No Crank No Start 67 Riv

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by johnriv67, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    I was visiting techg8 this morning for a distributor and then left to go get gas. Car would not start after I parked it at gas station. I pushed it to the edge of the station and started playing with the electrical connections around the battery, starter, and began to move the gas cap around in the case that it was grounded(I still don't know this). Eventually it started and then drove it home. Now it's dead in my garage. Sometimes I hear a click coming from the dash when I turn the key to Start. Other times I hear the solenoid click, and that's it. I'm hoping it's nothing serious, but does anyone have any ideas on how to diagnose a no start/no crank condition?

    I have electrical power everywhere else in the car. Interior lights work.
  2. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Clean both battery cable terminals and posts.
    Leave them disconnected from the battery.
    Verify the battery is in good working order and has a full charge.
    Sometimes a battery will "lose a cell" or have an internal failure, so that it appears to have a full charge, the headlights and everything works, and the car runs if jumped, or may start, but "intermittently" fails to provide cranking amperage. Knowing the battery is good is the first step.

    Second are good clean and solid connections.
    Remove and clean the ground cable from the engine block.
    Remove and clean the cables at the solenoid and starter.
    Remove and clean the engine block to chassis ground strap.

    I use brass wire brush (small on like a toothbrush) and 2500 sandpaper.

    If you have an intermediate "hot" junction where the battery and starter share common with other accessories, clean them as well.

    That will go a long way to eliminating ground/connection issues and help prevent wire fire during troubleshooting.

    After that is done, if you know how to start using a screwdriver by contacting the solenoid, try that with the switch in the in the off position and see if it cranks properly. (I recommend you pick up a remote starter switch, it is a good tool to have and makes working safer and easier for single person jobs, tuning and such.)

    If so, put the switch to the "run" position and see if it starts.

    If so, see if it starts properly with the switch.

    If not, post back, and folks can assist on the next steps.
    johnriv67 likes this.
  3. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    I decided to test my knowledge and figured out that on both classic cars that I have owned the neutral safety switch has gone bad or was out of adjustment. That's what actually happened. Going to hit the service manuals to adjust it soon, thanks especially TrunkMonkey. I'll keep this thread up as a reminder of the NSS existing.
    TrunkMonkey likes this.
  4. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Good find!

    BQUICK Well-Known Member

    Neutral safety switch issue will result in no click...just nothing
    Sounds like bad connection or battery.
  6. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Respectfully, I disagree on the diagnosis. When I turned the key to Start, I jiggled the column shift and it started cranking, then stopped, then started when I moved it back to the same spot, and then fired right up. In 67 the ignition switch was on the dash, so no wiring is getting jostled in the steering column to cause that intermittent crank.
  7. yachtsmanbill

    yachtsmanbill Well-Known Member

    You can try it in neutral, or with the foot on the brake, hold the key in start and swing the shifter through all the positions. Did you check the battery to front fender small ground wire? I think some of those used to be a fusible link as well. Just a thought... ws
  8. lemmy-67

    lemmy-67 Gold Level Contributor

    I had the neutral-safety switch go bad before...was able to locate a replacement that wasn't too costly. Check the ignition switch as well...the terminals can burn out over time and build resistance.

    I had the ignition switch on my 1980 G20 van go out, and the starter was 100% engaged in park & neutral, disengaged only when in gear....that was a fun drive home. Been through 3 of those suckers.
  9. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    The switch and/or linkage can get out of adjustment, or the switch can be worn inside and sloppy.

    Many of us recall "back in the old days" reaching with the left hand over/around the back of the steering wheel and pulling up and holding the shift lever while starting the car because of this.

    If you have your service manual, it should show the adjustment to the switch/lever.

    There are 4 terminals on the switch. The green wires are the reverse lights, and the purple are the safety switch.
  10. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    This is old school stuff. CAREFULLY take the switch apart & clean & lube the contacts. 90% of the time this will take care of it.
    techg8 and Harlockssx like this.

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