i just tested the multimeter and the black wires from the ceiling do not have any power. i guess i have to replace those. argh, thanks.
You tested the black wires with the power on? So you were able to get the breaker to stop tripping? I was going to tell you to, with the power off at the breaker, check resistance between the blacks and the box, also the blacks and the neutral and the blacks and the ground ( if the ground is not tied to the box) if you get an OL then you are ok, if you get a ohm reading between any of these then that is where your problem is.