1983 Chrysler 5th Avenue Problems starting and flcikering lights.

Tiny
SHONUFF46
  • MEMBER
  • 1983 CHRYSLER 5TH AVENUE
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 148,000 MILES
I've got two problems. 1) I had a problem a couple of years ago when traveling for about an hour. The car lost power and would not acknowledge the starter. I called a mechanic friend who came and did what I call a field repair that got me running. He spliced into a hot wire coming from the battery into a wire bypassing what looked like a fuse (thick rubbery part of the wire that looks like a critical part of the wire. This worked and I have had no more trouble until last night. On my way from the gym the headlights started flickering. They would blink on and off. This progressed until I pulled over to attempt to maneuver wires until something that indicated a problem happened. Needless to say that did not work. This morning when I try to crank the car it gets power but when I turn the key nothing. I attempted to re insure the wiring work previously done and the car did crank. I waited 30 minutes and attempted to crank it again. Nothing. Please help!
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Monday, September 21st, 2015 AT 9:06 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The first half of your story sounds like a connector was bypassed in the smaller battery positive wire. Being a mechanical connection, it is prone to corrosion and arcing. It is perfectly fine to bypass that and leave it that way.

The second part of your description sounds unrelated to the two-year-old problem, but it doesn't make sense.

"when I try to crank the car it gets power but when I turn the key nothing"

"Nothing" is not helpful. You turn the ignition switch to crank the engine, and when you turn the ignition switch, "it" gets power, but you get "nothing". Do see my confusion? Please give me specific symptoms and observations.

What happens to the brightness of the interior lights when you try to crank the engine? Do you hear any noises at all from under the hood, like a faint single click each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank"? How about a rather loud clunk? Do the dash lights turn on like normal?

Flickering head lights is usually caused by a defective head light switch, but there are other potential causes.
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Monday, September 21st, 2015 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
SHONUFF46
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response. Your clarity is enlightening. I do hear a faint thump when I turn the key. It engages and then nothing as far as engine turnover. Just a blank turn and a faint acknowledgement of the turn action. I touched every exposed wire but could not pinpoint the cause. As I continued moving and adjusting it cranks and has cranked on the last 3 attempts. I'm intimidated by the fact that I will end up somewhere like taking my grandmother to the park and it won't crank after our stroll. Between that and the head lights blinking on and off I'm limited to when I can drive it. I replaced three of the 4 headlights at one time a couple of years ago. There is a noticeable difference in the performance, of the headlights-- might this be the reason it blinks uncontrollably after a short while. I should note that I had to change the relay switch out a few years back. With this issue I touched every wire in hopes of discovering a frayed wire.
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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 AT 6:54 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Head light switches have a thermal auto-resetting circuit breaker built into them. The contacts often get pitted and arced, especially when the high beams are used often, then, those arcing contacts generate heat which makes the circuit breaker trip. Those circuit breakers cause more problems than they prevent.

The only way I can help solve the starting problem is if you can get it to act up and you can take some voltage readings so I can figure out what is taking place. Other observations are helpful too, like what happens to the brightness of the interior lights when you try to start the engine.
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 AT 11:50 PM

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