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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have been having some issues with my battery and/or alternator. It would run fine after the battery was on the charger, but after a while my amps would start falling at stop lights and such. It would take a few tries but I could always get it to start back up. It never left me stranded.

Last Saturday, I was pulling into my drive-way and it just shut down. Everything. no lights. no radio. nothing. I check the cables behind the ignition, because I had a similar problem when a few of them can disconnected, but they all seemed to be fine.

So, got the battery checked and it was fine.... Got the alternator checked and the guy didn't really say that anything was wrong with it, but said the internal regulator may be out. so he replaced it. I took everything home, put it all back in and still, nothing.

I don't even know where to start and wiring/electrical is not my strongest mechanical quality. Anyone have any ideas or a list of where I should start looking and what it could be?

Thanks!
 

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I'd check any earth straps/cables first of all.

From there I'd check the feeds from the battery, e.g. is the fuse box getting power ? use a voltmeter or even just a test light. Work back to the battery. If you've lost everything I'm guessing its one major fault.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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So, got the battery checked and it was fine.... Got the alternator checked and the guy didn't really say that anything was wrong with it, but said the internal regulator may be out. so he replaced it. I took everything home, put it all back in and still, nothing.
It sounds like a open circuit someplace if it just died.
When you say nothing, do you mean that nothing works or that it doesn't crank? Do the lights work? Does the horn blow? Does the heater blower run when the key is on? Knowing what, if anything works, can narrow the problem down.
 
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had a wire break in back of the ign. switch once. :confused0006:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It sounds like a open circuit someplace if it just died.
When you say nothing, do you mean that nothing works or that it doesn't crank? Do the lights work? Does the horn blow? Does the heater blower run when the key is on? Knowing what, if anything works, can narrow the problem down.

No cranking, no lights, no horn, no heater.
 

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I'm not familiar with the term 'earth straps'... and I'm not even sure where my fuse box is at?
hmm can't tell you where the fuse box is, but look at the battery and check the negative lead - probably bolts to the frame or something - is it tight and in good condition ? check the connections to the starter.

Im assuming when you say "nothing" that you have no lights, horn, radio or anything else ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hmm can't tell you where the fuse box is, but look at the battery and check the negative lead - probably bolts to the frame or something - is it tight and in good condition ? check the connections to the starter.

Im assuming when you say "nothing" that you have no lights, horn, radio or anything else ?
That is correct. I've got no power at all.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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No cranking, no lights, no horn, no heater.
Assumeing that you checked both battery cables at both ends for a good connection as Crafty suggested, that only leaves one wire. The black 12 gauge wire from the starter solenoid post to the ignition switch "BAT" terminal. .... http://www.trifive.com/garage/56%20Chevy%20Assembly%20Manual/12-6.gif
From the discription of the symptoms leading to it completely dieing, I would suspect that the black wire contacted the exhaust pipe, shorted out for a while until it completely burned into.
 

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I'm not familiar with the term 'earth straps'... and I'm not even sure where my fuse box is at?
'earth straps' are ground or negative battery cables, across the pond, but you have to open the bonnet to get to them. :)

The fuse box is not the problem, but it's "up under" the dash near the emergency brake rod.
 

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how old is the ignition (key) switch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE=classic gary;475555]how old is the ignition (key) switch?[/QUOTE]

It could be as old as the car, I wouldn't know. I'd take it off completly but I don't have the key. Yeah, haven't had it for awhile now... I just turn it on with out. hahaha! luckly I have it locked in my garage.

what I did was put my hand under the dash and make sure everything felt as if it was connected correctly. I'm really bad at wiring so I'm reluctant to dive that far into it. On top of that, when the ignition wires came disconnect last time and I had to have them reconnect by someone else cuz the wires weren't the correct colors. I'm dreading the day I have to hire some one to rewire the car for me! :confused0024:[
I heard they make a pretty easy kit but.... yeah, it's not my forte.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did you check the smaller gauge wire that's connected to the starter solenoid with the battery cable terminal? I'm betting it's burned into on the exhaust pipe or manifold. It's black in this drawing, but your's may be a different color. :) It's not likely the ignition switch. http://www.trifive.com/garage/56%20Chevy%20Assembly%20Manual/221-14.gif
Hi, I'm looking over the diogram and just gotta quick few questions... may seem obvious but I figured I'd ask...

1)The wire labeled "wire assembly, top switch, convertable" I shouldn't have right? Is that for a convertable top?

2)The ground strap.... is the the thing that looks like a shoe lace?

3)The picture on the right side for the dash... Why that there?

4)where are you guys finding all these helpful diograms? Is it something on this site?
 

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1) Yes, the tan wire in the diagram is for convertables only.
2) Yes, that's the ground cable, but yours may be a insulated cable like the positive cable, if it has ever been replaced.
3) The drawing is from the assembly manual and that "dash" reference is about how the manufacturers were to close up the original hole in the firewall with tape under the firewall mat.
4)The Tri-five library has the assembly manuals for each model. Here is the index for the 56 assembly manual....http://www.trifive.com/garage/56%20Chevy%20index.htm
 

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does the car have a after market tach?? check that if it does shut my 57 right off faulty wire or short could be that simple. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
does the car have a after market tach?? check that if it does shut my 57 right off faulty wire or short could be that simple. good luck.
Yes, it actually does. It would make everything (lights, dom lights, ect..) not get power?

What's the fix? just disconnect it? At the tach or somewhere else?
 
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