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97 Camaro will not start


law2866
12-28-2005, 09:10 AM
I have a 97 Camaro several months ago we changed the engine, (previous owner blew the old one) we installed a 2000 firebird engine, using the camaro's parts. After working out several small bugs, it has been running like a dream. No problems. Last night, as I was driving, the voltage gauge, the speedometer and the RPM gauge started jumping. I stopped the car and turned it off, hoping something would reset, then attempted to restart. That is where the problem began.

The battery is good as the interior and exterior lights all come on, but no dash lights come on. (Ie. Seatbelt lights, ABS etc.) and absolutely nothing happens when turning the key.

We have checked power from battery to starter and checked several other things, however, we are just shadetree's and need some advise. Unfortunatly, we are unable to afford to take it somewhere to have it repaired, so if anyone can give us advise as to what the problem may be or what else we could check I would appreciate it.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 09:56 AM
check all the passthrough connectors on the firewall sounds like one may be loose.

law2866
12-28-2005, 11:07 AM
We checked all the connections and wiring throughout and up to the key. Cant find anything.?

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 11:10 AM
is there power at the fuse panel fo rthe dash?

law2866
12-28-2005, 12:12 PM
Will have to check to see if there is power there, but checked all fuses etc. Will check that, any other ideas.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 12:57 PM
Well, i'm saying check that because if you don't have power at the fuse panel then you have a common problem and explains alot, either no power or no ground on a common circuit. Other wise you'll be like me and chasing multiple problems around.

law2866
12-28-2005, 01:02 PM
Thank you, we will check that then let you know. Thank you so much for your time.

law2866
12-28-2005, 02:47 PM
Spoke to my husband, he is checking the power. He says power is showing to everything. He was looking at a schematic from the Haynes manuel he is asking about a body control module or the vats. We are not sure which one this model has and where it is so he could check that.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 03:07 PM
The battery is good as the interior and exterior lights all come on, but no dash lights come on. (Ie. Seatbelt lights, ABS etc.) and absolutely nothing happens when turning the key.




VATS would make some sense, but by saying the above, was eleimated from the picture thinking there wasn't a "SECURITY" light illuminated. If it is constantly on, then yes it's a problem. I was saving the BCM for after eliminating the basics. People like to condemn electronics that should last a very long time, unless it was sabotoged in some way, it should be ok.

Since the power is there, now do we have ground? S/B on the back of the engine's cylinder heads.

law2866
12-28-2005, 03:13 PM
You are correct, we were trying to gather information, there are no gauge lights. Unfortuatly, we are having to do this via, me at work and him at home with no computer. He will call me back after he checks the grounds. Thank you again.

law2866
12-28-2005, 03:19 PM
If engine is not grounded would that not make the dash lights and turn signals not work as well, when the key goes into the on position, no instrument lights everything dies, even the buzzer quits working, but the radio plays and it wont start (per husband)(relaying messages now)

law2866
12-28-2005, 03:35 PM
Okay, the best he can tell there is no power going to the gauges. He checked it by removing the 10 amp fuse going to the gauges, checked with voltage meter, no power going to the gauges, with key on or off.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 03:58 PM
So going through what you've relayed (which is going fine we just need ot be clear on what we're all relaying) there is 12+V (battery power) BOTH sides of the fuse (which is good) while sitting in the slot IGN IN "RUN" or only on one side (indicating bum fuse). If there is nothing at all then it's time to go back into the engine compartment and look up the maxi fuse for ENG ECM/BCM.

If there is power the whole way round, it's a ground issue, either no ground or short to ground.

law2866
12-28-2005, 04:10 PM
There is no power going to the gauges at the inst. fuse panel with eng run or off. No power at all on that circuit. According to voltage meter

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 04:16 PM
Okay, then as stated, it's back to the feed line for the circuit. in the engine bay there is a maxi fuse that's probably blown out that has the ECM/BCM on it taht blown ot a broken wire.

law2866
12-28-2005, 04:20 PM
Also, where in the engine compartment would we find the maxi fuse for the ENG ECM/BCM?

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 04:25 PM
Has to be close by the battery somewhere, they should all be in a covered "block"

law2866
12-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Is that the Master Fuse for the ignition. Also, the only block I see in the engine bay is one that has some regular size square fuses and about 5 or 6 relays. and in that square box with the relays there is also a 10 amp fuse labeled ignition among other fuses. It is not a maxi fuse but that is the only one we can find. Beside the battery is a block of fusable link wires, could one of those be messed up if so how could I check as they are heat wrapped.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 04:39 PM
There you go!!

check them all out (fuses) it may piggybacked on another one, but you problem has to start there.

law2866
12-28-2005, 04:43 PM
No Power on the ignition circuit under the hood with power on or off but I do have power on other circuits in that block.

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 04:46 PM
That's gotta be it then, the problem stems from the battery sourse to that point, if you can try and trace the wire back to it's power source, alt or battery there has to be a break somewhere in that few little inches.

law2866
12-28-2005, 04:51 PM
That is going to take some checking. That fuse box is on the other side of the engine bay from the battery and the wires from that go into a monster wiring harness. We will check what we can. Unfortunatly, he has to leave now to come and pick me up from work. I really do appreciate your time and help I know it is very aggrevating having to relay information as we have. I just really want to thank you. Hopefully, working on it tonight, we can come up with something. I will let you know tomorrow. Thank you

wrightz28
12-28-2005, 04:53 PM
No problemo, hopefully it'll be eaisier than you think.

law2866
12-29-2005, 09:58 AM
Okay, I hope you are there this morning. My husband is still asleep after checking this car late into the night. He was able to create a jump wire from the battery into the big fuse box and the car would start. But, it would not cut off or anything with the key and would not stay running if you disconnected the jump wire. The cluster of fuses I remember 3 out of 4 (cruise control, ignition, injectors, and ???) and it is just that block. Relays and other fuses on that have power. Now, the wiring coming out of that box is very difficult to trace as it is all covered, the best he can tell is that it goes directly into the ecm/pcm. Any suggestions??

wrightz28
12-30-2005, 10:02 AM
Sorry, wasn't around yesterday.

He needs to determine where the wire that is feeding power to the fuse is obviously broken. This was confirmed by 'jumping' it and getting the car to start. Most likely, if there is fusable links that's it.

law2866
12-30-2005, 10:43 AM
Well, he has tested all the fuseable links and they all have power. We have tried everything we can think of. It is definatly not getting power to that bank of fuses, when he jumps it nothing on the key area works. We can completly remove the key and the car runs. We are really getting in over our head and unfortunatly, we cant get it repaired right now.

wrightz28
12-30-2005, 10:57 AM
i was looking over a diagram and if it applies, power passes through a 'theft deterent relay'. I would be curious of this, there is one labeled "ASR/TCS" for the giggles of it, see if one the cooling fan ones is the same part # and swap them?

law2866
12-30-2005, 11:08 AM
I will come back once he can check that. Thank you again for your help.

law2866
12-30-2005, 11:35 AM
Hey, Does it show you where that relay is. He has looked and cant seem to find it

law2866
12-30-2005, 12:36 PM
He found it and found it said the cooling fan relay is not the same number, but he can actually hear that particular relay is clicking on and off.

wrightz28
12-30-2005, 12:43 PM
Well, I'm fresh out of ideas, the problem is that fuse is not getting power and you'll have to find out why.

How where the links checked?

wrightz28
12-30-2005, 12:45 PM
and there's 8 relays there, how can he hear that particualr relay clicking? :dunno:

law2866
12-30-2005, 01:01 PM
Well I am relaying information, I appreciate your help.

law2866
01-03-2006, 12:39 PM
Just to answer the previous question, he could put his hand on that relay (there are only 6) and feel it clicking. We had a friend of a friend print out a much better wiring diagram and found the problem. It was the ignition switch (on top of the steering column) once we pulled it out, we found it appeared to have been arcing, we replaced and it is working great. Thank you for your help.

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