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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys
Got a serious problem. Got my beast all sqaured away, went to start it up today, and it slowly started (blub...blub..blub blub blub) then it died. Smelled something burning, did a quick visual inspection of the engine, and traced it to the negative ground on the battery!! Felt the tip, a sure enough, it was hotter than hell!! :eek: So I figured bad connection. Stripped it, put it back in the clamp, and tried to start it. Watched it, and it started smoking at the ground point on the engine!! What's the deal guys, what did I tweak now? On a side note, the truck tried to start again, (same as above) then died again when the ground started smoking. Need my beast already!! Thanks
 

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And have your battery tested....it may be shorted internally.

I would clean the starter connections as well. They may be corroded, causing high resistance.

-SM
 

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just a guess, is the ground point on the motor clean and tight? did you check the ground to the chasis? just guessing.
 

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Sounds like you have a short either possibly at the starter or the alternator. Check your wiring at both locations and see what you find. Could you have pinched a wire somewhere? Is the positive cable routed ok and in good shape?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, shoot. Messed with my beast a little today, and after messing with the ground on the engine, tried to start it. It shot sparks from there, then I heard clicking. Starter relay! Damn!! Take it apart, blast it with WD40 thinking there's some rust or something in the contacts (been raining every afternoon here for two weeks straight. and been really humid). No dice. So it's pretty much fried guys, and my local boneyard is REALLY slim pickings when it comes to Chrysler. Plus, the guy that owns it charges ridiculously high prices for little stuff (wanted $20 for a burned out voltage regulator!!), and we don't exactly get along either, so does anyone here know where I could buy one brand new, or does anyone have a spare one lying around they could send me? If anyone does, lemme know, and I'll pay you or whatever. Thanks guys.
On a side note though, I recently traded my buddy my positive cable off my Dodge for a negative on on his Ford F100. SO basically I have two black wires sitting on my battery. Yes, I hooked the new "Negative/Postive" cable up the right way on my started relay, and as far as I could tell, there's no difference in what I use for a postive cable, right? OR are + cables made differently?
 

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I would triple check your connections, man. Sparks from the ground??? I would also stop trying to start it till I found the short. Do you have a multimeter? And as stated above, get the battery tested. Heck, most chain stores could test the relay, the starter, the alt, etc. while you were at it.
My spare change,
Mike
 

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Ok..lets back up a bit. when you say you got the RC all back together...what all did you do to it? Will the negative wire only smoke when you try to "start" the engine or will it smoke as soon as it's attached to the battery? Attach it and feel it to see if it gets hot without trying to start the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Chump said:
Ok..lets back up a bit. when you say you got the RC all back together...what all did you do to it? Will the negative wire only smoke when you try to "start" the engine or will it smoke as soon as it's attached to the battery? Attach it and feel it to see if it gets hot without trying to start the engine.
it's a 79 Dodge Power Wagon pickup, btw. Sorry to confuse you. What I meant by getting it all backtogether was putting the manifold and carb back on, after changing the intake gaskets. And, yes, the wire only smokes when I try to start it. Other than that, it's fine. Was it my starter relay telling me it was about to blow chunks, or what? Cause, yeah, it's definately fried now.
 

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this might be weird. i was helping my bro-inlaw with his 86 250 today. it has been sitting for almost 2 years. put a new battery in, almost immedatley it died. put jumpers on, noticed the ground wire for the battery and jumper was hot. i looked around for a while. found the ground strap from the intake to the firewall had corrorded away. made a new wire, and it was fine. is your ground strap hooked up? just an idea.
 

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bigdog440 said:
this might be weird. i was helping my bro-inlaw with his 86 250 today. it has been sitting for almost 2 years. put a new battery in, almost immedatley it died. put jumpers on, noticed the ground wire for the battery and jumper was hot. i looked around for a while. found the ground strap from the intake to the firewall had corrorded away. made a new wire, and it was fine. is your ground strap hooked up? just an idea.
Good idea above. Also you should have a second wire coming off the ground cable at the battery, it will be about 10ga and it gets hooked to the radiator support..is it hooked up? I have some more suggestions but look at the above first. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Chump said:
bigdog440 said:
this might be weird. i was helping my bro-inlaw with his 86 250 today. it has been sitting for almost 2 years. put a new battery in, almost immedatley it died. put jumpers on, noticed the ground wire for the battery and jumper was hot. i looked around for a while. found the ground strap from the intake to the firewall had corrorded away. made a new wire, and it was fine. is your ground strap hooked up? just an idea.
Good idea above. Also you should have a second wire coming off the ground cable at the battery, it will be about 10ga and it gets hooked to the radiator support..is it hooked up? I have some more suggestions but look at the above first. :)
Um...I cut that thing off last year when I changed the tip(old one literally fell apart). I can run one there, if need be. But my truck ran after that, and I never found a strap on my manifold either that went to the firewall. My electrical system has given me hell ever since I brought my beast outta retirement. First I fought with the ignition system for like two months,then it caught on fire, replaced all that, then went for 4 months without a carb,found one, then manifold went to hell, sat dorment,fixed it, now this. Jeez, what's next? ::) I'm almost too scared to drive my beast for fear it might blow up with me in it!!! :eek:
 

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Get the grounds fixed..they are needed. with no ground wires hooke up you are putting extra stress on the electrical system. You could also have a short in the starter. Did you get the wiring diagram I sent you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, I did. Chump
 

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Try a known "good" battery. The polarity may have switched internally. If this is what did happen, that would explain sparks from the neg post. It would react as if it was the positive.

Just a thought.
 

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fun2mud said:
Try a known "good" battery. The polarity may have switched internally. If this is what did happen, that would explain sparks from the neg post. It would react as if it was the positive.

Just a thought.
Um, could you 'splain how that could happen??
Mike
 

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I had a mildly similar problem on my '84 RC last weekend while 'wheeling. the truck stalled out, I tried to restart, and the starter stuck 'on'. This had happened three times before, and I'd been able to stop it by hitting 'start' with the key again once or twice. But this time, it wouldn't stop. The engine was also mildly hydrolocked, and not turning over at all for a good 30+ seconds (then it started). My ground cable began smoking almost right away and would have been on fire if the guys I was with weren't occasionally pouring water on it keeping it cool. The small body ground wire from the battery did burn away (affected lights and accessory grounds 'till I jurry rigged a replacement). Once the battery was disconnected and reconnected twice, it gave up trying to start, and I was back to normal.

I'm still not certain if this will turn out to have been the fault of the solenoid or the starter switch, but I replaced the starter and solenoid (could get the solenoid for $38 or a reman starter with solenoid for $42 from Advance Auto) so I'll find out soonish: the truck is parked for the moment waiting for more trans fluid so I can finish my flush.

I've got 2.5 gallons of ATF that looks like used motor oil out of it so far..... (whoops!)
 
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