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Old Chevrolet Caprice

My Dad’s Chevy Caprice Classic will run just fine and the battery holds a charge for over a week of sitting. However, after driving about 45 minutes and parking the car wont start again. The engine tries to crank but doesn’t turn all of the way over. Then the battery charge rapidly drops. What is this problem.

somewhere in there you have a short that is eating the battery. With the car off and key off, remove the negative terminal. You will need a test light for this. Hook the clip on the battery terminal and push the end of the light into the post. Remove the fuse box cover and pull the fuses, one by one till the light goes out. That is the circuit that you have a problem with. Post your results, we may have a diagram for your car, please post year, model and engine size here.

You’re leaving out something here. How did the battery get charged when it sat for a week?

Well, I had jumped the car and drove it around a bit. I figured that if it was a short it would gradually eat the battery. But it did not. Today I replaced the starter, something I did not want to do because it is pain to get under the caprice. I thought that the starter was OK because it started right up after a jump. When I removed it i found a crack on the nose cone and replaced the starter. Maybe the crack enlarged enough as the car warmed up that it threw the gear out of alignment, then as my dad sat and tried to start the car over and over the battery died. He did this so often I thought that it was the charging system. We will find out if the starter was the problem shortly as my dad is out shopping now with the new starter in.

If the timing is advanced too far the starter must struggle to crank the engine. It will sound like the battery is weak. And the starter nose and bendix can be broken from the engine kicking back against the starter.

For someone to give you meaningful advice they must get some meaningful information from you. Do you have access to a voltage meter? Have you had the battery and charging system tested? If you somehow get the engine running does it seem to run well and the lights, radio, wipers, etc all work well?