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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

Been following for a while but just joined today. Anyway, I have a question I hope someone can help with...

I have a '70 Challenger R/T 383 w/ pistol grip 4-spd. Until recently, the car had been starting and driving fine until I tried to start it a couple of weeks ago and nothing! Unfortunately the car only gets driven a couple times a month but hopefully that will change.

Anyway, a little history on the car; purchased 6 months ago with a fairly decent restoration of about 7 years from what I can determine, numbers matching motor and trans. that appear to be stock (don't know any specs on engine), electronic ignition, clutch safety switch, wiring appears to be fine and a new battery (2 days old).

When I attempt to start the car, there is absolutely nothing, the starter doesn't turn, the relay doesn't chatter, nothing; however, the dome light works, clock works, headlights work, as does the buzzer for the 'key in ignition'. A couple of weird things though; the radio doesn't work with the key in the "on" or "acc" position and the reverse lights don't work when in the "on" position.

When I jump the starter relay with a screw driver, the starter turns over at normal speed but it still won't start (this is with the key in the "on" position). My suspicion is either the ignition switch or the clutch safety switch??? I also checked the fusible link and it is ok. I have checked all of the fuses and verified power at the bulkhead connector. Any input on this would be great as I miss driving the car and am getting frustrated.

Thank you in advance for the help. Once I figure out how, I will get some pictures posted.
 

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Ok I have a 70 R/T and a 71 Cuda I did the resto on both, you might have an ignition switch failure , one thing you might check is,

2 items, the bulk head connector at the firewall junction, be sure everything is clean and no burn or scorch marks,and no corrosion

, or the two harness connectors, disconnect them, check for corrosion and clean them and reassemble with die electric grease .

Also check all your grounds.

the best online place to ask is here

Cudachallenger.com
I have been a member for years and they will and can help with specifics,much like this board :smileup::smileup::smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick response! I have looked at these things but will check again. Could it possibly be the clutch safety switch? Kinda leaning towards the ignition switch though. Any way to bypass the ignition and see if it will start?
 

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Yes you can try by passing the ignition, and also check the neutral safety switch , be sure all the wires are good and not laying against an exhaust pipe ,and make sure it is plugged in on the transmission
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not to sound like an idiot, but what is the best way to bypass the ignition? Also, to check the clutch safety switch, can I just remove the wires on the switch and connect them together?
 

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Not to sound like an idiot, but what is the best way to bypass the ignition? Also, to check the clutch safety switch, can I just remove the wires on the switch and connect them together?
I think you might have tried with jumping the starter solenoid on the left inside fender, if the car turns over but wont start, it is most likely the ignition switch or the wiring that leads to the ignition
 

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I have been through 3 of these ignition switches in 20 + years , they do fail after time ,you might have to pull the steering wheel and get inside to see if it has separated, and lost contact ,they are a 2 piece design and the plastic comes apart at the seam leaving no contact points ,
 

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It seems like I had to replace a ignition switch in my 70 when I owned it. I also had problems with the neutral safety switch, but mine was an auto. Good luck and post a couple of pics if you get a chance.
 

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Save your battery and starter...sounds like both are okay.

Using a voltmeter check the voltage at the solenoid terminals...not on the starter but this on the inner fender. Put your test leads on the bottom of the two small ternminals on the right. While your helper turns the ignition switch to start you should see about 12V. No voltage here indicates a problem between here and the clutch switch or ignition switch. A reading here means this solenoid is defective.

Let us know the outcome.

 

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Save your battery and starter...sounds like both are okay.

Using a voltmeter check the voltage at the solenoid terminals...not on the starter but this on the inner fender. Put your test leads on the bottom of the two small ternminals on the right. While your helper turns the ignition switch to start you should see about 12V. No voltage here indicates a problem between here and the clutch switch or ignition switch. A reading here means this solenoid is defective.

Let us know the outcome.

:smileup::smileup: My vote for this one replaced a couple of these,:smileup::smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys,

Thanks for all the help. I finally was able to spend some time with the car and found a couple of things. First, the clutch safety switch appears to be ok; I disconnected it and used an ohm meter and all is good. Unfortunately, I pulled the two harness connectors apart under the dash by the steering column and the power wire (red) from the wire harness leading to the steering column was burnt inside the connector. I spliced the two red wires together and tried to start the car and nothing! I jumped the solenoid on the firewall and the car fired right up.

So....I need to replace the harness that is cooked and also the ignition switch since that is the only thing else it could be (at least I am able to get the car started now). With all of your help, I was able to troubleshoot the problems and get the car running. Thanks again for the insight and leading me to the issue(s).
 

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the help. I finally was able to spend some time with the car and found a couple of things. First, the clutch safety switch appears to be ok; I disconnected it and used an ohm meter and all is good. Unfortunately, I pulled the two harness connectors apart under the dash by the steering column and the power wire (red) from the wire harness leading to the steering column was burnt inside the connector. I spliced the two red wires together and tried to start the car and nothing! I jumped the solenoid on the firewall and the car fired right up.

So....I need to replace the harness that is cooked and also the ignition switch since that is the only thing else it could be (at least I am able to get the car started now). With all of your help, I was able to troubleshoot the problems and get the car running. Thanks again for the insight and leading me to the issue(s).

Be sure to check the bulkhead connector , especially the large red wire right where the firewall connection/bulkhead is,
that is where things get very hot and one of the common weak links in the electrical systems most of these cars
 
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