#1  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:50 AM
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redbird68 redbird68 is offline
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Default short inside new starter solenoid?

hello all. glad i have a car to work on during 'shelter at home'!!!:

putting together a 69 bird.

new engine harness is plugged into firewall and currently only hooked up to starter solenoid. new battery cables installed, positive to solenoid and negative to stud bolt on head. no battery hooked up yet. i touched the leads from my multimeter to the battery ends of my neg and pos battery cables and got a beep. ???

i then touched the leads to the battery cable post on the solenoid and the case of the starter and got a beep. i checked connections and the cable connection is not grounding out.

starter/solenoid is a new hi torque powermaster unit. red wire connected to battery cable post and purple wire to 'S' terminal.

sounds like short inside the starter solenoid. next step is to remove and bench test.

any other ideas?

thanks guys

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68 Firebird convertible - 400, TH400
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69 Firebird convertible - plain 6 cyl (for now), TH400
71 Formula 400 - TH350, soon to be muncie 4 speed
70 Trans Am - Lucerne Blue, not numbers matching
71 Corvette convertible...I crossed over! temporarily
79 TATA - all original
  #2  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:59 AM
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a few pics
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68 Firebird convertible - 400, TH400
68 Firebird coupe project - 400, soon to be 200R4
69 Firebird convertible - plain 6 cyl (for now), TH400
71 Formula 400 - TH350, soon to be muncie 4 speed
70 Trans Am - Lucerne Blue, not numbers matching
71 Corvette convertible...I crossed over! temporarily
79 TATA - all original
  #3  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:07 AM
"QUICK-SILVER" "QUICK-SILVER" is offline
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What about the red wire in pic #2?

If it's hooked to the alternator or anything inside the car, that's hot at all times, you could get a beeb doing a continuity test.

Clay

  #4  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:27 AM
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redbird68 redbird68 is offline
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thanks QS

i will disconnect the red wire from the solenoid and test again

different than my original post, i now have alternator hooked up (powermaster 100 amp single wire), the plug that comes with single wire conversion kit is attached to the harness where you would connect to a voltage regulator, and harness is plugged into firewall boot. Original under dash wiring is in place and has been messed with quite a bit by previous owners. All i have done there is unplug steering column in order to remove it.

will post results today

thanks again

__________________
68 Firebird convertible - 400, TH400
68 Firebird coupe project - 400, soon to be 200R4
69 Firebird convertible - plain 6 cyl (for now), TH400
71 Formula 400 - TH350, soon to be muncie 4 speed
70 Trans Am - Lucerne Blue, not numbers matching
71 Corvette convertible...I crossed over! temporarily
79 TATA - all original
  #5  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:34 AM
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Bill Hanlon Bill Hanlon is offline
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Remove the positive lead from the battery. Touch the red meter lead to the battery positive post and the black meter lead to the battery negative post. Get a beep? If so, you've just found that doing continuity tests on live circuits are not very conclusive.

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  #6  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:43 AM
wbnapier wbnapier is offline
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Redbird, for the wiring of the 1-wire alternator to the engine harness, I just went through this with a factory harness. I rewired everything using a Power Master alt., M&H engine and headlight harness, relays, and the Mad Electric kit. IMO, it is best to customize a little here for improvements and reliability.

Starter, electric fan 1, electric fan 2, high beams, and low beams are all on relays. My alternator power output lead goes to a junction block, of which I have two. Main and accessory.

Do you have a nice color factory wiring diagram to work of off? Isn't your Power Master alternator internally regulated?

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  #7  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:59 AM
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redbird68 redbird68 is offline
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thanks guys

Bill - battery has never been in the car yet so no power.

WB - the alternator is internally regulated. i installed the conversion kit shown in the pics; jumper for alt plug and block where you would normally attach to voltage regulator.

i have used all of these exact parts before on a 68 and all was well - alternator, conversion kit, starter/solenoid and harness.

i do not remember checking continuity though before hooking up battery, maybe this condition existed then too. right now i am afraid to hook up the battery until i understand what is causing the 'short'.
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__________________
68 Firebird convertible - 400, TH400
68 Firebird coupe project - 400, soon to be 200R4
69 Firebird convertible - plain 6 cyl (for now), TH400
71 Formula 400 - TH350, soon to be muncie 4 speed
70 Trans Am - Lucerne Blue, not numbers matching
71 Corvette convertible...I crossed over! temporarily
79 TATA - all original
  #8  
Old 03-22-2020, 03:39 PM
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redbird68 redbird68 is offline
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update - i unhooked all wires from solenoid. there is no longer continuity from hot post on solenoid to case of starter, so i assume the starter/solenoid is fine.

disconnected wires from alternator and checked for continuity from heavy wire post on back of alternator to ground, no beep so all good there.

touched lead to the wire terminal that connects to back post on alternator, other lead to a ground and got a beep. This is with wires still disconnected from solenoid and single wire adapter disconnected from voltage regulator plug.

the center 2 of the 4 spade connectors on the voltage regulator harness plug also have continuity to ground

looked closer underdash and wires are pretty butchered up. car ran and drove before though. was a 6cyl column shift car

it seems starter/solenoid and alternator are fine and issue is in the underdash wiring? any chance this is normal?

thanks again

__________________
68 Firebird convertible - 400, TH400
68 Firebird coupe project - 400, soon to be 200R4
69 Firebird convertible - plain 6 cyl (for now), TH400
71 Formula 400 - TH350, soon to be muncie 4 speed
70 Trans Am - Lucerne Blue, not numbers matching
71 Corvette convertible...I crossed over! temporarily
79 TATA - all original
  #9  
Old Yesterday, 11:52 PM
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Greg Reid Greg Reid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbird68 View Post

it seems starter/solenoid and alternator are fine and issue is in the underdash wiring? any chance this is normal?

thanks again
It's hard to identify shorts as opposed to 'normal' readings when you are checking resistance while things are still wired into a larger circuit. Especially when motor/generator windings and such are involved.
For instance, coils and motor windings are a dead shorts to an ohm meter but offer impedance when in use. A capacitor will read 'open' to a meter but will pass an alternating current right through it.
A schematic helps. Study it and look for ways to isolate the part under test.

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  #10  
Old Today, 10:07 AM
LPete LPete is offline
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Continuity testing isn’t all that useful for this. I’d be tempted to hook up a fuse between the battery and one of the cables and see what happens. If the fuse doesn’t blow you don’t need to worry about really bad things happening.

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  #11  
Old Today, 10:12 AM
LPete LPete is offline
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Another method is to hook a lamp (I like using a headlamp) between the battery and a terminal. If you have a dead short to ground it’ll light up full brightness; if it’s dim it’s not a dead short.

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'69 Cameo White RA III Judge, 4 speed, owned since 1977 -- my first car.
  #12  
Old Today, 11:51 AM
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For that matter, since you have the meter, you can do the same thing with it that LPete suggested. Take one battery cable off and using the 'amps' setting, you can hook one lead to the battery post and the other lead to the cable that attaches to that post. Read the current draw.

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  #13  
Old Today, 12:25 PM
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But MOST meters have a 10A fuse internally on the AMPS setting. Any more will pop the fuse, requiring replacement of the fuse if you can find it.

I use an old under-dash ammeter with alligator clips on the end of some #12 wire for this purpose.

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My Pontiac is a '57 GMC with its original 347" Pontiac V8 and dual-range Hydra-Matic.
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