ScottyB93

I've had a bad starter for awhile but now I have absolutely no power to any part of my truck. What could be wrong?

Hi, Scotty. I have a 1975 Chevy K10 that I'm having trouble with. For a couple years I've had trouble with the starter sometimes grinding when I try to start the truck. It was more of an occasional thing, but as I continued to drive it like that it got worse. I know I should've replaced the starter a long time ago but it really was just a spare vehicle I didn't drive very much. Anyways, one day as I tried to start it the starter kept grinding as the motor was cranking. This should've been my sign to stop but I needed to get somewhere and tried over and over until it cranked up. Finally it started and I drove it to the gas station to get gas on the way. After getting gas I came back to the truck to start it and head on my way. I turned the key and nothing happened. No lights, radio, sounds, anything. It was dead as a doornail. Thinking it was the battery I had a couple people try to jump me. That didn't work. I still had no power to anything. I took the battery to an auto parts store to be tested and they said the battery was fully charged. So I eliminated that as a potential problem. Just out of curiosity we tried another battery we knew worked and that didn't help. Now I'm puzzled as to why I don't have power to anything in the truck even with a fully charged battery. We even checked the fusible link and the fuse in there looked fine. The metal strip was still intact. Any ideas?

-Scott B.

Comments (17)
No. 1-17
anthonyk
anthonyk

cool k10 btw

Believe231
Believe231

Glad you figured it out! That's why I wanted you to check the starter to be sure everything was hooked up and tight.

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

UPDATE!!!!!! The truck is fixed and running! There were a couple wires we couldn't figure out where they went to. They hooked up to the starter. Viola it's running like a champ now!

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

I have another puzzling thing to add on my truck. And by the way, thank you everyone for your responses! I had to have my truck taken on rollback from the gas station to my apartment. When the rollback arrived at the apartment the truck still didn't have power to anything. Then I asked to see if he could jumpstart it. He hooked it up to what he said was a 24 volt battery in his truck. When he did this I was able to get my lights and accessories to come on like normal, but the truck still wouldn't crank over. As soon as he unhooked the jumper cables my truck was stone cold dead again. And it has stayed that way. So thinking my battery was shot I had it tested. The tester at the auto parts store said my battery was good and fully charged. So what gives? Why would I have power when I'm hooked to a battery twice the voltage of mine and then not have anything after he unhooked his jumper cables? It was dead before it got picked up, had power when hooked to his truck, then was dead after. My battery is perfectly fine. It's a weird mystery I can't figure out.

hienz1
hienz1

If I may add my 2-cents here - Yes if your starter has a short or bad/loose wire connection, you might not have any power. Also, those older-designed starters had a tendency to come with some terrible design issues. For instance: I had to take apart a bad starter solenoid once to try and figure out why it failed. I discovered the main wires leading from the outer wire lugs to the commutator & windings was completely bare and touching the inside of the metal case. Who ever thought THAT was a good idea was a complete moron. I had to unsolder the wire ends, put on heat-shrink tubing on the bare wires, then re-solder the wire ends back to the outer lugs. And viola - it worked great from then on. If your starter has a short, that short can cause all sorts of mayhem with your motor and other various electronic gizmos. Usually, when your starter goes bad, you should also look at replacing the cables too. You should also check the operation and charging capacity of the alternator, as the short might have affected that too. It's all related.

Another thing: The reason why your starter was grinding was due to it's teeth not being in proper alignment with the flywheel - ergo, it wasn't mounted properly. Over time those starter teeth will grind off or grind down making starting harder and harder. The flywheel teeth might ALSO wear down too, which is a bad thing, but most of the time they don't. If & when you get a new starter, make sure it's aligned properly by making sure the mounting plate is completely flush with the bell housing mount of the transmission. And also make sure the mounting bolts are torqued down to the right poundage. Otherwise, they might jiggle loose and allow the starter to get mis-aligned again. Might wanna try using "lock-washers" under the bolt heads, and try using "Threadlock" on the bolt threads. Every little bit helps.

herlongkid
herlongkid

I should add that was on a 1972 Maverick.

herlongkid
herlongkid

The answer is yes. If the cable from the battery to the solenoid of the starter comes loose, the entire vehicle is dead. I once walked 5 miles into town to get jumper cables and a ride back. Car would not jump start, completely dead. The cable was not tight where it attached to the starter. The nut was loose. I tightened it and car came back to life. Walked 5 miles for nothing. Could have jiggled the cable and been on my way.

Zach316
Zach316

That truck is PRETTY bro

Believe231
Believe231

It can if it's like alot of older GM vehicles that connect to the starter solenoid the power wires to other parts of the vehicle.

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

Ok. I'll check that too. If they aren't tight, or if the wires are melted on the starter, could that make me lose power to the whole truck?

Believe231
Believe231

Also be sure the starter wire connections are tight.

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

Thanks so much! Very good suggestions so far. I'll report back on what I find.

Believe231
Believe231

A dvom will help you out immensely here, in case something did pop, like a fusebox connection, or a poor or broken wire or its connection. A voltage drop reading will help to point out any issues like this in the circuit wiring.

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

@Believe231: We did check the battery cables but I believe there is a wire going from the battery cable itself to the starter. If the starter was bad could it be causing a short circuit or open circuit in the whole truck? I don't have power to any accesories or lighting in the truck. I just find it strange that all of a sudden I have no power to anything in the truck even though I had just driven all the way to a gas station. I had the truck off for maybe 5 minutes at most.

Believe231
Believe231

I'd start with the battery cables, be sure they're still attached solidly at the battery and to where they hook up. There's a chance the starter has failed as well IF you have power to other accessories like the lighting, ventilation and radio.

ScottyB93
ScottyB93

Thanks Scotty! I'll try that. Do you think there is a possibility that running the starter like I did could've burnt something up? Also, is there any other fuses I could check?

ScottyKilmer
ScottyKilmer

you've lost power somewhere, SO get a tester and follow power from the battery terminal to the ignition switch and find where the power is lost. Could be a switch itself, OR even a ground wire fault on the negative battery cable wiring.