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  1. #1
    Jr. Mechanic SilveradoBrett's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Fort Lupton, CO
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    Default 1996 K1500 Electrical Issues

    Hey guys I am new to the forums and have been seeing a lot of electrical problems so I decided to post this issue in hopes that it may help someone out in the future. I am the PROUD owner of a 1996 K1500 Silverado Z71 and last week she started acting up on me. This is what she was doing, I would be driving down the road about 25 miles an hour and would turn my turn signal on and apply the brake to slow down for the turn. All of a sudden the truck would just shut down as if the negative battery cable had come off. I would coast to a stop turn off the headlights and put the truck in park. Then I would restart it and it would start fine. Well so the first thing I did was clean the battery terminals and the battery cables to make sure it had a good conection. That had no effect and the problem persisted. My next thought was the alternator so I took it off and went to good old checker auto parts to have it tested and it passed the load tests. So that was not the issue and then while sitting and having coffee on saturday it hit me. There has to be a short in the brake lights that is causing the problem since it was only occuring when the brakes were applied. So I crawled under the truck and I discovered that the owner before me was running trailer lights but then for some reason just cut the wires and took the connector. So only bare cut wires were hanging down where the connector would go. I could see where the brown (power) wire for the trailer lights has touched the frame and arced to forn a ground in the power system. So I put on a new connector and wired everything up right again and bam, that was the problem and I haven't had another one yet. I thought it was going to be a nightmare pulling all of the tail light wiring out and checking for bad connections but I started with the simple things first and that was the way to go. So if anyone has a similar problem, just start with the basics and work up, because sometimes the solution is right under your nose.

  2. #2


    Nice fix and great information. Thanks.

    99 K 1500 Suburban
    78 Silverado Big 10 w/factory 454
    00 S-10 Blazer
    1976 Trans Am
    1980 Honda CB900 Custom

  3. #3


    Thanks for the info! Glad you found the fix and it wasn't a big pain.
    Hallsville, TX

    2005 Silverado 1500 LS Crew Cab 5.3L 2WD
    Magnaflow Exhaust
    Hypertech Max Energy Programmer
    Suspension Leveling Kit
    Putco Element Window Visors
    Carriage Works Billet Grille
    TruXedo TruXport Tonneau Cover

  4. #4


    Glad nothing smoked because of the short!
    "It went together didn't it? Well then there has to be a way to take it apart!" - Me.

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    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

  5. #5
    Jr. Mechanic SilveradoBrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Fort Lupton, CO
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    Yeah I am glad nothing smoked as well. It only did it a couple times before I took a look at it. However you could see where the wire arced and kinda left a weld bead on the frame. It was like a little flux bead. It was not good but I am glad I got it all figured out.
    1996 Chevy K1500 Silverado Z71
    -248000 miles
    -The legendary 350 small block V8 (5.7L)
    -Sound System with a 10'' kicker L5 sub and 1300W amp in a sealed box

  6. #6

    Default Good Find...

    I appreciate you posting this. I have a 96 Tahoe that seems to have been butchered by the previous owner. It has one of those trailer brake controllers hooked up that doesn't work and have had issues where if I hit a pothole or bump, the power goes out and comes right back on. But most recently, it started shuddering and wanting to stall, tach jumps around if I drive through a puddle. I'm curious to see if its the same problem.

    Are electrical issues with these years common?



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