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Kirkham Motorsports

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Old 05-30-2019, 09:49 PM
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Default Did My Ignition Switch Fail?

I took #821 out last night for a cruise at night for the first time. The car ran great. I made most of the run with the headlights on as it was getting dark. All the other lights were working fine also. As I finished the ride I pulled into the garage and switched the lights off and they went off as they should. Then I turned the engine off and it stopped as it should. However with the ignition switch in the OFF position and the key pulled out (or left in) the red ignition warning light just above the switch remained ON. There was still power to the dash instruments too as the gas gauge indicated 3/4 full. I could turn the headlights on also. This was all working fine last Sunday which was the last time I drove it. I didn't have anytime to troubleshoot things as it was getting late at night. Any ideas as to what is going on? My first thought was the ignition switch has failed. Any suggestions on troubleshooting would be appreciated.
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BD
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:06 PM
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Sounds like the ignition switch has had too much current going it, and welded the contacts together.

More relay usage required to get high current away from the switch.

Gary
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:00 AM
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Gaz is probably right. Try putting the key in the ignition and "jiggling" it on and off, without actually cranking the engine, to see if you can get the ignition light to blink a little bit. Replacing the ignition switch is a very easy job -- mine went out about ten years ago and Bob sent me another one that had the threaded portion "re-threaded" for the nice looking bezel.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:00 PM
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Bob sent me a new ignition switch to try. With the new switch in place I have the same problem, the ignition warning light is on with the switch in the OFF position. Before installing the new switch I checked continuity between the terminal studs on the back of the switch, with the switch in the OFF position all contacts are open, no continuity between terminal studs. When I got the old switch out I made a check on it also and there was no continuity between terminal studs on it with the switch in the OFF position. So it seems the switch was NOT the problem. Does anybody have any other ideas?
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:28 PM
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Just to be sure, remove all four wires from the new switch and see if the red light is still on. Assuming it is, then take a look at your fuse box and see if, by any chance, there is some piece of crap of some sort over on the passenger side of the passenger side fuse block that is jumpering the second fuse to the third fuse. Assuming there's nothing, and your light is still on, put someone in the driver's seat with instructions to yell if the light flickers or goes out. Then, start wiggling wires gently. If that fails, you will have to trace the #3 fuse circuit to see where it is getting the hot feed when the ignition switch is disconnected.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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Patrick is probably your best bet for a trouble-shooting approach. I believe the lights work outside the ignition switch. I know I run with my parking lights on and I'm always forgetting to shut them off when I park the car and have to go back and shut them off. Not sure on headlights without checking though but I think they are the same. My gas gage doesn't change either when I turn the engine off - it stays where it was. But the red light remaining on is an issue.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:55 PM
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What's unusual is that this is the second case in the last few weeks of bizarre fuse #3 circuit behavior. And before that, I can't really remember any other issues on that circuit other than the common "my car won't charge" issue. They're probably unrelated, but it's unusual nonetheless.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:58 AM
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I was hesitant to suggest that it seems similar to Evan's issues - but the fact they both have a red charging light issue didn't escape me. Haven't seen Evan post in awhile so he must be tied up making a living.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:49 AM
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Watching this space...

Life keeps getting in the way of doing any additional troubleshooting on my issue, but may have some time this weekend.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
Just to be sure, remove all four wires from the new switch and see if the red light is still on. Assuming it is, then take a look at your fuse box and see if, by any chance, there is some piece of crap of some sort over on the passenger side of the passenger side fuse block that is jumpering the second fuse to the third fuse. Assuming there's nothing, and your light is still on, put someone in the driver's seat with instructions to yell if the light flickers or goes out. Then, start wiggling wires gently. If that fails, you will have to trace the #3 fuse circuit to see where it is getting the hot feed when the ignition switch is disconnected.
Patrickt - I followed your advice first inspecting the fuse box and found no debris possibly causing a short at the fuse box. Nothing. I then removed the switch from the circuit removing all of the wires connected to the switch. The ignition warning light was OFF with all the wires removed from the switch. I then connected each wire to the switch one by one checking it each time. The light remained OFF. With all wires reconnected to the switch I reinstalled the switch back into the dash. Not convinced that the problem was solved, occasionally over the weekend I went out and checked that the light remained off. It was OFF until this morning when I rechecked and the ignition warning light was back ON. I did nothing to the car between the time it was OFF Saturday evening until I found it back ON Sunday morning. What gives??? Bizarre fuse #3 circuit behavior for sure!
I will do some more checking today and may have more to report this evening. Thanks for your suggestions, what would I do with out this website.
BD
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:46 PM
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It was OFF until this morning when I rechecked and the ignition warning light was back ON. I did nothing to the car between the time it was OFF Saturday evening until I found it back ON Sunday morning. What gives???
Well that's a tricky one. Do you happen to have any mischievous elves, or children, in the house that could possibly be playing vroom, vroom in your car and monkeying with it while you're looking the other way?
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:43 PM
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Well that's a tricky one. Do you happen to have any mischievous elves, or children, in the house that could possibly be playing vroom, vroom in your car and monkeying with it while you're looking the other way?
Oh how I wish that were the case!
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:47 PM
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Alright, repeat your actions from the night before exactly again and let's see if the light goes out when you disconnect the switch, and then remains out when you put the wires back, but then mysteriously comes on somehow during the night. If you can make a seemingly bizarre symptom repeatable on demand, it's a lot easier to fix than when it happens randomly.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:34 PM
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Patrickt - I may have figured out what is causing me this grief. I will report back in a few days once I am confident that I have it resolved..
BD
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:23 PM
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I now believe this problem was caused by a short across the terminal strip connection on fuse 2 and fuse 3. The insulation on the wire connected to #3 was melted such that it made contact with #2. Heat build up within the engine compartment has an influence on it and may account for the random nature of issue. Attached is a photo of the melted insulation on the wire attached to #3.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:17 AM
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So the crimped/soldered connection on the ORANGE wire at fuse #2 heated up enough to melt the insulation on the WHITE wire. Remember, heat comes from resistance. So, take the connections apart, clean them up good, and put them back with a dab of dielectric grease.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:29 AM
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Nice sleuthing - definitely looks like an issue.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:09 PM
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I would say the crimps were soldered after the wiring was all connected in place on the fuseblock.

The heat from the soldering transferred through each wire in turn caused the wire to melt onto the adjacent tag. The wiring insulation sitting on the adjacent tag is just asking for this to happen.

Gary
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:15 PM
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I think the screw on the ORANGE wire's terminal to the fuse block was loose. The added resistance of the poor connection created the heat that caused the melted insulation on the wire to fuse #3 that was touching it. That ORANGE wire runs directly to the alternator, so it had plenty of unfused amperage to cause that little melting problem.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I think the screw on the ORANGE wire's terminal to the fuse block was loose. The added resistance of the poor connection created the heat that caused the melted insulation on the wire to fuse #3 that was touching it. That ORANGE wire runs directly to the alternator, so it had plenty of unfused amperage to cause that little melting problem.
Yes, that could be the case, if the terminal was loose.
I think the 90 degree tags invite wires leaning on each, versus a straight terminal lug which would have no wires leaning on a hard uninsulated tag.

Gary
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