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Discussion Starter #1
OK, there's this guy I know (not me of course) who just finished up working on his undercar exhaust system. Now he's ready to fire it up, but it won't start (before all this, with 4X4s, the car ran great). So he charged the battery, and it appears OK (the clock runs) but when the key is turned he gets nada. No click, no fuel pump, the fan won't go on, nothing.
He might have, accidentally like, did a little tack welding on the reworked J-pipe while it was bolted to the headers, and they to the engine, and the engine to the chassis, yada, yada. Now he's wondering if he was an idiot enough to have fried the computer, or maybe the battery.
Hope somebody here can help 'my friend' out, he's going to yank the battery and go have it tested tonite.

UPDATE: All is well, just a (big time) dead battery. After a couple days of charging it fired her right up. The new SpinTechs sound killer, full report on the undercar exhaust to follow once I get some loose ends tied up.

Thanks all!

[ June 09, 2005, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Mike D ]
 

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I've got a story like that too when my 1978 Jeep Grand Cherekee caught fire. It was because of a long line of medal parts (not wires, and therefor no fuses) and one crossed wire that sucked all the juice from the battery... I don't think that the heat from the welding would tranfer like my electricity did. You probably have a dead battery.

At least that's what I hope.

Clutch
 

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drmcat
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It's very unlikely you fried either one, assuming your "friend" grounded the welder to the headers. Batteries go dead cause current found a way to flow between the terminals (even condensation or moisture between the terminals if the battery is dirty is enough... which is why they discharge from sitting for a long time).

Does it turn over if you short the starter solenoid? If it turns over, could a wire have dropped on the header and the heat melted the insulation?

Another possibility - I once had a battery die because an internal connection broke - from perfect to dead as a doornail just driving up a trailer. if this happens the battery will show 0 volts.

HTH

Mike
 

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There are no mistakes, just learning experiences. Don't know if I can help your "buddy" but did he undo the ground strap? You can have a clock run but not have enough volts for the solinoid if the battery is low. Opps, have your buddy check and see how many volts at the starter when cranking. Also check at the solinoid to see if it has enough to energize. I had a Westerbeke generator set that I had trouble starting and it was not getting enough volts to energize the solinoid.
Good luck, to your friend,
Jay
 

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I had similar symptoms (or my friend did) and it was as simple as a loose computer ground. I hope your friend is as lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nothing has been touched, disconnected, etc. No loose wires. I (OK, OK, it WAS me :D ) have juice to the solenoid, but need another body to check it while cranking (clutch safety). I will also admit that I left the batt. connected and powering the clock the last couple months and with any luck that's all it is.
It nearly new, I'll run down to Checker and get a new one, with the warantee it'll be cheap.

This is my first project on a car with a computer. Most of my past toys began life in the '60s, so I didn't know if using the welder could have zapped the electronics. And yes, I had the welder's ground clamped right next to the work being done.
 

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Having "juice" is not enough, how many volts? Also on the battery across the terminals how many volts. If it is 10.5 with no load you have a shorted cell. If it is 12.0 volts you have a discharged battery. If it is 12.6 you have a fully charged battery.
Jay
 

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borrow a battery from your other car before wasting a trip to exchange a possibly good battery.
Then check fuses.
 

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My Friend, he, he, he, checked his batter terminals and connections. If it has been standing for a while, a little corrosion on the terminal(s) could cause your problem. Take 'em off, clean 'em and re-install 'em tight. Then turn the key .... should start, dollars to donut holes.

Duper
 

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Screw it!

If you can't find the problem quickly do what I, I mean my friend, does. Pray to almighty electrical gods by dancing around your car, shaking your hands ever-so-slightly above your head, and chanting "electrical, electrical" like the Native Americans as seen on the Discovery Chanel do. Then, when you have completely made a fool out of yourself, go get some sleep. The answer will come to you in your dreams... just like it does for my friend.

:D :D :D

Clutch
 

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Behind the dash, one of the wires to your ignition switch came loose. If that isn't it, reconnect the red/blue wire to the starter solenoid. Not being funny; both happened to me :rolleyes: Good luck.
 

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drmcat
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Duper has a good point. I just remembered... came out of work one day last week and turned the key - nothing, not even the dome light!. It hasn't had a problem for over a year (literally). I opened the hood, twusted the negative clamp, and it spun a little, so I turned it til it seemed tight. Thing started right up! I had an old firebird years ago that did this to me too occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The cables are clean, and have been on and off several times in the last day or two, so that's not it. I'm pretty sure nothing came loose under the dash, but anything's possible.
The batt. showed 12.2 so it's still a bit low. I'm give it tonite on the charger and see what happens.

Thanks for all the tips guys.
 

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I had a bad alternator from my donor and it drained my Batt. Just a thought You really can't check for a draw on the system the old way, with a test light, you have to use a meter. The computer is always drawing to keep memory.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What the battery shows static with your multimeter is interesting but it doesn't prove the battery is good. Only a load test can show that but the 12.2 volts should at least give you something and you're getting, "nada." Gotta be in the wiring somewhere.

That's my thought too, and one of the reasons I suspected I'd fried something. I'm not even getting the fuel pump when I switch the key on. (yes I checked the shut-off dealie, it appears to be working). Obviously I'm missing something somewhere. Hope it's just a dropped wire but it's going to have to wait till Sat. morning now. Got work tommorrow and fri and people in from out-of-town to entertain in the evenings for the next couple days. (grumble)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Mike!
 

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Mike:

Pull the Batt and take it to an Auto et al and have it testing for amps and volts. You could have 14 volts and not enough amps to turn a pancake on the gridle.

Also, forget with Cluthc recommended...You can't do an indian dance to the lighting god chanting "electrical, electrical" You gotta do it in the native American tongue. I recommend:

"Hey na, hey na, hey na, Oh wey-na!"
 
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