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Dead, no power, no lights... : (



Ok folks, drove my Pace Car to work yesterday,drove it home, running good as ever... I get home, park in the drive, windows down, tops out...

I go to pull it back in the garage last nite, no click, no interior lights, NOTHING! I tried jumping it, checked battery posts, contacts, alternator wiring. Even tried by passing the battery by using just terminals to see if it was the battery.

Gonna check a few more things tomorrow so I can hopefully cruise this w'end!

Anyone ever have this happen or have any suggestions??


Do you have an Automatic or a 4-Speed? If it is an automatic have you tried moving the gearshift when trying to start it?

Do you have headlights, radio? And if you do.. do the lights dim when you try to start it? or the radio go off? There is also a "Starter Interrupt Relay" associated with the starting circuit.

Good Luck and keep us updated on how it is going.


Just a thought, it is possible that your battery has a shorted cell. You drove home(and lucky to make it) on the output from the alternator. Disconnect your battery completely and connect a known charged battery, just might be as simple as that. Good luck.
Most likely suspects, battery or alternator.

You can take the battery to most autoparts store for free testing and charging. They can also test the alt at no cost if you bring it to them.

Batteries do this. Also, the alternator could have internally shorted, or grounded totally killing the battery by the time you came back out. It could have also damaged the battery if it drained it down too hard. So, you could be replacing both.

I like to get my alternators rebuilt by a local professional whenever possible. Most of the time, I can stand at the counter and watch them rebuild it.

On the flip side, if I buy another, I only buy new units. For example, Autozone sells a "gold series" that are all new with no core charge. I have had great luck with them.

Finally, the ultimate in peace of mind, you can see your local chevy dealer for a genuine Delco replacement-even on the battery.
Had the same problem a few years ago , there is a plug behind the dist. that had a bad connection , I replaced the the terminal with a new one , the old one wasn;t making good contact
A few years ago, Corvette Fever did an article on batteries. According to some research, AC-Delco batteries lasted about 30% or so longer than conventioal ones. One thing about Die Hards, is that if you buy a silver or gold series, you are mostly paying more for the pro-rated warranty and not necessarily for the quality. When I was younger, I worked at a Sears repair shop and we never really saw a difference between the cheaper Die Hards and the more expensive ones, which usually one lasted two years or so. The Ac-Delcos that came in were off of cars that still had the original battery, that had lasted several years. The one on my old Trans-Am lasted almost six years before I replaced it. On the other hand, I've been wanting to try an Optima, dry cell battery to see if they are as good as advertised.--Bullitt


I have put a couple of Optima batteries in my last couple of freaky LT-1 projects. Right now, I am not sure what I think of them. Of the two I have tried, one was bullitt proof. In fact, I drove the vehicle 40 miles with the headlights on in stop and go traffic and still had more than enough juice to crank with no alternator even on the engine!

On the other hand, this 36 Ford project is not going so well. The optima is doing something strange. It is loosing the charge, or getting drained off by something in the car. It blew the alternator as it was trying to overcompensate. I had that one (chrome plated) rebuilt Friday while I charged the Optima. I noticed the Optima making a hissing fizzing sound while being charged so I quit charging it.

I hooked everything up and took the car on the maiden voyage round the neighborhood yesterday morning. I could hear the Optima making that fizzing sound as I mounted it in the extreme rear of the car and had the rear seat folded down to gain access.

I hurried back home in fear it was going to blow. Took it out and put a regular battery from a Turbo Omin that has been sitting around my shop. It cranked right up, but I noticed the alternator had been blown out again.

There has to be somethign wrong with that battery. Everything else is new and in working order.

So, I can't say just yet what I think of them.
I had the same problem

IndyPaceCar78. Sometimes it would start right up, sometimes accessories worked - sometimes not. Checked everything- battery, fusible links, alternator, steering column, tire pressure - you name it. Turned out that a wire was loose on the starter solenoid. so I fixed that and put on a heat shield. No problems after that. Good luck.
Ok, After checking some of the suggestions that were offered, (Thank You!) it turned out to be the negative cable had a split in it, and the spark was arcing when I would wiggle it get power to the interior...

The cable had a split in it below where the cable goes thru the gromet in the battery compartment, and above where it grounds to the frame under the car. I actually ran over a raccoon last week... coincidence...maybe, maybe not.

Eckler price $15.00
VolVettes price $11.00

Unfortunately, I'll have to order the part before I can replace it since everyone I've called has discontinued this particular part.

Anyway, Thanks again for everyones tips, and hopefully, posting ther response may help someone else out in the future.

I'm very thankful for the CAC! :beer
IndyPaceCar78 said:
I actually ran over a raccoon last week... coincidence...maybe, maybe not.

I think this goes in the road kills section of the CAC;)! Glad to hear you found the problem.

- Eric
I have actually had pretty good luck finding parts for my 81 at NAPA and some parts are still available from GM.
I think this goes in the road kills section of the CAC

Try cleaning dead cat out of the wheelwell :puke

Hrm...maybe I'll add that ;)
Racer 78,

Hi! This is 69Myway's wife.

We have three dogs and they are like our kids, BUT.. if they get to ride in the 69 before I do.... :bash Chris will not be very high on my list. :)
I actually found the replacement cable at Advance Auto parts. Pulled out the manual, checked the specs, and low and behold, they had hanging on the rack the correct replacement! I was amazed!

I was also amazed that it cost $6.35!

Dam raccoons anway! :mad

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