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81 Vette starting problems

 
tdbayu
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 01/11
Posted: 01/31/11 05:48 AM

I have an 81 Vette which has just recently developed an intermittent starting problem (sometimes gets a spark & sometimes doesn't), I got an auto electrician to check it out and he seemed to think the problem was with the electronic card in the distributor (MSD Pro Billet). I sent the distributor away for testing and they tell me there is nothing wrong with the distributor.Is there anything else that it could be?

Trev  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1114
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 01/31/11 05:32 PM

got a test light?????...

unplug the RED wire with the white connector that plugs into the BAT position on the distributer cap....

ground the other end of the test light...

set this up so you can see the test light bulb...    work the key through the various run and crank positions... see if you get the test light to light up properly in the run and crank positions...

this is where i would start.... as i have found a LOT of ignition switches that have burned contact edges... where the sliders fail to make contact properly inside the ignition switch....

there have also been problems with the bulkhead connector terminals.. but those are rare....    the bulk head connectors have also come loose causing the fuse block to fall away from the firewall and the engine compartment connectors...  check the 2 screws on the fuse block at the corners...  

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tdbayu
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 01/11
Posted: 02/01/11 03:47 AM

Cheers mate,sounds as though it could be the ignition as my Vette starts without key and key also falls out of ignition switch (while driving),I'll give it a go when I get my dissy back.  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1114
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 02/01/11 10:09 AM

the ignition switch is mounted to the left side of the column up above the Knee protector panel...

the lock cylinder activates a pinion gear that slides a rack gear that moves a rod that is hooked into the back of the ignition switch that is mounted the side of the column out of sight...

ignition switch... this one for a tilt column

http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znetcs/product-info/en/US/wl2/LS309/image/4/


these usually require the column to be unbolted... and  dropped slightly after the 4 bolts on the bracket to column tube removed.. so you can see it...    i think your dimmer switch is still on the floor on that model..  but if its on the column.. that is the switch with the push rod ...  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1114
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 02/01/11 10:10 AM

one more thing... is this a stick shift model.  or an automatic...???  

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tdbayu
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 01/11
Posted: 02/02/11 01:28 AM

Automatic, and the dimmer switch is on the column  

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waynep7122
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 1114
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 02/02/11 08:03 AM

i sent looking for some images....

found this greatly photographed and descriptive forum thread...

the fiero column is the same as most GM tilt columns  with the dimmer activated by the turn signal lever...


http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/088020.html  

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tdbayu
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 4
Joined: 01/11
Posted: 03/03/11 07:44 PM

Thanks for all your help, my Vette is finally up and running. After getting ignition system checked and changing ignition Barrel and ignition switch, she's running a treat. For those who are removing the steering column, be sure to put the half clip (that holds down the spring plate) the correct way as if it isn't you cant fit the plastic cam.  

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