1968 El Camino - fails to start

I drive a mostly restored 68 El Camino that runs well most of the time, but it has problems with the wiring. The previous owner warned that if I left the positive cable attached overnight, the battery would drain. The battery is also not clamped in place, and so it can slide (and rip out the wires from the starter and alternator from the positive terminal in the process) around if I drive reckressly. I’d forgotten to disconnect the battery a couple of times overnight and the engine would still start. That is, until this morning, when I decided to splice in an additional length of wire to help prevent the wires from getting ripped out. Now the car won’t start at all, and I’m hoping for some advice on how to proceed from here. I’m thinking that the battery is probably kaput, and in the process of recharging/replacing it I should go ahead and replace the old wires and add in a better system to hold the battery in place.

I’m not sure if the process of splicing in an additional length of wire did any damage to any other components though. Is it possible for a spliced wire to damage the starter or ignition? Or should I just replace the battery and wires?

If you expect ANY kind of reliability, sounds like the underhood area needs to be completely and properly re-wired…No more spit-wire, twist and tape splice jobs. Next, the battery MUST be properly secured. The required parts are common, available anywhere…This is not rocket science…Then, on a '68, about the only thing that will drain down a battery is a defective voltage regulator. Is the regulator external (of the alternator)?

It is possible the battery is kaput, Agree with caddyman. Here is some troubleshooting. Secure the battery and skip the workaround. Try Jump starting the car or recharging the battery. Here is a neat way to find a power drain.

'68 cars have minimal draw of current when the car is “off”. The clock is about the only thing running and it has virtually -0- power draw. Something is wrong with your car. Likely there is still current going to the coil and ignition circuits. When there were points involved you could have a current draw if the points were closed and no drain if the points were open. Therefore is was random, sometimes the points would be open and other times closed depending on where the crankshaft position when the motor was shut down.

More than likely your car has some sort of “electronic ignition” now either factory equipped or aftermarket. Get a good electrical guy on your car to sort out the issues and correct them.

Thanks for the advice. I’m going to pick up a battery, charger, multimeter, and fresh wires as well as securing the battery in a fixed position. Eventually I hope to be able to re-wire the entire car, it definitely needs it.