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Old 04-17-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
murf-lostincity
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Default 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

i have a 54 chevy wit a 235 that cranks over.
i bought this car from a guy who changed the car over to 12 volt but i suspect he didnt do the full job , and he cut the harness close to the fire wall(he was gonna remove the engine and put it in his pickup). now i cant seem to get the car running i am probably overlooking something simple.

the engine cranks over but there is no spark to the plugs
car has new cap,rotor,points,condenser,ballast resistor,plugs,and wires.
i dont know how to wire the six properly
and i think i need to finish the 12 volt conversion somewhere in the wiring.
any help appreciated
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
Von Rigg Fink
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

well really didnt need to change the wiring for 12 volt..all those wires would have done fine on 12 volt.

the issue with power to the coil or to the distributor is probably why you dont have spark.

really hard to say without phisically looking at the other guys hack job.

when you convert to 12 volt . The gas gauge , radio, and all the lights are really the only thing you need to change or reduce. oh and the heater motor.

there are threads on how to do all of this try searching 6volt to 12 volt conversion or something like that.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

If your budget allows, I would look into getting a new wiring harness from "Glenn" here on the HAMB....I bought a very nice harness for 139 bucks..very affordable compared to some of the "other guys" harnesses! or do a search for Rebel Wire...all the wires are marked every few inches...super easy to install. I converted mine to 12 volt also, and I feel better knowing all my wiring is new...Just a thought...Glenns a hell of a guy too......good luck...
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:59 PM   #4
Von Rigg Fink
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

Great suggestion...^^ Outlaw52^^ especially if some clown already hacked it up to the point where you dont know when you will have a car fire..

notice i said when...not if
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

I converted my 54 to 12v. If I remember correctly there were 3 wires coming through the firewall. One goes to the batt terminal on the starter solenoid, one goes to the smaller solenoid terminal, labeled "S" I believe. The third wire (most likely coming from IGN on ign switch) should go to the ballast resistor and then to the + side of the coil. The other wire from the coil goes to the dizzy. That should get you cranking and sparking.

Others will correct me if I missed something. Don't have it in front of me.

Also the wires in a 54 were plastic, not cloth so if they're not cracked they may be ok to run.

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Rigg Fink View Post
Great suggestion...^^ Outlaw52^^ especially if some clown already hacked it up to the point where you dont know when you will have a car fire..

notice i said when...not if
EXACTLY! The more I rummaged through my wiring, the more i found some wires taped together or spliced and had other wires tapped in to it etc.....you cant beat the price of Glenns harness. Plus he jumped through a few hoops for me to get my harness to me in time for a show! Like I said...hell of a guy...And why not support a HAMBer!
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

damn pictures im trying to epload some pictures but having trouble i'll get back to it aqgain.

yes yes same crap wires spliced together and all the good stuff.
i
do agree with replacing the whole wiring harness which i will do but ,first i want to see if the engine runs ok if its in poor shape i will remove and rebuild while im at it i want to smooth the firewall , but if it runs ok i will keep it for a while .

i dont know what do do about this wiring problem im not getting any spark from the plugs!!?!?!
i've about had it going crazy, but will not give in i have to figure it out.
pretty mush all the wiring is not hooked up (only the starter) i dont know where to start
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

do ya got power to the points start from there .. are they gapped properly ? is the condensor new? are ya getting power to the coil? makes sure the coils not 6 volts or else that thing will eventually blow dont ask how i know .i would start at the coil and work your way down the line . early igniions arnt to complicated.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

heres a diagram

http://www.54classicchevy.com/1954-c...g-diagram.html
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

If everything checks out ok and you still don't have power to the coil, check your ignition...there's an inline fuse on the back that may have blown.

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

yes everything is gapped properlypoints,spk plugs got a condensor,resistor, i do have a 12 volt coil.
maybe im just an idiot it is real simple im just real dumb i guess
the negative terminal on the coil is hooked up to the distributor.
i gonna cry , cant find the problem, as nature is its probably gonna be something simple, huh.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

rusk where is this inline fuse you speak of? took a look right now all i found was a fuse that is burnt out that appears to be to the heater circuit and another that connects to the gas gauge i believe
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

It's right on the back of the stock ignition switch. I've seen this style on a '54 and a my '51.

Edit: After chatting with Snarl, we don't think the fuse at the ignition was a factory item. Leave it to me to find a weird one.

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Last edited by Rusk; 04-20-2008 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

ok myabe i wasnt looking had enough i'll check it out again
and see what i find.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

Turn the ignition switch. Check you have voltage on positive terminal on the coil.
If not, hook it up to the battery, with a piece of wire.
Crank the MF!!
If it starts, remember that you cant stop it by killing the ignition :-)
NielsK ..... Denmark
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

ok nielsk i will try that method if i cant find this fuse.
i did find one fuse not sure if this is what imsuppsed to look for one wire drops down from behind the heater controls it attaches on a square box with 2 cloth wrapped wires coming out of the top, the fuse is horizontal to the fire wall.

i can find anything else.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

Like most, me included, when things go wrong you are getting frantic. You need to go at this in a reasoned, logical manner or you'll screw up other things trying to fix this one.

for ignition, you need power at coil and power at points. This power turns on when you turn the ignition switch but you can bypass that as Neilsk above says. Use a voltage meter, turn on the ignition switch and then check voltage at + coil, at - in each location of the distributor. Check that power flows from one terminal of the ignition switch to the wire going to the coil if you don't have power at the coil on first check.

Be slow, be sure, be methodical. In the end, you'll save time over the haphazard jump around method.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

with the key on, you should have power to the coil, 6 volt or 12 doesn't matter on the coil, the resistor knocks it down to 6 anyway.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #19
murf-lostincity
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

alright i hookedup the battery straight to the (+) side of the coil and stil nothing what going on??? doubt it could be bad coil i bought a new one a while ago.
well im gonna keep at it till i find the cause of this headache/heartache.
another other suggestions welcomed.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: 54 chevy engine wiring/12 volt conversion

If you don't get spark with direct power, you either have dead points or a bad coil. Are you able to plug in a bare plug and SEE spark/ no spark? it may be out of time.
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