Author Topic: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins  (Read 4796 times)

Dilusi

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!!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« on: September 29, 2009, 06:38:34 PM »
Hi All,

I bought a 69 from a guy that'd been scammed by a local Camaro guy...bad story.  I got the car with new paint, motor, transmission, four goofed up tires...and the rest was gone or needed replaced.  It'd been in storage for two years and was pretty dry.

As I did all of the work like interior, bumpers, glass, etc.  all of the lights worked as I installed them with what appeared to be the exception of a few bad bulbs.  Which were all new...but I know how fickle they can be so I kind of ignored them.

Anyway, as I was literally DONE with the car the blinkers stopped working and then a myriad of electrical bugs hit me and I am at my wits end and need your help!!!

So far I have a new battery with new cables that has been directly grounded to the engine block, sub-frame, and radiator support.  The engine has been grounded to the firewall in two places and also grounded to the brake booster mounts from the back of the head.  All grounds have been sanded clean and most have di-electric grease on them.  I have thoroughly cleaned all connections on the voltage regulator, horn relay, harness to fuse block, the two grounds on either side of the engine compartment (by battery and horn relay) and have replaced all of the fuses.  The rear tail-light harness is new and all others (that I know of) have been cleaned.

Most of the lights work as desired with the exception of the passenger parking lamp and the passenger rear blinker.  The parking lamp does not work when the lights are on but works in all other conditions.  The rear blinker/brake simply doesn't get bright for blinking or braking...but works in the dim setting.

All lights work properly when the hazzards are on with the exception of the passenger blinker/brake.

As I've worked on this a variety of the Tell-Tale lights and guage lights would either work, or not, and then often change.  As it is now, the guage lights are the only lights not currently working.

I feel as if this is a bad ground or a short but simply cannot isolate the problem...can someone PLEASE offer me some advice!

Best,
-David Tittle
(972) 679-9861

1969 Z11 (yes, Z11) Pace Car with 15,772 un-restored original miles
1969 Z28 Clone

click

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 08:22:17 PM »
David, elec gremlins are the worst. You didnt mention the short ground wire that is on the Neg cable at the battery... it bolts to the fender right adjacent to the battery. Also, if the car had new paint, all the grounds should have a star washer under the terminals so it cuts into the paint to reach the steel surface for a grounding 'touch'. Those star washers have solved alot of issues over the years. Seems like you have the other elec. ends all done up right.  Hopefully others can also comment.
Click is Jim , central Minn.  Moderator at Team Camaro www.camaros.net

Dilusi

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 08:30:30 PM »
Thanks for replying.

Since I have a completely new battery and connections, I actually relocated the ground you mentioned from the fender to radiator support behind the battery and connected it with another harness ground that typically would be connected to the radiator support just below the hot isolator.

Any place that I put a ground I used a small piece of sandpaper or an emory board and took the paint down to medal...applied some di-electric grease...then tightened the connection.  So, the car as a whole could almost be a lightening rod :) it's so grounded!!

I feel like there is a ground that I'm not aware of...do you know where they all are located?

Thanks,
-David

Stingr69

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 09:14:03 PM »
It sounds like a ground problem to me. I would start by not re-engineering the battery cable hook up and put the cable where it was originally located on the inner fender. I know the rad support is bolted but you may not have a good conn between the support and the fender. The paint is probably in the way. It has rubber biscuits at the subframe so the only chance you have to make strong contact is the fender to support interface or maybe the hood latch would be enough?

Just my first instinct.

-Mark.

Dilusi

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 09:21:56 PM »
Thanks Guys.

I tried what you suggested first...before re-engineering the grounds and it got me no where.

I currently have 6 quality grounds that all have new/cleaned connectors:

1)  Battery to engine block as document by manual
2)  Block to front subframe
3)  Subrfame to body...bottom of firewall
4)  Passenger head to firewall
5)  Driver head to firewall
6)  Driver head to brake booster mounts


As I've been going along though, I keep finding miscellaneous grounds for each harness which is what I think I'm missing.

Thoughts?

77thor

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 09:27:22 PM »
Yes, your list is a good start. It could very well be a missing ground.
Are you still havng problems??

I would plan on replacing every wiring harness at some point in time as you go through the car.
That what I am doing. Those 40 year old harnesses get pretty brittle.
1969 Camaro SS, 350(NOM), M21, 12 Bolt Posi, 01B LOS Build
1977 Camaro, 350(LM1), M20, 10 Bolt Posi, Purchased New, (SOLD)

william

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 11:39:26 PM »
It is going to be a pain but I would pull both harnesses off at the fuse block and inspect for rust.

Dilusi

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 12:11:29 AM »
Well...after probably 60 hours of work on this issue...I found the problem(s).

First, grounds are uber important.  If you ever have an issue like this...start with grounds and ensure they're good.  You'll know as all lights that shine will be much brighter.

Next, there was a series of problems and I have cleaned EVERY connection on this car as well as grounded this thing to the hilt as well as adding a new rear light harness.

Finally, my actual issue is that the steering column wiring is bad!!!  I found two fractured wires that appeared to be just from years of flexing.  They still had two or three copper strands but were junk.  I repaired them only to find the connection is really bad and loose.  I cleaned it well and adjusted the small brass connectors to make them tighter by using a small screwdriver to scrunch them back into place and this has temporarily fixed my problems.

Looks like a new/rebuilt column and under dash harness for me.  Sweet...just another thousand bucks!!!

Thanks for your help guys.

Best,
-David Tittle

lakeholme

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 12:53:50 AM »
David,

This may make you feel a little better... read this:

http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=1640.0

Most old cars that have sat for a while need a good electrical clean up: grounding, harness, and all.
I've got a friend who has restored hundreds of English cars (which are notorious for bad wiring), he assumes all the wiring should be checked from the very start.  It beats finding out she won't start the first time you get far from home!

And you are right, it is amazing how much brighter the lights burn when the wiring is right.  (I though all the bulbs in my dash and console were burnt out, but once I cleaned a few connections, they burn bright!)
Phillip, HNR-AACA, Senior Master, Team Captain
Charlotte Autofair
Sentimental Tour Host, June 12-17, 2016

grantsat

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 05:20:06 PM »
Hello David,

I know this is an old post from when you had your wiring issues but I find myself exactly where you were trying to hunt down what I believe to be a grounding issue also with my 69 Camaro. I am wondering how you found those fractured wiring in your steering column. I have re-grounded everything I could find, like you did but I can't find the fault and I still get 10 volts at the rear light sockets, also dim dash lights, very slow windshield wiper action, and my gas gauge works but goes from 9 O'clock empty to 1/2 full reading when the tank is full. Short of pulling the whole dash and wiring harness out of the car I am looking for the main dash wiring harness ground. I found one ground wiring next to the e-brake mechanism and that is good and clean now, one wire ground under the dash next to the ash tray area and that's good clean and tight. The wiring diagram shows a harness ground with about 6-8 black wiring joining at one point but I can find that point,(maybe it's behind the fuse block?, any ideas where that is before I pull the whole darn thing to pieces.

I would greatly appreciate any help,

Thanks
Grant

bcmiller

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 06:22:28 PM »
David just had the 4 posts shown in this thread, so he may not see your post with questions. He has not been posting since 2009.

Hopefully someone else will respond. Do you have a good wiring diagram?
1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 BBC, M21, original 12 bolt housing.
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016

jdv69z

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Re: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 08:20:25 PM »
If you have a good VOM meter and know how to use it and a wiring diagram and know how to read it, it can save tons of trial and error and searching down wires. Eg, if you have a suspect ground wire, touch the meter on ohms setting to an exposed part of the wire (the ground wires themselves that is), and the other end to whatever metal you think you are grounded to. Meter should read 0 Ohms, which means you have no resistance, which means you have a good connection. If no connection exists, meter will read infinite resistance, which means no connection. This continuity test can be very helpful in finding bad connections.

Another test you can use the meter to perform is to check for correct voltage, in this case 12 Volts DC. For example, I had one of my RS backup lights which did not work. I changed the bulb, but no change. So I took my meter set on Volts DC, and connected the light power feed wire to the body metal, ie ground, in the trunk. The reading was something like 3 Volts, so I knew I had a weak connection some where up stream in the wiring harness. I unplugged the rear backup light connector/feed connector which was located in the trunk, and tested for Voltage again. On the feed side of the connector, I read 12 Volts, like I should have. The connection was bad (corroded) at that point. A jumper wire across this connection confirmed the problem, and resulted in a functioning back up light. Note that I could not have found this problem with a visual inspection only.
Jimmy V.