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Another no start


Tetro's Avatar
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04-09-02, 03:35 AM   #1  
Tetro
Another no start

Hello:

I own a 1965 Oldsmobile Delta 88 that has been having annoying electrical problems for sometime now. Everything was working okay, until one day I noticed when I signalled for a left-turn, and came to a complete stop, the turn signal slowed down and then stopped working completely. As I put gas into it to complete the turn it started working again. This happened occasionally for a while, and then one day the car refused to start.. No cranking, just clicking. I took the battery to get checked, and it turns out it was faulty, and got a new one. This started the car fine and I assumed it was just a faulty battery. However after a few days the turn signal problem returned and eventually it refused to start again. I took it in the shop and the alternator wasn't pumping juice into the battery (sorry for the length of the post, just want to be thorough) had the alternator and regulator replaced and it seemed to be charging the battery again. After a few more days I was idling and I put the brake on to put it in drive and it stalled, and would not start after that.. Cranking fine, just no start. The sparks were real weak from the coil so I replaced that and it fired up (also replaced wires) My turn signal problem went a way for perhaps a week and a half or two weeks; and everything was working fine. Until last night I pulled into a parking lot and the signal stopped working again. When I tried to start it just clicking. Jumps will get it going but the last time I did that it cranked real slow, even with my friend's good battery. I'm really at a loss right now; and any suggestions would be much appreciated. btw.. the battery isn't completely dead, and things like interior lights and exterior lights, heater work (albeit not at full capacity) However the turn signals refuse to work.

 
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04-09-02, 05:43 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Likely a poor ground after all these years or a poorly rebuilt alternator.

Check the links below in my signature file for some ideas.

Nice to see an old Rocket like this still on the road.

 
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04-09-02, 02:10 PM   #3  
Billdo49er
Have you tested the charging system?
It sounds like a bad alternator.
Everything will work fine with a bad charging system until the battery loses it's charge.
An easy way to test if you don't have a meter is; While the engine is running turn on lights, disconnect the battery terminal.If lights go out and/or car stalls most likely the alternator is bad.Or voltage regulator if not in alternator.

 
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04-09-02, 03:13 PM   #4  
I would look at the battery cables.if they are old they are probably corroded under the insulation.Also clean the starter terminal on the positive cable and the block on the negative.By the way does your alt or gen light come on with the key on engine off?Back then it was wired in series with the alt and if it burns out(the bulb)you will not charge your battery.Good Luck

 
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04-09-02, 03:32 PM   #5  
Joe_F
Bill:

Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!

That is an excellent way to wipe out the diodes in the alternator. Not good! Lol.

Digital meters are cheap. They are like 20 bucks on sale! Worth the money spent to do it right.

 
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04-10-02, 01:03 AM   #6  
Tetro
Well thanks for the replies. Davo: I noticed that when I put the new alternator in, the GEN light seemed dimmer to me than before, and it is definitely dimmer than the adjacent OIL light. It does come on however, and goes out immediatly after the start (well not anymore) Okay, so if I purchased a digital multi-metre, how would I go about using one to find a short in my system.. (I've never used one of these before)

Cheers!

 
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04-10-02, 01:21 PM   #7  
Joe_F
Start by checking my post "The Basics" and the links in my signature file.

Tell us what you find.

 
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04-12-02, 05:27 PM   #8  
As I recall didn't we have to polorize some of the old voltage regulators and generators??? Is that required on this year Olds?
Check your service manual.
If a younger or inexperienced mechanic did your installs he might have missed that.

 
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04-12-02, 05:43 PM   #9  
Tetro
Originally posted by dirty dan
As I recall didn't we have to polorize some of the old voltage regulators and generators??? Is that required on this year Olds?
Check your service manual.
If a younger or inexperienced mechanic did your installs he might have missed that.
Unfortunatly I haven't been able to locate a service manual in my town; but I do know a couple of people that might know something about it. BTW I do have an alternator, and not a generator. I haven't played around with my car for the last few days due to time constraints.. But if anybody can tell me any standard multimetre tests to find problems in the charging system it would be helpful.. alldata.com and the others don't seem to carry information for older cars so I'm out of luck there.

 
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04-12-02, 10:10 PM   #10  
You can get an analog volt/ohm meter at Radio Shack for under $15.00. Set it on DC Voltage around 15 or 20 volts (or as close as you can get above 14). Test your battery with the engine off red wire to positive, black to negative. The battery voltage should read around 12 to 13 volts. Crank the engine, and retest the battery voltage. If your Alternator / Regulator is working properly you should get a reading around 14 volts. Any higher than 14 1/2 you have a problem (most likely with the regulator). If the voltage didn't change from the "engine off" reading or is less, could be either the alternator or the regulator.
If your voltage is reading around 14, go to your local service shop and have them put an amp meter on it. (It's Cheap) Alternators can put out correct voltage with very low amps. Any shop or service station should also be able to load test your battery.

 
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04-13-02, 12:17 AM   #11  
Tetro
Okay thanks for your help. If my alternator or regulator prove to be defective, that would most likely mean I have a problem elsewhere, since they are both brand-new. I think I'm just going to take it to a shop because I don't know much about the electrical system and I don't want to be constantly blowing parts. I'll let you know what happens. Cheers.

 
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04-13-02, 09:36 AM   #12  
Joe_F
As others will tell you, we have all seen and experienced defective alternators out of the box from the parts store. That's why I rebuild my own now

I suggest if you are going to keep this old Rocket (affectionate term for an Olds V8), you get a hold of the GM service manual. You should be able to find them used at swapmeets or possibly new through Helm via the links in my signature file.

Also, Dan gave you good advice on charging system output. I also have something in my post "The Basics" below you can read.

Good luck.

 
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