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Discussion Starter #1
Recently redid my whole rear suspension and had the gas tank out and repainted. I put everything back in last weekend and everything works fine until you turn the lights on!
Now when I go to put the car in reverse, as the steering column starts to spin my temperature and gas gauge needles start to
dance, my clock and tach lights go out and the high beam indicator comes on! Then after it's all the way in reverse, things go back to normal. What did I do by taking that gas tank off and painting it!!? I hooked up the ground from the sending unit to the body but other than that I didn't mess with any wiring.
Any recomendations for troubleshooting will be well taken. Wiring is not one of my strong points if I even have any.



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Scott Wolfe
Leck Kill, Pa.
70 Chevelle SS L34
 

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I'm assuming a column shift car from what you are describing. What happens if you pull the connector, for the back-up lights, off the neutral safety switch? It's located on the lower top of the steering column of the neutral safety/back up switch. Has two wires, a pink and green. Try removing the connector and go through the same motions again. Anything change?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
John,
I will try that tonight and get back to you tomorrow. I only have access to a computer at work! Gotta get me one of these!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #4
John,

Ever have one of those mornings? My car is not a column shift but a 4-spd that has to be in reverse to get the key out of the ignition. I just realized after re-reading your response that you figured it was a column shift.
Regardless, I disconnected those two wires as my steering column had them and then went for my keys. I freaken forgot them at home! I keep the car in my father's barn which is 15 miles from my home and then I have to drive another 13 to work! So here I am and I don't have anything to tell you except I did find the two wires.
I'll have to let you know tomorrow what happens with them disconnected. Or does everything change since it is a 4-spd?

Sorry (please bear with me)

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #5
John,
With the pink and green wire connector disconnected the gauges and lights all behave the same way. Any other thoughts?

What are the other male posts on the same white plastic piece that the green and pink wire connector attached to? I saw there are two posts on the right side of the column that don't have anything attached to them. Should I be concerned?
Really would like to get to the bottom of this!

Thanks,

Scott
 

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The two other male terminals are for the automatic transmission neutral safety start switch. Not much of a concern with your 4-speed.
I'm still not seeing it yet. A problem that occurs only with the head lights on while shifting from neutral in reverse. The whole thing almost sounds like a bad dash ground but you didn't do anything there. Hate to have anyone start tearing up things looking around. Does everything jump around if you put the car in 1st or any other gear? Do you have a center console in the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John,
I do have a center console but am unsure if the temp. gauge dances when shifting to other gears but will thoroughly check all gears with the headlights both on and off and will also just check with only the parking lights on to see if that makes a difference. I did change the dash pad over the winter while the car was in storage in dad's barn and truthfully haven't driven it at night until last weekend!
Do you think I messed something up while the dash pad was off?

I'm leaving work in 5 minutes so I'll check back tomorrow.

Thanks,

Scott
 

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Not sure. Like I said, hate to see anyone rip up things chasing problems. I'm sort of leaning towards a wire or wires that are being pulled or chaffed as the shifter moves. Not the back-up light wires, eliminated those. Maybe the console wires. Think that would be the next thing I would try, unplugging the console wires.

Elree Colby (or someone else)
Where is the main harness to console harness connector on a 70? Maybe try unplugging that and shifting it into reverse. See if the dancing stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
John,
I'll check the console out and see what happens. It only does it when shifting from neutral to reverse. And it only does it at about 3/4 of the shift, then the lights come back on, the temp gauge needle stops bouncing and the fuel gauge needle goes from empty to working properly. Then if I start to pull it back out of reverse, about 1/4 of the way back as the steering column starts turning, the lights and gauges act up. But as soon as I'm past a certain point, everything goes back to normal.

Is it possible to have a problem in the steering column itself? Maybe something rubbing a wire as it is spinning?

Scott
 

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I don't know what it is offhand. You may be correct that it is a wire rubbing in the column. But if you disturb the wires too much, the problem may go away for awhile. That's why I seem to be suggesting to go around the problem and try finding out what makes it go away without ripping up everything. Best I can suggest is to unplug a couple of things and see what makes it stop. Leave things unplugged and keep trying it. Maybe in this order.
Set the e-brake and don't press on the foot brake
Reverse light wires on column. (already tried this)
Console connector
Any switch wiring on transmission? If so, unplug its connector.
Clutch neutral safety switch? If so, unplug its connector.
Remove hazard can from fuse block
Remove turn signal can from under the dash
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John,
I really like your suggestion of not tearing into it and working around it!! I will try all the things you suggested and get back to you next week with a new post. Wish me luck cause I'll need it.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond with your knowledge and helpfulness.

Scott
 
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