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Old 04-07-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default 93 SSEi electrical fire - Now w/ PICS!!!!

Hey BC, been gone awhile, glad to be back.

Have been away due to the Bonnie being parked for the winter and a long delayed marriage and honeymoon as well as work going nuts.

To make a long story short, my daughters cavalier had to be parked, so I drug out the ole bonnie and she fired right up as always. Kayla drove it for a few days, until disaster struck. She was letting it warm up and 10 minutes later, smoke is rolling out from under the center console. I was out of town and had her shut it off and a neighbor helped make sure that it was safe to leave sit.

I just got to it today. The floor insulation under the console at the dashboard end has a 3 inch hole burnt into it. I can find nothing that would have caused it. Definately smells like an electrical fire. Will be ripping out the console soon the further inspect, just thought someone might have had a similar experience or some advice? Oh yeah, only half of the seat controls now work. Seats will move up, but not back, recline forward, but not backward, both seats, and I can hear the relays clicking in the seat control module when the switches are pressed.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:24 PM   #2
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There are not that many wires that short out to cause that. It could be the seat controls since they route that way...have you checked for any fried fuses? Most likely it blew one of the fuses..keep in mind there are like 3 fuse boxes on these cars.

but welcome back...we need to find out what caused this!
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: 93 SSEi electrical fire any ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by griff1455
She was letting it warm up and 10 minutes later, smoke is rolling out from under the center console. Oh yeah, only half of the seat controls now work. Seats will move up, but not back, recline forward, but not backward, both seats, and I can hear the relays clicking in the seat control module when the switches are pressed.
This is a strange one. Can only speculate at this point. You'll have to remove front seats, console & carpet for more conclusive information as to what went wrong.
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Old 04-08-2006, 02:34 PM   #4
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Looks like I am getting to the interior much ealier than planned on this project. Hopefully I can make the time in the next few weeks to gut the inside and find the culprit.

I found no blown fuses or circuit breakers, but will be doublechecking them. There is a control module mounted underneath the radio (what is this? car runs fine without it. Can't find it in the FSM). It was laying loose on the floor, assuming that it fell out of the mounting clips. I shot the heat sink with a DVM with the car running to see if it was hot. It was not. Although I am unsure if it is supposed to be and it shorted out cuasing a spark and igniting the insulation. Kinda grasping at straws here and should probably shoot a few pics.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
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OK, OK, I know I am digging up an old post, but this is an honest to goodness continuation. Bonne has been parked from last year until today. My son has his learner'* permit, doing very well on the road, and he knows that the green machine is his. Obviously, he is on my butt to finish this baby.

So we went to yank out the seats, console, and carpet to find the fire culprit. Lo and behold, I can;t get to the dadgum seat bolts without moving the seats. The seat control module relays click like a shutterbug when I hit any of the switches (they both will move forward and recline forward, but that'* it). I don't think it is bad, but is cutting off due to a current load (which is probably the short that started the fire, I also had to put in a new Optima battery, not sure if it was just due to age, or the short wiped it out).

I need to get both seats to move up, back, and forth to remove them. The only way I see of doing this is hot wiring the seat control module. The FSM is very difficult to read. Anybody have any experience in tricking that thing to move the seats? I am thinking if I can hit the right wires with a +12v feed, I can adjust the motors "manually".
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:54 PM   #6
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not sure on moving them manually.

That box you mention is the ABS controller (On the Firewall in the center) or there is also the Gain Control box up under the dash there.

I'll see if I can't find any more info on it.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:19 PM   #7
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just a FYI

ratcheting wrenches make the seat removal VERY easy

you could do it with the seats in their current position
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:13 PM   #8
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I had to move the seats back in my donor car (after i removed the battery harness) so i took a extra batery and spare wires and went direct to the motors on the bottom of the seats. It was not easy, but that is how i got it done.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:21 PM   #9
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Thanks Bobtaz,

Funny thing, I was doing just that when you posted. I deciphered the wiring diagram in the FSM enough to figure it out.

Dark Green with white strip - common on driver'* seat
Dark Blue - common on passenger
Dark Green - forward/back
Tan and Light Green - front and rear tilt

Direction depends on polarity, just had to hit the common and the correct motor lead.

Pulled the seats, console, shifter, rear seat, and molding. Found under the driver'* seat where the carpet had burnt to a crisp. Pulled the carpet and am now a little concerned. At first glance, it appears the wiring shorted in the harness between the seats running right over the console. I haven't pulled the harness apart yet. But, upon inspecting the carpet padding, there is a burnt patch under the carpet directly behind the console and another small one directly under the radio center. there are no visible burn track between the areas and the floor paint looks scorched. I am wondering if the exhaust heat may have caused it. I would have pics but I triggered a killer muscle spasm in my lower back when pulling the rear seat bottom. I love working on my bonneville, I love working on my bonneville, I love working on my bonneville. Pics to come soon, promise!

Anyway, I'm hitting the medicene cabinet for some muscle relaxers.

Any thoughts on the exhaust heat?

Any known god sources for molded carpet padding and carpet? Isn't there a sticky back product for sound dampning that can be used on the floor? Is this used in place of padding, or under it?
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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Did your cat clog? If so, it is very possible the excessive heat ignited the carpet. It does happen. Just a possibility.
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