1966 Wildcat - no crank no start

I am the owner of a 1966 Wildcat 4-door sedan since last Friday. Today I finally have my first issue: no crank no start. I searched the forum and could not find a threat addressing this specific issue with the 1966 Wildcat.

Roadmap: https://www.teambuick.com/reference/diagnosis/engine_will_not_crank.php

Here is my list of culprits:

- The battery: a cheap Econo Power battery (with a 1/21 date on the sticker?) with actual output of barely 10V instead of 12V.

- Battery ground cable.

- Wiring (really ugly): Feed wire to the ignition switch via the bulkhead connector (check the inside terminal)

- Neutral safety / back up light switch (corroded wire connections at the neutral safety switch has been an issue with manual transmission)
1613798040669.png
- Ignition Switch

- Stater relay (there does not seem to be one)

1613800451321.png1613800558384.png

1613800303893.png

- External starter solenoid

- Starter motor (may need to change anyway as it is really slow -- but could be caused by the low charge of the battery, barely above 9.6V)

I'll start tomorrow with the battery and progress from there to the ignition, neutral safety and the back to the engine compartment.
 
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68 wildcat

Active Member
Check reviews for batteries online if possible. Any advice I would give you would be based on what I can buy here in Canada and wouldn't be much use to you. The Battery has to be rated for your car which all battery retailers could look up if their info goes back far enough.
 

LARRY70GS

Active Member
There aren't that many battery manufacturers out there. Most name brand batteries are made by someone else. Interstate, Die Hard, Duralast, and Deka are made by Johnson Controls. Look around and get the best price and warranty on a battery. I just bought an Interstate battery at Costco. Battery prices have gone up and warranty terms have gone down in the last 5 years or so. Expect to pay 100-150.00 for a battery.
 
So I got a new battery from O’Reilly: Super Start Extreme Battery Group Size 34 with a cold cranking amps (CCA) of 800. Did not fix the problem but it’s not the battery.

Next I tried the usual trick of tapping on the starter and solenoid to unblock the brush (using the car jack lift crank). Didn’t do anything — except teaching me where the starter is located (under the engine?!). I hope I won’t have to change it.

Next step: the troubleshooting roadmap located on Teambuick reference page, in the general topics section under “***Diagnosis”. https://www.teambuick.com/reference/diagnosis/diagnosis_1977.php

First step I checked that the windshield wiper works (I only have 1) — it does. I have a low voltage at the junction in the engine. So next I need to check the neutral switch.

Step 2: access the neutral switch. The body manual isn’t available but the chassis manual Section 90-6 would suggest it is located behind the steering wheel.

so I need to remove the steering wheel. The first step is to remove the actuator bar assembly — but there is no explanation. There is a mention of “screws”.

Where are they?

I tried to find a YouTube how-to video for that type of steering wheel but couldn’t find any.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated?
 
For futur reference - Section 90-4 and graph 90-6-45-46-48000 Steering Wheel Assembly.
 

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LARRY70GS

Active Member
The neutral safety switch is frequently located ON the steering column, under the dash. No need to remove the steering wheel. Try this. Attach a length of 14 gauge wire to the + battery post. touch the other end to the small "S" terminal of the starter solenoid. The starter motor should crank the engine.
 
Thank you. I found it and I now wish I had a floor shifter — the location under the dash is just impossible.

I’ll try the 14 gauge electric cable trick if I found a way to reach the starter under the engine.

Is there a way to reach the S terminal on the solenoid without having to lift the Wildcat?
 
Charles, yes the purple and yellow wires at the starter come up to a pull-apart connector near the end of the + battery cable. This is shown in the "View in Circle B" attachment of your 2/19 post above. These items can be reached under the hood along the rear of the left fender.

Per attached pg 68-23, pull apart the connector and touch the purple wire pin to the post where the cable from the battery terminates. The starter should engage. There may be a small locking tab on the connector which has to be pushed down to release the connector halves. Or a small screwdriver might be needed to pry the locking tab free.

Make sure the gearshift is in Park before trying this.
 

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DEXTERS

Member
I am the owner of a 1966 Wildcat 4-door sedan since last Friday. Today I finally have my first issue: no crank no start. I searched the forum and could not find a threat addressing this specific issue with the 1966 Wildcat.

Roadmap: https://www.teambuick.com/reference/diagnosis/engine_will_not_crank.php

Here is my list of culprits:

- The battery: a cheap Econo Power battery (with a 1/21 date on the sticker?) with actual output of barely 10V instead of 12V.

- Battery ground cable.

- Wiring (really ugly): Feed wire to the ignition switch via the bulkhead connector (check the inside terminal)

- Neutral safety / back up light switch (corroded wire connections at the neutral safety switch has been an issue with manual transmission)
View attachment 12776
- Ignition Switch

- Stater relay (there does not seem to be one)

View attachment 12778View attachment 12779

View attachment 12777

- External starter solenoid

- Starter motor (may need to change anyway as it is really slow -- but could be caused by the low charge of the battery, barely above 9.6V)

I'll start tomorrow with the battery and progress from there to the ignition, neutral safety and the back to the engine compartment.
Any time you disconnect a power cable polish the terminal (I use a Dremel) and the ends of the connection. Then cover with electric grease.
Drop the starter motor and check it by connecting to a battery. +12v to large post and to the small post which is the solenoid active. Als0 check the large post with cable from solenoid to the motor. The copper has a tendency to fray/crack on old age units. Can be replaced with any copper jumper you have or make.
 
Thank you very much for your assistance!

I was able to start the engine with a short 10AWG bypass wire between the junction box and the starter connector. So, my issue is likely with the safety neutral switch or lever.

I ordered a new ACDelco switch from CarID but they mailed me the wrong type (the Skylark one). Then I checked several parts suppliers and noticed that they all sell the wrong safety switch for the 1966 Wildcat Sedan (the same ACDelco Part No. D2217C).

E.g.:




The ACDelco GM part/SKU: 88923437 (ACD D2217C, 0477420181) is a safety switch for the 1966 Skylark or Special. See GM 1966 Chassis Manual page 120-17. The Neutral Safety Switch of the Wildcat (p. 120-19) is totally different: it connects to the lever on the back of the switch, not under the switch (as it is the case with the Skylark’s Neutral Safety Switch I received). These different Neutral Safety Switches are thus not interchangeable.

Am I missing something here?

The only supplier showing the right switches is: http://www.oldbuickparts.com/pdf/cat610/cat610.pdf
But they only have switches for 1962-1964 and then 1968-1972. Would you know another supplier I could contact?
 
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