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Old 07/18/2009, 11:02 AM   #1
Mosesatm
 
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Complete Electrical Failure

Yesterday I was at a stop light, waiting for it to turn green, and the car just died.

I have nothing. No lights, flashers, horn, gauges, starter. Absolutely nothing.

The battery is good because it will turn over the starter when jumped across the solenoid.

I have power to the ignition switch but don't seem to have any to the fuse box.

Is there a master fuse that covers everything electrical?
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Old 07/18/2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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I'm taking my wiring diagrams home tonite so I can decipher your quandry.
There is not a 'master' fuse.
Some circuits are powered thru the ignition switch,
while others are independent of the ign switch
(headlites, brake lites, interior, etc.) ALL power branches out from the solenoid,
thru connectors & splices to their respective functions. We've just gotta locate the point of power loss.

Neil
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Old 07/18/2009, 04:37 PM   #3
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Arlie, start with the battery, battery cables, and starter solenoid.

Scott Behncke
1968 GT/CS 302-4V Honors flysis income beezis onches nobis inob keesis
West Coast Classic Cougar A good source for Mustang mechanical parts too.
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Old 07/18/2009, 04:44 PM   #4
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Just came in from the garage.

Pulled the ignition switch and jumpered from the main power terminal to the accessory terminal. Dead short to ground. Great, that lead only goes to a hundred different items!

With the jumper in place I removed all the fuses and still had a short. I then pulled the 2 yellow wires from the circuit breaker just to the left of the fuse box and a dash light came on, as did the overhead console light. I think I found the short.

Anyone know what that breaker is for? It's to the left of the fuse box and lines up with the bottom fuse. I'm hoping I can install an aftermarket in-line fuse and bypass it.

Thanks!

Edit to Add:

Looks like it's part of the AC system so I'll unhook the leads for now and see if that fixes everything (except the AC) tomorrow.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 07/18/2009 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 07/19/2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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I believe the relay you see is power for the compressor clutch: power goes from the relay to the thermostat mounted on the evaporator, and then to the compressor clutch. The theory being that when the evaporator sensor is cold enough it opens, disengaging power to the compressor so as not to ice-up the evaporator.

Neil
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Old 07/20/2009, 11:13 AM   #6
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Ok, that wasn't the problem. I must have moved something or touched something and now everything is dead again, even with that circuit breaker unhooded.

Damn, this is fun!!!

Anyone want to buy a car.......cheap?
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Old 07/20/2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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Arlie; What DOES work? Anything? I'm looking for clues as to what systems are thru the ign. sw. versus systems that are independent such as headlites, brake lites, interior lites, etc.

Neil
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Old 07/20/2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post

Anyone want to buy a car.......cheap?
Arlie, how much? Just kidding! In a situation like this, I would check the main power wire into the fuse block to make sure it isn't loose or corroded, and then work out from there. I would be surprised if it's a dead short to ground that's causing the problem. If it was, and not protected by a fuse or circuit breaker, the fusible links in the terminals at the solenoid would melt and you'd have no power anywhere. I'm back from my rafting trip now and standing by to lend assistance if needed.

Steve

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Old 07/20/2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
Arlie; What DOES work? Anything? I'm looking for clues as to what systems are thru the ign. sw. versus systems that are independent such as headlites, brake lites, interior lites, etc.

Neil
Nothing works.

The bottom fuse socket is hot and the socket above that one is hot, (I learned that the hard way) but they are not part of the accessory circuit, and since they are hot I figured the flashers would work since one of them is the flasher circuit, but no, they don't even work.



All the other circuits and fuses are dead.
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Old 07/20/2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvrtrash View Post
Arlie, how much? Just kidding! In a situation like this, I would check the main power wire into the fuse block to make sure it isn't loose or corroded, and then work out from there. I would be surprised if it's a dead short to ground that's causing the problem. If it was, and not protected by a fuse or circuit breaker, the fusible links in the terminals at the solenoid would melt and you'd have no power anywhere. I'm back from my rafting trip now and standing by to lend assistance if needed.

Steve
Steve, I didn't know there was a main line going to the fuse block. I thought they were individual lines. I'll pull the block tonight. Fun, fun, fun.

Did I say cheap? Tomorrow it may be real cheap!
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Old 07/20/2009, 03:08 PM   #11
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When you say 'hot', are we talking temperature or voltage??

Neil
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Old 07/20/2009, 03:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
When you say 'hot', are we talking temperature or voltage??

Neil
Voltage.
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Old 07/20/2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post
Steve, I didn't know there was a main line going to the fuse block. I thought they were individual lines. I'll pull the block tonight. Fun, fun, fun.

Did I say cheap? Tomorrow it may be real cheap!
Arlie, there should be a main power line that comes in for the stuff that has power if the key is off and another line or lines for stuff that only works when the key is on, plus all the individual outputs. From your original post, I gathered you had absolutely no power. One thing you can do if you think the problem is a short, with the battery disconnected, is take an ohm reading from the outputs of the fuses to ground. That will show you if you have a short on a circuit. With the power appearing and disappearing though, it sounds like a bad connection or broken wire. The places most likely are the wire at the starter solenoid, the connection at the fuse block, or there is a flat, 4 wire plug under the dash that carries the main power wire into the under-dash harness that might be loose or corroded. Good luck, and let us know what you find as you go along.

Steve

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Old 07/20/2009, 06:09 PM   #14
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This may seem overly simplistic, but what about verifying the negative circuit from the battery, starting with the battery terminal, ground cable connection @ the engine block, and a good ground between the block & chassis.
Meanwhile, I'm looking over my diagrams.

Steeeeeve, help!!

Neil
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Old 07/20/2009, 06:31 PM   #15
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It keeps getting more and more interesting.

I now have power to all the fuses, except the center one for the dash lights. But as soon as I plug in anything I lose all the power to all the fuses.

For example, as soon as I plug in the wiper switch connector I get zero volts to all fuses, but if I unhook that connector full votage returns to all the fuses.

It's the same issue with the other gauge connector. As soon as I connect it I lose all votage to all the fuses. HVAC fan same results.

Steve, since I have full power until I connect something I think the power wires are OK, at least to the switch and the fuse block. In my limited brain it seems to me that it is after the fuse block that it all goes kaflooey.

I think I'll crawl under the car and change out the ground cable(s).

This one has me completely baffled.
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