1978 Pontiac Trans Am Car won't start.

Tiny
LONEWOLF7381
  • MEMBER
  • 1978 PONTIAC TRANS AM
  • 6.6L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
So the other day I tried starting my car but it wouldn't start so I bought a new battery and changed it out and it would crank but wont turn over so the next day I bought a can of starter fluid and sprayed it into the carburetor and tried to crank it over but I'm getting no power in my dashboard and nothing happens when I turn the key but my gas pump will run that is directly wired to the battery so I tested the battery and its reading 12 volts anyone know why I am not getting power?
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 8:56 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Your description is really confusing, and the lack of punctuation makes it really hard to know how to read it. "Crank" and "turn over" are the same thing, so does it or doesn't it? Having to replace the battery suggests the starter isn't cranking the engine, but if you're using starting fluid, that tells me the engine IS cranking. If it is cranking, why are you testing the battery? What does the dash board have to do with cranking the engine?

Your car came with a mechanical fuel pump. If that has been changed to an electric pump, what turns it off if a fuel line gets ruptured in a crash?

Have you checked for spark?
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 9:17 PM
Tiny
LONEWOLF7381
  • MEMBER
So my old battery was old and bad so I replaced it. I then tried to start my car and it would crank but not start so I went to the store the next day and bought carburetor fluid. The next day I sprayed some in and turned the ignition to on but none of the gauges turned on so I then tried to start it and nothing happened. So I tested the battery and it reads 12.3v. I have an aftermarket electric fuel pump controlled by a switch. No I have not checked for spark because nothing but the fuel pump gets power. Hope this helps
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 10:12 PM
Tiny
LONEWOLF7381
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By the way the guy I bought it from already had it installed so I just text him and asked if he installed anything like an inertia switch when he installed the electric fuel pump. Good question I never thought about that!
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Monday, August 31st, 2015 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
For safety, consider running the fuel pump later from a tap on the oil pressure sending unit. If a fuel line gets cut in a crash, the engine will still run for a minute until the float bowl runs empty in the carburetor, but at least if you're sitting in a courtroom, that will show you understood the potential danger from a fire hazard and made an attempt to address it.

The electrical problem sounds like bad cable connections at the battery. 12.3 volts is too low. 12.2 volts is what a good but discharged battery will read. A good, fully-charged battery will read 12.6 volts. You might want to charge the battery for an hour or two at a slow rate, but I think there's more than that going on.

Turn on the head lights so current is trying to flow, then measure the battery's voltage again right on the top posts if it has them. If you only have the side terminals, measure between the engine block and the larger terminal on the starter. If you still find 12.6, (or 12.3) volts, move the negative probe to a paint-free point on the body. An unpainted bolt head is usually a good place. You should find the same voltage there. Based on what you find, we'll figure out where to go next.
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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 AT 1:44 PM
Tiny
LONEWOLF7381
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Thanks I got it running, I talked to the previous owner and he directed me towards a wire on the back of the alternator so I tightened it and it fixed the problem.
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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Dandy. That would agree with the 12.3 volts you found, indicating the battery wasn't being recharged while you were driving. Happy to hear it's solved.
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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 AT 10:56 AM

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