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1987 Avanti Electrical Problem " HELP HELP HELP "

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  • Electrical: 1987 Avanti Electrical Problem " HELP HELP HELP "

    Hi folks nice weather here in Chicago area today so I had the Avanti out for a couple drives. Everything went well until after dark I went out to put up the power windows and lock things up and " NOTHING " I went to charge the battery with the charger and the battery has juice. I put the key in the ignition and there is nothing no lights no buzzers nothing. I'm thinking a ground problem somewhere any ideas ?

  • #2
    Fusible link at the battery?
    64 GT Hawk (K7)
    1970 Avanti (R3)

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    • #3
      You need to determine exactly what works and what doesn't -- so try to turn on some things that don't go through the ignition switch, like the lights or the emergency flashers. If they don't work, it's either bad or dirty connections on either end of the battery cables. A fusible link failure could also cause your symptoms. Not sure how much of GM electrics Avanti motors used, but fusible link might be yellow and is connected to the positive battery post. BTW, an almost-dead battery will still show 12 volts, but will only provide enough electrons to provide a yellow glow to the headlights.
      Skip Lackie

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      • #4
        Welcome to the era that heralded the beginning of General Motors decline toward bankruptcy. A period when transient executives knuckled under to poor business decisions to placate poorly business educated labor thugs. The "I'll get my money, move on , and let the next poor schlep deal with the consequences," mentality prevailed. Even the cost saved with poor quality materials, couldn't offset the cost of unsustainable (unreasonable) contract promises.

        Poor quality connectors used in wiring harnesses, insufficiently tested/developed technology rushed into production, and an overall culture of customer indifference resulted in similar problems in vehicles wearing the GM badges, or ones sporting components supplied by them. (Such as your Avanti) A member of our chapter once owned one of those Avanti's. You could always tell which motel room was his by the drop cord from his room running out to the battery charger hooked up to his car.

        Like Bob suggested, look for some kind of fusible link or circuit breaker. Once you get power past the first set of fuses/relays...learn where all other plug-in connectors are in your wiring harness. Then...(here comes a technical term) occasionally, "WIGGLE" them all to hopefully keep them making contact. I had problems with the power window wiring on my GM product. Usually, the windows would go down and up. Unless there was a sudden down-burst of rain...then they would fail.

        Sorry for the rant, but if the stuff was not all that great for their intended vehicles, putting it in an Avanti was not going to make it any better. However, being the innovative and "can-do" kinda creatures us "car people" are...I'm sure these kind of issues can be improved and overcome.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          It's dead Michael. Give me your address and I'll be more than happy to come take it off your hands .
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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          • #6
            Does your vehicle have side post battery cables, or top post connections. A battery charger is worthless in determining if it's any good, unfortunately. Pull it and have it load tested at a local Auto store. Meanwhile check the cables for any sign of corrosion, especially side post connectors, they corrode inside and corrode right through to the cable itself. Does your car have an alarm system-factory or after market. Failure in those systems can lead to no power. I wish you luck.

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            • #7
              Avanti 76, you can also go to the AOAI website to get the link to Paul Johnstone's Studebaker Resource Pages and do a site search for 87 Avanti Electrical. With enough searching around the site, you can get the wiring schematics as well and find how other owners have moved around the electrical problems. My 89 convertible has had issues with the connections of the wiring to the door window switches. Switches aren't bad, its the connections. Good luck!
              sigpic[SIGPIC]

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              • #8
                Hi guys I pulled the battery cleaned and charged it. Cleaned all battery connections to new appearing condition. Still no power I checked the positive cable for a fusible link the cable runs from the battery down across the bottom of the radiator and along the right side of the frame to the starter. I didn't see a fusible link. Also cleaned the ground from the battery to the a/c compressor bracket. Still no juice to anything. Still no lights, flashers, radio, ignition nothing. Is there anything I should be checking at the fuse box ? I'm at a loss !

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                • #9
                  I'd still have the battery checked as previously suggested. After that, get out, or buy, a VOM meter and with the battery connected start looking to see where there is/isn't 12 volts and back track from there. If you have a second person, it will be easier.

                  Look for 12 volts to the correct locations with the key off/on/acc. I'm betting on a weak battery and a couple of parasitic draws. Also look around and see if there is a power disconnect that got thrown by accident. It could be switch controlled, mine are. Bob

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                  • #10
                    Pulled the battery had it checked at autoparts store test as being good checked the all the fuses and replaced both FCB 20A ATC Footprint Type II Modiified Reset's circuit breakers still nothing. Hard to believe I could drive the car all day yesterday get home and park it and later that night have nothing, dead as a door nail. Appreciate all the help here but this is almost getting to be beyond my capabilities. Is there some kind of ground or something that I am missing I don't know where to look next !

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                    • #11
                      There should be a fuse panel under the dash. It would be obvious where the power comes into it. Look for a main breaker/fuse or whatever. If you have a good battery, then the power has to be at the fuse panel also. There are also circuit disconnects under the hood for accessories, but the main power to the buss should be straight wired. I'll see if I can come up with a electrical schematic..

                      Here's an 87 Owner Manual
                      http://www.studebaker-info.org/OM/87avom/87AVOM.html


                      Here's the fuse panel...
                      http://www.studebaker-info.org/OM/87avom/87OMp54.jpg
                      Last edited by 64V-K7; 11-04-2015, 02:03 PM.
                      64 GT Hawk (K7)
                      1970 Avanti (R3)

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                      • #12
                        I don't think there is a single main fuse or breaker that can shut down everything. However, a fusible link might be able to do that. It would be a smaller wire that connects to the positive terminal and would be parallel to the positive battery cable.

                        And I like Bob's idea in post #9: look under the dash to see if there is a main disconnect switch possibly installed by a previous owner. I found one in my Avanti and have bumped it with my knee a couple of times: instant-shut down.
                        Skip Lackie

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                        • #13
                          Thank guys I'm calling it a night and will resume in the morning. I don't have a wire running from the positive terminal other than the cable down to the starter. In the morning I'm going to get the car up in the air to see what wiring is under the car from the starter. I'm also going to contact the prior owner to see if he can shed any light on the problem hidden switch. " Again thanks to everyone here for all the help ! "

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by avanti76 View Post
                            Thank guys I'm calling it a night and will resume in the morning. I don't have a wire running from the positive terminal other than the cable down to the starter. In the morning I'm going to get the car up in the air to see what wiring is under the car from the starter. I'm also going to contact the prior owner to see if he can shed any light on the problem hidden switch. " Again thanks to everyone here for all the help ! "
                            I received a copy of a PM from you in my personal email, but have not received it yet thru this Forum. Avantis are notorious for bad grounds, so the first thing I would do is run a jumper cable from the negative terminal of the battery to the alternator bracket. And if that doesn't fix it, then use the other jumper from the positive terminal directly to the solenoid (duplicate the existing cable). I believe the fusible link (if there is one) may run from there to the fuse box. Don't use the second terminal on the solenoid (the one that connects to the starter).

                            I agree with some of the comments above -- if the above fails, you need to get a circuit checker and test each circuit/fuse for 12v. I use an old 12v auto lamp socket with two bare wires, but you can buy one at a hardware store that will work on 12v, too. With the ignition off, you still should have juice to the light and horn circuit, and maybe the cig lighter. With the ignition on, nearly all the fuses ought to be live. If they're all still dead dead and the battery really is good, I'm stumped.
                            Last edited by Skip Lackie; 11-05-2015, 06:55 AM.
                            Skip Lackie

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                            • #15
                              Skip I'll give it a shot in the morning, I been wondering ground also just wasn't sure how to check it. Again everyone thanks for all the help.

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