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Electrical Ghost Problem 97 Silverado Z71


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#1 4X4guy

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 04:08 PM

First of all sorry this is so long but its a good one. I have a 97 Silverado 1500 z71 almost stock, with 5.7L. Truck is in great shape no leaks. Think you know chevy/GMC trucks? Give this a read.
It died backing out of my driveway leaving me with no power. Under the hood I wiggled the +bat cable and got juice again. Took it to battery shop and had a new one put in, (the old one was 7yrs old & too small for V8) cables cleaned, and my alternater tested good. However I still have some kind of problem, and with no check engine light on for code help.

My volt meter on my dash reads zero for about a half hour of driving? then goes to a lower level.
The guys at the battery shop said not to worry about the dash volt meter, but I disagree in this situation. I think it is an indicator of some other issue. SEE BELOW FOR WHY

I also think this problem is the cause of my after market audio amp melting(even with no speakers hooked up)The amp install was good, checked 10+times(stock GM headunit). I went through two, the first worked for about a block. The secound was a bigger amp and it worked for only a week then blew all the fuses in the unit, without blowing the inline fuse on the power wire from the battery. Still had same problem before and after amp install so I know its not cause of the ghost. I think the amps were either under fed and blew, or had a spike, but since the inline fuse was not blow a spike in power is unlikely.
It now runs ok but seems to sputter on accelertion some days(has new fuel pump and filter, less then a week old)I dont think thats as simple as a spark plug issue. Also all electrical--lights, windows, radio(clock keeps time), power locks, work fine.

Symptoms:
No dash volt meter reading(until driving a while 30 min)
Sputtering/jerking on acceleration random(feels like everythings gunna die)
blew two amps
Runs very strong after charging all night
seems the truck over all is starving for power even though all basic electrical is working??

My Ideas on problem:
bad voltage reg on alternater?
bad ground somewhere?
bad starter?
bad starter wire?
bad starter switch?
power wire touching frame somewhere?
possible damage done to something by too small of battery for too long?
If your agree or disagree with any please let me know and why?
I wana solve this one

Anyones help welcome! Thanks for reading!

Edited by 4X4guy, 01 March 2011 - 04:12 PM.


#2 TahoeMike

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 04:42 PM

Your first clue was wiggling the + cable and it started again. Sounds like you have a corroded battery cable. It may have enough juice to power some devices, but not enough to run ignition, starter and other high-draw items. They can be corroded but look fine on the outsided, so I'd start there. Replace both battery cables for starters and disconnect any aftermarket stuff at first. Then reconned aftermarket items one by one after making sure they work one at a time for a few days.
2008 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Z71 4X4
Summit White

#3 henrythomas

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:15 PM

Your first clue was wiggling the + cable and it started again. Sounds like you have a corroded battery cable. It may have enough juice to power some devices, but not enough to run ignition, starter and other high-draw items. They can be corroded but look fine on the outsided, so I'd start there. Replace both battery cables for starters and disconnect any aftermarket stuff at first. Then reconned aftermarket items one by one after making sure they work one at a time for a few days.



+1

#4 Hawkeye-08

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:28 PM

yes, replace battery cables.
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#5 4X4guy

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 01:51 AM

Thanks! I will try that and write back to tell you if it worked! :cheers:

.. Just wondering, I discovered today that my truck almost died when I put it in reverse... could this also be because of battery cables?

#6 landmine

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:35 AM

My dads 94 had a similar problem. Turned out to be a bad negative cable. It would die sometime when you put it in gear and put a load on everything. Quick change of the cable and never had a problem again.

#7 4X4guy

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:06 AM

Bad news. Had them done today. Seems to act the same. The only diff is the volt meter on the dash starts reading in 10 min of driving instead of 20. Had my alternater retested today also and it tested good. I have no aftermarket stuff hooked up. I even had the trailer brake controls disconected because the install under the hood looked a bit fishy. Still no diff. Does anyone have any ideas?

#8 tanked_darren

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:20 AM

sell it
2007 GMT-900 GMC 1500 W/T 4.8L V-8 2wd auto 4L60E, 3.23 gear ratio
Reg. Cab, 6'6" Box, BLACK
Added myself: GM fog light kit, DIC panel, OGM-1, Camera Source Back-up Cam, Sirius dock.
Added otherwise: Leer Canopy. Linex bedliner+over-rail.
2001 Pontiac Sunfire 4-door, 2.2L OHV, 4T40e, Kenwood Excelon 9990HD, Sirius dock, Bass Car! Gas saver for work as well.

#9 TahoeMike

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:14 AM

Now go and check all of the body to frame ground straps. Start with the one under the hood that goes from the engine to the fire wall.
2008 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Z71 4X4
Summit White

#10 steiny93

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:07 AM

something is corroded or loose somewhere

I'm thinking a bad ground
when the truck is acting weird at the battery was is your voltage? If not over 12 then you aren't getting power from the alternator to the battery

#11 ChevyTech77

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

Now go and check all of the body to frame ground straps. Start with the one under the hood that goes from the engine to the fire wall.



Back of the passenger side cylinder head to frame, is what you mean. The battery negative cable runs from the battery to engine block and then the engine block is grounded to the frame rail, right next to the starter motor.

I agree on grounds.
Chevy tough.
Anytime baby!

Every screw up is an opportunity not to make another one.




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