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Offline dieseldave4443

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NO electrical power to anything??
« on: November 16, 2011, 12:00:50 AM »
Hi guys, this is my first post in hopes of fixing a problem.  I bought a 73 wagon for 100 bucks and want to fix it up.  It's pretty much intact and original-just been sitting for several years.  I've prepped it to be road ready but to my dismay I have no power to anything when I turn the ignition on.  No warning buzzer, no dome light, lights -nothing.  I have a fresh fully charged battery.  I think I have isolated the problem to the ignition switch at the bottom of the steering column.  My chilton and haynes manuals don't do a detailed remove and reinstall  of the switch so does anyone have any insight to my problem.  I feel really fortunate to have found this little jewel but electrical troubleshootin g is not my forte.  Has anyone else experienced this problem. 

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 12:19:22 AM »
I had this same problem when I first started working on my 73 wagon that had sat for at least 12 years.

My problem was a combination of both the ignition switch and the starter solenoid. Once I got both replaced with known working units, all the electrical issues went away....

Aside from my weird backup lamp sockets that I had to change out, and I still have to slam the passenger side door or smack the fender hard.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 09:21:08 AM »
Thanks dave1987. I went to amazon and ordered a new borg warner ignition switch ($15 w/shipping inluded!) and will get the inexpensive solenoid from autozone for $20. This has been a bigger project than percieved. Had to get a stock used radiator from a salvage yard in the midwest as the original was so plugged and corroded. I'm really excited to get this thing going. There are other little things to get done like replacing motor and tranny mounts which have become mush but my focus is to first get it started. I appreciate the feedback. Keep you posted on my progress.

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 11:16:07 AM »
Awesome! Keep us updated! :)

One thing I just remembered, and hopefully you don't end up in the same situation, is that I had a burned yellow wire from my ignition switch that looped back to the headlight switch and the fuse block if I remember correctly. Anywho, I had to cut out that wire and replace it before I really trusted the car not to burn down with me in it. I noticed that wire would get abnormally hot before I replaced it and I'm assuming it was grounding out somewhere.

My point is, once you get everything replaced, pull apart your dash and inspect your wiring for any melted or shaved wires that might cause problems later.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 02:14:47 PM »
Duly noted! I wil check n double check the recommendation s you have suggested. I was able to enlist the help of a buddy to help with troubleshootin g process. Somethings require 2 people and my arms aren't long enough to turn the ignition and check the solenoid!

RSM

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 05:25:02 PM »
You said you have nothing...no lights or anything...che ck and make sure the fusible link isnt burned out. It should be a yellow colored wire at the starter solenoid on the battery side. Make sure it's actually hooked up or not on the wrong side of the solenoid. It's been known to happen.

Offline blupinto

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 06:35:26 PM »
Don't forget your battery cables! A bad negative (black) cable can lead to no power- trust me! lol Ask Norm Bagi and others who were at the Stampede earlier this year and witnessed my Ruby RedHot's power failures. lol!  ;D ;D ;D

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Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 07:48:35 PM »
Ahh yes, putting the fusible link on the wrong solenoid terminal....I did that on my station wagon after I replaced the solenoid. DOH!
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 10:40:05 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  Since it had been sitting for a while I went ahead and replaced both the neg and pos battery cables.  I ensured contacts were clean and checked for continuity-all good to go. I checked the fusible link (which I initially thought it was cause at the time I didn't have my multimeter) and it is connected to the post which connects directly to the battery and not the post going to the starter.  It has power as I tested it with a probe.  The insulation isn't blistered or show any of the tell-tale signs of failure. I was pressed for time and wasn't able to check to see if the ignition switch was getting power down at the steering column and not completing the circuit in the "on" position. I have a soft back chilton's manual but I can't remember if it has a wiring schematic?  The car is at a buddy's house and until school is over I'm not able to spend as much time as I would like working on it.  I have gone through and cleaned almost all the connections and sprayed and if possible hit it with an emery cloth or wire brush to remove any obvious signs of corrosion.  The guy I got it from stated it was a friends car (apparently the friend abandoned it on his property, but today I was able to put the title in my name) and it did run well before inexplicably breaking down, so he says.  I think I solved that issue (during my troubleshootin g)by checking the timing marks on the distributor, crankshaft pulley and cam cog and the cam was off by two teeth leading me to believe the the engine was rotated in a counterclockwi se direction (hope there was no valve damage done?).  I am utterly baffled because this is such a simple setup and easy to fix car yet this issue is making me feel really puny. 

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 11:03:47 PM »
Ahh, but electrical is still electrical. Always a pain, even you if you know your way around a schematic. :(
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 06:56:54 AM »
Since the fusible link is ok the thing to check would be the main power wire going into the fuse box to make sure you have power that far. Also you can check to see if you have power at the alternator. That tells you if the wiring is good. I couldn't imagine every fuse being bad.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 10:33:51 AM »
 Unless the car sat for a while and someone swiped them all for reuse.

 If it was the ignition switch Im pretty sure the headlights would still turn on. I know I left my lights on a few times :(

 Chiltons doesnt have wiring diagrams, but I think hayes does. I used a Hayes book from a thunderbird or fairmont, and they matched up. The same year, color codes were mostly correct. It was a while back I might be wrong.

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 01:31:59 PM »
I checked all five of the fuses and all were intact.  The fuse contact points could use some cleaning as they appeared slightly corroded.  I didn't check the headlights since one was broken out and didn't bother to think about that? I was more focused on the immediate area of the drivers seat i.e. warning lights, dome light, warning buzzer/chime (if it even has one).  With the key in the "on" position I did check for signal lights and flashers and there was nothing.  I also depressed the brake pedal and checked for a reflection to see if they worked but nothing either?  I haven't gone through and checked/ cleaned the bulb sockets so I still have to rule that out.  An interesting note I neglected to mention was I had the lighted probe connected to the pos on the battery  to the connection which would go to the "I" on the starter relay/solenoid (it had a moderate illumination and the engine warning came on in the cluster)and when I turned the key to the start position the light became brighter???? Unsure what that means?

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 01:34:18 PM »
Oh, and there is power going to the alternator.

RSM

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 03:43:26 PM »
Have you taken the test light and checked for power to both sides of each fuse?...That will tell you if you have power to the inside of the car or not. With power to the alternator you know that part of the circuit is working. It's possible there is something wrong with the main power wire into the fuse panel. Getting the light on the dash just means you were backfeeding some power into the cluster. Do you have a good ground from the battery to the body somewhere?

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 04:03:57 PM »
 Im not sure right now if the relay coil is grounded and 12v switched to it or the other way around. Im assuming one end is grounded, and you got ground through the relay coil and the other end at 12v gave you current flow to light the light in the tester. When you turned the ignition switch Im not sure why it would get brighter in that case unless the switch is grounding one end of the relay coil.

 But it certainly cant provide a ground if one end of the tester is at 12v and t he other end is on the relay coil. Since some current flow was provided through the tester into the engine warning light, I would have to assume the engine warning light has its own ground to the battery. And most likely the coil wire labeled `i` gets 12v from  the ignition switch. For some reason when you turned the ignition it presented the connection labeled `i` with a contact to ground of less resistance than that of the relay coil, causing your test light to get brighter. A very low resistance at the ignition switch doesnt sound good, but it could be just normal and not really a short. Just lower resistance than the relay coil. Resistors in parallel divide.

 It sounds like no 12v is getting to ignition switch. Grounds should be ok. Check for 12v at the switch. I wouldnt even suspect the switch right now.

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 10:55:57 PM »
Those are all suggestions I will attempt, weather permitting in sunny Oregon.  I will copy and past the suggestions and use them as a checklist. I am glad to receive all this feedback and the presence of this forum/ website.  Like I stated earlier I wasn't able to test the fuse panel or for power to the ignition. In reading my manual, the bracket that secures the solenoid/relay to the inner fender  acts at the ground for the switch. Hopefully I will have an adequate amount of time to devote to getting it done tomorrow. I have had anxiety for the last month trying to get this little beastie going.  I think with everyone's support there is light (LOL) at the end of this tunnel.  Keep you guys posted on the outcome! Thanks!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2011, 05:19:24 PM »
YYYYYEEEEEESSS SSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!  Success today.  I followed the recommendation s you guys gave me and narrowed it down to the ignition switch.  It was somewhat corroded from the outside  so I checked for continuity from the plug to the switch and there was nada!  I replaced the switch, check for power, for ground and all was good.  I managed to fire it up for a few seconds a few times but it wasn't getting fuel from the tank?  I poured about 2 gallons in there to check for leaks and if I had to drop the tank it wouldn't be that difficult.  I was satisfied with my work and will return with a remote reservoir to hold fuel as a test to let it run for bit.  Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2011, 05:59:12 PM »
 I had a 79 that would go a few miles and cut out. We changed the fuel filter fuel pump carb and the ignition module and it still did it. So one time when it quit I had someone with me take off the hose at the carb,no gas. I used a bicycle air pump and forced air through the line to see if I heard bubbling in the tank. It ran ok for about a  week after that then did it again. It turned out to be the sock in the gas tank its a filter that goes over the end of the line. Guess it didnt hurt to have the new parts anyway though :)

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2011, 07:44:06 PM »
I installed a see through in-line fuel before the carb.  That's a pretty good idea!  I just might try that.  I was also thinking about using a mity-vac to pull fuel through the line.  But on a different matter, I recalled someone said to check around the engine bay, heater core for and bottom of the windshield for leaks.  While I was under the dash dropping the column I noticed a leak from the vent of the drivers side around the seal.  The car was parked under fir trees so the cowl vent is just full of needles and tree debris.  Is there an easy way to get that stuff out?  Is there a drain somewhere I can unplug to keep water from accumulating in that area.  I was thinking of sealing the area off by covering with plastic and use a big shop vac to try and zoop some of that junk out.  Anyone else run into this issue and if so how it was remedied?

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2011, 09:10:10 PM »
Glad to hear things are starting to work again! :D

I see you found the cowl cleaning thread...

Just curious, did you drip a bit of oil into the cylinders before starting the motor? If the cylinders were bone dry from sitting, doing that would lessen/avoid breaking any stuck rings on the pistons. Wish I had known that before I started Brownie for the first time, as I suspect it may be part of her smoking problem. I suspect the valve stem seals more though.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2011, 11:40:10 PM »
Hey dave1987, I did some research about taking vehicles out of storage. I have replaced the oil n filter. One of the key points was to remove the plugs n squirt in 1-2 oz's of marvel mystery oil. I did that then gave it some time to soak in a little then slowly rotated the crankshaft to cycle the pistons a few times then another squirt orMMMO.  I was able to do this while waiting for radiator to come in so it made the task pretty easy. Yeah, eager to tackle the cowl clean-up. I need to get it from my buddies house out in BFE n into my garage where I have tools compressor, trouble light etc to make the job easier. Weary of working on it on damp snow laden ground out here in southern oregon!

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2011, 12:35:08 AM »
Oh! You are in Oregon! I wonder if the wagon you have is the one my dad saw for sale this summer! I am in Idaho, not far at all! :)
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2011, 09:27:55 AM »
Could be?  It's a brown 73 wagon with the 2L in it.  I found on my way to a buddies house in Applegate.  It was parked on the side of the road up by this driveway.  I tried to contact what I thought was the owner-turned out the house next to it was the house a teenager was lived in was using it for target practice with his BB gun.  He blew out the backlight glass and the rear driver's side window.  I bought a 75 a year ago with the intent to fix it up.  By the time I ripped out the carpetting the entire floor pan was pretty much gone.  SO I told my self to either learn how to weld or find another to work on in better shape and us the 75 wagon as a parts car.  In reading it seems only about half off the 75 would be compatible with the 73.  SO I'll take what I need and part it outto someone that wants it.  They body is in decent shape except for the floor pan.  The brown wagon's interior shows normal wear for a a vehicle with 90k on-I pulled up the carpet in the back (found the original bias-ply spare, jack and lug wrench!) and the around the doors and the factory paint is still intact-no rust or even a hint of water infiltration!  THe dash is cracked in two spots but I'll get a cap for that.  Seats have no tears and are original.  It was abandoned by some lady at this guys house when it broke-down and "wouldn't start".  Scored it for $100 bucks and so far I'm about 400 into for parts with most of that for tires and used radiator.  Other stuff was nickela nd dime stuff like battery cables, spark plu and wires-the tune up neccesities.  I've budgeted 700 since I plan to do most if not all the work myself.  The next biggest expense will be installing the glass I pulled from the 75 and installing it.  I have guesstimates for 40 bucks a window.....pro vided my seals are deemed serviceable.  I inspected them and they seem to be intact, a little stiff but then again it has been in the high 30's so it could be the ambient temp?   

Offline dave1987

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2011, 12:53:01 PM »
It is crazy how identical our wagon projects are, from the condition they are/were in down to the same mileage!
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2011, 02:55:52 PM »
if you are looking for glass, i have a 73 wagon with all the glass!! will sell you what you need!!!
 
have car posted in classifieds with pics
 
 
1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
1978 mercury bobcat wagon 2.3l - soon to have a 88 tc drive line
1975 ford pinto - drag car - 2.3l w/t5 trans - project car

Offline dieseldave4443

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2011, 07:30:32 PM »
I measured the 75 wagon's windows and already pulled them.  It appears they both match to include the factory "green" tint to it.  I appreciate the offer bobcat75.  I'm doing this on a really tight budget.  However I will keep you in mind for other things that I may need as time goes by.  I got it running and flushed the cooling system.  Apparently the fuel pump is toast so gonna have to fork out an additional 36 bucks for one.  Slowly but surely it's getting road ready.

Offline bblawman

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2011, 12:04:04 PM »
HAD A SIM. PROBLEM   IT DROVE ME CRAZY AND GOT COSTLY     AFTER CHECKING EVERTHING I STARTED PEALING OFF TAPE OFF ELECTRICAL HARNESS STARTED AT ALT AND WORKED BACK  AFTER A FEW MIN I FOUND A  CORROTED BROKEN WIER  ( LOOKED LIKE THE POWDER  AND MESS FROM A OLD LEAKING  D SIZE BATTERY  I CUT OUT  BAD PART ( ABOUT 5 INCH ) PIG TAILED NEW WRIE IN COVERED ENDS WITH SOLIDER AND HEAT SHRINK  PROBLEM WAS FIXED    I AM NOT SAYING YOU HAVE THE SAME THING   BUT IT COULD BE    BB

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Re: NO electrical power to anything??
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2011, 11:16:25 PM »
Here's the current update.  I have cleaned the cowl whilst installing a new heater core-took about a 4 hours to remove but installation was about an hour.  I continue to clean electrical plugs and connections.  I didn't have a heater blower motor going so I cleaned the switch in the dash and now I have forced air heat!!! I have replaced the tranny mount-going to tackle the motor mounts next. I replaced the heater hoses and installed a tee fitting for back flushing cooling system.  Still having some electrical issues-lights flicker continuously-gonna check my voltage regulator tomorrow.  Have a new headlight switch coming so I'll be installing that, which hopefully will remedy the light flickering.  Sounds like several have had the same problem and was due to headlight switch.  Mine was really corroded-cleaned it with contact cleaner and dremmel best I could but opting to replace it.  My driver's side parking light is in-op or it glows very dimly, suspect bad ground or bad socket.  Still need to replace the ATF/ filter and differential fluid, install my new rear soft brake line and check braking system.  Pedal pulses and I feel I need to use excess pressure to stop but the pedal is firm.  I want to check the wheel bearings and replace if necessary.  Also want to put down some epoxy or bed liner on the floor pans. I need to adjust the driver's side door-do the hinges have bushing's?  I also need to fix the door so I can open it from the outside-gonna have to remove the interior panel  (nervous about that one cause I'm afraid of screwing the panel up) and maintenance the locking mechanism.    But all in all it's coming together fairly well for being almost 40 years old.  Oh, lastly the rear bumper was pretty twisted so I removed it and "C" clamped it to a long 2x4.  I've been heating the inside of the the bumper with a propane torch at the twisted area then shocking it by throwing a rag drenched in cold water.  I've got it almost totally straight.  A little trick I learned in autobody shop back in high school.