1971 LeSabre - totally dead

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by $100T2, Jun 4, 2024.

  1. $100T2

    $100T2 Well-Known Member

    Just tried to start the car, cranked for a second and then everything is dead, not even the interior lights turn on.

    Battery is a year old and is fine.

    I disconnected the battery and cleaned the contacts. Looked in the chassis manual but don't see any sort of master fuse or anything anywhere. I know I'm missing something. Help please!
  2. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    There are two fusible links at the starter on the wires that attach to it (not the big positive cable). They look like they are just an enlarged part of the wire, but they are replaced by cutting them out and re-splicing a new one in.
    mitch28 and Chuck Bridges like this.
  3. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    Also check the other end of the electrical connections, not just at the battery. Corrosion or a loose connection can cause this too.
  4. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    As you are not getting anything at all, no lights, clicks..., This brings it down to a common denominator, the cabling from the battery. As stated, there are fusible links that you cannot see. One way to tell is to take a meter, set it to ohms and meter the cables end to end. I usually start in the middle and work back from there on any circuit I troubleshoot. If you get an open, or a high resistance on a cable, it is either open, or corroded. I have seen them corrode inside and cause high resistance stopping it from working (Wire to my starter, that was fun.).

    Good luck, and remember, a test light or a meter can be your best friends,
    mitch28 and Luxus like this.
  5. $100T2

    $100T2 Well-Known Member

    If I wanted to replace that whole cable with the fusible links, what is it called? It looks like there's a cable from the battery to the starter and then the cable with the fusible links seems to run to the alternator?
  6. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Totally bananas

    The two fusible links connect at the solenoid and protect the front and engine harnesses to the firewall side connector to the interior side of the Fuse Block.

    Power from the positive battery cable to the starter solenoid energize the two wires with the fusible links.

    If you wanted to replace the engine harness (sender units, points, starter circuit, alternator, AC, voltage regulator, washer/wipers, tach, blower motor, etc) and the front harness (headlights, horns, turn signals, marker lights, etc), you will need to order each.

    Easier to just replace the fusible links, as Adam (Smartin) stated.

    Start by verifying the negative cable to the block connection is clean and tight. (remove, clean the bolt/washer, and contact area on the block). Then with the negative cable still disconnected and isolated, disconnect the positive cable and the two cables for the harnesses on the solenoid and clean them, the contact posts and reassemble and tighten and also remove, clean and reinstall the red cable on the alternator.

    That may be where the issue is. Given it was sudden, it may be a connection and you've already addressed the cables and posts at the battery.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
    bostoncat68 and Chuck Bridges like this.
  7. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Thank you TrunkMonkey for putting my thoughts into terms understood by those who work on cars, I could only give generalities since electronics and telecommunications is what I am familiar with. Cars, still a black box, but I am slowly lifting the lid, and learning too!
    TrunkMonkey and bostoncat68 like this.
  8. Nailhead in a 1967

    Nailhead in a 1967 Kell-Mnown Wember

    Do you still have headlights?

    Here's the fusible links information from the Buick Chassis Service Manaul:

    Chuck Bridges likes this.
  9. Nailhead in a 1967

    Nailhead in a 1967 Kell-Mnown Wember

  10. 12lives

    12lives Control the controllable, let the rest go

  11. $100T2

    $100T2 Well-Known Member

    It replaced the fusible links and also double checked some wiring. I think I had something grounded that shorted the ignition.

    She's all good now. Thanks everyone!
  12. CJay

    CJay Supercar owner Staff Member

    Just out of curiosity, how did you attach them to the existing wiring?
  13. $100T2

    $100T2 Well-Known Member

    With the crimp on connectors they came with, then I covered them with electrical tape to try to keep dirt and debris out.
  14. CJay

    CJay Supercar owner Staff Member

    How did you fit a 10ga wire in a 14ga blue butt connector?
    12lives likes this.

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