Ignition/Wiring Issue - Any Ideas?

Stephen Motzko

New Member
I got my Amphi back from the shop after bearing and brake work and now the key will not start it. When turned on the light in the speedo lights, but cranking to the right does not initiate a start. I can successfully start from the starter solenoid push button when the ignition is on. I put a test light on the incoming connection of the solenoid but no juice comes when the key is turned fully. My guess is some wiring issue to trace... anyone have a similar experience?
 

dougklink

Member
It sounds like the bilge blower interlock relay isn't closing. I'm assuming you are pushing the button to make it bypass the timer?
 

Stephen Motzko

New Member
I have tried that bypass button, with no success, but will need to troubleshoot it further since it never had any effect before and I just got the car last year and do not know if it is wired as it should me...thanks for the thought @dougklink
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Start at the Key switch. Test that your test light comes on when key is turn there, then trace wires(Mine, main ignition, wire fell off at the key, on the way to a swim in, Left it at the parking lot till after we had breakfast, then came back and hot wired it to get home)
They are 50 year old connections.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
I just removed a Harness from car I am restoring, I will try to take a pic of the way the wires hook up and how to by pass.
 

jfriese

Active Member
I've run my two Amphicars hundreds of times over the last 16 years with working time delay circuits. From what you say was just done to your car I would suspect the connector blocks on the left side of the engine compartment. Hugh warned me about those old connectors many years ago when I had intermittent electrical problems. He was totally correct about them. I replaced all of them and never had intermittent problems again.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

jfriese

Active Member
The female pieces that attach to the wires are available at electronic parts stores. The male ends, which are the blocks that attach to the firewall, weren't available (exactly like the originals) until rather recently when Gordon Imports made the exact originals available. I would replace those too. Those connectors are probably worse than they appear because those original brass female connectors actually have become brittle and split in a way that removes the force holding the parts together. I had worked with similar connectors for decades and never had seen that type of failure before these Amphicar connectors. Possibly the heat from being near the muffler aged the brass.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

mschlem

Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
Don’t know if those terminal blocks are your problem, but I echo John’s comments - those connector blocks can be trouble after 50+ years!
If you find that the wires are brittle and cracked after being exposed to the heat all these years, Gordon’s wiring harnesses are quite nice. Replacing the main harness is a big job (especially if the car isn’t undergoing a restoration), but the engine bay harness isn’t difficult. Even though it’s not your current problem, if you find suspect wires you might want to consider this.

Marc.
 

jfriese

Active Member
That feed wire to the starter solenoid is one of the connectors on those blocks. On my cars I removed the engine cover and unscrewed the blocks from the firewall. I put a piece of cardboard on the muffler and spent an afternoon changing out the the connectors. I replaced the female connectors and soldered them to the wires. I then used 4 times shrink tubing to slip over the connectors and shrunk it down on each wire. They look totally original. Those blocks weren't available when I did mine and buffing up those male connectors is difficult. Even so the intermittences have been gone for years. I bought Gordon's exact replacement blocks when they became available and will switch them the next time I have to pull the engine covers. The new ones are nice and clear and the old ones are quite yellow.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

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