1976 Camaro-No crank, no start, no head lights dimming and full accessory power

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by staxnkeys, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. staxnkeys

    staxnkeys New Member

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    1976 Camaro base w/factory sbc 305 w/th350 console shifter. Long tube headers.

    Changed my transmission filter and speedo bullet Saturday, took the car for a test run; no issues or leaks other than pcv valve came out of passenger valve cover (need a different size grommet as came with faux and functional breathers and added pcv later when switched to demon 625) and parked at home. Started again just to make sure nothing crazy had happened-started fine.

    Went out Sunday and fixed a broken send (trunk grommet w/brown wire) to my gas gauge (which was pegged past full). Went to start the car and nothing. No crank, no click, no start. Put on the headlights, tried to crank; no dim and my gen, oil, and temp dummy lights all lit when I turn the key. Tried in Neutral and Park=nothing. Tried holding brake pedal and key while cycling through gears=nothing.

    Grabbed a screwdriver and jumped the positive on the starter solenoid which took off and spun so I know I've got power.from the battery. Everything else in the car works-lights, radio, dash, seat belt light EXCEPT now my vent blower motor doesn't come on in any position. AC has been off car for years, but normally the blower motor kicks on and limps along whenever the key is turned to ON.

    Wondering if;
    1) neutral safety switch is out?
    2) starter solenoid is out?
    3) some thing is out of alignment in the console shifter since I had to remove the trans pan and the push the attached drivers side linkage out of the way to get the pan out/in and it's ancient/may have stretched and isn't actually "all the way" in park.
    4)something ignition related in the column before the starter?

    Car shifted up and down with no issues and has the stock ratchet shifter th350 and Long tube headers. Factory AC but was taken off by previous owner 30 years ago. It's been sitting awhile while I was stationed overseas, but I got it back on the road and driveable two weeks ago so it was fully functional and on the road 3 or 4 times before this issue. I was seeing the Gen light kick on but chalked it up to a loose alternator belt which went away after the car warmed up. Car has brand new battery.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    On your steering column there will be a "sleeve" just below the steering wheel that should rotate when you move the gear shifter. Does it do this? Also take your hand and rotate the sleeve fully counter clockwise, where it should be in the park position, and see if anything happens.
     
  3. staxnkeys

    staxnkeys New Member

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    Yes it rotates freely. On "start" Oil, gen, and temp light up but no click or crank. Removed the console to see if anything was binding but looks okay.
     
  4. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    If it rotates freely, the back drive linkage is not connected. Hold the key in the start position and rotate the collar fully counter clockwise, as it would be in the park position, then rotate clockwise, trying to catch the neutral start position. Make sure the gear shift is in park when you try this.
     
  5. staxnkeys

    staxnkeys New Member

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    Sorry. I meant it's not binding when I move from gear to gear and turns with the console shifter as normal. The back drive linkage is connected and doesn't appear to be binding anywhere. I'm wondering if either the starter solenoid is bad or something else in the ignition. It has long tube headers and the original starter. Plus I live in northern Florida.
    I pulled the purple wires on the neutral safety under the steering column and cleaned the contacts and still nothing there.

    Should I try jumping the two purple wires at the neutral safety together before I drop the starter?

     
  6. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Yes, try jumping the two purple wires for the neutral safety switch. If the switch is bad or out of adjustment, this will tell you.
     
  7. staxnkeys

    staxnkeys New Member

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    So I tried jumping the purple wires and still got nothing. So that would mean either the starter solenoid or ignition is out. Is there anyway to check the ignition? Is there a relay or fuse somewhere up under the dash?

    A friend of mine suggested it could be a bad/frayed ground. I have the main ground from the battery to the alternator bracket (cleaned both battery cables and ground-checked they we tight). Should there be another ground to the engine or body somewhere else I should check that would cause everything to work but the starter?
     
  8. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I don't remember the color, there is a start wire that comes off the ignition switch. If you're by yourself, you can rig a jumper wire to see if there is voltage going to the start solenoid when you turn the key to start.
     
  9. Bandit723

    Bandit723 Veteran Member

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    Ripped this explanation off the internet. I am just to lazy today to type all this out but it makes the point as what to do.

    You need a large cable/wire between the battery negative and the block. This is basically for the starter and the alternator.

    You then need a connection between the battery negative and/or the engine to the car body. Some negative battery cables have a small wire off of them and this could have a ring terminal crimped onto the end and then attached to the fender. You may think that a fender bolted to the firewall would suffice to get the rest of the car grounded but sometimes the bolts will be tight and mechanically the connection is good but the electrical connection is poor. With that said, if you do have the short small negative wire off of the battery going to the fender, all may be good but there's no reason you cannot add a ground strap between the motor and the firewall. I ran into this issue with a custom car with the fenders painted very well and once bolted to the firewall, there was little or no electrical connection as the paint did not conduct electricity.

    As far as attaching a wire to the subframe, it may or may not do anything. If nothing requires the subframe to be grounded, then you don't need to do this but the factory did it on some cars to help with noise reduction in the audio system. Some cars too also had turn signals mounted to the bumper which then had brackets attaching it to the subframe and in those cases you would need to ground the subframe to the motor and/or the battery.

    The biggest thing is making good clean solid connections.
     
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  10. staxnkeys

    staxnkeys New Member

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    Ok so replaced the ignition switch and still nothing. Rigged a remote start and car starts that way with hot wire going to the solenoid. Maybe it is the neutral safety switch or the solenoid hot wire is frayed somewhere I can't see?

    I also lost the fan blower motor (which ran constantly but I didn't have any other speeds) when it quit starting. Could that be a just a bad relay or something related?

    Would the linkage being out of adjustment cause it to not start? My center bezel shift indicator has always been off (it never makes it to L1, stops at L2) does the linkage need to be adjusted at the console or transmission to tell the safety switch it's "in park" even though it is and shifted through the gears in L1,L2 and drive just fine before I parked it?

    Sorry. Used to working on OBD cars and hunting down wiring issues in this thing is driving me nuts; especially since I drove it AFTER I changed the trans filter.
     

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