BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Starter Question

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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:11 am

Hello van wizards!

Yesterday, I replaced my starter wire from the solenoid up to the wire harness.  The van started fine, and I drove around a bit yesterday with no problems. This morning it died on me on the freeway. Any theories?

It kind of "faded out"...first the radio turned off, then the windshield wipers slowed down before the engine died.  But then it started after about a 1/2 hour.  I have a new alternator.

Any info is appreciated!
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:52 am

there is a connector inside the doghouse next to the carburetor,,,,,,all the juice from the battery and to the engine goes through it,,,,,put it apart and make sure it is tight,,,,,,and there should be a small wire from the positive battery cable on the starter solenoid to one of the screws on the horn relay, so check that.....
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:34 pm

I finally got to check it out. I can't post pictures right now but I'll do my best to explain. I am a little out of my league, and there seems to be a lot going on.


From the positive battery cable on the solenoid, one other wire comes up. It's big: 10gauge.
 Is this the one that should go to the horn relay?  This wire is the one I replaced, but it did/does not go to the horn relay. It goes straight to the connector, which I am assuming is the wire harness? Where the front wires meet the back wires on the driver's side.

The connector/harness is disconnected, as are most of the wires. But the starter wire (the one I replaced) and one other wire are connected by crimped butt ends.

Maybe the next step is to trace the wires running FROM the horn relay (there are none going to it).

The horn relay is ancient too.

I hope this makes sense as I am not too familiar with part names
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:40 pm

No problem,,,,,,a lot of things happen to the vans in 50 years,,,,,,,you need to find out what you now got,,,,the system is that 12 volts leaves through  the small wire on the positive battery cable, it goes to a screw on the horn relay,,,,,those screws are a junction block,,,,the horn relay gets it power there for the horn,,,,the voltage regulator gets its signal there and  the alternator output goes there,,,,AND the feed wire that runs forward that feeds the ignition and headlight switch as well as the fuse box also goes there,,,,the horn relay is in charge of the whole electrical system,,,,,,BUT  that 7 wire connector by the carburetor usually is a problem,,,,,,the ignition switch sends 12 volts back to the coil through a pink wire,,,,,HOWEVER,,,,the coil only needs 6 volts, so there is a special Orange/white/purple cloth covered wire connected to that connector that cuts down the voltage before it gets to the coil,,,,,so see what you got,,,,,we can fix anything here,,,,,one step at a time,,,,,once we dial in what the problem is,,,,,
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:29 am

What do you know, I had it wired wrong. I'm gonna work on that and then I'll post some pictures of what I got. One thing for sure, there's nothing running to the horn relay. The horn isn't even connected to the horn relay. Maybe this is the origin of all the starting problems.
The person who wired it before might not have known the horn relay was so important, like me. More later-
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:39 am

you can do it,,,,,,one step at a time,,,,we got a couple of different wiring diagrams on the site,,,








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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:25 am

Thank you for posting the schematic. And reminding me to take it easy, it's easy to forget! I was inspired to make my own "schematic" of what is going on with the wiring. Oh, and wire "B" is the red one coming off of the solenoid.

First, here's some photos:

Wires "A" and "C" and the fried connector. I've been driving like this for about a year.




The horn relay.



My sketch. Very basic, hope it's not too confusing. Note: The "wire bundle" is the one that exits the front bottom of the doghouse then comes back in the cab thru the floor. And wire "B" is the red one off the solenoid.

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Vantasia

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Re: Starter Question

Post by Vantasia on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:20 pm

Start by cleaning everything, take the wires off the relay and clean the terminals.  That yellow green connector looks like it is for the back-up light switch that would come from below in that area.  What year is your van?  they were standard on '66's.  Like mine, many of those wires look like they have been replaced by PO's (Previous owners) bypassing the multi connector, very common thing, LOL The original harness should be loose enough to fit into all those clips around the inside of the box, mine cut the corner too and none of the colors match the scematic... Nothing wrong with that old relay if it works, test it, its probably made better than the new ones and unless the horn was stuck on for long periods, the contacts see very little wear even over decades of use, mines just as old and works fine.
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:40 pm

The REAL horn relay has 6 wires going to it,,,,,,,and what about the temp/oil senders, idiot light, horn and horn button wires in that old connector,,,,,,,,,I guess you got wires going to them somewhere,,,,,the wiring goes on the side of the radiator and comes up through the floor by the gas pedal, right?,,,,,,the  R terminal on the starter solenoid is the 12 volt Boost voltage to the positive side of the coil to give it a hotter spark for starting,,,,,and you REALLY need to add a 14 gauge fusible link between the small wire that goes on the positive battery cable on the solenoid,,,,it is like made of solder and it melts, cutting off the battery to the van,  WHEN,,,,not IF,,,,,any wire shorts out and starts a fire.....
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:34 pm

Yep, the wiring goes where you're saying.
The R terminal situation would explain the starting problems, I bet. I've got a starter button wired up directly to the solenoid now. I push that and turn the key at the same time to get it to start. Good times.

Luckily we are having nice weather up here  in the Northwest, since I have plenty of work to do. But now I know where to start!

Many thanks again; wiring is complicated and it takes talent to break it down for us newbies. I will post more photos as I go. If they're interesting that is!
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:44 pm

Also, I think the green wire in the connector by the horn relay goes to the horn. I should know that since I replaced it (with some help) but it's been awhile. Not sure where the yellow wire goes yet but all will be revealed!
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wideload
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Re: Starter Question

Post by wideload on Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:44 am

Chroma66 if you'll go here we have a nice color wiring diagram. Might make things a little easier to understand.

http://vintage-vans.forumotion.com/t25630-first-gen-wiring-diagram


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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:30 am

Sometimes that 6 volt resistance wire goes right to the R terminal on the starter solenoid,,,,then a yellow wire goes from there to the positive side of the coil,,,,,,,so that yellow wire sends 12 volts to the coil when starting, and then lets the 6 volts go through to keep the engine running,,,,the horn relay has a 2 terminal connector on it,,,,,the black wire is the signal from the horn button to turn the relay on,,,,,,then, the relay takes 12 volts from the screws and sends it out the green wire to blow the horn,,,,,,
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:58 pm

This is what is replacing the small wire, with the positive battery cable on the solenoid. It says 2.0 SQ MM fusible link.


One thing I have found is that this wire, instead of going to the horn relay, bypasses it and goes (went) straight into the 7 wire connector. Don't think it was a very good idea:




I guess I need to find out how to get this new wire TO the Horn relay, replacing one of the wires already on there. This looks to be some sort of workaround- I have always had starting problems.

The wires that are on that bottom screw already are going to: a 3-wire splice (the other 2 wires are our old friend 12R from the solenoid and 14G to the ignition) and: up thru the floor by the gas pedal to a 7 wire connector by the fuse box.


Last edited by Chroma66 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:12 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : mor info)
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:14 pm

Quick question-can I replace the resistance wire with a regular wire and resistor?
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Twinpilot001

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Re: Starter Question

Post by Twinpilot001 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:25 pm

dont do that!! u can get a new resistor wire from NAPA & splice it in!! cheers Id suggest soldering them together & using heat shrink tubing to cover the splices!!
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:30 pm

NAPA! Of course. Thanks, I really appreciate all the help. I am basically Frasier Crane when it comes to cars.
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:38 pm

Before the resistance wires were invented, Chevys used this to cut down the voltage from 12 to 6 volts to the coil,,,,,If your wire is working,,,,,,why mess with it,,,,,,,you might not be able to find the correct Ballast Resistor Wire anyways,,,,,,,,,



http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx/Ignition-Coil-Resistor/_/R-MPEICR13SB_0362791887
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:15 am

Thanks donivan65, probably never would have found that link.

My wire was cut but I heard that's not a big deal, so she's going back in.
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:29 am

,,most people ask how do you get rid of that wire so they can put electronic or an HEI distributor in their van to get rid of the points and condenser,,,,,,,,,,



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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:02 pm

My mechanic told me that the distributor shaft is loose, so don't take it on long trips. Would that be something that's fixed by getting a HEI distributor? Sorry if this is an ignorant question, this is my first car project.
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donivan65
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:36 pm

I surely come here to answer questions,,,,,,,,,he probably means the bushings are worn out,,,,,and you could change them,  but most people would just buy another rebuilt distributor,,,,,,,,the only thing that that it causes is the points to not open correctly,,,,,,and the engine will run rough, because they fire the spark plugs and you want them to fire on time,,,,,,,now how badly is it worn,,,,you can take the cap and rotor off, turn the engine so the points are open, then wiggle the shaft and see if the points move,,,   an HEI is a good deal,,,,,,providing you dont use an old one,,,,,,,,,,,with WORN OUT bushings,,,original ones are like about $40 for rebuilt ones,,,,,



http://www.autozone.com/external-engine/distributor/cardone-reman-distributor/chevrolet/g10-1-2-ton-van/1965/6-cylinders-3-2l-1bl-ohv/224865_276722_0/
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:14 pm

That's a lot cheaper than I thought. Thanks again for the link! It's hard to google a part when I don't know what I'm looking for.
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Chroma66

Number of posts : 101
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-03-02

Re: Starter Question

Post by Chroma66 on Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:34 pm

After waiting 10 days for a part, I have finally finished my wiring project (for now) and it's running. Many thanks again to Donivan and the other members of V.V. brigade. Your help is the only reason this coach is on the road.
No smoke yet but I know baking soda puts out grease fires, so I have a shaker full of it handy just in case. Hopefully I won't have to use it, but if I do it might be less messy than a fire extinguisher. Time to go for a (short) drive!
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donivan65
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Number of posts : 11428
Location : San Diego, California
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Re: Starter Question

Post by donivan65 on Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:05 pm

a fire extinguisher is one of the most important pieces of equipment to carry in your van,,,,,,,,if you care about it,,,,,,,,

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