Ignition/Wiring Issue - Any Ideas?

Stephen Motzko

Platinum Subscriber
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

Platinum Subscriber
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 but all of those wires do something and chasing down intermittants is a pain. 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 all the female connectors. I replaced the connectors and soldered the new connectors 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. The male firewall 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 since the worst problem is the breakage of the female ends. 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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Jon March

Member
Yup - the fattest wire in that strip (red) supplies fulltime power to the ignition switch & fuse 1&2
...and after the timer board is satisfied (or bypass is engaged), it then supplies power to the rest of the fusebox

If that connection gets loose/brittle from heat heating & cooling near the muffler, you can start getting random dying - even when in the middle of the lake! Of all the connections, thats the one the needs to be REALLY solid. - After mine dying, I actually pulled both ends of those fat red wires out of the strip (7th from bottom on my car), and soldered them together! I will work on the other connections per John F;'s recomm, but thats one that needs to be real good.
 

Stephen Motzko

Platinum Subscriber
So here is an update on the ignition issue; I have replaced both the ignition switch and the starter solenoid, as well as the connector junctions (6 & 7 in the back and the two single lines up by the ignition switch. I have also checked the line between the starter solenoid and the back junction and that to the front connector up behind the ignition switch and they are OK. Still no start with the key, although prior to this there was no fan lockout and now the fan operates until the emergency button is pressed, then the dash light comes on, but no start with turning the key. I will keep hunting this Gremlin ;-(
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
Check the braided ground lead between engine/trans and body. Make sure both ends are clean for good continuity.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Common problem this year. Check that the ignition wire(green) is hooked up right on the solenoid!. there are 2 male spades. the one you see is just a extra HOT lead,(in the pic I have a red wire hooked up to it for extra bilge pump) you need to be on the rear one(that you can not see)
 

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