Help with electrical issues on 1967 biscayne! - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Argentina
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Help with electrical issues on 1967 biscayne!

Hi! This is the first of many weird questions I've got saved for the team!

I got my biscayne a couple of weeks ago and I'm trying to decode what's factory made and what could've been made from one of the previous owners (several).

Since I got the car several things aren't working properly:

- The speedometer shows around 40%+ of what it should be measuring (apparently this is because the original gearing broke and was replaced by a Nova one).

- The dash seems to have a mild short or something because when you turn the lights on the dash for when it's dark, the flashers show a dim light, as if they were receiving current of some sort. When you activate them, either activate left, right or parking flashers, the dim light goes away and it works as it should.

- The fuel meter won't work (I'm not sure if this is either an electrical issue related to the previous problem, or if it's a problem with the floater on the tank, I haven't had time to check the gas tank yet)

- There is a switch under the lights with 3 positions that I haven't found what they do (I'll post pictures, it doesn't look aftermarket)

- Horn won't work.


My main concern right now, is the horn.
I really can't seem to understand how it should work. I checked the relay but it seems to be doing its job. The previous owner said it was working, I didn't really check when I bought the car. I've been trying to read schematics, googling everywhere but I'm afraid I can't seem to understand how the horn works from the steering wheel.
I've also read that there are some people that have a fuse in the 12v cable that goes to the horn. I was thinking that maybe the whole issue with this is just a blown fuse that I can't find. Is there anything like that coming right from the GM assembly line?

Also, there is something I was told but I'm not sure if this came with the biscayne. A friend of mine said that when you blew the horn, the high lights lit too. Is that true?

Thanks!!!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 11:48 AM
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Over the years I've found that giving the car much more acceleration was actually a better deterrent than a horn.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Hahahah! well, revving the car a bit when cars aren't moving does the trick for now!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 06:04 AM
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Javier your electrical dash and gas gauge problems sounds like a bad ground to the dash and a bad ground to the gas tank sending unit. Check those out and report back to us.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 07:54 AM
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Javier take one problem at a time. Start with the horn, your friend is going to be a voltage meter or test light. Find out if you have 12volts to your horn, if not your relay, if not your fuse. wires are color coded, should be the same color from your horn switch to your horn, you need to start eliminating one thing at a time. Also you can take a jumper wire from your battery to the horn basically bypassing everything but the horn, if it works it's something else, the relay, fuse, ground, wire. Yes down load a schematic off the internet, there out there.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks 6366, TxBobcat, I checked the horns first, luckily they are working.
Since I'm a bit of a dork regarding car electronics, I still can't figure out how to test on a car wether 12v are passing or not.
I also checked the relay and it seems to be working properly (I hear the clicking sound when I turn on the ignition switch), I get the 12v from the end that should be going to the steering wheel and back to the horns.

I know that the steering wheel has the original cables from the car, but then there's a lot of things that were made by the previous owners. I'd like to check which is which. Does anyone have a guide for which cable color does what in the steering wheel? (I have a picture of the cables)

I believe the problem is somewhere between the cables that come out from the relay and into the steering wheel. I used my tester to check for continuity, but I'm unable to locate where there could be a possible short.



-

Today I'm going to get the car's chassis washed, but once I'm done with that, I'll check the ground issues on the dash. From what I've seen, this car needs a nice cleanup and patience. Heck, maybe after the cleanup some things start to work again (and new problems will arise hahahahaha!)
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 03:45 PM
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Your speedometer can be fixed with an adapter found HERE
Basically you need to figure out the percentage which seems like you already did. You can download a gps app and use that as a baseline. So if your speedometer shows 70mph and gps shows 63 that's 10%. 70-63=7 which is 10% of 70.
The adapter screws in to the same hole on the transmission where your speedo cable goes and speedo cable screws in to the adapter.

as far as your horn goes, is your steering wheel original? has it ever been removed? It could be the little contact inside the steering wheel that's not hooked up correctly or just rusted out.

Fuel level gauge is most likely a bad ground by the tank.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Hi 67SS! Thank you for your feedback

I'm going to check the site tomorrow, now that I know what kind of part I'm looking for, it was awesome to find it on ebay (until you sent me that, I didn't actually know the correct word in english and I couldn't find it!!) for around 14 dollars. I'll try to see if I can get a hand from a friend of mine to confirm it's a different speedometer gear, if that's the case, I think I can spend 30 dollars on the spare part and bet the customs will let it pass.
I saw an electronic adapter on the website you sent me. Since it's 369 dollars, I'm going to keep it in mind for a later trip to the US. The former owner of the car said it was measuring around 40% higher than what it should be, but I still have to find a place to do the testing with the gps. I think this weekend I'll be able to do that too

As for the steering wheel, I'm not sure if it's the original or not, but I believe it is. I'll upload a picture tomorrow so we can check
I haven't been able to take it apart because it's stuck. I'm trying to find a tool that I saw online to remove the wheel without breaking anything. I wanted to take it apart to fix the left and right flashers (they don't go back when you turn the wheel and I found two pieces that might have gotten loose causing the problem) but until I get that tool, I don't want to risk ruin anything :S

I don't want to be lazy or anything close to it, but do you know where could the ground in the tank be? I've also been trying to find out where the gauge is but I honestly didn't have any time yet to take a look in the manuals I found online (also my computer is rather old and heavy pdfs tend to kill it hahahahahha!).

Thank you all for the help, it means a lot
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 10:42 AM
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You don't need a electronic adapter, just call them up and tell them what transmission you have and percentage, the adapter should be around $60. this is the easiest way to go. Don't waste your money on the gears, there is bunch of different ratios, you have to make sure you get a right one.
At 40% off, most likely you have to change the gears in the transmission tailshaft as well. That's why I recommended the adapter, easy and simple. It just bolts on.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2015, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Update on this!
The horn has been fixed, the problem ended up being a loose wire on the steering wheel's end. Since I had to remove the steering wheel to fix that, I also fixed the flashers that didn't go back in position.

I haven't had the time to check the gas tank because I have to take it apart to see the gauge, I think I'll have to send that to a shop since I don't have the tools. BUT! it looks like it's indeed a ground issue, a couple of days ago the meter started to work a bit (the measure was still wrong but it did respond).

On the speed meter, I found that there are some parts in argentina that might work, so I'll check that out

Thanks everyone again for the feedback!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2015, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for the update, glad everything worked out for you.
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