67 Newport: no juice at the key

Early C Bodies - The Slab Side Years

  1. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Hello folks,
    I just bought a 67 Newport Custom coupe. The owner complained of electrical issues, so I figured it was probably something fairly simple, so I took a chance and bought the car.

    Here's what I can tell you:
    *Power windows all work without the key in the ignition.
    *Nothing else electrical works. When the key is turned to the "on" position, there are no idiot lights and the starter does not crank. No lights or anything else electrical.
    *He replaced the voltage regulator and the alternator.
    *At least 2 ballast resistors were on the floor. There is a ballast resistor mounted near the coil.

    OK, so I have limited experience with C-bodied Chryslers, so if someone out there could help me with some suggestions as to how to diagnose the issue, I'd appreciate it . The battery tests OK, so my first plan was to clean the negative connection at the block, and clean all the connections at the starter.

    Thanks a lot for any advice you may be able to offer. Rich
     
  2. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    Fuseable link. Power to the ign switch?
     
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  3. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Thanks bluefury361. I have not yet had the chance to check the thing out, but I assume that there is no power to the ignition switch. So would no power to that switch indicate the fusible link is burnt? Where specifically can I find the fusible link, how do I identify it as burnt, and how so I repair it? Many thanks for the help, Rich
     
  4. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    Need to see the wiring diagrams but I think if the power windows are working then the fusible link might be ok. Also the windows do work without the key.
     
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  5. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    Look at the wiring bulkhead connector, on the inside of the car, adjacent to the fuse block. Look for a 10ga RED wire. That feeds the ignition switch. It can be that the wire's connector has become a bit loose with age. Wiggle it to see if anything changes. Gently pull it toward you to see how firmly it fits onto the connector in the bulkhead connector. If loose, that's probably the issue.

    On my '67 Newport CE23, the first "flameout" happened when I discovered the prior owner had stripped some insulation from the ign feed wire to power something. When done, just put some chewing gum silver paper over it. Cut out that section and spliced in new wire with solderless OEM-style connectors.

    Second time was when I discovered it would not start one day at the filling station. All of a sudden. That red wire, at the inner bulkhead connector, was loose and had vibrated off of the connector it connected to (from the outside). Pushed it back on and it started right up.

    Not sure if that might be how your particular situation might be caused from, but it's easy enough to check.

    When I put the MP Electronic Ignition kit on the same car, after finishing the installation, 4 consequtive starts happened as expected, but the 5th one didn't happen. NOTHING when the key was turned to "Start". Voltage checks were fine. Replaced the starter relay. Nothing. Pulled the battery cables off the battery posts and found a thin layer of gunk. Cleaned all of that off and things worked again. Barely saw that thin layer with the cables installed on the posts!

    I believe the power windows and seat are powered directly to battery voltage via a relay? Nothing to do with your IGN power issue. You can find a FSM at www.mymopar.com, which will have a very good Chrysler wiring schematics in it.

    Sometimes, electrical things can be hard to find. Especially if the one doing the looking might not know where to look.

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
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  6. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Thanks a lot CBODY67, Your post is exactly the type of specific information I need. I have revived/resurrected/rehabbed a bunch of cars from European stuff to GM, Ford, and several A-bodies. The C-body is new to me, and I really like the forums to be able to access the expertise that would know of such a specific problem as you describe. I'll check that bulkhead connector first thing.
    Thanks again, Rich
     
  7. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    The fuseable link is usually on the left inner fender and connects directly to the battery. The bulkhead connector is the next likely place to check. Look for burnt insulation, (red wire).
    Good luck.
     
  8. SA67NEWPORT

    SA67NEWPORT New Member

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    Hello,
    Another thing to check is the AMMETER. The Ammeter is in series with the battery feed to most of the car with the possible exception of the power windows. This will cause nothing in the car to work if it is bad and is a very common problem with 60's Chryslers. On my 67, there is a red and black wire connected to the ammeter. Both wires should have 12 volts to ground on them with the key off. I'm guessing only your red wire will. If I am right, the fix is to disconnect the battery, then disconnect both the red and black wires from the ammeter and connect them together with a bolt and nut (10-32 is best size) and a good tape job with electrical tape. Make 100% sure this splice cannot touch ground in any way when you are done. Once you do this the ammeter will no longer work, but the car will, so you might want to get a new volt meter to install in the car to monitor the charging system. I just this week fixed this problem in my car.
     
  9. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    With that said I would guess you've got either one or both a multimeter or a test light. Start at the battery and trace the positive through the starter relay, to the fusible link and into the bulkhead connector. When you have the bulkhead connector apart clean it up and put some De-oxit in it to prevent future corrosion. You can normally get it at a good electrical supply house.

    I had an intermittent no power problem a couple of years ago and it quiet hard on me at Carlisle, a 200 mile tow home. It turns out that the fiber washers on the back of the ammeter shrink when they age. After pulling the cluster all I did was tighten the nuts. It's been fine since then. Whatever you do start at one end of the circuit and check for power until you don't have it any more. If you jump around you'll get nothing but frustrated. Probably why the PO sold it.

    Here's my thread.
     
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  10. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    If power is to but not transferring through the amp gage just disconnect the red wire and reconnect to the black gage output post, (easier said than done). This will bypass the gage and is a temp fix until the amp gage can be replaced.
    As mentioned above, verify the gage nuts are tight. This is a weak area in most mopar elec systems.
     
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  11. SA67NEWPORT

    SA67NEWPORT New Member

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    Hello,

    I recommended in my last post on this topic to connect the red and black wires with a bolt and tape them up well. I should have said why. In my case the nuts were loose as mentioned above, but it was not because the washers shrunk it was because the plastic gauge housing had melted somewhat. This could cause a big problem like fusible link failure or wrose if the housing melts enough to cause the studs to contact the metal dashboard they are mounted through. Please see attached photos.

    ammeter 1.jpg

    ammeter 2.jpg
     
  12. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    I got it running! Hello again gents, thanks for all your helpful replies to my thread. The problem is not quite solved completely, but I was able to get the car running today. Here's what I did....

    I ditched the points and ballast resistor, and installed a Pertronix ignition kit, with their matching coil, which needs no external resistor. I hot-wired the + side of the coil directly to the battery. Since the electrical problem appears to be under the dash, and since the ignition switch has no juice, I simply jumped the starter at the starter relay. BINGO! Barely two spins of the motor and it fired right off, and ran like a sewing machine! This is almost the exact same thing that happened with my '63 Riviera a few months back.

    The Pertronix kit was super easy to install, and it provided spark right away to the distributor, and bang! the engine idled smoothly and throttled perfectly. I am sold on the Pertronix kits. But, I know that I had the car running on the battery, and after a couple of minutes I saw smoke coming from the voltage regulator, so I shut the car off. I then disconnected the alternator, and re-started the car, and it ran perfectly.

    So, now I have the shop manual (arrived today), and I will begin the task of tracing down the bad wire or wires that are causing all the problems. Should be fun...NOT!
     
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  13. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    It's not that bad, but it does require patience and an orderly approach.
     
  14. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    I agree but the key is to be diligent and start at one end usually power source and work from there. Don’t jump around or it will become difficult and confusing.
     
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  15. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Thanks again fellas for the interest and encouragement. Rich
     
  16. MYSINBIN

    MYSINBIN Well-Known Member

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    I have found this to be very helpful with electrical issues:

    1967 Chrysler Color Wiring Diagram

    The larger sized one is better, it's one sided, no constant flipping over to follow a wire.

    Hope the input helps.

    John
     
  17. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Hello again gents, I started to trace down the wiring in my Newport today, using the wiring diagram in the shop manual.

    The red/hot wire coming from the starter relay to the bulkhead connector was not going to the bulkhead connector. Someone picked that wire up before the bulkhead, and ran the wire through the firewall and spliced it to the red wire that would go to the ammeter. SO, I assume they incorrectly blamed the connection at the bulkhead for the problem. BUT, with the wire re-connected (and well done at that), the problem persisted. NOW, the next stop is the ammeter itself to follow the suggestions above and connect the red and black wires together.

    QUESTION...how to I get access to the ammeter? I see there are a number of screws surrounding the instrument cluster, so do I just remove those screws and voila! out pops the cluster? Surely it can't be that easy. Thanks again guys, your help is most appreciated!

    Rich
     
  18. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    You probably have to pull the cluster out through the front by taking those screws out. Someone with more knowledge on this year can chime in with more specifics.
    The biggest thing is make sure the battery is disconnected before you take the cluster out or things may get a lot worse.
     
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  19. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    Absolutely disconnect the battery. First you will remove the upper part that had your hot, cold and turn signal indicators in it. Second you'll remove the bezel around the instrument cluster - the switches for your headlights, wipers and a couple of other things are housed in this. Third you need to disconnect the gear indicator - this must be done from under the dash to the right of the steering column. Lastly you'll remove the actual cluster.

    Go slow. It will take a couple of hours. Keep the screws set a side for each step.
     
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  20. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Member

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    Thanks OLDMAN, are you talking about a 66 or a 67?