View Full Version : Headlights but nothing else

10-15-2002, 07:02 PM

I did a little wiring today and dug myself a nice hole! :Dou:

I recently installed a new Hurst Quarter Stick shifter and since I WAS planning to race tomorrow I wanted to get the neutral safety switch hooked up. So I pulled the column down, removed the 2-wire (both purple) connector off of the stock neutral/backup light switch and extend those wires to the new switch mounted on the shifter.

I get all done and I've got no power inside the car. I even tested all the way out to the back of the alternator and I've got nothing! The headlights work fine, but I don't seem to have power anywhere else. I've looked at the fuses and wiring under the dash probing all the fuses with a test light and nothing has 12 volts...any ideas what I fried?

I crawled under and found one fusible link at the starter, it appears to be ok.

Before I start ripping and tearing at the wiring I thought I'd get some ideas here.

Thanks in advance!

10-15-2002, 07:26 PM

Is there one fusible link or two going into the starter? My original setup on my 71 had two that went into a single eyelet. I burned out one of them, which controlled my headlights. The other one I think is for the ignition.

The reason your headlights work is because they don't go through the fuse box, instead they go through the fusible link.

When I burned out my fusible link, I had everything but headlights. The second fusible link was on it's last few strands of wire. I was lucky that the car would start, even though I had to drive home without headlights.

10-15-2002, 11:01 PM
I obviously screwed something up. I forgot to disconnect the battery when I got started, although I didn't see any sparks or anything during the work.

I'll take another look at the fusible links...it seems logical that this would be the problem, but in my experience you can usually see when a fusible link is blown, or tug on it and you'll feel that its blown.

10-15-2002, 11:56 PM
Maybe you hosed the alternator? I'm guessing here but you did say that upon testing you couldn't get 12v anywhere even at the alt. Does the car start up and run? If not, try a jumper wire from the battery to the coil and see what happens. my guess anyways

edit: did you disconnect the main dash ground by chance? Black connector on the brake pedal assembly.

10-16-2002, 12:25 AM

I found the second fusible link wire which I couldn't see before. I'm glad too, it was not burnt, but actually broken at the connector. Once I got the car up in the air where I could get a good view, I found some poor wiring work done at the starter. She's up and running, and everything seems to be fine now.

I'm going to go ahead and race tomorrow night, we'll see what that new 950 Holley can do :beer

10-16-2002, 12:34 PM
That's good to hear that you found it! Don't you love when it comes down to the last minute?

My headlight link burned out during a bracket race at Pacific Raceways last year. They only require that you have functioning taillights when racing at night, so even though I didn't have headlights I was still able to run. Good thing, I ended up winning the race!

But, as a result of it all, it took so long for me to find out what it was and get it fixed that I missed running the Buick at one of the series of races... I ran my Ranger and redlit first round.

Rick Hendersen helped me fix it. We ended up doing a full solder job and going back into the harness where the wire was still nice. We also made it so that when I would drop the starter in the future, that I could actually take it all the way to the ground without it "hanging by wire".

Good luck!