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Electrical Problem

Car engine will not turn off when you turn the key to off position. When key is in off position accessaries do not work but red gen light is on. Car is 1966 Olds F85 recently rewired. Did we miss a wire?

Try removing the red gen light and see if the problem still remains. If that corrects the problem, get the correct number gen warning lamp. The one you have passes to much current so ignition system kept supplied with current.

Hope that is what it is.

If you mean that it runs well, as if the key was turned on, then I’d say you made a wiring mistake somewhere. I don’t see how we onlookers can help, since we don’t know what you did when you rewired it.

If you mean it coughs and sputters and runs for a little while before finally dying, that’s called “dieseling” and we can probably help you with that.

There was a “Model Garage” story in Popular Science in the 1960’s about a car that would not stop. Researcher is on the right track. Gus Wilson solved the problem and it had to do with the GEN warning light bulb. Researcher is on the right track. In the case presented in Popular Science, the bulb just had wires protruding from the base of the bulb that fit into a socket and these wires were touching as I remember the story. This allowed the crrent from the coil to find an alternate path to energize the ignition.

Thanks. Finally had a chance to try it and it did not solve the problem. When we first started the car after rewiring it worked fine for about three times. Since then it will not shut off. It is almost like when the proper electric power was flowing again it tripped something that keeps the juice flowing after the key is turned off. The gen light does stay on as long as the battery is connected. Could it be the ignition switch?

Thanks. The car runs fine when you turn the key off. It is not dieseling. It worked fine about 3 times after the rewiring and then stopped shutting off. It is almost like the with the correct electrical flow something tripped that now keeps the car running. COuld it be the ignition switch?

The ignition switch is the most obvious possibility because that is the normal current path to energize the engine. You could try pulling fuses to make sure there isn’t some other circuit involved.

This is an interesting problem especially since cars back then didn’t have all the fancy electronics that todays cars have that can cause interesting things like this to happen at times. When I first thought about this trouble it seemed there either had to be a problem with the ignition switch or power has somehow gotten bridged over to the switched side of the ignition circuit. It is obvious that the alternator circuit is getting power somehow because of the warning light so I wonder if a blocking diode inside the alternator has failed and is causing the trouble. To see if that is true all you would need to do is remove the connection of wires on the back side of the alternator then start the engine and try to turn it off. If the engine now turns off ok then replacing the alternator should fix the trouble. If there is an external voltage regulator in the circuit I suppose the trouble could be there also, possibly a stuck relay.