Puzzling Fuego electrical gremlin..
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  1. #1
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    Icon5 Puzzling Fuego electrical gremlin..

    Fuego electrics - and old age!

    The Fuego is finally sending me a strong message, that it doesn't appreciate me procrastinating in my old age. I have been resisting pulling the head off and replacing the head gasket and giving it a nice make over, as it was still running albiet a little rough, and other cars have had my attention for various family members, and yes I do know I am growing old and need to stop tinkering with cars.

    Last week at a critical time, it decided to pull an electrical huff, first indication was no indication when I was traveling at night with the headlights on full, also the temperature shot up, and that indicated the cooling fans were not working.

    Checked all the fuses and none blown, when I stopped the car and turned off the headlights and all the blinkers, stop lights, fans etc worked o.k.

    Quickly ran through a mental list of Fuego strange electrical things from many years back and decided to check the main circuit board for signs of gremlins at work. Spent Saturday pulling out the board, cleaning it and checking for signs of heat. All I found was a curious charring of the fibre in one location that seemed like moisture had slightly corroded the copper and introduced a short that charred the underlying material.

    There were also some signs of moisture in the form of copperish green tracking under the board in one location. I was sure I had a spare board "somewhere" but "murphy" must have hidden it, because I am damned if I could find it, must have put it somewhere secure (or given it away!!)

    So cleaned up the board and contacts, used some contact enhancer and reassembled it with a smear of silastic between the circuits to exclude moisture. and Battery fully charged.

    Rechecked the whole thing and found that it still had the same problem, if the headlights were on then blinkers and interior fan stopped working. the other curious thing was the high beam and low beam dash indicators were showing the opposite to what the headlights.

    Grabbed some new relays and put them into the engine bay box, but that didn't make any difference (they burn out and bulge occasionally and I replace them with 40 amp)

    Looks like I will have to trace through the wiring and headlights and the actual indicator stalk today to work out the problem and fix it.

    Might have to open up part of the loom just in case wire insulation has melted and shorting.

    At least I can still drive the car during the day.. But I think the car is sending me a message

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    Time for a proper overhaul and cleanup!

    Will let you all know the result when I find and fix the problem.

    Ken

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    Fuego electrics - and old age!

    The Fuego is finally sending me a strong message, that it doesn't appreciate me procrastinating in my old age. I have been resisting pulling the head off and replacing the head gasket and giving it a nice make over, as it was still running albiet a little rough, and other cars have had my attention for various family members, and yes I do know I am growing old and need to stop tinkering with cars.

    Last week at a critical time, it decided to pull an electrical huff, first indication was no indication when I was traveling at night with the headlights on full, also the temperature shot up, and that indicated the cooling fans were not working.

    Checked all the fuses and none blown, when I stopped the car and turned off the headlights and all the blinkers, stop lights, fans etc worked o.k.

    Quickly ran through a mental list of Fuego strange electrical things from many years back and decided to check the main circuit board for signs of gremlins at work. Spent Saturday pulling out the board, cleaning it and checking for signs of heat. All I found was a curious charring of the fibre in one location that seemed like moisture had slightly corroded the copper and introduced a short that charred the underlying material.

    There were also some signs of moisture in the form of copperish green tracking under the board in one location. I was sure I had a spare board "somewhere" but "murphy" must have hidden it, because I am damned if I could find it, must have put it somewhere secure (or given it away!!)

    So cleaned up the board and contacts, used some contact enhancer and reassembled it with a smear of silastic between the circuits to exclude moisture. and Battery fully charged.

    Rechecked the whole thing and found that it still had the same problem, if the headlights were on then blinkers and interior fan stopped working. the other curious thing was the high beam and low beam dash indicators were showing the opposite to what the headlights.

    Grabbed some new relays and put them into the engine bay box, but that didn't make any difference (they burn out and bulge occasionally and I replace them with 40 amp)

    Looks like I will have to trace through the wiring and headlights and the actual indicator stalk today to work out the problem and fix it.

    Might have to open up part of the loom just in case wire insulation has melted and shorting.

    At least I can still drive the car during the day.. But I think the car is sending me a message

    Time for a proper overhaul and cleanup!

    Will let you all know the result when I find and fix the problem.

    Ken
    Sounds like you should be checking earthing and/or loom power connectors and fuse box connections.

    My experience suggests that wires within and unbroken loom are very,very seldom an issues.

    I would looking for multiple faults. The Stalk is a good candidate to check.

  3. #3
    bob
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    G'day Ken,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    ........Might have to open up part of the loom just in case wire insulation has melted and shorting.......
    mine has evidence of this problem in an earlier life, near the fuse board. Also check out all the plugs/sockets, particularly the one at the back of the head area - seen this one as big plastic blob due to high resistance in the main feed, main feed wire on mine has been cut out and soldered at this point.

    Bugger, this shows the potential to be as big a headache as my octopus problem, mine is only drivable when it's warm.....

    Weather is not conducive to fault finding at the moment either....

    cheers,
    Bob

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    COL
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    Hi Ken

    I would be checking the earths at the front of the car, just had a quick look at a Fuego wiring diagram and all the things you are complaining about go to the 2 earths at the front.

    May save you a lot of grief if you check those first and make sure they are clean with no corrosion around the chassis or the lug itself.
    Regards Col

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    Default Thanks everyone - looking at all of those...

    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Ken,



    mine has evidence of this problem in an earlier life, near the fuse board. Also check out all the plugs/sockets, particularly the one at the back of the head area - seen this one as big plastic blob due to high resistance in the main feed, main feed wire on mine has been cut out and soldered at this point.

    Bugger, this shows the potential to be as big a headache as my octopus problem, mine is only drivable when it's warm.....

    Weather is not conducive to fault finding at the moment either....

    cheers,
    Bob
    I could probably trace your "Octopus trails" as mine are as original on this car, I m ight mentyion that earlier (two years back?) the three headlight relays that sit in the plastic box on the drivers side of the engine bay, got a little out of shape due to the deterioration of the contacts, and when I replaced them a wire in the loom contacted an earth wire and shorted causing an insulation melt. I had cut and trimmed to eliminate the melted wire, but deep in the loom might be a weakness.

    I notice that the third (nearest driver) headlight relay also feeds to the dual fans on the radiator, so suspect it may be a problem in that area. Has worked o.k. for a couple of years so only a recent problem.

    I also am looking at the headlight stalk due to the High/Low beam swap, and yes the weather is a bit against outside work today (specially for the older guys!!). Checking all the things mentioned by Robmac and also Col. Am busily drawing out sections of the wiring diagram as this helps me understand the physical wiring for each component.

    I always find that the actual wiring often departs from the official wiring and colours in some of the Fuego's that I have worked on in the past. The most usual problem I used to find was the shorting out of the driving lamps where wiring insulation passed over a sharp edge or got crushed in a bump - those shorts really burn/melt up the front wiring loom.

    Last one of those burnups I encountered left me no alternative than to re-wire with n ew wires replacing the front light and fan looms. Now if I could find those sketches I used to get that right, that might help too.

    Otherwise its a long process of elimination. and a nice warm day might help too...

    Thanks for all the suggestions, you live and hope for a simple fix!!

    Meanwhile I did a few fixes to my son's spare 944 (replaced door handle mechanisms, battery etc) so that can be used after dark if I need it. (Been resisting working on his cars as he needs to set aside the time and learn for himself, rather than just expecting dad to do it!!)


    Ken

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    bob
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    Default Diagrams

    G'day Ken,

    have you got the RCCQ Fuego electrical diagrams ?

    Couldn't see them on their site just now, must be under new management. The files are here if you need them, pretty good job and for our Fugs.

    cheers,
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Ken,

    have you got the RCCQ Fuego electrical diagrams ?

    Couldn't see them on their site just now, must be under new management. The files are here if you need them, pretty good job and for our Fugs.

    cheers,
    Bob
    If that's the colourful one - yes I have it.

    Ken

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    bob
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    G'day Ken,

    yep, that's them, about a dozen files I think.

    He went to a lot of trouble, bit sad if they've had a change of management in QLD and those files that they had on there have been ditched - was also the one for the proportioning valve repair & the V6 flyer in amongst that lot.

    cheers.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    I would be checking the earths at the front of the car, just had a quick look at a Fuego wiring diagram and all the things you are complaining about go to the 2 earths at the front.

    May save you a lot of grief if you check those first and make sure they are clean with no corrosion around the chassis or the lug itself.
    I agree with Col and the others that earthing points should probably be among the first things to check, especially when normally unrelated electrical items suddenly seem to be connected in operation, quite often indicating a failed path to earth. In addition, electrical connections put together more than 25 years ago, when all the metal was bright and shiny, can often, as everyone knows, develop electrical resistance that makes them troublesome. I've encountered connecting wires that worked poorly even after I cleaned and shone up the connectors at both ends -- because of corrosion between the copper wire and the crimped-on connector. Hard to find and not easy to fix.

    Not that I'm entitled to advise anyone -- I've still got only 10.4 volts for lighting at the back of my Fuego, as well as windows that, despite my best efforts, are so slow that they make everyone laugh.

    Anyway, fingers crossed for some decent weather for you, and good luck!

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    For what its worth,my experience is that the stalk is a robust part and is not a 'usual suspect'.
    Thats not to say yours is working fine, but it would be my first choice when looking for reasons of failure.



    Jo

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    Default Need some warm weather for comfortable fault finding.

    Thanks Clive, actually the rear gremlins had been my worst to diagnose on the Fuego in the past . I spent hours on those before I fixed them, then there was the wet weather gremlin that got into the wiper motor and did all sorts of things like sending stray signals to turn lamps, and cut out other electrical feeds.

    Jo, I have replaced (with new ones) at least two complete stalks due to little bits that break off and the metal springs etc cause some issues as they float around inside the unit -most associated with the Flash the lights mechanism that firstly need some adjustment to work properly sometimes and then the contacts or the lever points wear or get lost. Some I have been able to rebuild after putting copious amounts of time into the process (labour of love)

    Actually I've become quite lazy due to this present car, as it rarely has anything go wrong or need to be done, and as I grow older the challenge to fix something has become subject to weather/aches/inclination to get around to it etc. In with that is the difficulty of getting down to ground level and then find its difficult to get up again.

    Wonder if I need some mechanics "viagra" to keep me up to the mark..

    Doing plenty of reading and waiting for a nice warm day, -where if nothing else I can spread some carpet beside the car and work my way through the electrical system. I usually clean and fit serrated washers on critical earth points as I go, so that will be the norm in this one too.

    If the weather is fine I might just also take a nap or two while I'm lying on the carpet (for recuperation of course)

    Rest assured I will find and fix the @@@### thing

    Thanks for all the tips it all helps.

    Hope Bob is working out his problems too.

    Regards

    Ken.

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    bob
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    G'day Ken,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    .......Hope Bob is working out his problems too.....
    not much action over here either, part of your club.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    .........as I grow older the challenge to fix something has become subject to weather/aches/inclination to get around to it etc. ........


    cheers,
    Bob

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    Icon14

    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Ken,



    not much action over here either, part of your club.......





    cheers,
    Bob
    Hang in there bob inspiration will come....like rain in Melbourne...

    Ken

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    Where do you buy serrated washers from?
    I've not seen them at the usual car parts places.
    KB
    KB


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    Default Specialist nut and bolt supplies also Supercheap and Autobarn?

    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    Where do you buy serrated washers from?
    I've not seen them at the usual car parts places.
    KB
    Bought most of mine in assortments at markets, but most nut and bolt sellers should stock them, may be called star washers in the electrical trade.

    I even found some copper serrated washers of a size suitable for the starter solenoid and earth point as those areas often get fouled with oil and loosen in service. Makes for hard and intermittent starting.

    I suppose that spring washers would do a similar job in retaining contact, you need to be careful in tightening the main feed to the starter solenoid as it is often a copper thread and if over tightened the thread can easily snap (copper becomes brittle with age).

    I think most Aussie Froggers who have been tinkering with cars would have a few spare washers if you need them.

    Cheaper to buy them at markets. I continually get amazed at what some automotive shops charge for washers etc.

    I think that Supercheap would also have some in those dinky little packs at a not so dinky prices!..

    Ken

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    bob
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    G'day Ken,

    reckon that they are also at Bunnings in the littel blister packs. Bit expensive, but it hardly matters when you only want a couple and the convenience factor bites

    Best way to get this stuff used to be to strip them out of old toasters and the like before they went in the bin, remember ? Great source for odd threaded nuts & bolts too, BA etc..... Now the mongrels spot weld everything, damn...

    cheers,
    Bob

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    Icon10 Waiting on nature, or is that weighting on nature...

    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Ken,

    reckon that they are also at Bunnings in the littel blister packs. Bit expensive, but it hardly matters when you only want a couple and the convenience factor bites

    Best way to get this stuff used to be to strip them out of old toasters and the like before they went in the bin, remember ? Great source for odd threaded nuts & bolts too, BA etc..... Now the mongrels spot weld everything, damn...

    cheers,
    Bob
    Glad somebody else does that to fill that small jar with all sorts of odd sizes, "that might come in handy one day" I've found that dismantling is a good way of chucking the "majority" or bulk Away while recycling the small bits. Otherwise you are called a hoarder!!

    Still walking around the Fuego considering the line of attack, and its not warm and conducive to outside work!!

    Must be all that work with the men in black and that sink time philosophy when dismantling bombs .... always give sufficient sink time, to think before fiddling, just in case.... (not that I regard the Fuego as a "bomb" mind you ) far from it!!

    Regards

    ken

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post

    .....Still walking around the Fuego considering the line of attack, and its not warm and conducive to outside work!!.....

    Regards

    ken
    Get a 2 metre length of heavy duty electrical wire with crocogator (or alligdial) clips on each end.

    Connect one to the battery earth terminal.

    Get the car in electrical fault mode.

    Move round all the earths of affected items with the free end of the lead, it it comes good you have found the fault.

    You can do the same with positive connections, but put a fuse in the test lead

    Clips with serrated jaws are best because the scratch away paint and oxidation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Get a 2 metre length of heavy duty electrical wire with crocogator (or alligdial) clips on each end.

    Connect one to the battery earth terminal.

    Get the car in electrical fault mode.

    Move round all the earths of affected items with the free end of the lead, it it comes good you have found the fault.

    You can do the same with positive connections, but put a fuse in the test lead

    Clips with serrated jaws are best because the scratch away paint and oxidation.
    Thanks Rob

    My favourite quick checker is the old brass probe with internal 12 volt globe and metal point with the wire back to an alligator clip, that gives some indication and usually on earths I use a proper multi meter to check continuity/connection.

    Now the sun just crept out, so maybe weather is improving. I'm also hunting out a few spare bits to replace and some spare looms, that I have taken out of cars complete with fuze blocks and relays, to compare and perhaps use to bypass.

    Hoping to get an early start on a reasonably fine day and just work my way through.

    Thanks for the advice, appreciated.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Get a 2 metre length of heavy duty electrical wire with crocogator (or alligdial) clips on each end.
    Connect one to the battery earth terminal.
    ....
    .
    jeez rob, youre at it again.
    it is a wonder the ACCC doesnt investigate you for a monopoly on clever ideas...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    jeez rob, youre at it again.
    it is a wonder the ACCC doesnt investigate you for a monopoly on clever ideas...
    It's called the "school of hard knocks".

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    Icon14 Well I found my round-tuit today !

    Have been diverted from the job at hand with family things and getting various people to and from airports among other things on the few fine days we have had, so the poor old Fuego got neglected.

    Today I did another run over the wiring and connections , tidied up the central circuit board and replaced the fuze access lid that kept falling open due to the lugs breaking off (very easy to break them) think I might do a fix with a magnetic strip glued to the flap and a suitable metal frame fixed in place - should work or else I might need stronger miniture magnets.

    While tracing the circuit again and examining wires, I pulled out all the relay blocks and observed that the middle block had some signs of internal heating on the base where the plain red wire connects to the 12volt 25amp -03508 relay. Had trouble removing it from the sockets, got it out and cleaned up the contacts in the block and plugged in a spare 40 amp Narva replacement, and this seems to have fixed the problem.

    Not finished yet though, I will unwind the wiring loom insulation just in case there is some burning or exposure of the wires (out of sight) I did find some poorly insulated wiring, but no signs of arcing.

    Time I lavished some attention on the old girl, replace the old radiator with a new one I have had stored, fit a new head gasket, though nothing is leaking into coolant or oil as yet, just lower compression in one and two cylinders. Only sign is slightly rough idle when cold.

    Time for an afternoon nap!

    Thanks for the advice from all.

    Ken

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    bob
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    G'day,

    nice one Ken, very satisfying to find the tell-tale charring, even better to able to replace the ancient relay with a nice new one

    That bit of loom on mine held a wire that had been very hot and welded up the insulation on a number of wires, worth looking at.

    cheers,
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day,

    nice one Ken, very satisfying to find the tell-tale charring, even better to able to replace the ancient relay with a nice new one

    That bit of loom on mine held a wire that had been very hot and welded up the insulation on a number of wires, worth looking at.

    cheers,
    Bob
    Actually the one I replaced appeared immaculate, the actual scorching was not visible while it was screwed down in position, when I originally gave that area the once over, it was the top one with the heavy yellow feed in that I was most interested in, as that was the one that had the base block replaced as well as the relay, I sort of expected that would be the problem.

    How is your fault finding going, when I last looked in on that thread, it was getting interesting chasing down spots to check.


    Ken

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    bob
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    G'day Ken,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    ......How is your fault finding going, when I last looked in on that thread, it was getting interesting chasing down spots to check.


    Ken
    aaaahhhh, not too well advanced..... Other duties and weather are conspiring against the poor old Fug. Did fire it up yesterday, no flat spot of course, two of the solenoids at the h/light were nice and warm so something is working there. Got to read the book, that's a worry..

    cheers,
    Bob

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