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So I recently did a motor swap on my truck from a 4.3 to another 4.3. I made sure I hooked up everything right and did everything I needed to do right. I was able to crank it a few time. But when I let it off the jack stands the ignition wiring on the Steering column it would start to smoke and melt. The prong is C2 which is a ground. I have a mechanic friend that looked it up on the app ALLDATA but he couldn’t find anything wrong. Last night he was over and was looking at it with me. We have no idea why it’s doing it. Can someone please help me about it.
 

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Been there Done it
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year? Did you look to see if you pinched any wires between the back of the engine and the firewall when you did the swap? It's hard to see, but happens frequently. Usually on the pass side.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
year? Did you look to see if you pinched any wires between the back of the engine and the firewall when you did the swap? It's hard to see, but happens frequently. Usually on the pass side.
Yes and there isn’t any pinched or exposed wires. What I’m thinking it could be is rats got into it and chewed on some the wiring in the dash behind the gauge cluster. And it’s a 1996
 

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Engineer, Member SAE
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That sounds like a defective starter solenoid or wire or terminal on the started shorted to engine ground. An engine swap shouldnt affect the starter switch or steering column unless it was disconnected and moved to do the motor swap. The last thing you did was crank it so that implies the bendix is defective and that would draw a huge current.

Disconnect the wires on the starter, isolate them so they cant short. Disconnect either battery cable and put a headlight in series then test the ignition switch.

Unlikely- but the switch may be loose or defective and shorting inside.

With such a high current, in any case, its likely the switch is now defective due to passing very high current so DONT trust it too far.

Other possibilities

*- another ground connection open, forcing the current that it normally carries to be sent thru the terminal thats melting. Check ALL the grounds on the body and chassis- there a several.
*that ground terminal was loose or corroded and just chose this time to overheat. Once it gets flaky and draws current and overheats, its downhill from there.
 
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