Author Topic: Problems..  (Read 8869 times)

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2009, 04:42:41 PM »
Just went out to take the car out, well closed the door and even though I thought I had fixed the dome light situation, the dome light switch doesn't work even though it worked 35 minutes ago. Car wouldn't start even though charger was on it. Came back home smelled that burning smell again emanating from the car. 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 04:44:37 PM by Anastasiofan92 »
1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula

Offline jphillips3333

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2009, 06:02:19 PM »
I always disconnect the battery when charging it.  Thought here is that you're charging the battery and feeding any shorted wire continual power.  Given the burning smell, you might want to disconnect the terminals to the battery when charging it.

Is that just me or do other people do that as well?
John

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2009, 07:26:47 PM »
So I plan on dropping her off tomorrow to the shop. They were the ones who wired it up a few months ago, so if anything it's their job to fix.
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Offline Nexus

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2009, 10:55:24 PM »
Will they warrantee the work?
Charlie
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2009, 11:05:03 PM »
I paid about $900 for all that crap so I sure as hell hope so. We'll see. If they're open tomorrow, I'll be sure to let you guys know the situation asap.
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Offline 78ta

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2009, 11:22:47 PM »
I'm thinking that if you have a wire shorting bad enough that you smell something burning, you'd be blowing fuses or would have already burnt the wire in two loosing a circuit completely,  in which case, the smell would stop. Since it's recently had wiring work done to it, my money is on the new wiring being  incorrectly routed too close to a header/exhaust manifold or pipe. You know what wires were replaced. Take 20 minutes and jack it up (use jack stands) and take a look at the wires that were recently replaced.

If you haven't gotten under the car to see if the burning smell is coming from them routing the wires incorrectly, you won't be able to claim or prove that it is something that they did wrong during the previous repair. And 9 times out of 10, if a shop can get away with saying "It's not something that we did.", they will. And then they'll happliy offer to fix the "new" problem for you ......for an addition charge of coarse. Be an informed customer so they don't screw you over. As I said, knowing what's wrong is a good thing but even if you're sure it's something they did, don't go in kicking and screaming. That will only cause them to go on the defensive and you won't get anywhere with them. If you do find something they did wrong, say something subtle like "I think this wire may have been routed too close to that pipe." This tells them you know what happened so they can't make up any excuses, yet gives them an opportunity to save face, do the right thing and take ownership for the mistake.

Your dome light is controlled by the door switches and the head light knob(by turning it all the way to the right I believe). Make sure the head light switch is NOT turned all the way to the right before troubleshooting the dome light circuit/problem. The courtesy lights under the dash (driver and pass side) are also on the same circuit. Do your courtsey lights work properly?

As far as charging a battery in a car, I don't disconnect the battery. If your battery charger won't charge your battery with the battery cable still connected, you've got a serious elcetrical problem such as something drawing a significant amount of current still being on ALL the time.

Is your battery old? You could just have a bad/old battery that won't hold a charge.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 11:33:15 PM by 78ta »
Randy

Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2009, 11:30:00 PM »
No the battery's fine, a few month's old. Weird thing is that I actually fixed the grounding issue with the dome light switch, the metal tab, and then 30 minutes later I came out tried it again with the door closed and the dome light wouldn't turn on... Weird. Not only that but I've actually had smoke coming into the 'cock pit' that seemed to come from the dash a few days ago... Smelled terrible and I could see the smoke, so I ran her home FAST after that happened. The courtesy lights don't work by the way. Also, you're probably right about it being too close to the header because the other night when my dad and I ran it around and to the store, after he got out to go inside and I stayed in he said he could smell it, but I couldn't which makes me think that it's coming from down there, so that's definitely possible.

What baffles me is that i ran this car to school everyday after we had this redone and it gave me no issues until JUST recently and it's started going south from there. I'll take a look tomorrow morning when I get up under the car and let you guys know what I find. I just know I'm going to be a happy guy once I figure this out. Thanks 78Ta for anymore advice you can lend!
1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula

Offline ta78w72

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2009, 11:35:17 AM »
Lots of people don't understand how the courtesy light circuit works.  The orange wire with a black stripe is 12 volt and is ALWAYS hot.  The white wire is ground.  Now that ground wire, you have three of them one at each switch, grounds when the switch is activated.  The switches are activated by opening either door, or turning the headlight switch knob.  That white wire shouldn't be grounded any other way or the courtesy lights will stay on all the time.  And, of course, the orange and black wire can't be grounded or you'll have a dead short.

You can visually look for a burnt wire, or you can pull all the fuses out of the fuse box and reinstall them one by one in a rational manner and measure the amps.  But you need to understand how the fuse box works to do it correctly.  And, then with all the fuses in, activate things...like the rear window defogger and the A/C, courtesy light etc.  It's a tough little puzzle.

If you just had wiring done, they probably made a mistake with one wire.  That's all it takes.  I don't think I would trust a shop to do wiring in one of these cars.  They probably didn't look at a wiring diagram.  Which means they may have guessed as some of the connections.

At this point, you may have more luck with buying a used IP harness on ebay and installing it.  It's really plug and play.  But you'd have to study the schematic and trace the wires to make sure they're all there and splice any problem areas.

Not knowing exactly what was done makes it extremely difficult for us to diagnose.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2009, 04:58:19 PM »
Going back to the shop tomorrow. They weren't open Saturday, so my dad and I going out there tomorrow morning before I have to be at school. Anyway wish me luck. :D
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2009, 10:48:53 PM »
Also, as far as the dash harness I'm looking into, would you guys recommend I get a new dash harness to avoid any more issues or would you just wait it out? I need advice since I don't know if the $625 is worth it for me. I know it would be ideal to redo the wiring, but $625 is a lot to me, and I just need to know if I should do it or not.. I plan on putting in an aftermarket instrument panel http://www.covansthunderroad.com/products/sfID1/24/sfID2/17/sfID3/20 eventually with aftermarket gauges and cd player, and I'm just really concerned about whether or not I should have the dash rewired with a new harness before I explore these options and upgrades. I mean to me 30 year old wires in a car that I drive daily is certainly a MAJOR concern to me, but I need to hear advice from the professionals.
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Offline ta78w72

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2009, 11:08:44 AM »
Before I would shell out money for a new harness, I would isolate the problem.  If your harness is severely hacked up, I would look at buying a used harness.  Something you can put on a workbench along with a wiring diagram and study each circuit and check the integrity of the wires.  That's how you learn.  Study.  Learn what each wire is for.  Get to know the colors and what they mean.  That's what I did.  I began to label each wire.  Never finished all the labeling, but I gained a pretty good understanding of how everything works.

In your specific case, I would do an amp check on the system.  If you can't do it an auto electrical shop can.  Like I said above, you take out all the fuses and reinsert them in a logical manner and check the draw on the battery.  Once all the fuses are in, you begin activating the accessories and checking the draw.

There's probably something very simple wrong.  It's just a matter of finding it.  And, the problem may not be the harness.  It could be something else and your harness is taking a beating because of it.

One question for you.  You said the dome light came on for a short time with the headlight switch but now the dome light can no longer be illuminated by the headlight switch.  Does the dome light come on when you open the door?  If so, you might simply have a bad headlight switch. 


Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2009, 03:08:15 PM »
Doesn't come on at all. Thought I'd fixed it for a second but now it's messed up for some reason.. Cars in the shop. I'm at school using iPhone,
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2009, 04:57:56 PM »
He said I need to have my alternator rebuilt or get a new one before he can work on it.... he says it's failing internally and he can't work on the car until he actually has voltage...
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Offline Mongo

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2009, 05:45:20 PM »
An internal alternator failure could be your burning smell but probably not the cause of the rest
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Problems..
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2009, 06:01:21 PM »
He wants $160 to rebuild alternator.. Not doing that. Going to get my own brand new for cheaper than that...

Also what's your guys experience with the Ron Francis kit as opposed to the Painless or M and H kits?
This Ron Francis online store seems really nice. I sent them an email with all I need to do, and hopefully they can help me out as far as fixing my wiring situation. Considering a lot of other things that they do offer. Seems pretty nice.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 07:09:35 PM by Anastasiofan92 »
1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula