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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after smoke checking a smaller wire attached to the back of the alternator because the large gauge black wire - that turned out to be the supply for the gauge harness - is not a ground (Black does not = ground in Ford wiring harnesses and Scott Drake doesn’t put a wiring diagram in with their wiring harnesses) but now that it’s hooked to the Batt+ side of the start solenoid (relay), I was able to hook the battery up without any smoke or drama. Success? Well, sorta...

But now I have the following issues and need some help figuring out how to diagnose and fix them, for background here is what has been installed during the last few weeks:
- New Heading, gauge, dash and taillight harnesses, headlight relay upgrade for LED headlamps
- New headlight switch
- 140amp 1-wire powermaster alternator, with 150 amp fuse (removed voltage regulator)
- New starter solenoid (relay)
- Dakota Digital VHX gauges
- Retrosound Stereo
- Electric fan with relay
- New LED underdash courtesy lights and door jamb switches

So here are the issues:

1. Underdash courtesy lights
- driver side on constant, even with door closed, switch has no effect
- passenger side doesn’t come on with door open or closed

2. Both headlights work in hi and low beam and hi-beam indicator light on VHX gauges comes on, but driver side DRL/turn signal on constant, passenger side DRL doesn’t come on at all, but when headlight switch pulled halfway out to activate the DRL’s only the driver side DRL and taillights start to blink erratically.

3. On VHX gauges the left turn signal indicator light on steady until turn signal lever moved to the ”up” (right turn) position, then it goes out. At this point the right turn indicator blinks normally, but the front right turn signal/DRL does no come on. The left turn signal/DRL blinks when the turn signal lever is placed in the “down” (left turn) position, but the turn signal indicator light on the VHX gauges stays on steady.

4. Taillights: both running lights come on with headlight switch on, but when brake pedal is pressed the running lights do not get brighter. So no brake lights. Turn signals work on both sides in the back.

5. Stereo won’t come on.

I’m going to try and get a video of this so you can see it in action. If anyone can recommend how and where to start looking for where things are jacked up and how to fix them, I’d greatly appreciate it. I took a lot of time during the wiring to ensure I cleaned all the grounds and sanded the attaching points until they were bare metal and used dielectric grease on all connectors.

I’m wondering if having the gauge power supply wire grounded when I burned up the small alternator wire, if that caused something else to burn up or ground out?
 

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Very likely if more than one problem popped up afterwards.
Wires, switches or even an electrical component could have melted together anywhere along their length. I think you're just going to have to start eliminating wires with an ohm meter or one of the sharp probe testers to check wires in different spots to track each problem down.
After such a calamity you don't want to ignore or delay tracking things down. The wire might be ready to release more smoke or even worse at any time.
 

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Start with your grounds. Are sure they are to good clean metal. For the tail lights do you have the right bulbs? Are they installed correctly? Problems with bulbs often cause brake light issues.

Stereo, find the power lead. Check it wit( a Volt meter. Do you have 12V? If not look for a blown or missing fuze. Are you sure it is the correct wire? If you do have 12V then look at the ground wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So now I’m just pissed off. I finally receive the correct length alternator belt and how up the battery and go to turn the engine over for the first time since June. Initially she’s cranking, try a few times with a few pumps of the pedal and she just cranks. So I try a few squirts of starting fluid in the primaries. Go to turn her over, cranks once and then nothing. No starter cranking at all. Check voltage on the start solenoid. Batt+ terminal reads battery voltage. S terminal while cranking reads 0 VDC. Checked fuses, all good.

I’ve been working on the electrical issues since June, this is my daily driver. Luckily it’s been Summer and my wife and daughter have given me rides to work when required. But I’ve spent 3 months and several thousand dollars trying to fix some electrical issues and overheating issues.

It’s a few days from the start of the school year and my daily driver is on jack stands in my garage. My retirement job is a high school Junior ROTC Instructor so I’m back full time starting, really this week, but school starts next Tuesday.

I used the “quality” parts from a vendor who folks recommend on here and several other Mustang forums. I took my time and soldered any connectors, no crimping or crimp and tape, or crimp and heat shrink, I did it all the right way. And I have more damn issues than when I started in June! The damn plastic headlight switch connector on the harness is absolute crap! The pins push right through, even after I adjusted the tabs, they wouldn’t positively sweat in the connector, the push right out the front and pull right out the back! It’s crap!! The ignition switch dying after less than 1 full minute of total operation...? I mean, seriously, what the hell?? I’ve been working in my 90+ degree garage for three months and just having my to-do list grow.

Now I have to try and find a bad *** local mechanic who is amazing at Mustang wiring issues and hope he is available. Can anyone recommend someone who is really good in the Annapolis out to Washington DC and down to the Patuxent area?

Here are two videos of some of the issues. Enjoy the s#!|show...

 

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Pertaining to your starting issue, are you running points or electronic ignition? CD box? (aka msd).

Especially since you were messing with the alternator wiring (you have the feed linked to the starter solenoid's battery post I assume), getting a new starter solenoid would be my first thought. They tend to be sensitive.

Side note: I have received a bunch of junk starter solenoids to the point that I got a "mini-starter" and now use that in place of the fender mounted solenoid. Bosch, Dorman, didn't matter. All only lasted a couple weeks for me.
 

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I see lots wrong here....Lots of Non-Original wiring, Non Original Alternator....among others...

Did Dakota Digital tell you that the cluster was meant for a Standard '65 Originally with a Falcon Style Cluster and Idiot lights?!??

If not, Then it's no wonder that the Turn signals are not working on the Dash Cluster.

You'll just have to go through each system 1 by 1....as your '65 has lots of mods that deviate from "Original"...

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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I have to agree with Million+. You may have done some hidden damage to your harness when you hooked it up wrong. Is it a stock Ford style Harness or an aftermarket one?

Unfortunately these off shore electrical components are all crap. I have had a number Dead on Arrival or fail shortly after install. Doesn’t matter if it’s for my 68 Mustang or 03 Taurus. The quality is garbage, even from formally good companies.

So you need to start by following the S wire back and see why it isn’t getting power.

Where in Md are you. I was just up there this week and go t9 Pax occasionally.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Flade, I’m in Chesapeake Beach, about 35-40 min North of Pax.

I did find the issue with the ignition circuitry, turns out I had the wires reversed on the coil (primary and secondary wires from the distributor, so I wasn’t getting spark to the distributor).

And I found one issue with the lighting system: the headlight harness firewall connection wasn’t completely seated. Now that it’s fully seated I have this:

1. GOOD - Hi and Low beam headlights work
2. GOOD - Front and rear Right turn signal works
3. BAD - Left turn signal activates both rear turn signals and front left turn signal but they flash like emergency flashers
4. BAD - Brake lights work normal with headlights off
5. BAD - Brake lights come on constant with headlights on (hi and Low beam)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pertaining to your starting issue, are you running points or electronic ignition? CD box? (aka msd).

Especially since you were messing with the alternator wiring (you have the feed linked to the starter solenoid's battery post I assume), getting a new starter solenoid would be my first thought. They tend to be sensitive.

Side note: I have received a bunch of junk starter solenoids to the point that I got a "mini-starter" and now use that in place of the fender mounted solenoid. Bosch, Dorman, didn't matter. All only lasted a couple weeks for me.
I have an MSD distributor and MSD Blaster 2 coil, but I do not have a 6AL box yet.

I have a mini-starter with a solenoid on the starter, but I went and bought a replacement starter solenoid and use it like a relay to trigger the mini-starter which solved some electrical issues I had with the ignition circuit. The ignition is working well and the alternator is charging and powering everything well.

The issues seems to be isolated to the lighting system, mainly the turn signals and brake lights.
 

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Flade, I’m in Chesapeake Beach, about 35-40 min North of Pax.

I did find the issue with the ignition circuitry, turns out I had the wires reversed on the coil (primary and secondary wires from the distributor, so I wasn’t getting spark to the distributor).

And I found one issue with the lighting system: the headlight harness firewall connection wasn’t completely seated. Now that it’s fully seated I have this:

1. GOOD - Hi and Low beam headlights work
2. GOOD - Front and rear Right turn signal works
3. BAD - Left turn signal activates both rear turn signals and front left turn signal but they flash like emergency flashers
4. BAD - Brake lights work normal with headlights off
5. BAD - Brake lights come on constant with headlights on (hi and Low beam)
Check that you have all the bulbs in correctly and they are the correct type. It’s easy to put them in backwards.

How old is the turn signal switch? If you replaced it could you have gotten the wires crossed.
 
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1st, CHECK ALL GROUNDS.
I would go back to basics, like the original harness, or use wires of color I could identify easily and label the ends with a masking tape and marker as I go...
1) get voltage from the battery to the large post of the solenoid
2) get voltage from the 1st small post to the ignition switch
3) get voltage from the ignition switch to the ignition coil and solenoid
4) be able to engage the switch and get the solenoid to close and the starter to engage the bendix and spin...
NOW you're cranking. Next...
1) get voltage from the ignition coil to the distributor
2) be sure the points and condenser are good, you have an internal ground and
3) the points open and close with a .017 gap OR you have a working sensor in your breakerless ignition.
4) get voltage from the coil center to the distributor center and the rotor is pointing at the appropriate cylinder for fire
5) verify timing / spark and fuel are present without flooding
NOW you're starting. Next...
1) get voltage from the positive post of the alternator and get it to the large post of the alternator
2) check your connections for the STATOR and FIELD posts and connect them as appropriate
NOW you're charging. Next...
Check all the factory harnesses for continuity and replace as necessary. Use the appropriate sender for the type of gauges you have. You can use hand signals if you have to for a bit, but a 12 volt from the ignition ON side to a brake light switch and good wires to the 1157s in the back will at least get you with brake lights UNTIL you find your prob.
 
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Now I see you got some of it straightened out...
Maybe you fried the wire to or from the brake light switch, the plugs between or from the steering column, and perhaps the turn signal cam...
 
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It sound slow you have a short in a bulb, socket or wiring. Swap the rear bulbs left and right and repeat your tests. If no change you have to get out a meter and start Checking circuits.
 
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