sparks from alternator and white smoke from starter :( - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 6th-November-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
wolfmantough

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sparks from alternator and white smoke from starter :(

so, i was hooking up the wiring under the hood… with plans to start my car for the first time with the new engine when i hit trouble.

double checking the wiring (after connecting my battery) i noticed the nut on the post on back of the alternator was a little loose.

i slid a small wrench behind it and tightened it, and the second i did i got a ton of sparks from that post and then a puff of white smoke from (i think) my dang brand new performance mini starter.

what happened?!

i could have sworn my wiring was correct, and i've got fresh batt cables and fresh clean grounds.

im pissed and confused!
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Old 6th-November-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
Rich74custom
 
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So you must have grounded out the alt, which also is connected directly to the starter. Did you not remove the power wires from the battery first?

Besides always removing battery cables before almost any repair. you need to check your alt and starter before hooking new cables back up. Take them to an auto parts store and have them tested, It could have been that the alternator was grounded internally through the post. But most likely the wrench did that.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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thats such crap! what a set back. all because i was rushing.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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im pretty sure the smoke i saw came from an old fusible link that was SOAKED in old grease. either way i have to replace it… doing that now!

Last edited by wolfmantough; 6th-November-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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it might be alright, just get them tested to be sure. even tho you have a lil extra work ahead of you now. I would think you have something wired wrong cause you should be able to touch that post without causing harm.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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i think the ring terminal on the starter post was very close to the ignition source spade terminal… im thinking they touched too.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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Oh....not good

I hate doing anything around the alternator post. chances are you didn't do anything to the starter itself because the solenoid would be the only part grounded and depending on how long the sparks went on it may not be hurt either. That's the beauty of fusable links. I'm thinking the white smoke was from the wire insulation - not that I've EVER had that experience, oh, yeah, the '59 Corvette. It burned wires all the time.
Have both units checked out. BTW, you can buy the electrical components, like the diodes at NAPA and the install pretty easily. Instructions are all over YouTube.
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Old 6th-November-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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i replaced the old style fusible link with the large white link rubber insulation thing with some new style fusible link WIRE i got from advance auto.

ive actually never seen this kind before… hopefully the nova likes it.
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Old 7th-November-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
wolfmantough

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well...now I have no power when I turn the key. help!
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Old 7th-November-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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I well say the obvious, check your all your fuses.
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Old 7th-November-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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replaced them… still no power. wow what a pain in the A. so much for breaking in the cam shaft this week.
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Old 7th-November-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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check a couple things and lets see what we can figure out:

1. good batt. voltage
2. power to the ignition switch
3. power at the horn relay
4 firewall connectors in correctly
5. power at the starter
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Old 7th-November-2012, 08:39 PM   #13
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alright...i now have power at everything except the horn, including 12v at the dist... not sure what's up with the horn.its too late here to start it and break in the cam... hopefully it starts on my next day off!
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Old 9th-November-2012, 02:05 AM   #14
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why check for power at the horn relay? what would that show? i mean… my horn isnt working now so i dont think im getting power to it.
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Old 9th-November-2012, 09:54 AM   #15
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There mite be more fuse link back down at the starter. Disconnect the battery again and inspect all fuse links. Sometimes the wire inside the fuse links burn and leave the insulation, so pull on all of them to see if they are open. A good wiring diagram will show you where all the fuse links are, if the wiring is factory.
I believe you trouble is open fuse link under the hood supplying power to the inside of your ride. Gary
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