Wiring Gremlins - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Wiring Gremlins

well as I was cruising my 65 last night, I noticed something weird.

I was parking the car and I turned off the lights, and was pushing the brake pedal.

Well I noticed that the backlights on some of the instruments were coming on, like the gauge pod to the left of the speedo, the odometer, the vacuum gauge pod to the right of the radio

the harder I pushed the brake pedal, the brighter the backlights would get.

Then I noticed that if I hit a bump on the road my left turn signal wouldnt flash anymore, but the right would work.

after I would stop and look under the dash it would work again.

MAN I HATE electrical problems

www.fquick.com/Captainofiron

68 Firebird 400, YC 400, Hbeam rods, ported 670 heads (2.11i, 1.77e valves), 1.65 RRs, Torker 2 intake, Nodular Crank, Eaton Limited Slip, Richmond 3.55 gears, M-20 M4
97 Trans Am WS6, LT1, M6, FLP LTs, Cutouts, Flowmaster catback, Jet Airfoil, K&N air filter, MSD Opti and Coil
65 Impala SS 327 Camelhump Heads, CompCams RR, 650 carb, M-20 M4, 12 bolt 3.73 gears
91 Cherokee 2 door. 4X4, NP 231 TC, AX15 M5
13 Veloster Turbo. Turbo I-4 M6
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 11:59 AM
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Odds are your electrical problems are in your steering column associated with a broken turn signal switch. The turn signals use the same light bulbs (including in the dash) as the brake lights do. If your turn signal switch (made of fifty year old white nylon plastic because back then we only new about a few types of plastic and nylons where the first synthetic fabric made during WWII) then the broken switch can be back feeding current into circuits that should be isolated.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 08:09 AM
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A poor ground will do all kinds of weird stuff as well.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well guys, I drove the car in to work today

I started noticing something.

I got the turn signal working after some under dash/taillight wire jiggling. I then walked to the back of the car, and I saw that the left turn signal was flashing well, BUT the right side was flashing dimly.

I also noticed a light was coming from behind the ignition switch, at first I got scared that it was an electrical fire, but when I dimmed the lights it dimmed too. Im thinking maybe an instrument panel light fell out and is grounding and causing even more issues.

When I get home today Im gonna look more closely under the dash and see what is causing the light as well if there are any bare or frayed wires around column.

www.fquick.com/Captainofiron

68 Firebird 400, YC 400, Hbeam rods, ported 670 heads (2.11i, 1.77e valves), 1.65 RRs, Torker 2 intake, Nodular Crank, Eaton Limited Slip, Richmond 3.55 gears, M-20 M4
97 Trans Am WS6, LT1, M6, FLP LTs, Cutouts, Flowmaster catback, Jet Airfoil, K&N air filter, MSD Opti and Coil
65 Impala SS 327 Camelhump Heads, CompCams RR, 650 carb, M-20 M4, 12 bolt 3.73 gears
91 Cherokee 2 door. 4X4, NP 231 TC, AX15 M5
13 Veloster Turbo. Turbo I-4 M6
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 10:48 AM
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Dim lights are a function of ground quality.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Dim lights are a function of ground quality.

Big Dave
true, however not when the left turn signal is activated are the right taillights supposed to blink dimly in addition to the left taillights

www.fquick.com/Captainofiron

68 Firebird 400, YC 400, Hbeam rods, ported 670 heads (2.11i, 1.77e valves), 1.65 RRs, Torker 2 intake, Nodular Crank, Eaton Limited Slip, Richmond 3.55 gears, M-20 M4
97 Trans Am WS6, LT1, M6, FLP LTs, Cutouts, Flowmaster catback, Jet Airfoil, K&N air filter, MSD Opti and Coil
65 Impala SS 327 Camelhump Heads, CompCams RR, 650 carb, M-20 M4, 12 bolt 3.73 gears
91 Cherokee 2 door. 4X4, NP 231 TC, AX15 M5
13 Veloster Turbo. Turbo I-4 M6
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainofiron View Post
true, however not when the left turn signal is activated are the right taillights supposed to blink dimly in addition to the left taillights
You would be surprised to discover what electricity will do to find a good ground. It is what the entire power grid is based upon and it drives everything in the country. Blinking a light is easily attributed to a poor ground (don't forget the right and left blinkers are also connected together by the brake light wiring).

It is only the resistance in the bulbs that keeps both lights from blinking simultaneously. So if you have a poor ground in one set of blinkers the other will also blink, only dimmer as the voltage drops over the added resistance of another set of bulbs.

Big Dave
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
You would be surprised to discover what electricity will do to find a good ground. It is what the entire power grid is based upon and it drives everything in the country. Blinking a light is easily attributed to a poor ground (don't forget the right and left blinkers are also connected together by the brake light wiring).

It is only the resistance in the bulbs that keeps both lights from blinking simultaneously. So if you have a poor ground in one set of blinkers the other will also blink, only dimmer as the voltage drops over the added resistance of another set of bulbs.

Big Dave
so you dont think it has to do with the grounding under the dash?

I had thought that maybe it was the brake switch ground

Im gonna replace all the taillight sockets with newer ground wire equipped ones and run a new ground harness

www.fquick.com/Captainofiron

68 Firebird 400, YC 400, Hbeam rods, ported 670 heads (2.11i, 1.77e valves), 1.65 RRs, Torker 2 intake, Nodular Crank, Eaton Limited Slip, Richmond 3.55 gears, M-20 M4
97 Trans Am WS6, LT1, M6, FLP LTs, Cutouts, Flowmaster catback, Jet Airfoil, K&N air filter, MSD Opti and Coil
65 Impala SS 327 Camelhump Heads, CompCams RR, 650 carb, M-20 M4, 12 bolt 3.73 gears
91 Cherokee 2 door. 4X4, NP 231 TC, AX15 M5
13 Veloster Turbo. Turbo I-4 M6
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 04:16 PM
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It is simpler to just take a single wire and run it to a good ground on one end so you can touch the other to whatever you think has a bad ground. Simple, quick, and costs nothing; as you still have your piece of wire.

I have a twenty five foot long piece of number ten wire with a big brass alligator clip on one end and a small alligator clip on the other for testing ground path problems. The big alligator clip goes on the battery terminal and the other end can reach anywhere on the car. Add the Ohm meter portion of your multimeter and you can not only tell if you have a bad ground, but how bad in Ohms of resistance.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 10:09 PM
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I've experienced some of what you have there.

I'd bet good money that it is one of the 2 things they mentioned already, either a poor ground or the plastic turn signal cam inside the steering column. just under the steering wheel. My money is on the turn-signal plastic piece of ****.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
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I've experienced some of what you have there.

I'd bet good money that it is one of the 2 things they mentioned already, either a poor ground or the plastic turn signal cam inside the steering column. just under the steering wheel. My money is on the turn-signal plastic piece of ****.
That is why I mentioned it first. Been there, done that, have the grease stained T-shirt.

Big Dave
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
It is simpler to just take a single wire and run it to a good ground on one end so you can touch the other to whatever you think has a bad ground. Simple, quick, and costs nothing; as you still have your piece of wire.

I have a twenty five foot long piece of number ten wire with a big brass alligator clip on one end and a small alligator clip on the other for testing ground path problems. The big alligator clip goes on the battery terminal and the other end can reach anywhere on the car. Add the Ohm meter portion of your multimeter and you can not only tell if you have a bad ground, but how bad in Ohms of resistance.

Big Dave
good idea.

Thanks.

I have a bit of an update.
While I was driving it home yesterday from work, I noticed that without the headlights or parking lights turned on at the switch, the turn signals operate 100%, no bumps, shakes or jostling causes the left ones to not work.

When I have some time Im going to do the ground wire trick, then start looking under the dash

www.fquick.com/Captainofiron

68 Firebird 400, YC 400, Hbeam rods, ported 670 heads (2.11i, 1.77e valves), 1.65 RRs, Torker 2 intake, Nodular Crank, Eaton Limited Slip, Richmond 3.55 gears, M-20 M4
97 Trans Am WS6, LT1, M6, FLP LTs, Cutouts, Flowmaster catback, Jet Airfoil, K&N air filter, MSD Opti and Coil
65 Impala SS 327 Camelhump Heads, CompCams RR, 650 carb, M-20 M4, 12 bolt 3.73 gears
91 Cherokee 2 door. 4X4, NP 231 TC, AX15 M5
13 Veloster Turbo. Turbo I-4 M6
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