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  #11  
Old 04-06-2010, 07:21 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Dan,
Now you know these have to be grounded right? When I was working on Christine's dash wiring I found me a good place and mounted me a ground wire long enough to reach the outside of bulb socket. I check each and every bulb and marked where they went. Here are the before and after pictures!
Richard D. Hord
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2010, 08:00 PM
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Richard really does nice work, doesn't he?
Quote:
Originally Posted by troubsullivan View Post
...fuel, temp, speedo work fine (no lights on them though) clock not working and no lights there either.
radio not working at all.
pulled light switch, cleaned the rheostat (it was oxidized) put it back and still no dash lights. ...overhead light not working however.

i have a relay mounted on the firewall near the hood handle that i can't find in my wiring manual. i know my voltage reg for the intruments is located on the back of the instrument cluster cover, i see that. what is this other relay? it's about the same size as the cluster relay and held on by one screw to the firewall. i have a burned piece of wire leading from one tab and that's not good. no wire from the other tab at all. any help would be appreciated. i want some dash lights!..
troub and redneck, I bought a new old stock (NOS) rheostat. Remember, new in the box, straight from the dealership. At first I didn't understand what I was looking at. My meter told me the real story.


At first, I thought the center section was just another porcelain piece, designed to insulate the stem area. Oh, no... power comes from the center, and an internal wire attaches to the brass 'ring' at the beginning of the ni-chrome wire.

CORROSION all over the place, prevents +12 from passing through the center. The green specs in the center doughnut gave it away. I had no idea it was metal OR that it passed power. I scraped the outer brass ring because it was obviously green (and still shows witness-patina).

You can turn the headlight stick until doomsday, but you're never going to help the center pick up +12. It needs to be properly cleaned by hand. Most of the guys think their ni-chrome wire is broken, but I've NEVER found a broken one... it's always corroded.

The two tits on the bottom are the detent for your dome light. Do your door switches work? Bulb good?

Your clock and radio have separate fuses. Both fuses are in an inline fuseholder next to where the wires enter each device.

The relay on your firewall is probably an add-on from a previous owner. You can follow the wires to see what it operated (unless they're gone). Whatever it operated smoked the wires. It is common for a 'tab' to be vacant. They probably only used the normally open side. Did you find your signal flasher relay?

I would love to see some pictures of your wiring and your devices, particularly where you have burned wires. Let's see your rheostat, too. That can easily be checked with a good multimeter (VOM). - Dave
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2010, 07:15 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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i'm getting frustrated. here is my progress (or lack of)...

got nos switch, reostat is clean, hooked it up and still no dash guage lights. i see a few odd things when i reviewed my wires against what's in the manuals.

1. page 27 of the electrical assembly manual shows a double wire coming off the ignition switch (at about 8 a clock) one orange and one black. i have the orange one but the black one is not there. (you can see where it used to be but it's snapped off right at the connector) they both show as going up into the loom.

2. page 27 also shows a black wire (same code 30) going from the top connection of the constant voltage regulator (right above one of the turn signals) and going up into the loom. i don't have this wire. Page 2 of the wiring manual shows a circuit from the ignition switch to the top connection of the voltage regulator. is this the same wire as on page 27 of the assembly manual? you can't trace it in that manual because it just goes into the loom from both ends.

the extra relay i mentioned in the previous post that is on my firewall looks suspiciously like a later model constant voltage reg. so i'm wondering if a previous owner added one there to try and solve a problem with the original one. i am a total novice at electrical stuff and it really frustrates the heck out of me! would the constant voltage reg have anything to do with my dash lights not working? does anyone know if the wire i mentioned above does just go straght from the ignition switch to the regulator? and how would i check to see if my constant voltage reg is good?

how do i know if the system is grounded properly? is there just one ground for all 14 or so dash lights? if so where would it be? thanks for the replies thus far, as you can see i definitely need the help!
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2010, 03:43 PM
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Pat, let's do this methodically. I have a diagram, not a manual (but they should be identical).

Start at the beginning, at the battery +12. A Yellow wire comes off the starter solenoid and goes to your Headlight Switch (B-stab), first. It's a 1/4" stab. That's where all the power comes from under your dash. If that stab is broken off on your Headlight Sw, you need a new one. They are available new, and they come up used, on eBay, periodically.

Let's continue: That yellow wire 'daisy-chains' to your IGNition Switch (B-post). It's a threaded post. Get a pattern, here? Even today, we call +12 wires, "B" on the schematics.

Now, we've gone too far. Your dash lights come from the headlight switch, when you pull it half way out. There's no reason to talk about the IGNition SWitch for dash lights.

The schematics and drawings don't show what's happening inside the headlight switch, but B goes through a fuse to D. D, as in dash & dome lights. So two wires come off of D and go to door switches, but one of them is short; it goes to the rheostat/dome light switch. Now you know where power comes from for your dash lights (and your dome light).

Terminal stab "I" on your Headlight Switch is fed directly from the rheostat. If you put your meter on a good ground, and the other prod on D (with the headlight switch pulled half way out), you should see +12. Leave the prod on ground, and move the other to "I". As you turn the knob, you should see the voltage go from full +12, down to nearly nothing. If you don't see that, revisit your rheostat and connections, again.

When you had the rheostat apart, did you detect continuity between the center donut and the ni-chrome wire? Use the OHM scale for this with the power OFF (battery disconnected). Measure from the center donut, all the way around the coil.

With the switch assembled and the power on, did you see where power comes from the center and goes out the wiper? Check this and get back to me.

All those lights plug into bare steel sockets. That steel housing assembly must have a good ground. Connect a separate stranded copper wire from the steel housing to a solid body ground. If you don't have anything else, a lamp cord will work. None of the dash lights will work without a grounded lampholder. Usually, if one is grounded, they all are.

You can make a 'jumper' wire for one lamp, just to test it. Wrap the wire tightly around the lampholder steel, and attach the other end to a solid ground. Then turn on your dash lights to test the bulb. - Dave
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2010, 03:57 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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Default help!

thursday's latest developments............

since it's out of the car anyway i used a continuity tester on the guage clusters constant voltage regulator and it tests fine.

with the car battery unhooked i hooked the continuity tester to the instrument light cluster wire at the headlight switch end and picked a bulb socket rom the speedo guage at random and hooked the other end of the tester to that. tested fine.

hooked the car battery back up and using one of those simple 6-12volt testers checked for power at the instrument light connector on the headlight switch. have power there.

then went back to the bulb socket on the speedo guage and using the volt tester checked for power at the socket. have power there. while the tester was at the socket i turned the stem of the headlight switch all the way till it clicked. meter read no power at the socket then. turned the stem back completely the other way. meter read power at the socket again.

when i put a bulb in (the bulb is a good one) i still get no light, can anyone figure this out by reading the last two posts? i would really appreciate it.
thanks,
troub
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2010, 04:41 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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thanks for the reply dave, i saw your post after i posted my latest developments. hopefully my post gives some more insight into my problem. i will test for grounding using your instructions and post the results tomorrow. Where would i get a good multi-meter? the volt checker i have is just the simple "light comes on or it doesn't" type. i saw one at autozone that said it was specific to battery and alternator testing and another one that has so much stuff on it you needed an electrical degree to figure it out. is there anything in between? i imagine that these dash lights will not be the last of my electrical issues and that i should have the proper tools at hand for the next fight!
thanks again,
pat
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2010, 05:40 PM
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Default getting to the headlight switch

I have been following this thread with interest, hoping that you will be able to determine what is causing your gauge lights not to work. I am sure you are going to find the problem. Just stick with it. I thought Dave's explanation of the various wires, and connections was excellent. I asked JohnG to save it for the Technical Resource Library. He said he would and he also sent me this, that he put together some time back, to help us trouble shoot this problem that many of us have already had, or will have in the future. Maybe this will help you also, Pat.

http://users.wpi.edu/~goulet/TBird/Headlight Switch Information and Repairs.htm
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2010, 06:25 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Dan,
There is a way to bypass the rheostat. It has been discussed before and I cannot find it. Why do you need dimmer anyway, unless your going parking I fixed Christine's when the lights are on the dash lights come on! I'm to old to go parking Maybe Dave can tell you how, I will keep looking!
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  #19  
Old 04-08-2010, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troubsullivan View Post
...the volt checker i have is just the simple "light comes on or it doesn't" type...
I don't mean to be picky here, but the light needs to be a 'LOAD', meaning it needs to flow some current like a dash light bulb does.

If your tester is an orange neon bulb, it doesn't draw enough power, and it will give you false readings. Most of my car electrical test equipment is made from simple parts. Two test pieces are all you really need; a jumper (or two), and any simple dash light bulb with two wires coming off. This can be just about any 12-volt light with a socket. If you have a modern backup light in a plastic socket, that's ok, or a Radio Shack bulb and lamp holder.

Put alligator clips on the ends your jumpers and test light, and make them out of a 3-5' piece of lamp cord (just one conductor per jumper, and the pair for a test light).

You can buy a cheap meter at Harbor Freight when they are on sale for FOUR BUCKS or less:


Multimeters work just fine, and give you voltage and continuity readings. But, you already know your car is 12-volts. For troubleshooting purposes, the test light load works better than a multimeter. For specific battery/charging voltage, you need a meter.

Jumpers are very useful for troubleshooting with the power on, but you need to be cautious about short circuits. Put one end on B, and lightly 'scrape' the other on I. If you see violent spark, there is a short. If no sparks but lights don't work, they are either burned out, you have a broken wire, or you have a ground issue. If they do light (make sure they ALL light), take the end off of I, pull the switch handle out and put the jumper on D. Roll the handle. If you get lights, your fuse is blown or the fuseholder is loose. If they don't light, your rheostat circuit in the headlight switch is faulty.

For the Constant Voltage Regulator, I would use a meter, and expect pulsating output that averages 6-volts.

A stand-alone continuity tester has its own battery and light bulb. Don't put these on live wires or you will be buying bulbs or fuses. When you put the prods together, the light shines. If you put each prod on two ends of the same wire, the light shines. If you put the prods across a good fuse, the light shines (because it is a continuous wire, hence, "continuity"). An OHM scale on a meter indicates the same thing. It has its own battery and a display instead of a light. When the prods touch, resistance in ohms is zero or 1-ohm. A partial continuity will show a higher resistance, like spark plug wires. When the prods are apart, or on a broken wire, resistance is very high (megaohms of resistance).

The best continuity tester I have ever had was made of plastic with two penlight cells and a 222-lamp. It couldn't have cost more than a buck. The worst one I owned, had a metal case and was made by Ideal. I saw a fellow apprentice use one of these on live 480VAC. He was trying to check fuses, but didn't check for power, first. After the fireball, he was immediately carted to the hospital with extensive burns to his face and hands. Continuity and resistance checks are always done with the power OFF. - Dave

EDIT: Yes, Richard... make a jumper that goes from R to I on the headlight sw. All your dash lights will have full brilliance whenever they are on.

I jumper my tail lights (R) and my parking lights (P) together, too. That way the parking lights will still be on in case a headlight goes out. The parking light makes a good marker for oncoming traffic at night.
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 04-08-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:10 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Pat,
Found it!
http://users.wpi.edu/~goulet/TBird/H...%20Repairs.htm
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Last edited by Richard D. Hord : 04-09-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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