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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1970 Firebird Esprit with the 400 engine. I recently did some restoration work to the engine. New alternator, starter, water pump, fuel pump, exhaust system, valve job, headers and I rebuilt the two barrel Carb.

When I finished the engine work I disconnected the coil wire and turned the engine over. It turned over well with the oil light off, but the AMP light stayed lit. I then checked for loose connections and grounds. The ground wire on the alternator was very loose and the fusible link had become disconnected. The positive cable was also broken in several places at the starter,and almost rusted in two. Once these problems were corrected, the car will now not start? The battery is good and the starter can be turned over by jumpering the solenoid leads, with the key turned off?

I have reached the Peter Principal on this one, and would appreciate any helpful hints of what the problem might be?

Dick Vinal
 

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Is your ignition system a points type or has it been converted to electronic ignition? If points type, if the wires are reversed on the coil car might not get any spark. It's been years since I've worked on a points car, but coil has a positive and a negative terminal on it. One terminal comes from ignition switch, the other terminal goes to distributor to power points.

I just can't remember which one is which. If you have a wiring diagram, it will tell you. But as I said, hooking the leads up backwards can cause a no spark condition.

Have you checked the points for the correct gap? And if arm of points is shorted to ground, a no spark condition occurs.
 

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When you say "The battery is good and the starter can be turned over by jumpering the solenoid leads, with the key turned off", are you saying the engine does not turn over when you turn the ignition key? Make sure the wire that comes from the ignition switch inside the car is connected to the "S" terminal on the starter. Make sure this wire (I think it is a purple wire) goes hot when you hold the ignition key all the way turned like you are trying to START the engine. Basically, when you put 12V to the S terminal on the starter, the engine turns over. At this point the engine may fire up, or not. If it does not start, see if you are getting 12v or so to the + terminal on the coil when the key is in the RUN position. The - terminal of the coil should go to the distributor. If you are getting 12v to the coil, pull a plug wire off, and have someone crank the engine to see if you are getting spark. Sometimes I have put a jumper wire from the + battery to the + coil terminal and try to start the car because I have seen cars where there is 12v when the key is in the RUN position, but goes away when the key is in the START position, so the engine does not start (bad ignition switch). If you are getting spark, and the engine does not start, it could be a fuel/carb issue. If still no spark and you still have points, take off the cap and rotor. You will see at the base of the distributor shaft, an 8 sided rubbing block. When a high point on this block goes by the points swing arm, the points open and the spark gets sent to the spark plugs. (the coil is charging when the points are on the flats, and is discharged when the points are on the high spots of the rubbing block). To set the points, rotate the engine until a high spot on the rubbing block is pushing the points open. Make sure you stop rotating the engine when the points are open the farthest (biggest gap). Get a feeler gauge of about .016 in., and see if it slides in between the gap with just a bit of drag, just like you are checking spark plug gap. If this is the case, the points are set right, if not, loosen the points hold down screws and adjust the points to where they are open .016 when the rubbing block is on a high spot. Also, you can hook up a timing light and see if it flashes when the engine is being turned over to check for spark, check the timing setting while your at it. Hopefully, one of these checks will lead you to the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have now discovered the fusible links, next to the valve cover have been shorted out; really melted the links. Links now replaced, but still no power to anything. The short is in the large black/red wire connected to the fusible link. Checked everything to firewall junction box; no short? We are now under the dash, light switch, ignition switch O.K. Will start new search tomorrow.
 
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