Lady '78 Chevy Nova Electrical Probs

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  #1  
Old 10-19-04, 11:05 PM
ChevyLov
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Wink Lady '78 Chevy Nova Electrical Probs

i have a 1978 Chevy Nova 250 Straight Six and i need a little advice.

I turn the key and i get this *click click click click* sound around the distributor/starter motor area at the moment.

Within the last month i have....

*Car Stopped*

Changed the alternator, following a friends advice. Also Changed Battery.(worked for 4 drivings @ about 10 miles per driving, to and from.)

*Car Stopped* *Studied up on my car using chilton and haynes books*

Changed the Starter Motor (worked for 8 drivings @ about 10 miles per driving, to and from.)

*Car Stopped LEFT LIGHTS ON FOR 2 HOURS* (got a jump from another car and it started working then when i got home it stopped again.)

***The CLICK CLICK CLICK sounds starts here (with no engine activity at all)***

Changed Distributor Cap, Spark Plugs, Spark Plug Leads, Ignition coil, Distributor Rotor.)

and the results???...Still getting the same monotonous *click click click click* that i got after, the 2nd, no-start (After the starter motor change).

------------------------------
MY Novice Lady Mechanic Guess?????....Its a faulty starter motor and the clicking that im hearing is from the distributor rotor OR the starter solenoid.

Then again this IS a 26 year old engine and im a NOVICE hobby mechanic.

Hence my post here...please help!! I need another perspective!!! ;D
 

Last edited by ChevyLov; 10-20-04 at 06:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-04, 04:12 AM
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never checked the battery?

the battery is the heart of the electrical system on a car...basically speaking, none of the parts you've replaced should have been replaced without testing the battery first. nuff about that...buy yourself a charger...or remove the battery and have it charged and then tested...preferably by someone who can test it by conductance rather than load testing (altho that works well...it's hard on a battery). if the battery is discharged and i suspect it is...then the real question is why and this will take some more in depth testing with a voltmeter. voltage drop tests of the starting AND charging circuits are absolutely necessary seeing as how it's an older car. keep in mind that even tho the alternator has been replaced, you can still have a charging system problem that's NOT the reman alternator.
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-04, 06:19 AM
ChevyLov
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yes i did test the battery...sorry about that ;)

Originally Posted by carguyinva
the battery is the heart of the electrical system on a car...basically speaking, none of the parts you've replaced should have been replaced without testing the battery first.
battery tested and battery is fully charged (shouldve put that in my initial post ..thanks for reminding me to mention that).

I tested the battery eveytime the car stopped...i should mention tho, now that youve brought this to light, that the battery, in this last instance of the car stopping, was drained and i had to recharge it (recharge went well).

I own a battery charger so i was able to charge the battery correctly.

At the moment the battery is OK (ok = 12v). Also, the battery is only 2 months old. I replaced the battery after the first car stop.*editing initial post now to reflect that*

I also forgot to mention that the 3rd time the car stopped was due to MY LIGHTS BEING LEFT ON *editing initial post now to reflect that*.

*flips thru notes to make sure i didnt leave anythingelse out this time*

I should also note that the dash, dome lights and everythingelse in the car are working normally at the moment.

Please let me know if there is any other critical detail i left out and ill include it ASAP.

Thanks
 

Last edited by ChevyLov; 10-20-04 at 06:30 AM.
  #4  
Old 10-20-04, 08:26 AM
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further testing...

...is in order...stating the obvious, huh? perform the testing outlined in the thread about alternator problems in the 95 G20 van...where i talk about voltage drop testing. this will help determine why charging current isn't reaching the battery or why battery current isn't reaching the starter motor.
 
  #5  
Old 10-20-04, 12:00 PM
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Its possible something is shorted out and draining your battery after you park it. If you can jump start it, or start it again right after you shut it off, that would tend to identify it.

That click click click is usually an uncharged/dead battery or a bad starter. I wouldn't suspect the distributor unless the engine is cranking. it sounds like you already replaced those, hope those replacements are good. you probably have some kind of warranty if you want to remove them and take them back to be tested.
 
  #6  
Old 10-20-04, 01:06 PM
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Ok lets take it one step at a time
will the engine turn over when you try and start it
when do you here the click with key just in run,off or when trying to crank.
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-04, 06:31 PM
ChevyLov
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WOW This place is an asset for sure...thanks guys

Originally Posted by AutoDoc
Ok lets take it one step at a time
will the engine turn over when you try and start it
when do you here the click with key just in run,off or when trying to crank.
Im assuming that "Turn Over" means the actual 'engine' starting, and in that case the answer would be; No my engine is not turning over.

The only sound i get is that click click click click, and i ONLY get that clicking sound as im trying to 'crank' the car up. (assuming crank means 'starting the car by turning the key') ...Not trying to be rude w/ the definition thing...its just talking to schucks and other parts shops guys will make you crazy with all the different kinds of jargon running around in this motor industry hehe.

Originally Posted by carguyinva
perform the testing outlined in the thread about alternator problems in the 95 G20 van...where i talk about voltage drop testing. this will help determine why charging current isn't reaching the battery or why battery current isn't reaching the starter motor.
WILL DO...good information in there and ill study up on that thoroughly

Originally Posted by kuhurdler
That click click click is usually an uncharged/dead battery or a bad starter. I wouldn't suspect the distributor unless the engine is cranking. it sounds like you already replaced those, hope those replacements are good. you probably have some kind of warranty if you want to remove them and take them back to be tested.
Me and you are somewhat on the same page here and ill be taking in my new alternator and new starter i bought in tomorrow to get them tested to make sure i didnt buy anything defective.

----------

WOW THANKS ALOT GUYS this place is a total asset youve definitely made a new friend...ill be hoisting this puppy up on friday and getting all this stuff done following the advice given in here and will report back ASAP.

Please leave any other info you may think of in the mean time...I WILL be checking this thread often

*bow*
 

Last edited by ChevyLov; 10-20-04 at 06:43 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-20-04, 07:06 PM
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Did that model year..

use a starter soleniod? You may just be looking at a bad one. Follow the thick wires to the starter, if it stops at a small box with one or two small wires and two large wires, that's the soleniod. If you don't have one, the wire will go straight to the starter.

I'm assuming that your battery posts are clean and tight and you aren't using one of those universal type battery terminal clamps with the two bolts that hold the wires. If you are, I would try taking that apart and cleaning it throughly.

Just some random ideas... hope this helps.

Good Luck!
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-04, 07:34 PM
ChevyLov
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Universal Posts? ...maybe...

Originally Posted by Desy2820
use a starter soleniod? You may just be looking at a bad one. Follow the thick wires to the starter, if it stops at a small box with one or two small wires and two large wires, that's the soleniod. If you don't have one, the wire will go straight to the starter.

I'm assuming that your battery posts are clean and tight and you aren't using one of those universal type battery terminal clamps with the two bolts that hold the wires. If you are, I would try taking that apart and cleaning it throughly.

Just some random ideas... hope this helps.

Good Luck!
Ya the solenoid is attached to the starter on this one, so your pretty much right. IF the solenoid on this model/engines starter is bad id have to replace the entire starter...which is what i did in the timeline up there.

As far as the battery posts are concerned im not sure if i know what youre talking about...could you maybe link me to a pic or link me to an online auto parts shop with a pic of a "universal" post?? Ill try to find a pic of one myself also.

If i do have a universal ill take your advice and clean it thoroughly.
 
  #10  
Old 10-20-04, 10:14 PM
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universal battery terminal clamp pic http://www.mfgsupply.com/m/c/31-8596.html
 
  #11  
Old 10-20-04, 11:18 PM
ChevyLov
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Originally Posted by jeff67
universal battery terminal clamp pic http://www.mfgsupply.com/m/c/31-8596.html
Thank you much for the pic.

So I guess the answer is No I do not have a universal battery terminal clamp, and that would answer Desy2820's question about my clamps, tho I did clean my battery hook ups thoroughly.
 
  #12  
Old 10-21-04, 11:08 AM
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I was going to try to clear up some of the jargon:

Tick-tick-tick/click-click-click: sounds like someone tapping on metal with a drumstick. No engine noise. No belts turning.

engine cranking(not running): you hear the engine spinning, but not firing. You can tell the starter is turning the engine, but it is the same repetative noise at the same rate/rhythm. The belt on the engine are turning. (This is also called "turning over")

engine firing (but not really running): There is a putter coming from the exhaust, the engine really shakes and the sound is not the same rate/rhthym. The belts are turning.

All of these are what can happen when you are turning the key to the start position.


----

What typically happens to a car that can't start is engine cranking (which drains the battery) followed by the clicking noise because the battery is too weak to turn the starter. Excessive cranking of the starter with a drained battery can sometimes ruin the starter.
 

Last edited by kuhurdler; 10-21-04 at 11:21 AM.
  #13  
Old 10-22-04, 05:42 AM
ChevyLov
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Originally Posted by kuhurdler
I was going to try to clear up some of the jargon:

Tick-tick-tick/click-click-click: sounds like someone tapping on metal with a drumstick. No engine noise. No belts turning.

----

What typically happens to a car that can't start is engine cranking (which drains the battery) followed by the clicking noise because the battery is too weak to turn the starter. Excessive cranking of the starter with a drained battery can sometimes ruin the starter.
Today is the day i work on the car.

your 'tick tick/click click' description is EXACTLY whats happening w/ my car at the moment...

Even tho im going to get the starter tested anyway i will definitely retest the battery and run the voltage drop test on the connections from battery to starter to make sure this isnt just a connection issue.

GREAT FEEDBACK here...I love this place already and thanks alot for the help. With all these different perspectives im sure to get this thing up and running
 
  #14  
Old 10-22-04, 12:51 PM
ChevyLov
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Doityourself.com !!!! Woohoo!!!

~~=+ MISSION ACCOMPLISHED +=~~


The Culprit?

Bad Battery Cable (from Postive Battery Terminal to Starter Solenoid).

REPLACED the cable after testing, and the car is working A-OK!!
Shouldve came here first to get information b4 i tried to tackle it myself

Thanks alot to those who helped me out on this one.

*bow*

respectfully
 
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