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Thread: Need help Running lights and dash light issues!!

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    Default Need help Running lights and dash light issues!!

    So wiring with ez harness, I have a hot running to the green blue wire on the combo switch when switched it puts power to my green white wire which runs threw its stock locations IE the gauge's and then is spliced into the running lights. Note it is spliced into the red blue wire also running to the gauge's. I have a hot at the green blue wire when I turn on the circuit the fuse blows. So I took the dimmer switch out of the equation and still fuse blows as soon as I turn on the circuit. Headlights work however the dash lights and the running lights do not come on. Now I have in the past had the running lights working with a different wiring configuration however no dash lights. I am stuck here I'm not exactly sure how to trace this problem as immediately when receiving power the fuse blows. Any ideas????? Ive been trying to get this car back on the road for 3 years now and this is the current main issue keeping me from driving it please help!!!!!!!!!!

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    btw its a 1975 280z

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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    The only thing I can think of that would cause the instant blown fuses would be a direct short. Start checking the dash lights for ground problems or wires shorting out. One at a time.
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    Sounds like a good start. I thought that all the dash lights grounded themselves out to the body of the gauge? maybe I have a blown light. I really want to get my car back on the road again but if it keeps this up it may take a trip to the crusher(i'm truly at the end of what I can take with this car 3 years and still stupid stuff like this keeps happening)

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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    Yes, the base is grounded to the housing, that's your lights ground, but you need to make sure that the red/blue wire isn't grounded. Remove all the bulbs (dash lights) test the circuit again and if it blows the fuse, the problem is before the bulbs.

    If the fuse does NOT blow, replace the bulbs back into there sockets, one at a time and watch the fuse. If the fuse blows apon inserting a bulb, that's your problem area.

    One thing at a time, that's the best I can give you at the moment.
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    Electrickery can be very frustrating
    What you need to do is attack the issues you have in a methodical way.
    Be patient and you will get there.
    Instead of blowing fuses, try clipping a 12V globe across the fuse contacts.
    It will still protect the wiring from overload, gives a visual on short circuits and saves the fuses for another day.
    The short may be as simple as a dash, park or brake globe inserted incorrectly or the wrong globe used.
    e.g. a dual filament globe in a single filament socket or vice versa.
    That can cause the supply and ground sides of the harness to be shorted together.
    I suggest you remove all the globes, check the integrity of the test lamp [fuse] then replace the globes one by one.
    You may have to undo some of the connections you have made to isolate the problem.
    When doing projects like this, I find that it is necessary to do one wire at a time, test its' function, then move on to the next.
    If you don't, then you have to go back to the beginning and do it one at a time, just like you should have
    The attachment shows you how to make a simple 12V test lamp.
    With a few of these and a decent Multi Meter, you should be able to find your problems
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Nissanman - just trying to help
    http://nissanman.shutterfly.com/action/

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    Thanks for the help guys hopefully tomarrow i will be able to start in on this issue. Great information.

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    The EZ wire kit is a piece of crap. I am rewiring a fellow Z-enthusiasts car with the EZ wire kit and the documentation, as well as the wires themselves, are crap. None of the wires have stripes; they only have solid color wires. They have multiple accessories, etc. with the same color wire, so you actually have to turn the wire around until you read the circuit.

    Saying that commentary, I must disagree with Dave regarding the gauge grounding. The 240z gauges ground on the gauge housing, the 280z gauges ground through the RL (red-blue) wire. The RL wire goes to the rheostat from each of the dash lights, where it is then grounded.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by ktm; 06-01-2008 at 09:40 AM.
    -Bo

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    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    And that's why I work on 240Z's.......... Almost strictly. I figured the 280Z would do something like that. Oh well, good luck.

    Dave.
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    KTM I do agree with you about the short commings of the ezharness, My wiper power fuse block has no power. So If i disconnect the red blue wire from a hot and just ground out the open end that leaves, allowing the other end to connect to the dimmer I should have this problem licked!?

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    Tkach, the RL wire connects to the rheostat as does a black ground wire. By connecting the RL wire to a hot source, you are reversing the current. This is how you can blow things up.

    Disconnect the RL wire from the hot source and ground it out to test the lights. I do not know which end of the RL wire you have connected to a hot source. If it is the rheostat end, grounding it should illuminate the lights assuming you have power on GW.

    You are wiring up your car like you would a 240z. RL is the wire that carries power to the gauges which then ground out on the gauges. The RL wire first passes through the rheostat which then provides a reduce current to the gauge lights.

    The 280z put the rheostat on the grounding circuit.
    -Bo

    1972 240z - Not original and still not done.
    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    I have the hot running into the oppisite end from the rheostat. Hopefully I can just remove the hot source and things will work. WOOOO Hoooo!

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    So today I bought some new bulbs for the gauge lights. I found that I had three bulbs that where blown and soldered to the connector. I disconnected the red blue wire from the red green wire. The red blue wire now runs from the
    rheostat down the line of gauges then finally into my test light. When I tried the combo switch Pop went the fuse SOOOO PISSED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! any ideas ?

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    Ok, now I am confused. Did you not understand that the RL wire is a ground. Your thinking is reversed. The RL wire runs from the line of gauges to the rheostat. Read post #11. I understand that you are saying the same thing but in a different manner, but it is important to think of it in the same way that the electricity is flowing.

    Is the RL wire still spliced into the GW wire as you originally stated? The RL wire should not be connected to the GW wire in ANY MANNER, nor should it be directly connected to ANY power source directly. The circuit is completed through the gauge lights: the GW wire, when provided power, feeds the lights, which in turn grounds out through the RL wire through the rheostat.
    -Bo

    1972 240z - Not original and still not done.
    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    The Red blue wire IS NOT spliced into the Green white wire anymore. I have an open end where the red blue wire used to be spliced into the green white wire however that end now runs threw my test light to ground. This is what is confusing me. It should be working

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    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    Are you using separate circuits for the headlamps and the running lamps/gauges? Putting all those lights on one circuit could definitely blow a fuse. Datsun separated them for a reason on the 280Z, and even had a fuse link for the headlamp circuit and a separate fuse for each lamp. You can put some other low-power stuff on the same circuit as the running lamps, but be careful there even.

    thxZ
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    The running lights and gauge lights have their own circuit. Completely separate from the headlights. Completely different power sources. Once again my car has figured out a way to frustrate me, thats all it has been good for in the last three years.
    Last edited by Tkach; 06-02-2008 at 06:40 PM.

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    Where is your test light grounding?

    Secondly, are you doing all this work without a multimeter? If so, run to Home Depot and buy a digital multimeter for $20. You can not rewire a car without one. You need to test for continuity whenever you complete a circuit prior to applying voltage. You do not simply make the connections and then hope it works.

    You test for continuity by setting the multimeter to read Ohms. Place one lead at one end of the circuit and the second lead at the other end. If you measure resistance, you have a complete circuit. If you do not measure any resistance, you do not have a complete circuit.

    For your dash lights, your rheostat could be bad, the ground connection (black wire) to the rheostat could be corroded, the black wire ground on the other side of the rheostat could be bad, etc.

    Try this with a multimeter (MM): set the MM to read ohms; place one lead on the free end of the RL wire that is hooked up to your test light; connect the other lead to black wire connection on the rheostat - if you measure a resistance, then this circuit has continuity. If not, clean the contacts of the RL-rheostat and black-rheostat. If this does not work, your rheostat is most likely bad. I had mine go out on me and I did not have dash lights.

    Now, put one lead on the black wire connection to the rheostat and the second lead to any expose metal/bolt on the car that is connected to the chassis. This will test the grounding circuit. If you do not measure a resistance right away, make sure it is not due to poor contact with the leads. Once you have convinced yourself that you are, indeed, not measuring any resistance, you have found a faulty circuit.

    You have not mentioned anywhere in your posts that you've done these kind of tests which leads me to believe you do not have an MM. If this is a case, you are wasting your time and ours.
    Last edited by ktm; 06-02-2008 at 09:39 PM.
    -Bo

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    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    KTM I am not trying to waist anyones time here, and trust me am very appreciative of all the help. I am no electrical expert and this is why I am in this situation. But what I can gather is this it dose not seem that this circuit is causing me a problem as all indications lead me to believe that it is working unless I am wrong. I did find several blow bulbs some even soldered to their housings I now see this is from the previous reversing of current. As my test's indicate things should be working now (with this circuit) unless I have interpreted my results incorrectly. Here are the results from the DMM

    Test 1
    Try this with a multimeter (MM): set the MM to read ohms; place one lead on the free end of the RL wire that is hooked up to your test light; connect the other lead to black wire connection on the rheostat - if you measure a resistance, then this circuit has continuity.

    Result 1 Resistance was 1.8 ohms

    Test 2
    Now, put one lead on the black wire connection to the rheostat and the second lead to any expose metal/bolt on the car that is connected to the chassis. This will test the grounding circuit. If you do not measure a resistance right away, make sure it is not due to poor contact with the leads. Once you have convinced yourself that you are, indeed, not measuring any resistance, you have found a faulty circuit.
    Resistance measured .03 ohms Note I used a ground wire on the same circuit just closer to my exposed Red blue wire

    Test 3
    I tested the black wire coming out of the rheostat to chassis ground and saw nothing
    However when I tested continuity across the rheostat directly red blue to ground on the rheostat plug I saw resistance.

    Now I do have all of the exterior running lights on this circuit also and am starting to check them. I started at the dash because it hasn't worked in the recent past yet the running lights have. Considering that I may have an error in that circuit I will start to work on that section now, unless other interpret my results differently.
    Once again thanks for all the help

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tkach View Post
    KTM I am not trying to waist anyones time here, and trust me am very appreciative of all the help. I am no electrical expert and this is why I am in this situation. But what I can gather is this it dose not seem that this circuit is causing me a problem as all indications lead me to believe that it is working unless I am wrong. I did find several blow bulbs some even soldered to their housings I now see this is from the previous reversing of current. As my test's indicate things should be working now (with this circuit) unless I have interpreted my results incorrectly. Here are the results from the DMM

    Test 1
    Try this with a multimeter (MM): set the MM to read ohms; place one lead on the free end of the RL wire that is hooked up to your test light; connect the other lead to black wire connection on the rheostat - if you measure a resistance, then this circuit has continuity.

    Result 1 Resistance was 1.8 ohms

    Test 2
    Now, put one lead on the black wire connection to the rheostat and the second lead to any expose metal/bolt on the car that is connected to the chassis. This will test the grounding circuit. If you do not measure a resistance right away, make sure it is not due to poor contact with the leads. Once you have convinced yourself that you are, indeed, not measuring any resistance, you have found a faulty circuit.
    Resistance measured .03 ohms Note I used a ground wire on the same circuit just closer to my exposed Red blue wire

    Test 3
    I tested the black wire coming out of the rheostat to chassis ground and saw nothing
    However when I tested continuity across the rheostat directly red blue to ground on the rheostat plug I saw resistance.

    Now I do have all of the exterior running lights on this circuit also and am starting to check them. I started at the dash because it hasn't worked in the recent past yet the running lights have. Considering that I may have an error in that circuit I will start to work on that section now, unless other interpret my results differently.
    Once again thanks for all the help

    Tkach, I was referring to wasting everyones, including yours, time if you were trying to rewire the car without a DMM.

    Now, for Test 3 you said that the black wire OUT of the rheostat did not measure resistance when grounding to the chassis. That is a problem. You should have measure some resistance.

    If I am reading Test 2 correctly, you tested another ground wire that was on the same circuit. While useful, it does not tell you the status of the circuit relative to the chassis ground. This is important. The chassis ground is how electricity is flowing.

    Two more tests:

    1) You can make longer DMM leads by attaching wire to them. Do so if you need to for this test. Connect one lead to the RL wire at your test light. Connect the other directly to the battery negative terminal.

    2) Remove the black wire from the rheostat and connect a test wire to the rheostat. Ground out the exposed wire to a bolt, not another wire, but directly to the chassis, or better yet, with a long enough wire straight to the battery.

    Finally, I believe your test light is in the wrong location. Are you grounding the other side of the test light or applying power to the other side in conjunction with applying power to the GW wire?

    Please feel free to call me at 714-415-8249.

    -Bo
    -Bo

    1972 240z - Not original and still not done.
    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    My test light was grounding to chassis. The concept was if the RL wire had current it would light up the test light I had the Test light in the circuit to complete it and not leave an open end. I have no power running to the test light the green white wire runs in its stock manner IE from combo switch to gauge bulbs then to exterior running lights. I will be at work tomarrow so Hopefully Thursday or Friday I can sort this mess out.

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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    So I guess when all else fails, Take It To A Shop!!. Sorry but you seem to be running in circles.

    Isolate the dash light circuit,
    unplug all the wires and bulbs,
    replace the bulbs with new ones,
    Run a new ground wire to each dash light ground wire,
    insert the new bulbs
    now run a hot wire to each red/blue wire, one at a time to test each light.

    When you find that they all work, connect all the dash lights together and connect them to the parking light circuit.

    So you add 2 runs of wire, at least it'll all work and no one will be the wiser.

    So basically find the problem or Fix the problem and then drive the car.
    Dave
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