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Thread: Key sparks when touching door handle

  1. #1
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    Dec 2013
    Pleasanton, CA

    Default Key sparks when touching door handle

    Hey guys,

    New to the forum, new to the 74' 260z 2x2 as well.
    Long post, i do apologize but i figure i should provied a full picture to the best of my knowledge. Any and all advice is greatly appericated in advance, Thank You.

    My roommate basically has had this car since high school, and in the past 10 years it got neglected. I started working on it cause i was bored. Anyway not a car guy so lots of reading trying to make sense of things and ask other car people questions and advice. Car is now running, almost never need the choke cable engaged to get it started even in cold weather. It has other issues i will list below but im concerned about a spark that keeps happening anytime the key touches the door lock to lock or unlock. Ive been driving it for a week and hadnt noticed the spark but i wasnt paying attention. The shifter was very loose, did some research figured it was the bushing so i took the center console apart unplugged everything and sure enough no bushing. Bought a nylon piece that fit from OSH, Dremled it a bit slipped it in. All in all pretty happy, still have a lot of play in 1st and 2nd so figure i got more problems but atleast i can find 1st and 2nd now. So putting everything back together i reconnect all the wires, car turns on runs fine everything looks like it was prior to the take apart however i get this spark when i go to lock the door. So i walk to the passanger door and try to put the key in there and i get a spark again. (It cant be my body and clothes as i just discharged on the driver door).

    1. I noticed a black ground wire in my center console, when i was taking it apart it wasnt connected to anything so i attached it to the silver bar under the rear defogger and throttle toggle switch (the bar is connected to the chasi, figured this would be a good ground).
    2. Also im worried that the metal wire from the AC TEMP CONTROL dial between the REAR DEFOGGER and the THROTTLE TOGGLE might have gotten lose. I dont know what its for and there is no air conditioning unit in the car. (It was removed when it failed years ago). It does into the crazy mess in the dash, cant trace from there.
    3. There is also a plug in my center console that doesnt connect to anything, ive attached pictures below of the outside of plug as well was the inside.
    4. Earlier this week my tail lights/dash werent working, tried to resolder but it made no difference so i soldered them straight into the headlight. Pictures also below.
    5. Last possibilty is that i removed the wind shield wiper motor and that plug under the hood has nothing connected to it and for some reason is creating sparks?

    So the above 5 things are what it could be cause the spark im assuming numbers 1,2, or 3 most likely. Being not so good with cars, and concerned and the fact that my gas tank leaks when i fill up all the way i decided i would disconnect my battery just because i dont want any charges sparking anything.

    I would love some guidence on this issue, i know the weather in the bay are recently has been very dry, wet and cold so i understand that static electricty gets generated especially with the warmer clothing but to spark twice in less then 1 minute is kind of scary.

    Other things done to car to get it running:
    -Replaced throttle cable.
    -New battery (the negative side also has a ground attached to it)
    -Turn singles were disassembled cleaned resoldered, added some solder to the inside of the switch also cause it just wouldn't catch.
    -Shifter bushing
    -Tail Light/Dash switch soldered directly into headlight

    Things i need to do:
    -New air conditioner unit
    -Suspension is shot
    -Fix leak with gas tank, (think its the neck leading to the tank)
    -Center console guages work, (clock is always off), They do light up
    -Speedo and Tach not functioning, They do light up
    -E-brake must be fully engaged in order to work, and when fully disengaged light always flickers on dash "Brake"
    -New light bulbs for interior of car (interior dome light, glove box, CHOKE, REAR DEFOGGER)
    -Wind Shield wipers dont work (the motor clicks once but no action beyond that)
    -Either axel or e-brake seem to lock up when car is cold, thus i get a jolt in 1st, 2nd, sometimes in 3rd.
    -Tranmission i think needs some work, shifting into second it grinds sometimes so i go into 3rd instead
    -RANDOM CLICKING NOSE WHEN CARS OFF FROM FRONT OF ENGINE, (between radiator and litterally front of engine)
    -Need battery clamp mechanism to hold battery in palce (bungie cord right now)
    -Door locks are a nightmare, and occasionally doors wont stay shut

    -In the driver side center console theres a toggle switch with no labels, assuming it was added post production. It has 2 blue wires coming out of it and goes into the steering column. Dont think it does anything, does anyone have any clues? (Roommate thinks it was cruise control switch added later)
    -Under the driver seat theres a silver box with tons of wires, 1 blue wire is split. It says PACESETTER with a number dial and on/off switch. Any clues?
    -A friend was saying maybe some SeaFoam into the gas tank, and engine, maybe the vacuum lines inorder to get junk out. But SeaFoam scares the **** out of me so i want to hold of on it till someone experianced can help with it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User black gold man's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Detroit, Michigan, United States

  3. #3
    Registered User Walter Moore's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    You just have an electric personality.

    If the key is in your hand when the spark occurs, then whatever electrical power source is involved has to be flowing through you. Unless you are holding a live wire, I suspect it is static electricity.
    '71 240Z, Because any fool can drive fast in a straight line.

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