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57 hawk: Troubleshooting help

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  • Electrical: 57 hawk: Troubleshooting help

    Greetings all:

    I need a little help trying to figure out what exactly is the problem with my 57 silverhawk. I drove it to work no problem 3 days ago. It turned over just fine when I was getting ready to drive it home. I flipped my headlights on about 30 seconds after turning the engine over and all of a sudden the engine died. The headlights also went out but the interior lights turn on when the doors open. The radio and air also get no juice. I tried jumping it off with no luck and no power returning to any electrical equipment. I checked all fuses and none are blown. I jiggled the key in the ignition and momentarily had the radio turn on. I thought it could be a bad ignition and replaced the entire ignition lock cylinder but still no juice. I wouldnt think a problem with the starter motor or the solenoid alone would cause no electrical supply to the radio. Is there anything you think I could be missing?


  • #2
    Check the connections to the Ammeter. All the electrical power flows through it, before going to other circuits.
    Bez Auto Alchemy

    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


    • #3
      If the wire connections on the back of the ignition switch are clean and tight, then just use a test light and trace the voltage to see where it stops.

      What did the amp gauge show when the lights went out?


      • #4
        Sounds like a 'feed wire' like Bez said. I thought it sounded like a battery connection or the starter sol. lug/ Amp meter lug is dirty.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cksutton1981 View Post
          /Cut/replaced the entire ignition lock cylinder but still no juice./Cut/Ken
          If you replaced the Ignition Switch Lock Cylinder, you missed the culprit, it's the Ignition SWITCH!

          If you did replace the Switch, it's a BAD one!
          This has been happening a lot lately on the REPRO. ones, try the "ACC" Left Position and see if Turn Signals, Radio, and Heater work.

          SECONDARY, would be the Dash Power Feed Circuit for everything but the Dome (& of course the Stop Lights will also work) to be working, but nothing else.
          Terminals, Connections loose etc. from Solenoid though Ammeter to Ign. Switch.

          UPDATE: on Second thought, for the Headlights to have caused this from a possible short in the Dimmer Switch, it's connections, the Headlight Switch, Headlights, Tail Lights, Instrument Lights, Terminal Strip at the Fan Shroud etc. this Car would have to have an added Fuseable Link, Circuit Breaker or Fuse in the Power Wire at or near the Solenoid!

          Without a Voltmeter test or Ohms check we are guessing here.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 11-17-2018, 06:54 PM.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            If you're really desperate, you can remove the wire that feeds everything else except the Starter solenoid, put in a temporary to the coil and just jump the solenoid. I've done it.
            First, however; Clamp the negative lead of your Multimeter to the negative post on the battery. (this is for Negative ground cars, otherwise do the opposite). then chase the voltage up the wire going to the ammeter, and on thru it to the ignition switch, and even your headlight switch. Most likely somewhere around there is your problem.

            I noticed you said that the problem started when you turned the headlights on. My Wild A$$ guess is that the headlights are grounded somewhere and burning something else out. So as soon as you get it started and home, make sure you check that circuit as well. Don't turn on the headlights till after you get home in any case.