Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 1:14 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

Hey all,

I've been troubleshooting a vintage air issue over the past month, and it's getting very frustrating. Long story short, the system will function/power up regardless of the 12v ignition (switched) source being on or even plugged in. I've been working with their tech and we ran a bunch of tests via a voltmeter and determined that the AC control panel (in the dash) was getting the 5v to operate regardless of whether or not the purple wire (12v ignition source) was powered or not. This is a brand new system mind you. So I sent them the ECU, control panel, and control harness, at my own cost to have them test it. They ran a 24-hour test on them and said they were working as expected, and thought the issue must be with the main harness.

So they sent me my components back, along with a new harness (at no cost). I was hesitant, as unless their original harness had a jumped connection somewhere I couldn't see how it would be the wiring.

I installed the new harness, following the wiring diagram to the T, and still, the same problem exists. I can literally pull the purple 12v ignition wire from the fuse block, confirm that it is getting 0 power, and the system still operates.

The other weird issue, the tan wire, which is for 12v backlight, comes on all the time, EVEN IF THE WIRE IS SIMPLY GROUNDED. That's right, if I take what is supposed to be the 12v backlight source for the control panel backlighting and GROUND IT, the backlights come on.

I have zero ideas about what is going on, and can only surmise that the tests they ran on the ECU confirmed the system operates, but that was never in question. The problem is that it operates even when it's not supposed to, and perhaps their bench tests don't cover that.

Anyone else ran into that issue?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 1:24 PM
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

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Originally Posted by sir_apoc View Post
Hey all,

I've been troubleshooting a vintage air issue over the past month, and it's getting very frustrating. Long story short, the system will function/power up regardless of the 12v ignition (switched) source being on or even plugged in. I've been working with their tech and we ran a bunch of tests via a voltmeter and determined that the AC control panel (in the dash) was getting the 5v to operate regardless of whether or not the purple wire (12v ignition source) was powered or not. This is a brand new system mind you. So I sent them the ECU, control panel, and control harness, at my own cost to have them test it. They ran a 24-hour test on them and said they were working as expected, and thought the issue must be with the main harness.

So they sent me my components back, along with a new harness (at no cost). I was hesitant, as unless their original harness had a jumped connection somewhere I couldn't see how it would be the wiring.

I installed the new harness, following the wiring diagram to the T, and still, the same problem exists. I can literally pull the purple 12v ignition wire from the fuse block, confirm that it is getting 0 power, and the system still operates.

The other weird issue, the tan wire, which is for 12v backlight, comes on all the time, EVEN IF THE WIRE IS SIMPLY GROUNDED. That's right, if I take what is supposed to be the 12v backlight source for the control panel backlighting and GROUND IT, the backlights come on.

I have zero ideas about what is going on, and can only surmise that the tests they ran on the ECU confirmed the system operates, but that was never in question. The problem is that it operates even when it's not supposed to, and perhaps their bench tests don't cover that.

Anyone else ran into that issue?
You may have the wrong ignition source. Purple is starter not ignition circuit.

I donít like being manipulated!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 1:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

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Originally Posted by Alan F View Post
You may have the wrong ignition source. Purple is starter not ignition circuit.
Purple is the color of the vintage air wire for 12v ignition on their harness, not the color of the wire I'm tapping into. I'm receiving power from the IGN source on fuse block. Regardless, if the vintage air purple wire is removed completely, meaning no 12v switched power at all, the unit is still powering up, meaning some sort of internal relay isn't working and is always open.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 2:06 PM
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

Do you have a good ground to the VA system? Stupid question, just need to ask.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 5:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

They provide two wires, a 12 gauge and 18 gauge that are grounded directly to the negative of the battery. There is also another 18 gauge from the heater control solenoid that you run to chassis ground, which I have under the dash. All 3 are hooked up. I originally had them hooked up to the quick disconnect side, and the VA tech didn't like that, so I moved them to the top post and off the quick disconnect. The issue persisted still.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 6:07 PM
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

I would blow up their phone come Tuesday. If everything is hooked up per their instructions, the module is suspect and they should supply a new module.

If they gave you a wiring diagram, you can post it and we can check to see if there's any way power can feed back to supply the system without going through the ECM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 6:55 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 7:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

I can't see how it's not the ECU here. In testing we established that the 5v power supply from the ECU TO the Control Panel was getting 5.06v, regardless of key on or key off, which VA said was incorrect, and should not have power with key off. This is the lead I tested.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old May 26th, 19, 7:54 PM
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

I don't see it either. When the power is off to the violet wire the system should be off.

I see 3 other ways power can enter the ECU. The throttle control switch and 2 wires coming off the circuit breaker. You can disconnect each one at a time and it may show you the route the power is entering the ECU. I wonder if the BCS or maybe the heater control valve circuit could supply a back feed if they were not functioning correctly or improperly wired..

These are just thoughts I have. Personally, I would wait and make the call when they open. If it doesn't get resolved, hopefully you put it on a credit card and you can stop payment until they satisfy you. Most credit cards offer that sort of protection.

Wish I could be more help, but I'm just not seeing an issue if everything is connected properly, the thing should work. If it doesn't work, throw it back in their lap.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old May 31st, 19, 1:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Getting very frustrated with Vintage Air

After some back and forth they're going to send me a new ECU. The system randomly started behaving as expected without me doing anything, which is suspect. Their tech suggested it could be a loose power, ground, or ignition power. I asked him if the system had some sort of startup mode wherein it would ignore ignition power for X amount of time after startup, but he said it pretty much acts as a relay and without ignition power it shouldn't power up at all. I said then I couldn't see how it's not the ECU, as it was operating without ignition power at all, meaning whatever acts as the "relay" (ECU in this case I think) was powering up the system regardless of the "on" switch being flipped. I also said that since they sent, and I installed, an entirely new main harness it would be very coincidental for me the make the same wiring mistake twice in a row. So they said they'd send me another ECU, which I very much appreciate. Though it's taken some time their tech support has been helpful.
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