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Avanti wiring wierdness 1963

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  • Electrical: Avanti wiring wierdness 1963

    This car is gonna do me in. And yes, I started this problem solving on the FB page, so it is sort of duplicative now.

    Prior to pulling the engine for rebuild, everything electrical worked except the radio (no antenna) and the clock. And it worked fine, no hinks or jinx, it all worked as it should.

    When I pulled the engine TTBOMM, I only disconnected the battery ground, the engine to frame ground, the alternator, the starter, the ignition wires, and the temp sensor wire. And the horns, which still are not in, but I doubt that's the issue.The solenoid and regulator stayed in place, the rest of the wiring harness was minimally disturbed.

    Now everything is back in, and I am ready to start this F*&%ing think up, but absolutely NOTHING happens. No noise, no deflection of the ammeter, I have no lights, nothing. And yes Dave Lester, the grounds are clean and tight!

    Here is where I am flummoxed: I've traced voltage as far as the ignition switch. I have 12 volts at the black terminal when off, and no voltage anywhere else. But once I turn the switch to 'on' or 'accessory', I have no voltage anywhere, including the black wire !?!?!?! I don't understand how that could be, or what to do next.

    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

  • #2
    You likely have a high resistance connection to the black terminal. It will read 12 volts with no load, but as soon as you attempt to draw current, the voltage goes to zero. Check the connections on the other end of the wire going to that terminal.

    Or the battery is dead.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


    • #3
      The Power feed WIRE to the dash from the Hot side of the Solenoid as Roy said could have a problem, or EVEN the Battery Terminals could have poor connections and fail even under a small load.

      With NO Headlights, that means it is way more than just a Bad Ignition Switch!
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        Obvious thing would be to check the battery against a known working one. Or simply try a Jump. Been there. Chased my tail.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
          Obvious thing would be to check the battery against a known working one. Or simply try a Jump. Been there. Chased my tail.
          Excellent suggestion, as an aside, if the battery is dead/dead take it out of the circuit. I will act as a resistance otherwise when you use the charger to start or jump start it.



          • #6
            At this point, all I know is it is holding 12.6 volts. It's a year old, but I have not load tested it.
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ


            • #7
              Today's update. The battery is fine, it started the truck well, and the truck battery did nothing in the Avanti.

              I took a jumper cable from the positive side of the battery to the starter side of the solenoid, no crank, no noise... so that is problem number one. It worked before, but I painted it, so I'll clean the terminals and grounds again.

              Problem #2: I still have no power to the ignition switch except when the switch is off. It all goes away in positions "on", "accessory", and of course start., even where the current comes into the switch!

              A jumper to the positive side of the ammeter does nothing different.

              A jumper to the negative side of the ammeter resutlts in funky noises with the solenoid at start position, and the ammeter pegging towards charge, since I did not disconnect any wires from the ammeter. Headlights work.

              Taking the ammeter out of the circuit, and I have nothing new at all. With the ammeter out of the circuit, I jumped from the battery to the ignition switch, but I'm right back where I started, with no power at the switch input in any position besides off, and no headlights!

              Ron Dame
              '63 Champ


              • #8
                since you are getting voltage as far as the switch when it is off, find out where you have voltage to with the switch on. Check at the solenoid and at the battery cable just away from the terminal, then check the terminal. If you have the clamp on terminals they are always suspect as they will build up corrosion inside the clamp even when tight. If this shows voltage when using the negative terminal on the battery it is on the ground side so use the same method to chase the voltage to where it disappears on the ground side. That should narrow it down.


                • #9
                  Ground issue somewhere.... Take a Jumper cable and connect the engine block to the Negative side of the battery and try again.


                  • #10
                    Mac tools sells a test light with two leads, and led indicators. You hook the leads to known good pos and neg, then probe with point. It will light red with good voltage, or green with good ground. I have used it to chase electrical gremlins many times, with success. Issues with voltage getting to where it needs to be can be bad ground problems, more often than the positive running through wiring. One thing you might check are your battery cables. Ive seen cables that look fine on the outside, but would not carry power. When split open, the conducters inside were corroded and green. Good Luck with you search.


                    • #11
                      I agree with Tom. BTST with apparently decent looking cables failing from the inside out. You have now disturbed them and that will set up a failure.
                      I would clip on redundant ground wires until the problem is resolved, then remove to finish. That Mac tool test light is a life saver.
                      Double check that you aren't just getting a surface charge in your battery. Charge to 14.2 volts or more then load test to ensure a deep charge.
                      Luck and keep us posted.


                      • #12
                        Start at the fender solenoid. The fender solenoid needs a ground to function. Use a jumper wire from the battery side terminal to the "S" terminal on the solenoid. The engine should crank. If nothing happens, check the ground which is a white wire on the mounting bracket. If the ground is good, the solenoid is bad (they do fail). Let us know what you find
                        james r pepper


                        • #13
                          He mentioned that he tried a jumper cable to the starter side of the solenoid with no cranking. Thats what made me think it is a ground issue.


                          • #14
                            Today's lack of progress: Dealing with the starter, I pulled it (I hate that with no lift) and bench tested it, and it was fine, but the cable from the solenoid at teh started looked awful with corrosion. New cable in the AM, but I forgot to measure, how long is that thing?

                            Back to the other weirdness: I can't get repeatable results, no matter what I do. Sometimes I think I am getting somewhere, then I am back to square one. The grounds are clean, the ground to battery cable was new last year, and the positive to solenoid, while a factory molded clamp and looking good, is not not new and it's cheap. The solenoid looks like it might be original, and it is not expensive, so tomorrow, I'll get all of that and install them and see where we go from there.

                            Though I hate being a parts swapper, the price will likely be worth it.
                            Ron Dame
                            '63 Champ


                            • #15
                              1962 Champ

                              51 Commander 4 door