57 Chevy Won't Start ??

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  #1  
Old 01-25-06, 04:12 PM
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57 Chevy Won't Start ??

IV'E BEEN WORKING ON THESE CARS (57 CHEVYS) FOR 30 YEARS AND NEVER SEEN THIS PROBLEM. THE CAR WON'T START....IT WILL TURN OVER, BUT NOT IGNITE....ALL THE FUSES ARE GOOD EXCEPT....ONLY THE BATTERY FUSE HAS BATTERY ON IT...ALL THE OTHER FUSES DO NOT HAVE BATTERY OR GROUND ON THEM, BUT ARE NOT BLOWN. THE PROBLEM STARTED WHEN IT WAS RAINING AND I HAD THE HEADLIGHTS ON AND PUT ON THE WINDSHIELD WIPERS...THE CAR JUST WENT DEAD...AND IS STILL DEAD...AND THE FUSES ARE NOT BLOWN. THE BATTERY IS BRAND NEW, THE GROUND IS GROUNDED TO THE ENGINE BLOCK BECAUSE I HAVE AN ALUMINUM MANIFOLD....NOW HERE'S THE KICKER....ALL THE LIGHTS, RADIO, HORN, DASH LIGHTS AND CIGARETTE LIGHTER WORK....ONLY THE WINDSHEILD WIPERS DON'T WORK AND THE CAR WON'T START....PLEASE HELP...PS I KNOW THIS IS SOMETHING SIMPLE AND I OVERLOOKED IT BUT RIGHT NOW I'M GOING NUTS....THANKS IN ADVANCE.
MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS [email protected]
 

Last edited by BIGBEAR057; 01-25-06 at 04:14 PM. Reason: FORGOT E-MAIL ADDRESS
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  #2  
Old 01-25-06, 04:36 PM
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We generally reply to this forum, in this forum. That way we can see things others may have missed or offer alternative ideas.

Back to basics. Three things needed - air,fuel, and somethng to light the mix.

I'm thinking that the '57 still had a coil and points. That's where I would start. Use a test light or meter to insure the you have voltage on the primary side of the coil. If so, then check the secondarywith a spare spark plug. If no spark, look to the points and timing. If they check out good, the next strop is the fuel system. Is the fuel pump working? When you manually move the throttle can you see or hear a squirt of gas in the throat of the carb?

Just re read your post. Make sure everything is dry on the outside, then pull the distributor cap and look for condensate in the cap, Maybe some carbon tracks also.
 
  #3  
Old 01-26-06, 04:57 AM
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i can't remember. did the 57 have a fuseable link ?
 
  #4  
Old 01-26-06, 05:09 AM
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That was my first thought, flop; did they install fusible links back in the stone ages?

The one time I had a serious butt-kicking no-start problem on an older points & carburetor car (1974 Celica), it turned out to be a weak condensor. Was getting gas, appeared to be getting good spark, but it was a very weak spark. Discovered it when I disconnected the condensor just on a whim and it fired right up Replaced it and ran fine after that. Non-working wipers would have no relationship to a condensor, of course.
 
  #5  
Old 01-26-06, 05:46 AM
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don't remember the dating on the fusable links, but i also remember a resistor in a points ignition system feeding the coil. man , this is really reaching down into the bucket of neurons and synaps's. the OP really need to go through what goldstar said first. then work back.
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-06, 06:00 AM
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I'll work on the points this weekend and it DOES have a large resistor on the firewall about 1/3 the size of a business card. I forgot to mention it is getting fuel and Iv'e checked the pump and even sprayed some starter fluid in the carb but nuttin yet....Thanks for the tips I'll let ya'll know if it kicks over.....I do really appreaciate all the tips, thanks again.
 
  #7  
Old 01-28-06, 06:44 AM
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I think you're on the right track, keep us posted.
 
  #8  
Old 01-28-06, 04:48 PM
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Is the distributor in the rear of the engine? (Sorry, I never owed a 57 Chevy , my buddy did). Check your cowl for a short that you can smell and see. The wiper harness circuit probably runs thru the cowl and your primary ignition circuit may run thru there to get to the distributor in the rear of the engine. Well, Im not a chevy guy, but take a peek in there anyway. It sure sounds like a short circuit related to the wipers circuit or circuit routing.
 
  #9  
Old 01-29-06, 10:30 AM
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Try bypassing the ballast resistor and see if it starts. Don't keep it bypassed, though, or the coil will cook.
 

Last edited by matts156; 01-29-06 at 10:43 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-29-06, 02:46 PM
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Mechanical Marvels

The resistor problem helped me get on the right track....I found a wire from the Windsheil Wiper motor SPLICED into the wire going to the top of the ballast resistor...as soon as I removed it the car started....Apparently there is a short in the motor because I have used my wipers in the past but not for a couple of yearsand I NEVER would have thought to look for a splice in the resistor wire. Upon checking the fuse box underneath the dash there are several UNAUTHORIZED ...lol....wires in the fuse block so I'm sure I'll get a surprise later on...Thanks to all of you for helping, I REALLY appreciate it.

Al
ps...You guys are the best !!
 
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