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  #1  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:34 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default Just When You Think You Have It Made..

Yesterday, I went to the auto shop that has been fixing my shift linkage at the bottom of the steering column to pick up Rose. The linkage was fixed, and a problem with the parking pawl also was fixed. Apparently, there were two things causing the problem of the transmission locking up in reverse...

I found my Rose behind the shop being worked on. Her instrument panel was out, and a mass of wires was hanging down. There was sticky melted tar/electrical tape all over the wiring. The mechanic said that after road testing it and every thing running well, he was headed back to the shop when smoke started coming out of car. He stopped quickly, and pulled some wires off to stop the smoking/fire. I do not remember what he said he pulled, but he got the smoking to stop. He was able to restart the car and get it back to the shop.

He said that on further investigation, it appears that he must have pushed one of the contacts on the ballast resistor into the fire wall, touching it, without him realizing it when he re-installed the steering column.. He said he could see where it arced. That started wiring smoking and burning... The ballast resistor survived. He is going to install it with an insulated material behind it between it and the firewall so that cannot happen again. In the meantime, he said that only one or two wires appear to be burnt, and he can fix that, and clean up the mess you will see. He said that whoever rewired this car did not know what they were doing. That would be some previous owner. He said he was glad it happened to him because he would have hated it happening to me. He said when he is done, it will be right and repaired properly and everything will be working again as it should. Here are some pix.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg InstrumentPanelWiring1.jpg (50.7 KB, 139 views)
File Type: jpg InstrumentPanelWiring2.jpg (59.2 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg InstrumentPanelWiring5.jpg (70.4 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg InstrumentPanelWiringCloseUp.jpg (69.4 KB, 137 views)
File Type: jpg BallastResistorExterior.jpg (29.0 KB, 137 views)
File Type: jpg BallastResistorInsides.jpg (27.4 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg SteeringColumnShiftLever.jpg (28.4 KB, 136 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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....."he said that only one or two wires appear to be burnt, and he can fix that, and clean up the mess...."

Hate to hear the bad news but at least there is good news to go along with it. I keep a fire extinguisher under the front seat - would rather not see a wiring fire though.

Pouring the rain here and expecting snow later this weekend so mine is stuck in the garage for a different reason.......

Hope Yellow Rose is back on the road soon.

Eric,
Registry 5347
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:20 PM
Rockin Kev Rockin Kev is offline
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Hi,
ERIC! Trust me you are right you dont want to see a wire fault cause a fire, been there and lost on a grand scale, hope the cars back soon.
Kev.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2009, 01:55 PM
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Ray, that's a bad view to see on Rose.
Glad to know it went OK without more trouble. (There could be much more if you look at the pics...)

Eric, I hope you don't have a fire extinguisher with powder, that stuff eats all the metal away in the future after using it. The consequences can be worse than the cause!
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2009, 04:12 PM
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Ray, you must have been devistated!! I am so sorry this happened to you!

Two thoughts: get a new wiring harness and fix things better than before the fire. I don't know if he was going to hand re-wire it (splicing and so on) but it would take less work and produce far better results to start from Square One.

Secondly, we might have a discussion about adding a master fuse to any of our cars. Where would it go and what amperage? I'll toss an opinion out that fuses are there to prevent so much current from flowing as to cause a fire. The old cars have exposed hot points in a number of places and serious current flow is a possibility.

I have a fire extinguisher too but I would rather have a fuse blow long before it's ever needed.

Thoughts???

JOhn
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2009, 04:26 PM
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Man, I'd be gutted if it was my car!!

Good luck getting it back on the road soon Ray, summer will be here soon and you'll want to cruise..
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2009, 05:51 PM
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Default Just When You Think You Have It Made..

Thanks, guys.. I have already checked out the cost of a new dashboard wiring harness. About $600.. He says the damage is not bad, and that he can clean up the mess, fix any loose connections so they wont short out, replace any wires that need to be replaced, without replacing the whole wiring harness. If it gets to be to bad of a problem, then I have a new wiring harness in my future, it appears. He thinks he should have it back in running condition on Monday, after working some more on it this morning.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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What a nightmare! And what a good mechanic you have acting that quick
I once got some cables start smoking under the dash while driving ( a VW golf ) and the car burn down to the ground...
I agree with John that a master fuse seems to be the best solution for this.
A fire extinguisher is good, but first the conection with the battery must be disconected....
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2009, 06:43 PM
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I cannot believe the bad luck you have had with Rose, the only positive will be surely nothing else could go wrong! Hope she is back up and purring soon.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2009, 07:55 PM
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Sorry to hear about that, I know just how you feel, i have a under the dash harness around here if you need one let me know.
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