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Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite #2511944
06/22/18 11:01 PM
06/22/18 11:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
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67SATisfaction  Offline OP
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Albany, NY
Never had an electrical issue before.
Stock 1967 Satellite with 383, column automatic.

Started the car, fired right up as always. Put it in Reverse, backed out of the garage. Halfway out, the car just suddenly, completely and totally quit without warning. Engine stopped, lights out, no power anywhere...

- Bad ignition switch?
- Is there a fusible link on these? I don't see one.

WARNING: I am an electrical moron, but I have a voltmeter and the wiring diagram, and the battery shows 12.8V. I can read the wire colors, so I think I can do this..

Do I want to trace 12V power from the battery positive out to the firewall connector and on to the ignition switch, starter relay(?) and maybe the Charge/Discharge gauge..? so, I leave the battery connected, put the positive probe on the wire and touch the negative probe to ground, and I should read 12V right?

- What if I close an open circuit, like on the starer relay? Won't that fry the voltmeter?

That frightens me.

As long as there is no load on any electrical circuit, I'm not going to blow up my voltmeter or cause an electrical fire right?

Thanks for any suggestions,
- Art


1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2511965
06/22/18 11:25 PM
06/22/18 11:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
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67SATisfaction  Offline OP
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OK, car now runs fine.

I got as far as the firewall positive to ignition, then went to the ignition switch..

I poked around the plugs back there, and started removing the ignition switch - took out the ashtray to access the ignition and wiring - but before I got it out the courtesy lights came on. The car came to life again.

The car starts and runs easily around the block. Maybe just a loose plug back there, but I'll still pull the ignition switch and check it over carefully.

Cheers,
- Art


1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2511968
06/22/18 11:29 PM
06/22/18 11:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 32,270
Bend,OR USA
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Cab_Burge Offline
I Win
Cab_Burge  Offline
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C

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Posts: 32,270
Bend,OR USA
There are several terms used for finding faults, problems, in trouble shooting electrical circuits. A shorted circuit means that the circuit is shorted out before it gets to its intended component, a ground means the hot side feed on a D.C.(Direct Current) circuit is grounded before it gets the component, a open is what is suggests, the wire, circuit, is open(broken conductor) before it gets to the component.
On your deal with a volt ohm meter put the selector on the D.C. measuring and make sure the red wire is in the + socket and the black wire is in the - socket, switch the meter to read the closet voltage you can get above 12.0 and use the red lead on the feed to the car 12V feeds and the black to a good ground, on your deal I would check the voltage to the ballast resistor to the coil first with the key on, check both sides of it scope
If it has no voltage to either side then look at the feed from the battery to the bulkhead connector, try using your wire diagram to trace from the battery to the bulkhead connector and then into the main dash wiring harness, see if you have 12 Volts to the fuse box also scope
If this is good then check the bulkhead connector output circuit going to the engine main harness from the ignition circuit, both the start and run circuits scope
Let us know what you find, this stuff is not magic, it is just electrical shruggy work whistling grin
It is daunting starting out trouble shooting what you don't know but it is just like learning to ride a bicycle shruggy You can do this thumbs Now get to work wrench whistling


Mr.Cab Racing and winning with Mopars since 1964. (Old F--t, Huh)
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2511978
06/22/18 11:44 PM
06/22/18 11:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 837
Mobile Al
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hemirdrnnr Offline
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hemirdrnnr  Offline
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Mobile Al
My 67 did the same thing and it was the bulk head connector I shook it and the power would come on.

Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2511994
06/23/18 12:24 AM
06/23/18 12:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
master
67SATisfaction  Offline OP
master

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Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
Thanks Cab and hemi,
It failed again, backing out, this time with a short hesitation first.. then same thing, it just stopped dead. nothing. Wiggled the ignition switch connector.. still nothing.

So, it acts like there's an open circuit. There is no power to anything. I'll go ahead and check battery positive to bulkhead connector and anywhere the positive side goes.. starter solenoid, into fuse box, etc...

Nothing like a late night project.
- Art


1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512004
06/23/18 12:41 AM
06/23/18 12:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,456
Spokane Washington
ScottSmith_Harms Online content
Mr Wizzard
ScottSmith_Harms  Online Content
Mr Wizzard

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Posts: 42,456
Spokane Washington
I'd be very leary of your Ammeter wire, they are prone to shorting and melting at the bulkhead connector and the gauge cluster. Typically these connections corrode with time and humidity. I'd HIGHLY suggest a new reproduction wire harness (year One sells M&H replacements, very nice). Yes, expensive and a PIA to install but worth it, you may be saving your cars life, probably the #1 reason for dash fires.

.02

Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512009
06/23/18 12:55 AM
06/23/18 12:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
master
67SATisfaction  Offline OP
master

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Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
Well, the 9V battery in my multimeter died, but I messed with the bulkhead connectors, and the car came back to life. So I opened up the three stacked connectors, found some seriously dusty conditions in there, could be from arching.

So I air blasted it clean, thoroughly cleaned and anti-oxidant-greased the inner spade connectors, and stuck it all back together.. it still works..

I'll test it tomorrow again, seems like just poor connections.
- Art


1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512011
06/23/18 12:55 AM
06/23/18 12:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,715
Freeport IL USA
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poorboy Offline
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Freeport IL USA
I think I would start at the Ammeter connections on the instrument cluster. They were known to have problems over the years. Get a small mirror and look at the Ammeter posts on the instrument cluster, I suspect your going to find melted plastic and nasty looking terminals on the ammeter. You will need to disconnect the battery cable before you do anything more, because the melted ammeter + end will be battery voltage hot.

If the Ammeter is OK (I would be surprised), the next place to look would be the bulkhead connector. I would be even more surprised if you needed to look any farther. Gene

Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512012
06/23/18 12:59 AM
06/23/18 12:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 837
Mobile Al
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hemirdrnnr Offline
super stock
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Mobile Al
I'd HIGHLY suggest a new reproduction wire harness (year One sells M&H replacements, very nice). Yes, expensive and a PIA to install but worth it, you may be saving your cars life, probably the #1 reason for dash fires.

.02

I agree with Scott, Year-one has been running a 30% sale pretty often you can save on the new harness's, if one is bad check them all not worth taking a chance. GOOD LUCK

Last edited by hemirdrnnr; 06/23/18 12:59 AM.
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: ScottSmith_Harms] #2512013
06/23/18 01:03 AM
06/23/18 01:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
master
67SATisfaction  Offline OP
master

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Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
Originally Posted By ScottSmith_Harms
I'd be very leary of your Ammeter wire, they are prone to shorting and melting at the bulkhead connector and the gauge cluster. Typically these connections corrode with time and humidity. I'd HIGHLY suggest a new reproduction wire harness (year One sells M&H replacements, very nice). Yes, expensive and a PIA to install but worth it, you may be saving your cars life, probably the #1 reason for dash fires.

.02


Thanks Scott,
Yeah, I recall E-Booger had an in-depth article on that issue - I left that connection loose on a /6 Dart I wrenched on back in my youth, my Dad (electrical engineer, whose DNA obviously didn't come my way.. ) solved the mystery and I haven't forgotten it to this day.. so it was on my list to check... new wiring hardness, hmm... I'll check over other connections and see what I find for crisped wire insulation or corrosion.. and get a fire extinguisher for the car..

Cheers,
- Art


1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512024
06/23/18 01:28 AM
06/23/18 01:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 34,749
Lincoln Nebraska
R
RapidRobert Offline
Circle Track
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Lincoln Nebraska
Hello Art, its been awhile. As said its either the bulkhead or the ammeter (it or its terminals) & you've taken care of the bulkhead. sometimes it is a good plan to pull a batt cable to avoid a potential dead short to ground (depends on what you are doing/testing) & sometimes you need it operational when you are useing your meter.


live every 24 hour block of time like it's your last day on earth
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512031
06/23/18 02:19 AM
06/23/18 02:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,456
Spokane Washington
ScottSmith_Harms Online content
Mr Wizzard
ScottSmith_Harms  Online Content
Mr Wizzard

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Posts: 42,456
Spokane Washington
Another problem I've seen with 66/67 B-body dash wiring is the power wire to the round/red "BRAKE" light in the dash. over the years I've had two of them rattle apart behind the switch and the wire fell onto the metal dash frame causing a dead short immediately smoking the entire harness!

67Plymouth-GTX-wht-DASH-L.jpg
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2512160
06/23/18 01:40 PM
06/23/18 01:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 248
pgh pa
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captaindodge Offline
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pgh pa
I would also get a quick disconnect installed on the battery ASAP.

Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2513604
06/26/18 06:22 PM
06/26/18 06:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,586
Connecticut
FurryStump Offline
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Connecticut
Had the same thing happen to me. Was lashing the valves and was holding the feeler gauges. One for exhaust and one for intake. Was checking my exhaust valve right behing the alternator and managed to stick the second feeler gauge into the back of the alternator. Pop! No power anywhere. Fusible link was fine. Got under the dash move a bunch of wires around and noticed I had interior lights again. I have already bypassed the main power by the bulkhead connector. I’m sure its on the amnmeter posts.

Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2515253
06/30/18 12:28 PM
06/30/18 12:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
67SATisfaction Offline OP
master
67SATisfaction  Offline OP
master

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Posts: 7,077
Albany, NY
Thanks guys, RRobert, Rhett, Scott and all..
Just coming back to report the results

- I fiddled with the plugs on the back of the ignition switch, something didn't feel quite right there, but I couldn't actually see everything. I pulled the plugs off, took the ignition switch out, it looked clean, put it back in, then re-seated the plugs.

- I pulled the firewall plugs and I think that's where the problem really was: I blew a lot of dust out of it - as if there may have been some arching going on in there - I didn't see any real corrosion, blew the plugs and sockets clean with compressed air, greased them and replugged them several times before seating them with the clips..

Drove the car, several days now, no sign of any trouble.
Cheers!
- Art

PS - Oh. and I scoped out the ammeter connections and they were solid.

Last edited by 67SATisfaction; 06/30/18 12:28 PM.

1965 Satellite hardtop 361/2bbl, auto, pegleg 2.76
1967 Satellite convert 383/4bbl, auto, pegleg 3.23
1975 Maserati Bora, 4.9L DOHC hemi V8, 5-spd ZF
1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 2.5L SOHC hemi V6, 5-spd transaxle
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS, 3.0L SOHC 24v hemi V6, 4spd auto ZF
2007 Aston Martin DB9, 6.0L DOHC V12, 6spd full manual transaxle
Re: Sudden total electrical failure... 1967 Satellite [Re: 67SATisfaction] #2515258
06/30/18 12:49 PM
06/30/18 12:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 10,312
north of coder
moparx Offline
Dreaming of implants
moparx  Offline
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north of coder
up it's good to get things sorted out, yes ? glad you got it going again.
beer


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