Intermittent No Starts - '68 Skylark Convertible

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by 1968_Skylark, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. 1968_Skylark

    1968_Skylark Member

    I've been rather recently having some starting issues with my 1968 Skylark Convertible. It has the 350 engine with a 4bbl swap from TA Performance, and a 200-4r transmission swap, both within the last year. The first time I experienced the starting issue, I had the car parked on some ramps with the front in the air to look at the transmission. The car drove up onto the ramps fine. When I went to start it to bring it back down, I turned the key and nothing happened. I tried a few times, but the starter didn't even cycle to start the engine, it was like the battery was completely dead. Now this isn't like a no fuel issue with it being on an incline. The tank was full, fuel still in the line. It seemed most like an electrical issue since the starter didn't even actuate.

    So I had my dad push me off the ramps, and as soon as I was back on level ground, I tried the key and the car started up instantly. I checked the battery connections, and everything was tight. I did NOT check any wires into the starter at the time of this issue. The same sort of thing happened a few other times, when on a very light incline (not nearly as much as the ramps, but still sloped), but I cycled the key to start once. Nothing happened. I would cycle it again and the car would start, although rather weakly. I would like to emphasize that it is very intermittent, I've had it happen three times in one day, then not at all for 2 weeks, then five times in a week.

    Now as I mentioned, I have NOT checked any wires or connections going into the starter, but fuel and battery connections are good to go. Wiring-wise, the car is in a bit of rough shape, the previous owner (my grandfather) liked to splice into connections wherever he could. However, I haven't changed any wiring in about 3 years, except for an electric choke wire for my carburetor swap at the same time as the transmission (1 year ago) and a power wire for my aftermarket tach (which picks up a signal from the ignition coil). The car has been completely fine since the transmission swap except for the intermittent no-starts that began in about May of this year.

    Any thoughts on this are appreciated, and shame on me if this is likely just a starter connection issue which I haven't bothered checking. The car is currently stored at my parents' house, so please be patient as it may take some time to try any of your troubleshooting ideas.

  2. RG67BEAST

    RG67BEAST Platinum Level Contributor

    I had a 67 Special. Sometimes everything was dead. It was the harness connection at the firewall. Try deoxit d5.
  3. RG67BEAST

    RG67BEAST Platinum Level Contributor

    Your starter has full power from the battery but no power to activate the solinoid from the ignition. Hope this helps.
  4. pbr400

    pbr400 68GS400

    Try reaching under the dash behind the switch and pull the harness toward you.
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    What you need to do is start at the starter. Inspect all the wiring and make sure the connections are good, clean and tight. Then use a meter or test light to check the solenoid (purple wire) connection at the solenoid the next time you have the problem. There should be 12 volts there when you turn the key to crank. If there isn’t, the problem is further up in the wiring, neutral safety switch, or ignition switch. Work you way up and find where you are losing continuity.
  6. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    He says he checked the battery cables & everything seems TIGHT. BUT, did you actually remove the cables & clean them & the battery posts??? 1st. simplist task. Use the KISS principal. Keep it simple stupid. You need to start at the source. Simply assuming everything is tight is NOT the beginning.

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