1970 Olds 98 Ambulance No Crank No Start

Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
Thanks for the add guys, I'm new to car restoring but I've already gotten some fantastic Advice here. So I'm new to oldsmobiles and I just purchased a 1970 oldsmobile 98 Cotner Bevington ambulance.

Its been sitting for years, and I am not a mechanic, learning as I go (got to start somewhere right?) So, it came without a battery, so I am unsure where exactly to connect to the positive and the negative wires coming off the new one I put in to see i I can get some kind of sign of life. ALSO, the car sat for years with the key stuck in the ON position. I replaced the Key cylinder, and it turns fine now. So far, still no crank/start. Any pics of similar engines, especially the Solenoids on the side wall would be appreciated! I'm wondering if the Solenoids are bad (which I read can happen when a key is left in On position), or I have the positive cable hooked up wrong.
Dustin
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New battery
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New positive cable hooked onto a post with another positive came that looks like it goes nder the enging maybe to the starter?
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Daniel Scully

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
The pos cable usually goes directly to the starter. Some had a junction on the fender well. If you have a factory service manual it will show what goes where. Or you can buy ones of these diagrams that are color coded and made for your specific vehicle. Those solenoids on the fender are probably just for accessory's , light , radios etc. Its tough sometimes to diagnose electrical long distance.


https://www.classiccarwiring.com/1948-1970-full-size-88-98-delta/
 

Daniel Scully

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
After looking at your pics again I see a relay by the battery. With out looking at a diagram it looks the pos battery goes to it , then another cable goes from there down to the starter. The other wires from that stud will be power for most of the stock items , feeding the fuse box etc.
 
1970 is definitely Neg to body +Pos to the starter.

Quick & dirty on top post batterys, the + terminal is larger diameter than the Neg terminal. Been that way since 6 volt systems.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2021
Super Site Supporter
If the cable hoes down to the starter then its wired direct to the starter. No start is most likely the neutral safety switch. Easy way to check it to short the + post on the starter to the starter selanonade. If it takes off its most likely the that safety switch. If not its starter problems.. They parked it for a reasion.
 
Good point on the famed PRNDL effect. Tow truck driver I know loves driving warranty cars onto his flatbed after he winds em up in Neutal.
Says it really annoys the car owner when they watch him do it.
 

Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
Good point on the famed PRNDL effect. Tow truck driver I know loves driving warranty cars onto his flatbed after he winds em up in Neutal.
Says it really annoys the car owner when they watch him do it.


What is the "famed PRNDL effect?"

Remember new guy here! lol
 

Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
If the cable hoes down to the starter then its wired direct to the starter. No start is most likely the neutral safety switch. Easy way to check it to short the + post on the starter to the starter selanonade. If it takes off its most likely the that safety switch. If not its starter problems.. They parked it for a reasion.


Ok, what/where is the "neutral safety switch"?
 

Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
Super Site Supporter
The neutral safety switch is located on the steering column, however, you have to first establish it the car is getting current from the battery. I would start by turning on the headlights and see if they illuminate. If they don't, then you have to figure out why the current isn't flowing to the car. The starter solenoid is located on the top of the starter. You can check the large wire that goes to the starter for current, since it should be live all the time. There are 2 small terminals on the solenoid, and one goes to the ignition switch, and the other goes to the ignition coil.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2021
Super Site Supporter
They will be large wires two in a clip. Once you know you have power to the ignition switch if you can't get power to the starter you can jump those wires togathe but remember it will now start in gear so be carfull its in park.
 
What is the "famed PRNDL effect?"

Remember new guy here! lol

PRNDL that little indicator tells you what gear the car is supposedly in.

Over tine they can go out of adjustment, and car no go. Usually placing the selector in Neutral and wiggling the handle will get you going.

Cars that have been towed in for illegal parking usually wind up with misadjusted PRNDL because tow tuck drivers pop the rod to prevent car owners from taking their car out of the lot without paying.
 

Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
Super Site Supporter
PRNDL that little indicator tells you what gear the car is supposedly in.

Over tine they can go out of adjustment, and car no go. Usually placing the selector in Neutral and wiggling the handle will get you going.

Cars that have been towed in for illegal parking usually wind up with misadjusted PRNDL because tow tuck drivers pop the rod to prevent car owners from taking their car out of the lot without paying.

They pop the rod from underneath the car so they can take the car out of park, so the wheels will turn to put the car on the bed of the truck. Otherwise, the tires would have to skid across the pavement and onto the bed of the roll back. Almost every tow truck yard is fenced to prevent theft of the cars or parts off of the cars. Tow truck operators need to be licensed if they tow for the public in most jurisdictions.
 
They pop the rod from underneath the car so they can take the car out of park, so the wheels will turn to put the car on the bed of the truck. Otherwise, the tires would have to skid across the pavement and onto the bed of the roll back. Almost every tow truck yard is fenced to prevent theft of the cars or parts off of the cars. Tow truck operators need to be licensed if they tow for the public in most jurisdictions.

You've evidently not heard of Rochester's famed towing operators such as Bob Sarfaty who built the industry here. He specialized in stealing cars from private lots. Licensed he was but the Law was just a bumper for Bob. Rochester totally rewrote the Towing Law due to Bob's moves, he ignored it since his operation predated the Law. He also converted his building to a convenience store, failed to pay taxes and held his own auction just days before the State scheduled their auction to get tax money due.

Rochester, where no car is safe from hooks, gained fame when a Court Ruled removing any car from private property without the consent of the car owner is an Unlawful Taking. Towing operators responded with "we got the car, Court is minimally 6 weeks without wheels" and continued to harvest & get paid. Crossbows became popular, and tow operators learned to not park trucks with grills toward the street. Radiators and green juice are expensive, and cops don't care.

There is still debate if Bob was 1 upped by another operator who loaded a van with the wheelchair bound driver still in the process of exiting the van and hauled van + driver to his impound lot.
We also had an operator who hooked a car beside the road and hauled it past the pedestrian owner, a NY Trooper who had run out of gas.

Towing is a tough business in Rochester.
 

Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
I see what you guys me that you very much for the tips it did move through all the gears even though the key cylinder was stuck forward and even after I replaced it so you're probably right that rod is probably popped. And thanks for the link to the Ignition switch I'm probly gonna have to replace that to
 

Kevin Lynch

PCS Member
Take pictures

Take about 300 pictures, then take more. I always find I'm missing a view I could benefit from later. The pictures you posted show you're on the right track. Especially all the wiring on the left fender....Enjoy!
 

Daniel Scully

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
70

Here is a wiring diagram for a stock 70 98. There will be some additions and subtractions by the coach builder.
 

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Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
Here is a wiring diagram for a stock 70 98. There will be some additions and subtractions by the coach builder.

This is awesome thank you. I almost broke some ribs wakeboarding the other day so have to wait to get under the car to see what condition the starter is in. Appreciate all the advice.
 
I miss the time of manufacturers providing detailed diagrams.

GM carried it to the extent of showing the 3Ø alternator and rectifier in that drawing.
 

Dustin Dial

PCS Member
Site Supporter
You guys have been huge helps, I greatly appreciate it!

So I need to replace my Alternator, I have a 1970 Oldsmobile 98 CB. What do you guys recommend for Amps? I don't have an excessive amount of sirens/lights, and have one converter.
 
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