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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I got a 1970 El Camino. I put a Retro sound head unit in it, and everything works fine. The only issue is, every once in a while when I shut the car off, the generator warning light and the radio don't turn off. The ignition is off, the engine isn't running, and the turn signals are not functioning, along with the other warning lights. If I disconnect the battery, the radio and gen light turn off, and everything works fine again. It doesn't always do this, only every once in a while. Does anyone have any ideas what may cause this? Only thing I can think of is the ignition switch, but it makes no sense that disconnecting the battery would fix this issue.
 

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I put a Retro sound head unit in it, and everything works fine.
If the issue started to occur shortly after you installed the sound head, I'd say there's an internal fault with the unit, and it fails to power off. Given it mostly works, you probably wired it correctly and it just has a glitch.

Typically, audio units get 12 volt power through a switched input and a B+ input. When the switched input turns off, the unit should shut down. If it does not, it can still draw power through the B+ connection, even with the ignition switch off. Do you have a wiring diagram showing the connections to the Retro Sound head?
 

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For starters why not just remove the radio and check the radio harness plug to see that the ignition wire turns off with the key off. I'd think if the radio was backfeeding power from the constant 12V to the switched ignition wire when off you'd have much bigger issues with that radio, but who's to say.
 

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87 Caballero Amarillo, stock 305/200R4/QJ
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Normally the 12v+ has only 1 job, power the clock and personal settings (if digital). It's not supposed to be tied in with anything other than ground on the back end. The 12v Ign is what's supposed to power the unit when turned on.

So apart from the excellent advice offered above about checking the 12v Ign, there's one other wire which might need looking into. The second ground wire, the one that usually has a white stripe. It's not a true ground. It's only a ground because it's a Chevy and they use grounds for everything switched. It's actually the illumination wire or dimmer wire that goes to the headlight switch dimmer.

If that's used as a ground (common mistake btw), anything else powered and using ground, like the headlights being on, can back feed the deck and with the way Chevy use self fed relays, once activated and pulling power, the relay will remain closed, not opening again until you pull the plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. I did find the issue. The servo in the Power regulator was sticking shut after prolong usage. Adjusted it some to provide a little more opening force and haven't had an issue since.
 

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87 elcamino v6 4.3 t.b.i.
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Normally the 12v+ has only 1 job, power the clock and personal settings (if digital). It's not supposed to be tied in with anything other than ground on the back end. The 12v Ign is what's supposed to power the unit when turned on.

So apart from the excellent advice offered above about checking the 12v Ign, there's one other wire which might need looking into. The second ground wire, the one that usually has a white stripe. It's not a true ground. It's only a ground because it's a Chevy and they use grounds for everything switched. It's actually the illumination wire or dimmer wire that goes to the headlight switch dimmer.

If that's used as a ground (common mistake btw), anything else powered and using ground, like the headlights being on, can back feed the deck and with the way Chevy use self fed relays, once activated and pulling power, the relay will remain closed, not opening again until you pull the plug.
Most comprehensive breakdown, and insightful /informed suggestions iv e ever seen. Except first paragraph intrigues me, as my experience installing/servicing car amplifiers uses the 12+ (switched) only as a switch ,with allows 12+ feed to power. (Internal relay) no click/saved settings on amps. Head units however ,are vastly different, and your knowledge has helped me understand past problems I've encountered. Also, very intersting about chevys method of grounds/ relays. I will try to find more info on that subject.
 

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87 Caballero Amarillo, stock 305/200R4/QJ
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Many Chevys electrical issues aren't usually power related, there's usually no issue with the power feed, it's the ground on the tail end that bunks everything. Even my Chevy work van had really dim tail lights because of the body ground, too much paint etc bewenn the panels. Ran a seperate ground to the frame buh bye issue. Most dash issues in the camino are related to a bad ground, either at the block or at the ribbon connection. Same with the fuel pickup, spark, even the starter if the block isn't grounded well.
 
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