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Intermittant Dash Electrical Issue?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Crabman

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:01 PM

Thought I would run this by you guys to see if this has cropped up with you all before. Driving my '79 Brat the other day and the Charging Light comes on, the fuel gauge and the temp gauge both drop all the way down (even though there is plenty of fuel in the tank and the engine is obviously warm) So my first thought is that this is a fuse.

But then later, charging light goes off, and the fuel and temp gauges resume their correct position. Looked the fuses over and they all look OK. Problem happened again today, and the car is driving fine, so I do believe that the alternator is charging the battery just fine. Though I haven't checked this for sure yet.

I should also say that some time ago, my heater core sprang a leak. I bypassed it, but shortly after that, my dash interior lights quit.

Anyway, my question, is the charging light and the fuel and temp gauges on the same circuit? Do you all think the problem is obvious, the wiring in the dash is probably a mess for the core leak?

Thanks,
Crabman

#2 nipper

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:13 PM

Essentially its all off the same circuit, depending upon where you want to start looking.

Check the battery cables, the engine grounds, and get the charging system load tested. I am guessing that it may be a bad ground someplace.

nipper

#3 Jonv23

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:28 PM

I don't think the heater core leaking has anything to do with the dash lights not working. I think that might have just been a coincidence that both happened around the same time. The core is basically at the very bottom of the dash. I would bet on a loose ground. Check around under the dash and see if you can find a loose ground. Also, it seems like when I had my other 79 BRAT a VERY looooong time ago, it had a similar problem and it was a rusted ground under the hood.

Good Luck!

Jon

#4 Jonv23

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:45 PM

Quick note, I just looked at my parts catalog for all the grounding points (since my brat is locked up in storage, waiting for the snow to melt) and there is a ground clip at the alternator, and one at the radiator that I would check. ALso, there is one (or maybe a couple) that come directly off the battery. I would check those first.

#5 nipper

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 01:32 PM

Of course, its just easier to run a new engine ground then to find a bad one.

nipper

#6 Crabman

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 03:55 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. I hopped in the brat today on my lunch break, and took a closer look at the fuse box. Noticed some of that bluish green corrosion around the edges. I kind of rolled some of the fuses around in their contacts, and when I fired it up, the problem was gone. Next I need to see if I can duplicate this experiment while I am driving. Anyway, I think I am narrowing in on the problem.

One day I am going to pull the dash out and I fear that I am going to find an electrical mess back there. I bought a new dash that only has a couple of hairline cracks (will need to paint it the right color too). I also have an NOS heater valve. If we get the heater cores special ordered, that's the last piece I'll need to justify opening her up from that end.

Anyway Jon23, I see you changed your avatar. That little Brat looks sweet. Do you have better pictures?

Best,
Crabman

#7 Jonv23

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

Thanks for the props!

look at the 2nd page of the thread.....Let's see the brats

I have a couple bigger pictures in that thread. All it needs now is paint! I have a set of NOS BRAT decals for it when I do paint it. I wish I could find a set with a silver background (like the ones on it now). The ones I have are burgundy in the background, but I like the silver better. I have never seen another brat with the same decal as mine. Anybody know where to get a set of those? If I find a set, I am going to sell the NOS set I have.

Thanks,
Jon




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