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Author Topic: !!!NEED HELP BAD!!! - 1969 Camaro Wiring Gremlins  (Read 2964 times)
Dilusi
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« on: September 29, 2009, 01:38:34 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
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click
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 03:22:17 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.
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Click is Jim , central Minn.  Moderator at Team Camaro www.camaros.net
Dilusi
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 03:30:30 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 Smiley 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
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Stingr69
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 04:14:03 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.
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Dilusi
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 04:21:56 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?
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77thor
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 04:27:22 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.
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Fred - Milwaukee, WI
1969 Camaro SS350, M21, 12 Bolt, (01B LOS Build)
william
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 06:39:26 PM »

It is going to be a pain but I would pull both harnesses off at the fuse block and inspect for rust.
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Dilusi
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 07:11:29 PM »

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
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lakeholme
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 07:53:50 PM »

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!)
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Phillip
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"Charlotte AutoFair, presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA, is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast USA."
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