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1964 Chevrolet C10 Pickup

My truck suddenly and inexplicably died while I was trying to exit my driveway. I changed the battery, solenoid, checked fuses and still have no idea what happened.

Since it does nothing at all when you try to start it, and you’ve changed the battery (I assume you had the battery charged when you picked it up?), then it’s reasonable to assume it has an electrical open somewhere in the starter circuit. Start by checking for voltage at the starter assembly when the key is in “start”. If you have none, go back to the starter relay, and keep tracking back until you find the voltage.

NOTE: the relay will, assuming it’s working and has voltage to its solenoid, connect contacts through which the circuit to the starter solenoid will be enabled. The contacts in the starter assembly that are closed when the solenoid activates will put the 12VDC directly to the motor. Get a schematic before troubleshooting. Sometimes things aren’t quite as simple as they seem.

The battery was fully charged and near new. I have since recharged that battery and also used another which was also new. I don’t have access to a schematic nor know how to read it well. I did put in a new solenoid previous to the ‘dead stop.’ It was running fine until it suddenly came to a ‘dead stop’ which by way of description, no engine, no indicator lights, no headlights; nothing at all. Just now tried it again with a fresh battery and absolutely nothing. I am going to check what I can of the circuitry with a low-voltage tester to see if there’s anything there anywhere.

Whatever happened, it was unexpected, unannounced (by symptoms), and total. I will check with the tester to see where any current may be present. The wiring is rather askew from the previous owner so maybe a short to ground would shut down Everything?

have you checked all your grounds theirs probably a busted wire some where

That was a suspicion in that I had replaced the rear tail-lights and believed I had everything wired properly. It must be a broken wire or something that came undone. I haven’t found it yet. Would that ‘kill’ everything so completely? I have no current going anywhere even with a newly charged battery(s) (I’ve used two today to test it). The only clue I have is that I was headed “uphill” out of the driveway when the truck stopped. It has not started nor shown any sign of electrical current present anywhere since.

Could it be that the new solenoid I installed died and cut off the power to everything else? And I do mean everything else… no lights… no indicators… no click at the starter switch… none of that. Perhaps this ‘super-duper’ solenoid was not such a good idea?

Have you checked the fusible link? It’ll look like a wire and go from the battery + terminal to the underhood relay box. The insulation should bubble when they blow, but it doesn’t always.

If this is blown, do not replace it with a regular wire. It’s there to protect the circuitry.

Hi. I did find a wire going from the + side of the battery to a point where it was spliced/crimped in to the wire that passes through the firewall. The wire from the battery is black and had a crimp-type connector that attaches to the +battery terminal. From the battery it runs to a point where it has been crimped onto a ‘blue’ wire which in turn runs through the firewall. It bends as though it is solid wire whereas the blue wire seems to be a multi-strand wire. No sign of deformation. Question? Could the demise of the fusible link cease all power to the entirety of the electrical system? And is a fusible link and “off the shelf” item purchasable at an auto parts store? Thanks!

Yes, it could cease all power.

It is an “off the shelf” item, but need sto be correct. Considering the vehicle’s age, I suspect you’ll be buying yours based on gage rather than as a finished piece with eye terminals atached.

However, first see if that’s where the probelm is. A good fusable link should have no significant resistance.

That is good to know. I did not realize it could cease all power. Can I ‘unsplice’ this wire I found and as a diagnostic test, patch in another wire to see if that is indeed the problem? It would be temporary in the event power is restored. If power is restored then I go shop for a fusible link. What gauge would be best?

I’d recommend against it because it’ll risk the rest of the circuitry. If that is the porblem, something caused the fusible link to blow. Bypass that safety device and all bets are off. It is, in reality, a fuse.

Do you have any idea what gauge wire is required? For the moment I could use a single strand of copper wire (from an electrical cord) to test.

Point noted though. Something caused it to blow (if that’s the problem) and the only thing other than new tail lights added, was a new coil called “Super Stack” and claims to be a 'high performance coil." Perhaps that may have been a causative factor? Opinion?

If I remember correctly off the Neg batt terminal there should be a large ground cable to the block and a small ground wire going to a connector on the inside of the fender. I found the connection at the fender connector (dirty, corroded) to be the problem. Just a thought something I found on a friends Chevy truck once.

Good chance. Does the coil have any current ratings? What’s it draw at peak? The coil primary WILL draw through that circuit.

There is a large wire that goes to the block; and a smaller wire that attaches to a portion of the fender. I will check that as well. Thanks!!

I have no idea what the current ratings are for this coil or the draw at peak. But it does seem suspicious. Perhaps I should return to something closer to ‘stock’ considering the results I have had. If the coil was drawing too much, would that blow the fusible link?

I redid the ground connections. No response though. Also tried a temporary fusible link bypassing what I believe might have been the original fusible link. Again, no response. No change at all. There’s no indication of any power getting through to anywhere. I have no clue as to where next to look.
I just tested the battery by crossing the poles with a small piece of household wire and its definitely live. The power is not moving from the battery to any other area though. At least the battery is good. Now I am wondering about the fuse lock inside and under the dash. Fuses look good and this fusible link may have been (at one time) the entirety of the run from the +side of the battery to the fuse box.

I will keep experimenting. Figure I’d pull all the fuses and replace them.

I redid the ground connections. No response though. Also tried a temporary fusible link bypassing what I believe might have been the original fusible link. Again, no response. No change at all. There’s no indication of any power getting through to anywhere. I have no clue as to where next to look.

If it turns out to be a simple blown fuse I, for one, will be very embarassed. That’s the first place I should have suggested going.

But, as with the fusible link, a blown fuse gets that way because its current rating is exceeded, even if only for a moment (there are time ratings, but there’s no need to go there). Post what fuse it is.

I looked at the fuses and they look good but I believe should be replaced. What about the voltage regulator? Could that ‘stop’ all electrical activity as well? I am now changing out all the fuses I can find.
I just finished changing out the fuses in the fuse block. They all looked good but I replaced them all and filed the contacts in the block to ensure there was good contact. No change. I’m going to remove the voltage regulator. Perhaps one of the parts stores nearby can check it? Or as with any electrical problem I’ll replace it as well and continue replacing until I find the problem. It has to be something simple for such a mind-boggling result! Its like I was EMP’d!
I have taken some digital pix of the areas in question but I have no place to post them. But they are available.
i just pulled out the voltage regulator. There are no indications of what it is or where it came from. Must be old? I will try to replace it with a new one. Meanwhile, the mystery still lingers. I still have no clue as to what happened!