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1980 with a problem please help

R

Ryrich

Guest
I just obtained my first vette a 1980 with 36173 miles one owner the car is very nice in side and out. but I have 1 problem when the car is running driving or sitting all of a sudden the choke , battery lights come on and all my gagues go down as if the car was turned off the car will sputter than die. than all I can get is cranking but it wont start If I sit a few minutes all of a sudden the seat belt, key buzzer will come on and I can than start the vette.

Any Ideas? I need help please.
 

Yoda

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Administrator
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Messages
4,885
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Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Ryrich ~ Welcome to the Corvette Action Center Community ~

Since everything seems to go "dead" I would check the battery connections. Remove them and clean them up and re-install them and make sure they are good and tight.

If that doesn't take care of your problem, I would suggest checking the wires at the coil and possibly replacing the coil. It sounds like something is drawing excessive current causing the positive connection somewhere in your ignition system to over heat and cause a loss of a good connection, or a thermal overload is tripping. There is a fuse link in the ignition system, but I don't think it is causing this problem, usually fuses are good or they aren't.

Good Luck Ryrich and welcome aboard. Hopefully someone else will have a few more idea's for ya too.
 
S

Stryker_78

Guest
Hi,i have had the same problem.But not with my vette. It was with my '84 Monte Carlo. As it turned out it was the alternator. The bushings were making contact but not always. You might want to check it out. Just a thought. I like Rare81's thought aswell. :) Good luck. Welcome to the forum by the way. I too am a new member. :)
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Hmmmmmmm

What does the AMPMETER do when this happens?

I would 1st ckeck the Batt connections
2nd have the car put in the air and check the bat neg/frame ground point... need more info.Like does it happen more often with the headlights on?

Im thinking maybe key switch connection points,
or isn't there a circut breaker under the hood, mounted on the firewall by the master vac booster,
I know it's there for 73 but Im not sure when it stops.

This sounds very circut breaker ISH espically if when your car poops out & you can time it to a 15 second window of "it just came on again".

Mike
 

80convertible

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2001
Messages
416
Location
Asheville, NC
Corvette
1973 converted to 1980 custom convertible
Remember how old your car is. Wiring gets corroded and loosens over time. As others state, start with the most simple and progress to the more difficult. Usually it ends up being more simple like a loose connection. On the other hand, I always end up with the more difficult problems. Welcome to the world of vette ownership.

Regards,

Jim
 
R

Ryrich

Guest
I would like to thank everyone who replied I will put your advice to good use. I'm not sure about the AMPMeter but it doesn't matter if the lights are on or not it happens spurmatic and no change when I use the lights or Air.
STRYKER_ 81 I'm thankful for your input I was thinking Alternator
but wasn't sure because there was no effect on the Battery. but hearing about your Monte Carlo I now feel this is a great lead. thanks for all your help and glad to have you as a new menber as well.
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
If the ALT pooped out

The entire car wouldn't shut down......

I am assuming the battery is NEW(er)

Mike
 
R

Ryrich

Guest
I just put in a new Battery 1 1/2 months ago. should I be leaning towards frame ground.
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Confused

"but I have 1 problem when the car is running driving or sitting all of a sudden the choke , battery, lights come on and all my gagues go down as if the car was turned off the car will sputter than die. than all I can get is cranking but it wont start If I sit a few minutes all of a sudden the seat belt, key buzzer will come on and I can than start the vette. "

The car sputters & dies, right?( AFTER the lights come on) but then the ENTIRE electric cabin system goes FLAT DEAD.

No headlights? Power windows
Clock in radio ( assuming after market radio ) loses time, forgets stations?

Im thinking the ground strap point between engine & frame is loose, corroded......... something like that... I'll bet the cabin dies but the rest ( headlights etc are fine )... The frame ground point is on the passenger side of the engine, along with the starter.

Ahhhhh

Another thought... the POWER distrubition point
is at the Starter solonoid if some of the lines
( or fusible links are getting funky ) that could be part of the problem.The observational trick is to see whats working AFTER it dies try as many things as possible.

This beast has to go up in the Air MOST of these are accesible from underneath.

I don't have my 80's book here

Digging thru book to find more info tomorrow!
Mike
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
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Messages
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Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Here is my take:.. The car should run without the alternator or the battery.... but it must have one or the other :D

The car will run on the battery until the battery discharges to around 9 or 10 volts then die with out the alternator... The Battery is a MUST (or a jump start) to start the car but then the battery can be disconnected and the car will run on the alternator..

This brings me to a high impedeance or resistive connection somewhere ;)

Ahh the joys of owning a "Shark" (they can be stubborn creatures sometimes) :J

Bud
:w
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
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Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Butttttttt

The ALT will toast with no batt hangin on it ( for an extended run )

Mike
 
R

Ryrich

Guest
I will have lights and my dome light comes on my power windows will work its just my gauges that shut down. the radio is the original from factory. thanks for directing my to a location it gives me a place to start looking. I Want to thank you for all your advice.
 
6

69vettester

Guest
Ryrich,

Bummer, sounds like a tough one to find and fix without a pro. Maybe a 80 vette Wiring guru will pop up.
But..
I ditto all the above , start with the obvious , easiest , places, fried wires or connections that only short when they get hot. if nothing sticks out move to the more difficult.
Your ignition system failing could also cause this, Older electronic modules attached to sensors, used to fail slowly instead of outright.


This doesnt sound a whole lot like the same condition but..
I use to drive a HO GTO Judge, It would shut down and not start for a half hour or so. Turned out to be a heat switch on the starter motor, when it got to hot from the exhaust pipe, the Batt. hot wire switched off. But If I remember right, it didnt switch off while the motor was running. The starter motor wouldnt crank only during a hot restart try. I heat shielded the starter motor to solve the problem.

Good luck and Keep us posted on what happens.
TC
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
A lot of these "ghost" electrical issues on older Vettes result from corroded connections inside the two connectors (engine harness and forward lamp harness) on the engine side of the fuse block. It's amazing how things "perk up" electrically when these two connectors are removed, contacts cleaned up, and put back together. Also helps to use some dielectric grease on the contacts before re-assembly so the corrosion doesn't recur. Grounds are usually the #1 issue, but these two junction block connectors run a close second.
 
R

Ryrich

Guest
Thanks for the insight I'll keep you posted of the out come.
this forum is better than I ever expected it too be. Thanks to all that replied.

Mark
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Ahhhh the power of books

Ok ready!
on the starter solenoid there is a black wire coming in and 2 fusible links coming out

The one on the Red/white is your headlight power the SECOND ONE has a Red/Black & a Red joining on the back of a single fusible link

The Red Black has
To generator & underhood lamp on it
and the RED has

To instrument panel & ignition switch & AC blower & relay....

Betting even money that the lines coming off the starter are fried!

Will dig some more

Mike
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
And more....... NUT HELP HERE!!!

There is a 6 pin connector I'm guessing near the firewall in the engine around the Distributor,under the wiper.

Red white/ light blue / Red

Purple / Red Black / Black

**As viewed from front**


I'll further bet that this connector is toast
and this is where your problem lies.

One of the other Shark guys will have to chime in to find it's location...Like NUT

Mike
 
R

Ryrich

Guest
a great help

You have been so much help I can't thank you enough. I'll let you know the out come as soon as I can.

Thanks again for all you time and help on my problem.
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
It's a dangerous job

...somebodys gotta do it...


You will return the favor by helping another member
when you have an area of expertise that they need.


That's how it works


Mike
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
The connection you seek

Open Hood,
Get to passenger side
Look at firewall
Find Silver metal(relay) can mounted HIGH on firewall between AC box & distributor
Look down a bit
And there it is

Large wires 6 per connector
White shell(male) pluged into Black(female)
Inspect this CLOSELY

I'll bet you will find some extra crispy wiring!

Mike
 

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