Not starting...Not sure why

Electrical, charging system, batteries, etc.
Winches, jacks, tow gear, welders, lights, etc.

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Not starting...Not sure why

Post by lca'73 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:36 pm

Hello! I'm quite new at this, so forgive any obvious ignorance. I just bought my first Bronco about 3 weeks ago. It's a '73 302 C4 in great shape so I had hoped to drive it as I restore it.

Drove it home (1.5 hr drive) and it did great despite my inability to determine how fast I was going and whether or not I was about to run out of gas. So I drove it straight to my resto guy for a safety fix/check until I can learn a bit more and do it myself. He covered the bare minimum for safe driving and little needed to be done. PO had replaced some things here and there, which helped.

Three days ago I got the fist chance to look it over, drive it again and get more familiar. Drove it around the neighborhood and parked it in the driveway. Here's what happened over the next 72 hrs:
  • Wouldn't start
    Found pinhole in fuel line at carb / fixed it. Ran great.
    Next day wouldn't start - no sound at all
    Found a loose distributor wire, tried again - started / died
    Tried to start it again x 2 and the battery died
    Jumped the battery but realized it sounded like it had flooded - left it alone
    Chased my tail all day between what I think was flooding and dead battery
    Got mad...left it alone for a very long time
    Charged battery for an hour (nearly 100%) and husband poured about 1 tbls of gas in carb
    STARTED!!!
    Took it out in the neighborhood / died
    Tried to start it - no sound
    Tried again - started right up / took off / died
    Rinse and repeat x about 5 until I made it back to the driveway.
Any ideas?

It has a new solenoid and there is no corrosion on the battery and cables are new. Not seeing any issues with loose wiring.

I'm sure I'm missing something in my already long explanation, so ask away. Thanks in advance for your help. I've been reading advice on here for weeks and you are all great!


**Quick Update**

Just went out and started it again and it started without hesitation. I let it run for about 5 min, turned it off and started it again with no problem. I'm scared to take it out and drive it though because it started and ran yesterday until we drove it. Not really wanting to call AAA to get it towed around the corner. 8O

Later this evening...Got super brave and drove it...in the back yard. It did cut off once but started right back up. I'm so confused. :fedup:

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Post by DirtDonk » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:39 am

Hey, welcome to broncofix! Sorry you're popping in with such a sucky (scientific terminology) problem with your new Bronco.
When you say "no sound" on some of the attempts, are you saying that it doesn't even click when you turn the key? Not starter, no nothing?
When it does that, does anything else work by any chance? Like the heater or headlights for instance.

New battery cables is a good thing. But I'm wondering if something else is loose under there, or your grounds are getting a bit weak, or your ignition switch is dying a slow death of old age.
Regarding the switch, it's been such a common thing lately that I literally carry three brand new switches in the trunk of my car wherever I go! Because I work at WH I have a few "hot" items I carry with me at all times, that seem to crop up now and then. Ignition switches, both old and new, have just been a common failure point lately.

To test that theory, next time it doesn't give you any sound at all, put a voltage tester (you're carrying one with you now, correct?) to the small Blue w/red wire on the left side of your starter relay/solenoid on the fender.
You'll need a helper for this unfortunately, but if the guy that's smart enough to have an awesome wife :thumbup: is anywhere around and handy with a key, have him turn the switch to start while you check for 12v at the wire in question.

If no power to that wire, then something is wrong with either the wire itself, or the ignition switch.

Not sure about reasons for the other stuff. You might just have a couple of things giving you trouble at the same time, which would give you fits trying to diagnose it/them.

Couple of things to do in the meantime though. If this is a TN truck, you might have rust as an issue as well.

1. Check the fuse box in the glovebox for rusty contacts. If corroded at all, remove the fuses, clean their ends if they need it, clean the contacts if you can, and reinstall them.
2. Verify that your large Negative battery cable has a good clean and tight connection with the engine block. The closer to the starter motor, the better.
3. Battery Negative cable should also have a secondary wire (at least 10 gauge) connected to the body. Usually at the wheel well, but it can really be anywhere. Although, one of the bolts that holds the starter relay to the fender is a great place, since the relay has to be grounded to work properly.
4. Add a ground wire/strap/cable from the firewall to the back of the engine. A bolt on top of the intake manifold (not one of it's mounting bolts though) is a good spot. Otherwise, one of the larger bolts for the bell-housing are sometimes convenient.

Maybe take some pictures of the under-hood area for us to look at. We might see something obvious.
Has this truck been taken good care of generally, or has it been kind of hacked (electrical-wise) under the dash and the hood?
Does everything else work all the time? Or are there any other inconsistencies?

Good luck. Hope we can help direct you to the right places to look.

Keep the faith!

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

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Post by lca'73 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:59 am

Well let me just start by saying Wow and Thank You!! You've given me a great list to work with today. Hopefully I can get a lot done before the rain gets here.

I kinda knew it would be a like this, but I had so much fun driving it home I must have forgotten about all the hard work. 8) It was actually one of the reasons I wanted a bronco...it's about time I learned how to work my way around an engine and all the other goodies. So I'm having fun and seeing it as a challenge.

So...that is correct, no sound at all, no clicking no nothing. I might as well be attempting to start it with the power of my mind...which also usually proves to be pretty weak. :lol: Although yesterday I didn't experience that at all, so we'll see what today brings. Is it possible that a battery that has lost partial charge could cause that? When I put it back on the charger yesterday, it was back down to about 50% after our drive the evening before.

The ignition switch may be a big possibility. My super smart husband :thumbup: and I were talking about that last night. He's going to try to help if he gets home from work in time tonight.

There are some other issues like some interior lights not working and I'll have to say that it certainly needs rewiring, but I'm trying to hold off until I can get it painted, so it may be one wire at a time right now. I will check the fuses though. Started to look at them yesterday, but it was getting too late to pay too much attention.

I'll take some pics. I would say the PO just kind of ignored this truck. He would drive it on occasion and if he found that something needed to be replaced/fixed he did, but otherwise it wasn't his focus. It was stored inside though and has been for many many years. He was a good guy who knew what he was doing. He also owned a resto shop, so I don't have many concerns about anything he may have messed up.


Ok, time to get to work! I'll let you know what I find. Thanks again!!

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Post by lca'73 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:13 pm

Ok, so today has been a day of discovery! I didn't get as much done as I wanted to because of the rain, but what I did get done made me very happy.

First, I looked at as many wires as I could find. The two wires running to the alternator have covers that look pretty chewed up, but the wires themselves looked ok. I wrapped them and anything else that looked questionable. Then I cleaned the engine bay. There was still a pretty strong gas stench from the fuel line leak that needed to be cleaned up.

Second, I looked at the fuses and let me just say that the PO had never ever done this....ever. Blown fuses wrapped in foil and a couple with the wrong amp. Needless to say those got cleaned, corrected and replaced. Ahhhhh how the little things will "brighten" your day, like instrument panel lights working!! Yay!!! They need an emoticon that jumps up and down. Still a couple of bulbs out, but we're getting there.

Third, still not feeling like the fuel was right, idling rough and shutting off, I discovered that the new section of line that we put in has a kink in it. Straightening it out fixed that problem. Sounded great and ran so much better, didn't shut off.

Still don't know about driving it because the rain came and I had to stop. Plus I'd like to wait until the smart husband comes home. Doubt he'll get home in time today. We'll see how it does once it heats up and runs a while longer. I think there is still an undiscovered electrical issue, but hoping that this is/was as simple as a battery or switch problem.

Negative cable looks like it is in good shape/right place. I'll send pics when I can. it was too dark where I was working in the shade.

I'm calling today a victory. Over the next few days I'll change the spark plugs and make sure they aren't adding to any issues.

HUGE thanks!! :thumbup:

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Post by DirtDonk » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:35 am

Hey, congrats on the successes! And I'm starting to think that husband is so smart, he's staying away from the Bronco as much as possible. Just enough to keep up the domestic tranquility quotient! :D

Good descriptions too, thanks. You sure you haven't owned a Bronco before?
Do you know that the battery cables have been changed, or do they just look good? Reason I ask is that I've had a positive cable fail after only about 3 years and it looked fantastic. Symptoms were a tiny bit different, but maybe close enough. It would work just fine and then the next time I'd try to crank the engine, it would click and then everything would die.

If your other components still work then (heater, lights, etc) then it's most likely not a cable failure.
But that low batter is a concern. Unfortunately, it sounds like at least part of your problems are either a very weak battery (failing weak, not simply discharged) or a charging system that's not working properly.
Or both...

When you do anything electrical, does the ammeter needle move? With the key off and the battery charged, you should see it go to the Negative side of zero (discharge) every time you turn something on. Turn the headlights on and it should jump a couple of amps down. Turn on the 4-way flashers and it should jump lower and then back up each time they cycle.
Turn the key on and the heater, and you should see an even bigger jump.

Opposite that when you start the engine.
During the start process, the needle should go down quite a bit, but immediately jump up to the positive side of zero (batter recharging) once the engine is running. At first it might even go all the way to the top (60 amps) for a moment, but should almost immediately start to come down. Eventually going back to just above zero (maintaining charge).

If it doesn't do this, you'll have to go back and look at all the battery/alternator cabling and wiring to make sure it's all copacetic.

Good luck. Keep chiming back in with updates. You're already on a roll. Hope you can get more done soon.

Cheers.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

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Post by jack70 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:53 am

Welcome to the forum. I saw in one of your posts you found tin foil wrapped fuses. This usually indicates deeper problems that the PO didn't want to address, ie: shorted wires. When we bought my wifes' 73 it had foil on the fuses. Deeper inspection found shorted wires to the ignition switch, a fire waiting to happen. One new wiring harness later and all issues and worries were gone. Good luck and stay with it.
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Post by lca'73 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:41 am

And I'm starting to think that husband is so smart, he's staying away from the Bronco as much as possible. Just enough to keep up the domestic tranquility quotient!
That is too funny!! As a matter of fact he and I have been joking a lot lately about a show that was discussing the ways men feel emasculated by their wives who do things like fix the toilet (or do the kind of things around the house that I do...tiling, sheetrock work, hardwood flooring) Oh and making them ride shotgun, especially in their own car. So my interest in fixing the Bronco has been a topic of comical discussion.

Funny thing is, he taught me to do all that stuff and with a 60 hr avg work week he has no time to do that crap, but it saves money to do it ourselves...so guess who does it. :mrgreen:

BUT, he's having fun with the bronco too...as long as he doesn't remove a tool from my hand, we're good. :lol:
One new wiring harness later and all issues and worries were gone. Good luck and stay with it.
Thanks Jack70. That's one of my greatest concerns. I'm wanting to get that done asap, but it may be a while. Might have to keep a few fire put-r-outers on board until I can get it painted and rewired. We are thinking it is the ignition switch based on the great advice from you and Paul. Probably replace it and the wire.

Haven't had any time this week to even admire her, so this weekend will hopefully be successful for this 'freakin' awesome wife' and 'super smart husband'.

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Post by DirtDonk » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:50 pm

If you need to put off any major re-wiring jobs for a later date, it's still a good thing to tackle the individual "previous owner mods" that you might come across.
Some things will last a long time just fine, but if you see an obviously non-stock wire going nowhere, or a connection that's loose or unprotected, you might as well make it right now. Saves you a lot of grief later.

When I got mine it was in somewhat questionable condition, wiring-wise. It ran, but every once in awhile something would rear up and bite me. Once literally!
So I just turned myself into a reasonable facsimile of a pretzel (I was much younger then) and went to work under the dash. Turned out to be only 2 or 3 real "wtfwtt" moments and it was good for years. In fact, uh, with all the rewires I've done on Broncos, none of them has been mine! I'm still sporting the original '71 harness to this day. But luckily for my future, it's all hanging loose and waiting for me to decide which harness I'm going to put in finally.

So with any luck, yours is still in basically serviceable condition. Once you get the real gremlins purged.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

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Post by lca'73 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:58 pm

Well, it's amazing how quickly plans can change. My husband and I went and talked to the guy that does our paint/restoration work. Originally we had planned on media blasting, which would def mean no new harness until we were ready to paint. We've decided not to do that so that we can get to the wiring sooner. I was already on the fence about it anyway, so this just made up my mind and the safety concerns will be taken care of. We didn't media blast my husband's '84 F150 and it looks amazing, so I know it will be fine.

It may be months before I'm ready to paint and I want to drive it while I wait. So the wiring harness gets ordered this week and the great thing is that they are willing to 'babysit' me and let me do the work so that I can learn a thing or two.

SO...any suggestions on a harness??? What to get/what not to get?

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Post by DirtDonk » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Funny, but with all that you're planning to do, I always prefer to put the new wires on after the new paint. That way you don't have to pull it out again to paint, or if not pulling it, none of the new stuff gets painted over after the fact.

That said, there are some real good ones out there. Let's start right off at the top though, money-wise, and get it out of the way. The newer Bronco-specific harness from Painless is super complete, and the only one that retains the factory Ford wiring colors. Has the best fuse panel in my opinion, comes with the new glove box liner already cut for it, and is still able to stock all "stock and original" stuff, as well as supporting just about any aftermarket stuff you want. It's not the only one that does all that of course, but it's probably the best at it.
And it's 900 bucks. Yep.

The Centech is probably the most popular of the well-known brands, and is probably the most bang-for-the-buck too. At 500 or so bucks, it's still not cheap, but has just about everything you need except shrink wrap and converts most of your old connectors to the more user-friendly Weatherpack connectors.
It's main claim to fame though, is that it's the only one (that I know of anyway) that's completely routed and wrapped and ready to install. The others do have separate branches that are zip-tied together, but the Centech is already taped up like a factory harness.
That's great, but it's also it's downfall if you want to make any modifications to where wires go.

The "newer" contender is American Auto Wire. Very nice, has all the right things in the right places, and is priced in the middle of the pack. VERY complete, with many stock connectors included, such as fuel sending unit connectors and such.
One thing that makes it less desirable from a restoration or more stock-ish Bronco application is that it's left completely up to the installer to wire up the charging system. There is no stock charge loop to run through the ammeter, no connector for an external voltage regulator, or anything like that. AAW's recommendation right off the top is to install a true 1-wire alternator and be done with it.
Can't really argue with the logic. Just not quite right for those still running stock gauges and alternators and such.

Those are the main aftermarket players that have become the most well known. There are others like the one from West Coast Broncos that seem to be a good bang-for-the-buck choice, as well as the usual cheapies you can buy over the internet, but I have no experience with them.
Check out the different listed company's websites as well as search here for other threads discussing re-wiring and what people have done. Lots of information on all four of the name-brands I mentioned.
Again, Painless is the only one that uses stock wiring colors. All the others use GM wiring color codes. But all have the circuit function printed on the wires every few inches, so it's not a lost cause trying to figure out what each wire does. Good customer support from them all generally too.

All use similar high quality wire with good crimps and soldered joints and generally include most everything you'll need to get started. To add your own touches though, you almost always have to come up with a few extra connectors and ways of doing things.
And don't fool yourself into thinking it's a weekend project either. It "can" be of course, but not if you take your time and get everything just the way you like it. Doing it carefully it will take a LOT longer than just slapping it together to get it running.
If you want to be driving this rig to a certain event or for whatever other reason in the next couple of weeks in other words, wait until AFTER before you start your rewire.
Unless you two are really fast, and work really well together that is!

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

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Post by lca'73 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:37 am

Funny, but with all that you're planning to do, I always prefer to put the new wires on after the new paint. That way you don't have to pull it out again to paint, or if not pulling it, none of the new stuff gets painted over after the fact.
I agree and that's what I thought, but he said he can deal with it. With all of the things I want to learn and do myself on this truck, painting is not one of them, so I'll let them figure that one out. :mrgreen:

Thanks for the great info!! I had heard of Painless, but wasn't aware of the not so painless price. That might be a tough sell even though it sounds like the one I would prefer. I'll give it some thought and do more research. Your descriptions are perfect. I've looked around and haven't found anything to compare what's available like that. HUGE help!
And don't fool yourself into thinking it's a weekend project either. It "can" be of course, but not if you take your time and get everything just the way you like it. Doing it carefully it will take a LOT longer than just slapping it together to get it running.
Ha!! I may have been on the right side of the fence for this one. I know nothing about wiring and I'm already overwhelmed after looking under the dash this weekend while trying to unsuccessfully rewire the new ignition switch (different connection type, so I might as well just wait to do it with the wire job). I may have help here and there but they'll mostly just tell me what to do when I need help and make sure I'm not really f****** something up. So, yeah....you may not hear anything from me for a very long time. ;) BUT, at least I'll have a clue when it's done and can still hold a reasonably respectable place on this forum by doing the job myself...you guys are tough on each other...but funny as hell! I appreciate the kind intro, but figure I'll eventually catch some crap. Thank goodness I grew up with two older brothers.

Oh! I forgot...one of the final straws leading to the decision to wire now was a 'wire to nowhere' coming off the ignition switch. Just a random little, uncovered wire. Nice...very nice. I may not know much about auto wiring, but I do know that's not good.

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Post by Tom Dummer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:48 am

so you are not planning on keeping spare aluminum foil wrapped around your seat base for just such emergencies?
Welcome. You need to go out and do more stuff wrong before coming on here with such legitimate and well though out questions, AND you've already solved some of the problems! We may have to preclude our "ten post no heckling" rule here.
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Post by lca'73 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:34 pm

Tom, thanks for the welcome!

I decided to upgrade my foil with the rest of the truck. I now have Reynold's Heavy Duty Foil. I realize it's not O.E., but she deserves the very best. :D

Get ready, because I'm about to make a whole bucket of mistakes with this wiring harness, BUT as I may have mentioned...It's mine and I screw it up however I want to, whether I mean to or not.

Though it can't be much worse since we had sparks and a small fire on the way to the shop tonight when we dropped it off. Demolition starts tomorrow!

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Post by Brandon » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:11 pm

I just finished my American Auto Wire project and I am very happy with the product. The one thing I will suggest is to spread the harness out on the floor like it would lay in the Bronco. Read the directions and study the wires. That way when you go to flop the harness in you have a good idea as to what goes where. I was a little shaky going into the project, now I feel like a pro, and could hammer it out again with ease. The plus is you will have a great understanding of how things work electrically, which will help in the diagnosis of possible future failures and or other people's Broncos. 8)
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Post by lca'73 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:45 pm

Thanks Brandon!! I had actually read your thread last night and you had already made me feel better about it. I appreciate the post here.

I got the old harness out today. I'll work on a few upgrades with the gauge cluster until the new harness gets here. We had thought the new one would be here Thursday, giving me today and tomorrow to get everything out and cleaned up, but it didn't take as long as I thought it would and the shipping says it prob won't be here until Friday...which means I won't get to start on it until Monday. No big deal though because I have quite a few things to order that will get included in the new wiring.

So far, so good!

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Post by lca'73 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:52 pm

Not sure if I need to start a new thread, but since we were talking about wiring here.....

What are the opinions of correct/best methods of wire splicing? Meaning, do you prefer crimp or solder with sleeves or crimp and solder with sleeves .... or some other method that I currently know absolutely nothing about? I've been doing inline splices and soldering them with sleeves to protect it. Just read another article suggesting that, though it's common to do it this way, it's not the best connection because they can crack or break with vibration. Lovely to read after all the work I've already done. :/

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Post by Tom Dummer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:58 pm

Oh jeez. NOW you've done it.
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Post by lca'73 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:31 pm

Ha!! I Prob-a-bly Did! Though I figure with this being the first time I've ever done it, it'll all fall apart before long anyway. :D Then I'll do my SECOND wiring job.

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Post by SHAWN » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:39 pm

I solder, then seal with sealed heat shrink. I do electrical work at a car dealership. The last couple years the 'manufacturer' has 'updated the proper procedure' to include a metal band crimp, then solder, with sealed heat shrink. I personaly think the band crimp is to prevent a poor solder joint from failing. If you know how to properly solder, my personal opinion is it is a perminent connection that will not fail.

My two cents.
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Post by Tom Dummer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:02 pm

I mean now you've done it because this debate has to be one of the top ten arguments over the years. Nothing as good as the old Colby days but still...

I've wires Fire Trucks for going on 15 years now and I figured one time that I'd put between 500 to 700 separate wire connections per truck, between ten and 15 trucks per year over the years...... 95% of what I did were crimp connectors. Sure if I was making a connection for a Data circuit I would solder it. But the only bad crimps were crimps that had been over loaded or not squeezed hard enough. a good crimp with GLUE center heat shrink will last every bit as long as your Bronco. But this is also in a production setting where I didn't have time to solder it all up.
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Post by DirtDonk » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:42 pm

Wire nuts...
Nuff said. :lol:
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

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Post by lca'73 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Tom Dummer wrote:I've wires Fire Trucks for going on 15 years
What kind of fire trucks? Wonder if my husband drove any of the trucks you wired? He was at two stations in GA.


As far as the wiring argument goes...well, I've always been a bit of a troublemaker. :roll:

The debate on crimping vs soldering ended quickly for me today. Nobody in town has crimping sleeves. One guy said he knew what I was talking about because, like you Shawn, he worked for a dealership and had to use them, but he didn't know of any place that carried them.

Never in my life did I think that would be something difficult to find. So back to soldering. Maybe by the time they break and I have to use my super duty fire extinguisher, they'll start carrying them so I can rewire my crispy truck a little better the second time around. Ha!! :redmad:

I did find them on the internet, so I can order them, but it's kinda pointless now I guess. Thanks for the input!!

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Post by Tom Dummer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:26 pm

http://www.hwev.com/
Oregon based company. As a final stage manufacturer, we went out of business last February. Thanks to the EPA and the economic craphole we are still in. We are now owned by a Canadian company, changed our name and now are a service center.
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Post by Formerjughead » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:45 pm

There is a brilliant article on re-wiring Broncos in the tech section. I highly recommend it
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Post by jack70 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:07 pm

Formerjughead wrote:There is a brilliant article on re-wiring Broncos in the tech section. I highly recommend it
I wonder who wrote that article? :D
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lca'73
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Post by lca'73 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Tom Dummer wrote:http://www.hwev.com/
Oregon based company.
I asked my husband and he said they had Sutphen trucks. I know nothing about fire trucks and manufacturing, but you may know who/what he's talking about.


I will check out that brilliant article on re-wiring!! :thumbup:

A few more days to go and we'll be back on the road!

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Post by nvrstuk » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:46 pm

So how's progress coming along... I'm probably a bit late but...


Go solderless, go with WAYTEK...

http://www.waytekwire.com/products/

Excellent products, great prices, great service.

My .02!!?? Don't buy ANY connectors at your local parts store. 99% of them are terrible cheap quality.

My wiring harness was from Itsasnap.com excellent quality but it's a street rod harness so you do everything for connections, lengths, layout, etc. Insulation and wire is utmost quality, but it's totally custom.
Strrrroker... 418 cubes, 518HP, SEFI Trick Flow, what, no distributor??? EDIS, burping the throttle is a whole new experience... :)

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Post by lca'73 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:57 pm

Well the wiring is finished. We used...or should I say they used...an EZ Wire harness. They use them frequently so I didn't ask for/suggest anything different because I felt they could teach me best with a harness they were already familiar with.

As far as quality, I have no previous experience to make a good comparison, but it was well labeled and I had no complaints. I did use mostly in-line solders with a few bullet connectors for things like lights so that we could remove them when we paint.

I put in a 3g one wire 120amp alt., restored my gauge cluster, added power locks, windows and a couple of courtesy lights. Looks great!

While I'm trying to keep the interior looking close to stock, I did add a center console. I'll use it to hide my streaming stereo and window switches so that the dash and door panels still look stock. We tried to use classic window crank switches in the door panel but we had to go back and use the BCB power regulators so they wouldn't work, but the electric switches aren't very obvious in the sides of the console. We'll put some dummy cranks in place of the old ones...and make sure they roll so that someone who doesn't know they don't work, won't break them off. :D

That's the good news.

The bad news is that when I tried to drive it home it started repeating some of the problems that started this post! Turns out the gas tank is rusty and clogging the fuel filter. :fedup: :fedup: :fedup: :2up:

So as much as I wanted to drive it while I wait to do body work and paint, NOT HAPPNIN'! Anybody else need a beer??

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Post by nvrstuk » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:12 pm

Congrats on the wiring harness upgrade...figured my .02 was going to be too late BUT it's good to hear that your EB won't burn up now!! :)

Pull the tank, have it steam cleaned and then coat it with a POR 15's gas tank treatment or Eastwood's treatment for sealing up the gas tank so you won't get MORE crap thru the lines...

Good luck!
Strrrroker... 418 cubes, 518HP, SEFI Trick Flow, what, no distributor??? EDIS, burping the throttle is a whole new experience... :)

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Post by lca'73 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:20 am

Thanks for the advice. It's worth more than .02 :)

Do you think the time/cost of having it cleaned and sealed is a better option than simply replacing it?

And yes...I'm quite happy that the chances of it burning to the ground are, at least, less likely. I'll keep a fire extinguisher on board just in case. I had figured there was an electrical and 'plumbing' issue with my start up problems. I guess I just got my hopes up because the test drive after completing the wiring went perfectly. Oh well. Less mad today, just a little heartbroken.

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Post by jack70 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:24 am

lca'73 wrote: I guess I just got my hopes up because the test drive after completing the wiring went perfectly. Oh well. Less mad today, just a little heartbroken.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Early Bronco Ownership. :D It's also 40yrs old. :lol:
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Post by Puff Daddy » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:11 pm

In case somebody has mentioned this, I'll apologize in advance. I didn't read the whole thread...so many words.

I had a problem about 3 years ago with my bronco stopping at unusual times, and then suddenly it would work. What I discovered is that the wire between the coil and distributor was loose. That is all. Hope it helps.

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Post by lca'73 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:20 pm

Ha! Thanks Jack. I'm starting to show my age too, so I guess I should be a bit more understanding. :D

Tom, thanks for the input! I'll double check it.

Looks like, no matter what, the rusty tank is an issue and will get replaced.

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Post by lca'73 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:18 am

I'm really starting to feel like the problem child here. Sorry if you're seeing my name and thinking...oh great, here we go again. :oops:

BUT, I'm still having problems with starting/running. One day it will run just fine and then next it's a rattling disaster.

We have: rewired, replaced the gas tank and sending unit, new alt and new inline fuel filter.

The BIG problem....I'm losing gas somewhere and can't find it. Weekend before last we replaced the gas tank. We put a couple of gallons in to get it to the gas station about 2 miles away where we put in about 8 gallons.

I've taken one trip since, that was about 10 miles away...so 20 total. I decided to fill it back up yesterday (trying to keep it full since my gauge isn't working) and it took a little over 11 gallons and is running really rough when I start it. Backfired once and will will run but on low power. The more gas I give the bigger the struggle. Acts like it will shut off but then recovers, sputters and really struggles up hill.

Not sure if this is one problem or several. My first thought was fuel pump since it seems like it's struggling to get gas, but now the loss of fuel really has me puzzled. I don't smell it and don't see it. No leaks around the new tank and hoses, no pooling in the engine bay. Could it be leaking out of the fuel pump as I'm driving? Just seems like I would smell it or even worse, see it as it turns my truck into a fireball. :redmad:

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Post by Stan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:15 am

Do you have two tanks ? I can't tell by your Avitar - assuming that's your Bronco.
I've had fuel go from rear tank to front tank - got theories but don't know how/why . Are your gas tank vent lines open to - "open air" or do they go thru a canister - I've heard gas can evaporate from the tank - although the stuff they sell us now that they call gas would probably never evaporate. :roll:
Have you checked the vacumn line to the C-4? Is it cracked or have a loose fitting causing an inconsistant vacuum leak ?
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Post by oldwinghunter » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:20 am

... the syndrome is kinda pointing at the fuel pump... but first, check the oil... you would be looking for gasoline.. the fuel punp diaphrams,some times go out in the weirdest ways . .. causing the pump to pump gas into the crank case. also i would look at the vac line to the trans . if the modulator diaphram is wacko .. or the line is broken.. it could be sucking air . also check the distributor, the timing advance mechanism... as well as the vac line to it "and heat switch if you have one " , for vac leaks and operation. no advance in the timing would directly cause no power, bucking, and back firing "popping through the carb. would also cause horrific fuel mileage .
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Post by lca'73 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:56 am

Yep, that special little disaster of a truck in the picture is mine. Just one tank and the vent lines go to a canister, I guess? They lead to a panel behind the driver's seat. Is that what I'm looking for?

I have not checked that line, but will. Actually, I think I might just take it back to the shop and have them start at the back and work they're way forward with a fine tooth comb. Feeling like this is way over my head and just found transmission fluid leaking on my exhaust.

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Post by lca'73 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:07 am

oldwinghunter wrote:... the syndrome is kinda pointing at the fuel pump... but first, check the oil... you would be looking for gasoline.. the fuel punp diaphrams,some times go out in the weirdest ways . .. causing the pump to pump gas into the crank case. also i would look at the vac line to the trans . if the modulator diaphram is wacko .. or the line is broken.. it could be sucking air . also check the distributor, the timing advance mechanism... as well as the vac line to it "and heat switch if you have one " , for vac leaks and operation. no advance in the timing would directly cause no power, bucking, and back firing "popping through the carb. would also cause horrific fuel mileage .
Ok, I will check the oil first and take a look at the the vac lines like you guys have suggested. Won't be able to take it in until Monday anyway, might as well mess with what I can. Maybe worst case I'll only have to take it in for the transmission fluid leak.

Thanks guys!! You are such a huge help!!

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Post by DirtDonk » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:28 pm

What about bad gas? It sounds like it started acting up again not long after you filled up the tank.
It's not unheard of for some stations to have at least a water and rust issue in their older tanks.

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Post by lca'73 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:27 pm

DirtDonk wrote:What about bad gas? Paul
Could be, but we haven't had problems with my husband's '84 F150 and we get his gas at the same station.

I checked the oil and vac lines. Everything looked and smelled ok. Not sure how to check the timing advance mech, so any suggestions are appreciated.

BUT, I did put new points on the distributor along with a new condenser and MAN it has never started that well! It usually needs a little gas once I turn the key, but it started without hesitation and it was idling perfectly! When I gave it good gas it didn't shudder or sputter and sounded clear with good power. Wish I had done that a long time ago!!

Can't say that it's the fix because I'm too concerned about my exhaust to run in around the neighborhood.

It is not the transmission fluid making it smoke. I cleaned all the fluid off from around the pan and any that might be on the exhaust, which was very little. (I can see that the leak is coming from one bolt, but the leak is so slow that it doesn't even drip.) I cranked the truck a few times and watched that one spot each time.

Looks like I've got a hole or crack in the pipe. If that's the case, should I be expecting that kind of smoke? The crack is before the muffler.

Can't thank you guys enough! If nothing else I know that the points were at least part of the problem. Slowly but surely. Eventually I'll actually get to drive the thing.

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