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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very new to Elcos, I quite literally got my first one about a week ago. I'm not unfamiliar with cars and repairing them, but I'm already stumped with this one. I'm working with an 84 Conquista 305

As of right now I'm chasing some odd electrical issues... and none of it makes sense to me.

I have no gauge lights save for my right turn signal light that stays on permanently when the headlights are on. When the headlights are on, my bright dash light comes on even if the brights are off, and the top corner of the check engine light... lights up. My radio, AC, glove box, and overhead lights don't work. My left turn signal light doesn't come on but the signal itself does work, but only when you hold the stalk down, if you just click it normally, the turn signal stays on and doesn't blink. The wipers don't work. The hazards work fine. I haven't gotten the car running yet so I can't check if the actual speedo works or any of the idiot lights but the clock does NOT work and the knob to adjust it broke off.

When the key is clicked on, the radio works but only the driver's side speaker, and the check engine and brake light come on. Which is probably the only correctly working thing in the car right now :rolleyes: I would check fuses but I have no idea which ones to check and there doesn't seem to be any diagrams labelling exactly what fuses to check..
 

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Very new to Elcos, I quite literally got my first one about a week ago. I'm not unfamiliar with cars and repairing them, but I'm already stumped with this one. I'm working with an 84 Conquista 305

As of right now I'm chasing some odd electrical issues... and none of it makes sense to me.

I have no gauge lights save for my right turn signal light that stays on permanently when the headlights are on. When the headlights are on, my bright dash light comes on even if the brights are off, and the top corner of the check engine light... lights up. My radio, AC, glove box, and overhead lights don't work. My left turn signal light doesn't come on but the signal itself does work, but only when you hold the stalk down, if you just click it normally, the turn signal stays on and doesn't blink. The wipers don't work. The hazards work fine. I haven't gotten the car running yet so I can't check if the actual speedo works or any of the idiot lights but the clock does NOT work and the knob to adjust it broke off.

When the key is clicked on, the radio works but only the driver's side speaker, and the check engine and brake light come on. Which is probably the only correctly working thing in the car right now :rolleyes: I would check fuses but I have no idea which ones to check and there doesn't seem to be any diagrams labelling exactly what fuses to check..
if you know how to follow a wiring schematic, someone here will dig it up for your model and get you going. right off the bat it sounds like you have a lot of ground issues. start from the battery and work your way thru the system, checking for continuity and checking your fuses
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
if you know how to follow a wiring schematic, someone here will dig it up for your model and get you going. right off the bat it sounds like you have a lot of ground issues. start from the battery and work your way thru the system, checking for continuity and checking your fuses
Is there a list of chassis grounds I could look for? I know my battery ground is kinda weird, and it goes from the battery to a random AC mounting bracket on the motor, but if the system is getting power then I imagine that's probably fine. I just dont really know where to start. Like there's apparently a buzzer that's supposed to be making noise when the key is in and that doesn't work either 😅
 

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It definitely sounds like multiple sources of problems.

If you look at the wiring diagram, you should find that these items can be used without the key being on. These are likely powered through the fuse labeled CTSY (courtesy circuit).
Overhead cab light, glove box light, clock, key in switch (will sound if key turned off).
 

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In post #3 above, follow it to a list of different years electrical diagrams.
These are in .gif image format, so you should be able click on them to get to the larger .gif file.
There are 2 files(images) for 1984.
Save both to your computer.
On the second image, in the center it shows the fuse box, the fuse names and the fuse sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It definitely sounds like multiple sources of problems.

If you look at the wiring diagram, you should find that these items can be used without the key being on. These are likely powered through the fuse labeled CTSY (courtesy circuit).
Overhead cab light, glove box light, clock.
I'll start checking fuses tomorrow. I suppose it's possible some of them blew before it was parked. But where do I even look for things like the turn signal bulb being stuck on when the headlights are on and the bright dash light being on, is that a ground issue?
 

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Hi Additivewalnut, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. Mine has the battery ground going to the alternator, but also one from the battery going to the fender. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your 84 Conquista. Where abouts are you located? Have fun with your 84 Conquista and the community.
 

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I'll start checking fuses tomorrow. I suppose it's possible some of them blew before it was parked. But where do I even look for things like the turn signal bulb being stuck on when the headlights are on and the bright dash light being on, is that a ground issue?
could be, but the circuit behind the dash is literally a printed circuit board printed on mylar (flexible plastic). there is an excellent writeup about working on the dash lights you may want to do anyway while you are in there inspecting things. goto
the turn signal flasher may not be operating properly and that's on the fuse panel. your turn signal stalk operates on mechanical principles and may be worn out.
again, by your own admission, you seem to have a lot of non-functional, or weirdly functioning, electrical items.
The easiest thing to do first is check all your fuses. Then start following the wiring schematic, checking for Continuity and Power. the rule of thumb that I follow when trblshooting issues like this is that I do not even assume things are setup the way they are supposed to be. I check things one section at a time and compare it to the way it is supposed to be (schematic, volt readings, etc). and it is very easy for grounds to not ground any more on a 36 yr old car that apparently has not been well taken care of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
could be, but the circuit behind the dash is literally a printed circuit board printed on mylar (flexible plastic). there is an excellent writeup about working on the dash lights you may want to do anyway while you are in there inspecting things. goto
the turn signal flasher may not be operating properly and that's on the fuse panel. your turn signal stalk operates on mechanical principles and may be worn out.
again, by your own admission, you seem to have a lot of non-functional, or weirdly functioning, electrical items.
The easiest thing to do first is check all your fuses. Then start following the wiring schematic, checking for Continuity and Power
Thats a very helpful link. I'll start checking all the fuses tomorrow after work. I really hope this thing just has bad fuses from sitting or being jumped so many times.
 

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Regrettably, this set of problems is not likely to have one single source of failure.
Some times it is best to (group things like those using the CTSY fuse) to divide and conquer.
 

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All suggestions solid and your getting advice from some of the best people on this site. DO NOT assume it's one short. Divide and conquer.....you can do this. If ur familiar with cars/basic electricity troubleshooting,have volunteer, then u can do this! These wire circuits very basic. Do not ignore basics. Check EVERY ground. Even if looks good. Special attention to the ground coming from fusebox going to body. I once had a car that double filament turn/brake light burned out and fused together,resulting in a short to 2 circuits. 1 the turn signal circuits.2 - the brake lights, ,running lights, hazards/headlights. Also you mentioned mechanically malfunctioning turn signal, it may also be grounding/shorted in the turn signal switch located on/in column. There are obvious clues . follow them. you can try popular way of finding problem circuit by removing One fuse at a time until the problem goes away, or the circuit that problem is on goes dead. Then that's your circuit that has the short/ground. Also,do basic research,learn diff between short/ground/open or closed circuit. Example : unplug alternator and see if problem continue to rule out alt. Do this with every electric piece you can. Including relays. LEARN HOW TO TEST RELAYS!! 50% OF THE TIME, A SHORT AS U DESCRIBED, IS RELAYS THAT HAVE MALFUNCTIONED CAUSING WEIRD STUFF LIKE YOU DESCRIBED. Testing relays is simple. Learn how and test any relay on the problem circuit. Do not ignore wiring from past hack jobs. And do not ignore ign module. In my career ive seen ign module failures do some very strange things to circuits that had nothing to do with ign.rule NOTHING out,do basics first .You WILL get frustrated/stumped/ discouraged. Take break and hit it again. You can do this. Ive found problems that other garages gave up on cause of these methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All suggestions solid and your getting advice from some of the best people on this site. DO NOT assume it's one short. Divide and conquer.....you can do this. If ur familiar with cars/basic electricity troubleshooting,have volunteer, then u can do this! These wire circuits very basic. Do not ignore basics. Check EVERY ground. Even if looks good. Special attention to the ground coming from fusebox going to body. I once had a car that double filament turn/brake light burned out and fused together,resulting in a short to 2 circuits. 1 the turn signal circuits.2 - the brake lights, ,running lights, hazards/headlights. Also you mentioned mechanically malfunctioning turn signal, it may also be grounding/shorted in the turn signal switch located on/in column. There are obvious clues . follow them. you can try popular way of finding problem circuit by removing One fuse at a time until the problem goes away, or the circuit that problem is on goes dead. Then that's your circuit that has the short/ground. Also,do basic research,learn diff between short/ground/open or closed circuit. Example : unplug alternator and see if problem continue to rule out alt. Do this with every electric piece you can. Including relays. LEARN HOW TO TEST RELAYS!! 50% OF THE TIME, A SHORT AS U DESCRIBED, IS RELAYS THAT HAVE MALFUNCTIONED CAUSING WEIRD STUFF LIKE YOU DESCRIBED. Testing relays is simple. Learn how and test any relay on the problem circuit. Do not ignore wiring from past hack jobs. And do not ignore ign module. In my career ive seen ign module failures do some very strange things to circuits that had nothing to do with ign.rule NOTHING out,do basics first .You WILL get frustrated/stumped/ discouraged. Take break and hit it again. You can do this. Ive found problems that other garages gave up on cause of these methods.
Alright. I got this. It's gonna take forever but I got this. I appreciate it man.
 

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Hello,

The grounds are easy:

Battery to alternator frame. Engine to frame. Engine to body. My electronic transmission gets one to the body at a brake booster mounting bolt. Probably needs a ground to the radiator core support. My engine heads each get their own fat braided wire ground from the alternator for best spark at the plugs. I have a fabricated fat braided bridge wire ground across the halves of the rag joint for best horn button operation - my original rag joint also had this. In fact, all of my best grounds are braided lines soldered into good copper connectors.

Then start looking at the wiring diagram for the dashboard grounds. Check the continuity for best grounding between the dash carrier mounting bolt holes and the negative battery post using a good multimeter. I use these same mount bolt holes for grounding things under the dash that need it. I also use the mount bolts for the steering column as ground sources after checking for good continuity.

Laid up here at home sick today. No fever so no 'Rona, just sore, sleepy and runny-nosed. And I've already had the virus and the shots.

Rick
 

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87 elcamino v6 4.3 t.b.i.
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Hello,

The grounds are easy:

Battery to alternator frame. Engine to frame. Engine to body. My electronic transmission gets one to the body at a brake booster mounting bolt. Probably needs a ground to the radiator core support. My engine heads each get their own fat braided wire ground from the alternator for best spark at the plugs. I have a fabricated fat braided bridge wire ground across the halves of the rag joint for best horn button operation - my original rag joint also had this. In fact, all of my best grounds are braided lines soldered into good copper connectors.

Then start looking at the wiring diagram for the dashboard grounds. Check the continuity for best grounding between the dash carrier mounting bolt holes and the negative battery post using a good multimeter. I use these same mount bolt holes for grounding things under the dash that need it. I also use the mount bolts for the steering column as ground sources after checking for good continuity.

Laid up here at home sick today. No fever so no 'Rona, just sore, sleepy and runny-nosed. And I've already had the virus and the shots.

Rick
Rag joints? Feel better soon...
 

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Rag joint? Its the rubber separator / shock absorber between the lower steering shaft and the upper steering shaft. Maybe also a bit of a vibration dampener - it looks like old tire carcass sidewall rubber. My original, from 1970 rag joint, had a wire across the two halves to help out with vehicle electrical grounding so I made a new wire when I did my Jeep Grand Cherokee steering box upgrade.

Rick
 

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I think that helps with the steering wheel horn button ground. I could be wrong.
 
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