Need help figuring out how to fix my car not having power

WesFischer05

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2023
24
17
3
Phoenix, Arizona
Lost all power to car after spark between fusible link and power wire. Need help and do not know how to test if I fried my fuse block in the process.

1981 El Camino in the process of LS Swap

I am relatively new to wiring, I know the basics and was able to follow some diagrams to wire my starter to my fuse block and it all functioned perfectly. While moving the wires out of the way that connect to the starter (2 power wires to B+ terminal and 1 starter wire to S terminal) the connection on one of the fusible links broke loose and had a spark between the fusible link and power wire. The battery was connected because I was not doing anything related to the fusible links or starter, I was test fitting an exhaust piece and I just needed to move them slightly. The cheap little butt connector my fusible link came with fell off and sparked. I understand it was definitely user error and I did not have them properly secured but no power after only re connecting the fusible link and power wire with a new connector. I took off the fusible link and measured its resistance and it was not an open circuit and appears to be ok. I checked resistance from end of power wire to the connector that plugs into the firewall fuse block and it still had some and was not open circuit. I do not know how to test if my fuse block is bad or if it got fried when that spark occurred. I checked the starter with battery connected and it also appears to be ok and was receiving all volts from the battery it should. I am getting new fusible links and will reconnect the system again tomorrow and see if maybe something happened when the spark occurred that just needed a unplug and replug but any info or advice would be wonderful, especially on how to see if my fuse block is toast.
 

SoFloG

Royal Smart Person
Mar 9, 2016
1,107
1,258
113
South Florida
What voltage are you getting at the fuse box? Resistance isn't what you're checking for... any piece of wire is going to have resitance. You need to check for DC voltage. Test light is simplest way. Check your battery first and go from there and replace any fuseable links.
 
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spongbob

Greasemonkey
Oct 1, 2022
128
73
28
Lost all power to car after spark between fusible link and power wire. Need help and do not know how to test if I fried my fuse block in the process.

1981 El Camino in the process of LS Swap

I am relatively new to wiring, I know the basics and was able to follow some diagrams to wire my starter to my fuse block and it all functioned perfectly. While moving the wires out of the way that connect to the starter (2 power wires to B+ terminal and 1 starter wire to S terminal) the connection on one of the fusible links broke loose and had a spark between the fusible link and power wire. The battery was connected because I was not doing anything related to the fusible links or starter, I was test fitting an exhaust piece and I just needed to move them slightly. The cheap little butt connector my fusible link came with fell off and sparked. I understand it was definitely user error and I did not have them properly secured but no power after only re connecting the fusible link and power wire with a new connector. I took off the fusible link and measured its resistance and it was not an open circuit and appears to be ok. I checked resistance from end of power wire to the connector that plugs into the firewall fuse block and it still had some and was not open circuit. I do not know how to test if my fuse block is bad or if it got fried when that spark occurred. I checked the starter with battery connected and it also appears to be ok and was receiving all volts from the battery it should. I am getting new fusible links and will reconnect the system again tomorrow and see if maybe something happened when the spark occurred that just needed a unplug and replug but any info or advice would be wonderful, especially on how to see if my fuse block is toast.
Check your voltage yess maybe your battery cables corroded by accident the other obviouse recommendation is running a peice of wire like 12 or at least 14 gauge (temporary) from the positive post to your red battery wire on the switch or possibly at the altonator output bolt ect.The thing about jumping is its been done forever and you don't need a meter.Borrow a voltmeter check for fire (12 v) at the firewall plug next steps the switch plug on the column the red wires should be hot .Now I can guess that you might have a dead battery some solonoids take more the 10 volts to even pull in ( did you know this) some will click at 10 v. ASK YOUR SELF ARE MY HEADLIGHTS WORKING ?if they are then your short could be on the wire you said went to sol (purple)?....youl figger it out okay".. if your stranded you could turn switch on with car in park then jump 12v to the purple wire like split the purple insulation on the solonoid on a section you can reach connect a wire some where to the positive battery( red wire) voltage the touch the other end to the ( in through)opening in purple wires plastic covering this will bypass the switch and it's solonoid kicker circuit thereby you motor will crank .( Try wiggling your gear shifter as well make Shure its in park).well so much for old tried and true methods hope you get it going
 
Last edited:

Lloyd

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 19, 2023
14
33
13
Check your voltage yess maybe your battery cables corroded by accident the other obviouse recommendation is running a peice of wire like 12 or at least 14 gauge (temporary) from the positive post to your red battery wire on the switch or possibly at the altonator output bolt ect.The thing about jumping is its been done forever and you don't need a meter.Borrow a voltmeter check for fire (12 v) at the firewall plug next steps the switch plug on the column the red wires should be hot .Now I can guess that you might have a dead battery some solonoids take more the 10 volts to even pull in ( did you know this) some will click at 10 v. ASK YOUR SELF ARE MY HEADLIGHTS WORKING ?if they are then your short could be on the wire you said went to sol (purple)?....youl figger it out okay".. if your stranded you could turn switch on with car in park then jump 12v to the purple wire like split the purple insulation on the solonoid on a section you can reach connect a wire some where to the positive battery( red wire) voltage the touch the other end to the ( in through)opening in purple wires plastic covering this will bypass the switch and it's solonoid kicker circuit thereby you motor will crank .( Try wiggling your gear shifter as well make Shure its in park).well so much for old tried and true methods hope you get it going
When you say "no power" do you mean when you turn the key to start the car? Do your brake lights work? If so and you DON'T have power to the starter solonoid
Lost all power to car after spark between fusible link and power wire. Need help and do not know how to test if I fried my fuse block in the process.

1981 El Camino in the process of LS Swap

I am relatively new to wiring, I know the basics and was able to follow some diagrams to wire my starter to my fuse block and it all functioned perfectly. While moving the wires out of the way that connect to the starter (2 power wires to B+ terminal and 1 starter wire to S terminal) the connection on one of the fusible links broke loose and had a spark between the fusible link and power wire. The battery was connected because I was not doing anything related to the fusible links or starter, I was test fitting an exhaust piece and I just needed to move them slightly. The cheap little butt connector my fusible link came with fell off and sparked. I understand it was definitely user error and I did not have them properly secured but no power after only re connecting the fusible link and power wire with a new connector. I took off the fusible link and measured its resistance and it was not an open circuit and appears to be ok. I checked resistance from end of power wire to the connector that plugs into the firewall fuse block and it still had some and was not open circuit. I do not know how to test if my fuse block is bad or if it got fried when that spark occurred. I checked the starter with battery connected and it also appears to be ok and was receiving all volts from the battery it should. I am getting new fusible links and will reconnect the system again tomorrow and see if maybe something happened when the spark occurred that just needed a unplug and replug but any info or advice would be wonderful, especially on how to see if my fuse block is toast.
What do you mean by "no power"? Are you referring to when you try to start the car? If everything you say about the fusible link is good and you have power at the starter through the battery cable check to see if you have brake lights or dash lights. If you do turn the key to the start position and check if you have power at the starter solenoid (usually a purple wire). If you DON'T have power to the solenoid it could possibly be your ignition switch. They have a bad reputation of failly without warning. Once it fails you won't have any power except for the lights. Just a guess.
 

78Delta88

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
May 23, 2022
1,309
1
1,097
113
SW Arizona
Just wondering if you got this figured out? Doubtful you did any serious damage to the fuse box. Sounds like you just brushed against a ground and only thing that will do is blow a fuse. Any more serious than that and you would have had molten insulation, and after that flames.

If you popped the fuse links ... Just replace them... Not a big deal. This stuff happens all the time.

Where things get dicey is when you short the ECM or some of the later alternators.
 
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