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Old 06-29-2006, 09:00 PM   #1
Two 87s
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Default Electrical problems - reverse lights and car cuts out

I have a very frustrating '84 240 DL that I'm dealing with. The main problem is that it cuts out while driving. For instance, earlier today, it was driving fine for a while, and then it wouldn't rev above 3000 rpms very easily, so it was gutless. It's a manual, and I put it in neutral, but it refused to rev up very well. I limped on towards home. As I neared home, it cut out completely and died. When this happens, as it has before, it seems to simply lose all electrical power. It will then restart if I turn the key off and then back on.

Another odd problem involves the reverse lights. The fuse for those lights blows when the car is turned on. However, if the power is turned on, but the car isn't turned over, the reverse light fuse will not blow, and the reverse lights work. It only blows if I turn the car on.

The overdrive fuse will also blow, but my overdrive doesn't work anyway.

Recent work includes a clutch job that I did myself. The reverse lights and overdrive both got plugged back in correctly. I replaced the rear main seal as well. I screwed that job up, and had to have a shop go back in and do the rear main seal again. The reverse light problem has remained constant after both my repairs and theirs.

This car has an aftermarket head unit, but I don't believe it to be miswired. It also has wiring for a subwoofer and amp, but the sub and amp are not installed. The power wire and ground for that are taped on the ends, and not contacting anything in the truck, nor do I think that the thick insulation on the power wire rubbed through anywhere and is contacting the body. However, I mention those things in the spirit of full disclosure.

Also, although it hasn't done it recently, I had times where the ticking chime for the turn signal lever would stay on, even after the turn signal itself clicked off.

The engine ground strap is in good condition.

A few months back, I got what I thought to be bad gas. I added a lot of fuel treatment to this car and the other car that suffered. I ended up also having to replace a cap, rotor and plugs on this car. The rotor was completely toasted.

This is a very annoying problem, and I'm afraid that it all adds up to one seriously electrically malfunctioning car. However, I am hoping that someone will say "Dude, it's just a bad battery." or "Son, you need to replace that alternator ASAP."

Any guesses? If this crap doesn't fix itself, or lend itself to an easy fix by me, I may simply get a different car. Tracking down extensive electrical gremlins doesn't appeal to me.

Aaron
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:15 AM   #2
Two 87s
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Drove it later tonight. Cut out completely again as I was turning around at low speed. Coasted to a stop, and it was completely dead. No power at all. Called a tow truck. Got it home, and the trunk light came on. So I got in, to see if it would start. The lights came on, but when I went to start it, it died completely again.

At this point, I'm thinking malfunctioning alternator with a side of dead battery. I'll get the battery charged and the alternator tested tomorrow.

Aaron
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:29 AM   #3
Midgie245R
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Any guesses? If this crap doesn't fix itself, or lend itself to an easy fix by me, I may simply get a different car. Tracking down extensive electrical gremlins doesn't appeal to me.

[/QUOTE]

Nooooo! Don't do it son!

It kinda sounds like the dodgy alt prob that I had on my '81 245 a few months ago. Don't know about the reverse lights tho, that's weird. Got a wiring diagram?
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:07 PM   #4
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I pulled the alternator and battery. They both tested out okay, and I reinstalled them.

I'm starting to think it's the ignition switch. Those are $73 from the dealer, and no one else local can get them. (FCP price is $62.) I'm gonna see if I can find a used one.

Aaron
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two 87s
I pulled the alternator and battery. They both tested out okay, and I reinstalled them.

I'm starting to think it's the ignition switch. Those are $73 from the dealer, and no one else local can get them. (FCP price is $62.) I'm gonna see if I can find a used one.

Aaron

I'm not sure that an ignition switch would explain the problems you are having with the reverse lights and overdrive fuses. I'd still look for a crossed wire or a short somewhere in the circuit. Check the local junkyard for an ignition switch. They should be the same for all 240s and 740s. There is bound to be a good used one nearby.

Patrick
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:57 PM   #6
Dragonfly1873
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Your car have the crumbling wire problem? if so best of luck
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly1873
Your car have the crumbling wire problem? if so best of luck
There are definitely some crumbling wire problems in this car. It may turn out that it is time to start hacking open the harness and replacing the wires that are completely toasted. I just don't have any desire to do that.

My last ditch attempt to do the "easy" fix is the ignition switch, since (almost) every circuit in the car runs through that switch. The way I figure it, if the ignition switch is on the fritz, then I could experience systemic electrical problems without finding a particular bad wire. We'll see. I've got the number of a guy in town that may have a used ignition switch that I can buy.

Aaron
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:18 PM   #8
Midgie245R
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Good luck mate
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:12 AM   #9
740jeff
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Let us know if ignition switch is problem. My '88 740T shuts off when I turn on high beams.

Driver's side headlight is very dim, as is the yellow side marker.
What's the "crumbling wire problem" about?
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:06 AM   #10
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I had many problems in the old girl where the sheath around the old wires just cracks/crumbles off. Shorts out wires onto each other, body work etc etc. Painfull to track it down to the source
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