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Topic: 1978 Pace Car starting problems

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1978 Pace Car starting problems (1/4)
 9/12/20 12:30pm
Freds78corvetteGold Member
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Joined: 2/20/2017
Posts: 5

My 1978 corvette pace care sat idle in the garage over the winter and most of the summer.  Many issues kept me out of the garage, long story, coronavirus, etc.


I recharged the battery, went to start it, only got clicking sounds.  Figured it was the solenoid, so decided to replace my solenoid and starter with a new one, a Powermaster from Eckler which was a suitable replacement. 


When I pulled off the old starter/solenoid, there was no “R” wire attached.  The “S” wire was attached, along with the larger battery cable to the battery post with 2 other bundled wires.  It worked this way well for the previous 3 years.


I installed the new Powermaster the same way.  Attached the “S” wire, along with the battery cable and the other 2 wires to the main battery post.  The “R” post doesn’t have anything connected to it.


Went to start the car, nothing.  No clicks, no sounds, nothing.  The battery is fully charged.


Does there need to be an “R” wire connection?  My car does not have heating/AC…I heard the “R” circuit was to prevent current from going to AC/heat during starting.


Any help would be greatly appreciated. 



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Re: 1978 Pace Car starting problems (2/4)
 9/17/20 11:26am
Freds78corvetteGold Member
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Update:  So I purchased the R diode circuit and installed it.  Still no luck.  Nothing.  Could really use some help here.

Re: 1978 Pace Car starting problems (3/4)
 9/17/20 2:14pm
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Cana, VA - USA

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Have you checked voltage at the "S" wire when you turn the key to "start?"  If you have a test light, you can probably place it where you can see it when you turn the key.  If there is no voltage there, then there is an issue between the key and starter.  This could be the neutral safety switch, ignition switch, or a bad wire in-between.




Re: 1978 Pace Car starting problems (4/4)
 9/17/20 9:42pm
Adams' AppleLifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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The "R" terminal on the starter solenoid is for the Resistor bypass circuit to give a full 12v to the ignition coil while cranking on '74 and older cars. It has nothing to do with HVAC, or anything else. It simply sends out battery voltage when the ingition is in the "Start" position. Your '78 Does NOT need that wire since you have an HEI ignition.

I would be looking for a loose connection, or possibly a burnt/damaged fuse link by the starter, since you did move the harness & wiring around some while swapping the starter.

Joel Adams
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