think about what you're describing a bit more....I don't have a clue right now... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     

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