David Jeck

1966 Cadillac deville

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Hello all! 

Brand new to the forum and New Owner of a 66 deville convertible ...and I may have done something awful. I know enough about cars to be dangerous as evidenced by something I just did. With the car running I took a voltage meter (cheap kind from auto zone...looks like a screwdriver w a pointed end), grounded it, and stuck it in the cigarette lighter. There was a spark, the car immediately stopped running, no power, no lights ....zippo. The fuses are all fine, the battery is fine...but nothing happening.

 

any ideas? Really happy this forum exists because I’m a knucklehead.

 

dave

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10 minutes ago, David Jeck said:

Hello all! 

Brand new to the forum and New Owner of a 66 deville convertible ...and I may have done something awful. I know enough about cars to be dangerous as evidenced by something I just did. With the car running I took a voltage meter (cheap kind from auto zone...looks like a screwdriver w a pointed end), grounded it, and stuck it in the cigarette lighter. There was a spark, the car immediately stopped running, no power, no lights ....zippo. The fuses are all fine, the battery is fine...but nothing happening.

 

any ideas? Really happy this forum exists because I’m a knucklehead.

 

dave

 

Welcome.  Not to worry, you are not the first to do something like this.  It is not fatal.  In addition to fuses, your car has one or more fusible links.  These are sacrificial parts of the wire harness that melt from overcurrent to protect the rest of the wiring harness. They are essentially high-current fuses.  Today's cars have maxi-fuses for this purpose, but those did not exist in the 1960s. Replacement fusible links can be spliced into the harness for a repair.

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First, you need a wiring diagram for your car which shows the location of the two or three fusible links and their respective values.  I'd start with the small (2nd) wire emerging from the positive battery terminal--look for deformed insulation but it may not necessarily be visible.  Best to have a full shop manual for your car.  With a wiring diagram, I'd work backwards from the cigarette lighter power circuit. 

 

I had an interesting experience with a later GM car, a 1975 Olds Cutlass owned by a lady friend, which had been the victim of an attempted battery theft/switch at a parking garage (the thief apparently touched both terminals of the battery with a pair of pliers, shorting the system -- he dropped the pliers; sadly they were cheap ones).  The shop manual told me that there was a master circuit breaker just above the driver's kick panel, which when reset solved the problem without replacing any fusible links.  The lady friend was MOST grateful!

 

You're working blind without a full wiring diagram.

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The most likely location for the fusible link is in the red wire that runs from the battery terminal on the starter to the fuse box.

 

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Always nice to hear about other "knuckleheads!" I can still hear my dad from years ago: "Just calm down. Anything you broke can be fixed." Advice I didn't always care to hear...

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Davis, that's why fusible links were not the smartest thing that car companies put in their vehicles. Can you imaging trying to repair your car on the side of the road or some other remote location. 

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2 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

Davis, that's why fusible links were not the smartest thing that car companies put in their vehicles. Can you imaging trying to repair your car on the side of the road or some other remote location. 

 

Having replaced a fusible link in my 1970 Olds on the side of the road, it's not a particularly difficult thing to do. Sure beats putting out the fire.  Do you carry replacement maxi-fuses in your newer cars?

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1 hour ago, joe_padavano said:

Sure beats putting out the fire. 

 

This^^

 

Look around the battery, and down by the starter for pieces of little wire in series with bigger wires.  IIRC GM usually marked them with a little rubber tag that said "fuse link". It will probably look melted, in any event it should not stretch.

 

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