Radomirian wiring: This is the big one that will fix my 94! - Page 4 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-19-2008, 05:16 PM   #31
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I haven't blown any fuses or had any wires catch on fire. But then what explains the rear exterior lights working at 6.3V and sometimes the passenger side headlight and both fog lamps working at a similar voltage?

Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. I've read about LEDs and other bulbs blowing the lamp monitor, and some here have blamed that very thing. I should probably be asking which resistance the lamp monitor expects so I can make sure all the bulb sockets are in working order and not doing something strange either within the sockets or along the wires.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:11 PM   #32
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Yes, I think you are looking at it the wrong way, which is why I jumped in and asked.

If you haven't blown a fuse or had a wiring fire, then you don't have a short circuit. Open circuits and corroded connections are far more common and less dangerous anyway. I think you're dealing with open circuits/corrosion rather than short circuits. Open circuits won't light up at all, so it sounds even more like a corrosion problem, but might still be something else.

Q: What do you mean when you say that some of your lights are "working at 6.3 volts." ?

Measure the voltage at the light socket with a voltmeter without a bulb in it. Is that what is 6.3 volts? If your lighting circuits are putting out 6.3 volts instead of 12, then that doesn't constitute "working".

If you mean "I put a 6.3 volt bulb instead of a 12 volt bulb in the socket, and it lights up, but when I put a 12 volt bulb in the socket, it does not light up" -then that doesn't constitute "working" either.

You asked "what resistance does the lamp monitor expect?" I have no idea what you're looking for with respect to this question. Your lamps should all be standard replacement parts that you can get at any automotive parts store. Use the factory standard replacement bulb for each location, THAT is what the lamp monitor expects. That is, go to a parts store, buy whatever GE or Sylvania or whatever brand they sell replacement lamp is supposed to be in your turn signals, backup lights, headlights, etc. Don't use 6.3 volt bulbs in your car, or any bulb that isn't supposed to go there. If you just use the right lamps for your car, you'll have the correct "whatever your lamp monitor expects." If they don't light up, then you can troubleshoot the remaining components involved, because THAT is where the problem will be. Fix the problem, not the symptom, okay? Use the right lamps, not 6.3 volt lamps.

In general, lamps are not defined by a resistance, lamps are conductors, so by their nature they form a short circuit. Different lengths/thicknesses of tungsten or whatever will provide various levels of light when the lamp is driven with a certain voltage. Your car lamps are built to light up at 12 volts. You probably won't get any useful information measuring the resistance of lightbulbs.

Your lighting circuits probably don't even care too much what resistance your bulbs are. If you used some sort of aftermarket lamp that draws low current but lights up appropriately at 12 volts (like say, an LED), your lamp monitor will probably care less. What we're interested in here is the ability of your lighting circuits to provide 12 volts to the lamp, which should draw whatever current is typical for the stock lamp. Drawing less current is okay, drawing more is not okay.

Your problem is probably located in the lamp monitor control module, or else it is probably corrosion of electrical terminals and/or conductors somewhere or in multiple locations. (A dead battery, for example, will cause your lamps to not operate, but that'* typically a more obvious cause.) Go back to the diagram posted in the first page and do what is suggested: Check the connectors for corrosion, run a fused test wire that can handle up to 10 amps from the battery, and individually drive those pins to see if the lamps light up correctly (when using the correct bulbs!).

[EDIT]: Check the main grounding blocks under the driver and passenger front seat carpets. For all the electrical problems you have, I think you should check that first. http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...=article&k=102

Also, can you provide any idea why any of this might be happening? Did your car suffer flood damage, was it owned by a ricer who put neon lights all over it, was it involved in a major accident, did aliens abduct it in a high-energy particle beam, or what?

-Mark
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #33
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Big post! Thanks. I'll address it the best I can, and let me know if I've missed anything.

I also blame corrosion rather than shorting out, but the thing is that I saw my windshield washer fluid reservoir'* bolt sticking through a wire loom, and taking that out and shaking it made the headlights not act strangely. I've taken apart that wire loom since then, but it seems no wire is broken. I just assumed I have a very lightly shorted circuit somewhere based on the bolt going through the wire loom.

The rear lights are working at 6.34V because that'* what the multimeter tells me. The OE 12V bulbs do not burn brightly, and people can't see my car'* tail lights. I'm not using 6.3V bulbs. Perhaps they'd work, though.

The lamps do not light up all the way, and I'd like to make sure the wires going to the bulbs are all right by checking the resistance of the bulb circuits. I asked earlier if turn signal flashers blink more slowly with increased resistance. If that'* true, I'm having a problem with my left turn signal because it blinks EXTREMELY slowly sometimes. I am shown by my dashboard that I have my left turn signal lamp constantly on at WOT, too.

I've bought a brand new battery and all new 4GA wires for everything. I have a brand new alternator as well. I tested the battery voltage, and it'* at 12V. The alternator bumps up the measured voltage to ~ 13-14V. Unfortunately, the rear lights don't see this voltage. What'* also strange is that leaving a battery in my car overnight almost kills it. I can charge the battery with my trickle charger, hook it up, and crank the engine for a split second before it starts right up and runs strongly. However, if the car'* left like that, the next day it just won't start. The thing is that there'* no empirically quantifiable measurement of battery drain that I've found. Simply, any battery I install goes from being great to being nothing.

There'* a ring terminal screwed into the side of the chassis that goes to a block with many wires connecting to it. That'* the grounding block you're referring to? I have one on each side. The ring terminals are not corroded, and I recently cleaned the grounding blocks as well. I'm aware I had water in my car, but even with all this rain recently, the water is not leaking in anymore. I had this weird voltage issue even before my carpet was wet, so I don't believe my wet carpet is connected to corrosion of the grounding blocks. August 07, I had a brand new carpet from stockinteriors.com, and the lighting issues were already there. November 07 is when one window inexplicably opened while the car was off during a snow storm, and that'* where the water came from.

When I bought my car, it had up until then only had engine rebuilds and a rear tweeter replacement and relocation to the B pillars. That'* out now. Aside from that, I'm not aware of any "ricing" done to my car... Aside from my baby blue engine bay that is now being changed over. I ran a 4GA wire to the back to power speaker amplifiers for rear deck speakers and subwoofers. I'm redoing that now to include more amplifiers for more interior speakers. Not going for loudness or anything - just quality. I grounded it all out to the "frame" of the car, and it didn't otherwise touch the electrical system.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:51 PM   #34
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Okay, bolt through the wiring loom and shaking loom causing problem to start/go away is a start. So you know you have something wack with that bundle.

Before you install your new amplifiers to your 4 guage wires, fix your electrical problem first! If your battery is draining overnight you have a problem that needs to be corrected. If your taillights are getting 6.3 volts, that is a problem that needs to be corrected.

Let'* deal with the tail lights first, that should be easy enough: You get 6.3 volts across the socket'* hot pin and ground (bayonet socket) I presume. Measure again, but this time ground the voltmeter ground wire to the car chassis or use a long wire with clipleads to ground it to the battery - terminal. See if it'* still 6.3 volts or if it measures out 12. (incidentally, when I say 12, this is with the understanding that when the car is on and the alternator is running, it will be higher by a volt or so, but let'* not worry about that. By 12, I mean 12 to 14, whatever.)

If it'* still 6.3 with a good ground, then you need to shoot down the source of the loss, because just think about it: Your battery starts out at 12-ish. From there it has to go to the light controller, and from there to your taillights. You will measure the voltage at each point. Somewhere you're getting a drop.

I'm not terribly surprised your battery is draining, if you're dropping voltage somewhere.

I only have the FSM'* for 1997, so I don't know the wiring layout for 1994, but wiring is wiring, it isn't rocket science. If you had to, you could scavenge a wiring harness from a yard and simply replace your various harnesses. This may be difficult to locate a donor with suitable year and accessory options, but *lighting* should be pretty much swapable.

I'm not familiar with the "ring terminal" grounds you are describing. I recommend you snap a pic and post it and let the other 94 owners chime in if it is normal or not. I suppose it'* possible somebody effed up your wiring. The grounds you cleaned, these were the ones shown in the techinfo article I linked you to, yes?

One troubleshooting step you can use is to selectively disable other components. For example, you can pull the fuse that goes to your power seats and the fuse that goes to the power windows, then check your taillight to see if the 6.3 volts comes up to 12. The goal is to identify a circuit that is sucking down the 12 volt line to your taillights. Are you able to identify any other circuits that are giving low voltage? Any other lights?

Also, this light controller module, do you have access to it? I see you've written that you need to pull the dash to get to it, and that you also need the dash on to avoid getting fined. I think you're going to need to get to the controller. See if you can beg time from the local magistrate while you troubleshoot. Sometimes asking and showing that you're serious about complying with the zoning law can buy you some time.

This is fixable, but you definitely need to fix it right. Electrical troubleshooting can appear tricky, but circuits are usually pretty straightforward.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #35
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Thanks for working on this with me!

The amps are completely out of the car, and I don't think I'm going to install them until I get everything just right. Even the radio is out of the dash, and I've pulled the rear speaker wires.

I'll take some pictures and measure some more voltages, and I'll be back. Thank you for the advice. The battery is out of my car and on a trickle charger at the moment. It'* been raining outside, so I'll go back out tomorrow and continue working.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:51 PM   #36
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And I also hate to point out the obvious, but out of six Pontiacs I've owned, all six had the positive battery cable corrode throughout its length, therefore I feel obligated to ask if you've checked this? It doesn't matter how much you shine/wirebrush/clean the battery terminals, you need to slit and peel back some of the outer rubber casing to see if it'* corroded throughout its length. As far as I know, the best replacement if you need one is to dealer-order it, and it tends to be pricey. Anyway, check it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:30 PM   #37
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I've replaced all these wires:
battery - starter
battery - ground
battery - fuse panel
battery - alternator
some other ground cables
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:40 PM   #38
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Just to be certain, what did you replace them with? Did you order new ones from a dealer, get them from a salvage yard, or roll your own? Did you do a good job with all of the connectors? Just give me your opinion of your own work, and we'll go from there.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:14 AM   #39
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All the positive wires except for one are brand new, fully copper wires with the connectors pre-crimped. I got them at Advanced Auto Parts. The wire that goes to the fuse panel is non-oxygenated aluminum Monster brand wire.

All the ground wires are fully copper and also bought from Advance, but they are attached to top post terminals at one end. I bought a dual terminal 75 battery and did a NAPA charging post conversion thingie so that I effectively have dual top posts. The connectors are now clamps like Ford models.

I should probably point out that I had the electrical issue before when I had corroded battery cables all over the place. I changed out all the wires, the battery (three times) and the alternator, and the problem persisted.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #40
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Quote:
The wire that goes to the fuse panel is non-oxygenated aluminum Monster brand wire.
Why did you do this? There is a HUGE draw on that cable, and aluminum is a poor conductor compared to copper. If that isn't your problem, it'* going to BECOME a problem.
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