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  #21  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:58 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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the latest in the saga.......... following dave's instructions i had a go again today at the dash lights. ran a wire from one of the speedo guage bulb seats to ground on the dash shell, pulled the switch knob out and.......IT LIT!!

tested the turn signal bulbs the same way and THEY LIT TOO!

so i changed all the bulbs for the dash lights and tested them all with the ground and all light right up. NICE!
so now my question is......how come they arent grounded and how do i go about grounding them all? does that whole loop come back to an original ground spot? you should have seen the smile on my face when that first bulb lit up! i really thank all of you for your help with this and hope i'm not trying anyones patience with my remedial electrical skills as i have many more questions to come!

Last edited by troubsullivan : 04-09-2010 at 05:59 PM. Reason: typo
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2010, 06:02 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Pat,
Nothing on these old Birds have a ground! It is grounded to the body. The dash instrument cluster uses the metal it is made out of for grounding purpose. You will find if something on these old cars is not working, check ground first! The biggest problem is paint or rust under terminal for ground!
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Last edited by Richard D. Hord : 04-09-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2010, 06:57 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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so each bulb socket should ground itself when it is inserted into its own place in the metal cluster cover?
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:00 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Pat,
Yes! There are no ground wires that run back to the battery. The body of your car is ground! That's why it has been discussed before, if you are doing some major rewiring of you Thunderbird, its best to run a ground wire back to battery! When I take Christine apart and start putting her back together I'm going to contact Painless Wiring and see if they can build a complete wiring harness for her. Fuse box and all!!!
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Last edited by Richard D. Hord : 04-09-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:09 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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richard,
and if just one is not grounded it will cause all of them to not work?
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:14 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Pat,
On the instrument cluster, no! If you still have your gauge panel out, look at the places where it mounts, it mounts to the steel that holds the dash! The dash frame work then bolts the to body of the car, grounding the whole thing!
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Last edited by Richard D. Hord : 04-09-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:28 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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so lose one bulb ground and you lose them all eh? i assume that applies to only the bulbs on that circuit as i still had my turn signals working when my guage lights were not. then turn signals quit working when i removed the whole guage housing but now i know why, once the turn lights were removed from their own grounds they would not work. so today after i ground tested the guage lights i ground tested the turn signals and they worked again. eureka!
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:29 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Pat,
If your car is close by, go raise the hood and look at the battery. Your black (ground) wire should go to the block. Then you should have a #4 wire coming off the back right side of the block and going over and mounting to the right front fender! Make sure these are clean! Take them lose and sand the sheet metal where they mount, also make sure the terminal is clean! A little petroleum jelly applied to where they bolt to and the terminal will not hurt, if you do not have any electrical grease. Remember electricity (120 volts or 12 volts or lighting) is always looking for a ground without a ground it will not work!
You can hold onto 120 volt hot wire and it will not shock you, but as soon as you touch something that is grounded WHOA!!!
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Last edited by Richard D. Hord : 04-09-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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Pat, I am more excited than you, because YOU did it! Follow these instructions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
...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...
Find a nut on your cluster assembly, and put connect a separate ground wire from there to a solid body ground. Leave it there for the next time you pull the cluster out. It can't harm anything just sitting there, but an extra ground can sure save lots of headaches.

Richard is right. Body grounds are poorly done. Don't depend on your engine ground to serve the headlights, dash, tail lights, etc. From your battery, run a separate wire (at least #8) to your body. Electricity depends on spot welds for your body ground. They are steel, and sometimes they rust or pop-open. A separate ground wire to your dash is a real good idea.

Ever see a car with one headlight dim? Bad grounding. I screwed separate ground wires to my headlight buckets and my tail light housings. - Dave
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  #30  
Old 04-10-2010, 05:51 AM
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I put some headlight switch pictures together. I happened to have an old spare from a bone yard.

CLICK HERE

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