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Discussion Starter #1
My 72 malibu`s turn signals blink too slow, anybody out there got a clue? I replaced the flasher and it didn`t help.
 

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Did you replace the flasher under the dash or the one in the fuseblock? The one in the fuseblock is the wrong one. That one is the hazard flasher.
 

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I replaced the wrong one apparently, where`s the right one located? My charging system is kind of lazy too actually, I tested it some time ago and if I remember correctly it showed about 13 volts at a high idle and about 12 at 700 rpms. It seems to charge fine when I drive it regularly but if I let it idle with the lights on some times the gen light comes on and it will run down the battery. I`ve got an 80 amp alternater and don`t have any electrical extras, I don`t even listen to my radio, my idea of stereo is dual exhaust. I suspect the 30 year old wiring is suspect. However my lights are nice and bright. ????
 

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The flasher is up under the dash mounted in a clip just to the right of the steering column.
 

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WOW ...that's brave!!! 30 year old wiring on a classic muscle car....and you're driving it around running up to 80 amps through it. Man, there should be some kind of award for bravery ...or sumthin ....for that.

Yeah 13 volts don't sound like enough. Could be dirty connections, crappy thin battery cables or bad connections at the battery not helping matters.

But if you have an external voltage regulator, and it's ajustable, it needs cranking up a bit. If not, try a new one in there and see what happens.

Make sure your belt is not slipping too. Also, some of the older alternators didn't put out as much current as modern ones at low idle. If your idle is too low that could be part of the problem.

Just things to think about and try..... hope you upgrade that wiring soon...before you have to upgrade the car after a fire.

Steve
 

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FIRE? WHAT? Don`t say that! I know next to nothing about electrical systems so now you`ve got me scared. I bought the car five years ago and it had the current alternater in question in it and if I remember correctly it had a sticker on it saying it`s output was 80 amps[long since gone]. The motor was rebuilt and I`ve put about 6000 miles on it with this alternater, I think idle speed does have something to do with the gen light coming on because when my cars in drive it idles at about 600 rpms,although tommorrow I will raise it a little. Is there any way to tell what an alternater`s amp rating is? I`m sure the unit is just a parts store cheapo rebuild. All my connections are clean, you could eat off my engine compartment[it`s pretty]. If my regulater is adjustable how do I adjust it? I`d prefer an award for ignorant bravery rather than ignorant stupidity thank you very much.
 

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80 amps is merely the alternator's capacity. That dosn't mean some little wire has 80 amps being pulled through it. I run a 95 amp alternator in my 20 year old Olds and never give it a thought. Don't worry about it's rating unless voltage is falling after everything is turned on.
Yes, the voltage at idle is low. Battery likes to see around 14.5 volts. I don't mess around adjusting old regulators. Not worth my time. Try changing to a solid state regulator. The Wells model VR715 is available from AutoZone for around $11.00. Drops in place of the the original regulator. Output out of the alternator with the Wells is about 14.7 volts. Disconnect the battery before installing.
Turn signals working any better?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks John, that`s soothing to the soul. I kind`a thought that`s how they worked, plus I don`t have any electrical accessories other than three gauges and there all mechanical except for the lights in them and they`re only on when my lights are on, which is next to never. To be honest I haven`t even had a chance to look for the turn signal flasher yet, life`s too busy. Is it accessable from underneath the dash?
 

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Sorry to alarm you Jeff, but soothing to your soul won't save your baby from going up in smoke IF your wiring is in bad shape.

In 30 years and several owners, chances are that you have like most everyone else, a rat's nest of wires under the dash that are cut, spliced, going nowhere,...and chances are a mess at the fuse box as well, visibile or not.

The insulation 30 years ago on wires for a car that had minimal electronics was barely "good enough" for back then. Add to this equition the fact that in many cases if a wire was ever over heated, you now have brittle and sometimes missing insulation.

And I'll bet you are in no hurry to change the wiring because you don't know much about it. Alas, but that's way too common a situation. I wonder how many have gone up in flames lately?

I'm in the middle of a "frame-off". ALL wiring will be changed and upgraded to high quality. I put too much work and effort into this baby to lose it.

Good luck


Steve
 

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Originally posted by Steve_69:
Sorry to alarm you Jeff, but soothing to your soul won't save your baby from going up in smoke IF your wiring is in bad shape.

In 30 years and several owners, chances are that you have like most everyone else, a rat's nest of wires under the dash that are cut, spliced, going nowhere,...and chances are a mess at the fuse box as well, visibile or not.

The insulation 30 years ago on wires for a car that had minimal electronics was barely "good enough" for back then. Add to this equition the fact that in many cases if a wire was ever over heated, you now have brittle and sometimes missing insulation.

And I'll bet you are in no hurry to change the wiring because you don't know much about it. Alas, but that's way too common a situation. I wonder how many have gone up in flames lately?

I'm in the middle of a "frame-off". ALL wiring will be changed and upgraded to high quality. I put too much work and effort into this baby to lose it.

Good luck


Steve
Want to explain it in technical terms?
I have a one-owner 72. Has the original harnesses in it. Won't be ripping apart the wiring any time soon. To clarify, I bought the thing new.
Say Hi to DG Adams for me. Hope all is well with him and the family.
 

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Well John, then maybe you have a unique car since you are the original owner. Ever do any modifications to it? Maybe a new stereo, speakers, add-on options?

That still doesn't change the fact that you have technically inferior (compaired to today's insulation) wiring insulation that is now 32 years old. Ever have any electrical problems where you blew a fuse? If so, that likely put some real stress into the wire and/or insulation.

How many connections are crimped instead of soldered? How many add-on's are on the car that it didn't have originally putting a higher demand on the wiring?

You may be the exception in that your car me be safer than most, but that don't change the reality for the majority of owners out there running rats nest wiring that contains burnt wires, cracked or missing insulation and more.

It's amazing the amount of dollars guys will put into a car and run 30 year old wiring because they are afraid of it. Not to mention all of the add-ons they will put on to stress it even more.

I'll say "hi" to DG on Saturday if he shows to our meeting


Steve


[/QUOTE]Want to explain it in technical terms?
I have a one-owner 72. Has the original harnesses in it. Won't be ripping apart the wiring any time soon. To clarify, I bought the thing new.
Say Hi to DG Adams for me. Hope all is well with him and the family. [/QB][/QUOTE]
 

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Not really sure why, along with your helpful suggestions this needed to be added. The original poster only asked about a slow turn signal.

“Just things to think about and try..... hope you upgrade that wiring soon...before you have to upgrade the car after a fire.”
“Sorry to alarm you Jeff, but soothing to your soul won't save your baby from going up in smoke IF your wiring is in bad shape.”

Who said anything about the wiring being in bad shape? All he said was the voltage from the alternator was low.

“Well John, then maybe you have a unique car since you are the original owner. Ever do any modifications to it? Maybe a new stereo, speakers, add-on options?”

Yep, changed the radio out. In reality the radio takes less current than the original. If I was to add a mega-watt stereo the way to do it would be to run a new fused line from the battery. Replacing my existing harness wiring won’t do a thing.

“That still doesn't change the fact that you have technically inferior (compaired to today's insulation) wiring insulation that is now 32 years old. Ever have any electrical problems where you blew a fuse? If so, that likely put some real stress into the wire and/or insulation.”

Live in a brand new house? Ever blow a fuse or breaker in the house? The argument that : ”If so, that likely put some real stress into the wire and/or insulation.” hasn’t much merit unless you’ve considered replacing house wiring after a fuse has popped. Agree that after a major short, where the insulation has melted, it’s time to place that wire. Agree that after many years, wire insulation can become brittle. Over the net I can’t see the condition of someone’s car. Sometimes it’s best to ask instead of assuming that everything is falling apart.

“How many connections are crimped instead of soldered? How many add-on's are on the car that it didn't have originally putting a higher demand on the wiring?”

I don’t have a problem with crimp joints. Crimp joints are acceptable if the joints are crimped in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Crimp joints are still used today on both commercial and front line military aircraft. Again, adding on any high power item involves adding additional wire or increasing wire gage to compensate for the load. Replacing an existing harness for a new harness doesn’t change a thing.
 

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I added the rest because in reality I believe that most guys that wouldn't hesitate to put a several thousand dollar paint job or mount a 500 hp or more engine, or put a $2,000 or more tranny into a classic, won't think to replace their old wiring with a $150 (Generic) harness.

I also believe it's the reality that most guys have a rat's nest under the dash that consists of who knows what.

House wiring doesn't compare in that it's ran through wood which, in most cases, is an insulator. In cars, if a bare wire touches something it's likely metal and will provide a path to ground.

If one person can save their classic Chevelle from going up in flames because they took the precaution, then it's worth at least making them aware of the danger and have them think about the possibilities. I don't like assuming the best because I don't believe that's the reality.

I don't like crimped wires, but understand that others will think they are good enough. Just my personal preference from past experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Boy I guess I started something here huh? Well, first of all I stuck a used flasher out of my parts car today into my three owner unmolested "baby" today and am happy to report the signals are blinking very energeticly now. I also did a very thorough inspection of my harnesses and they look to be in very good condition. I will probably replace the front lighting and engine harness this winter just to be safe but I`m not going under the dash anytime soon as they were clean, felt soft[as opposed to brittle]and the connections looked good. As I said, I am the third owner, it was very original when I bought it other than, as John said, a radio change and the usual tires, shocks,etc. It`s a N.C. car, was well maintained and after today`s inspection, am quite confident it`s not a fire hazard,and it`s never even blown a fuse in the five years I`ve owned it. Thanks John and Steve S for the flasher info and Steve 69 for,,,, well,,,, making me think and become a little more intimate with my car I guess.
 

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Jeff,
glad it made you think and take a look. That's what I had intended.

Sorry to scare you, but now you know things aren't that bad and can last a while in relative safety. You hadn't checked before, like most guys. That's typical because most are afraid of electrical things.

Most guys can turn a wrench to different degrees, but electrical is like black magic to most of them, and unfortunatley it's a very neglected area that's most responsible for non-accident related fires.

I'll bet you sleep better knowing now. The upgrade later is a good idea in my opinion.

Steve
 

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In the past I believed that soldering was better but after experiencing failures, braking at the terminal. I no longer solder the factory wire terminals. I found a crimping tool that leaves a tight factory like crimp that is better than soldering. If you look closely at the factory terminals you will see a crimp on the wire and a crimp on the insulation both wire and insulation are held tightly. This offers the best connection, support and flexibility. Heating the terminal melts the insulation out of the crimp, Often times solder wicks up the wire, and because the connection is less flexible and brittle from heating it is subject to cracking/ breaking. Every time your car hits a bump, makes a turn, hit the brake etc. the wire moves a little, stiff brittle solder connections will fail before crimp connections. This of course is my opinion based on experience, 30 + years (on the side) trouble shooting and repairing GM electrical wiring/components. Also GM spent more money than I’ll ever make just on the R&D of the electrical wiring for these cars. They chose crimp connections.

In my profession crimp connections are part of the engineering spec. of new construction and the crimping tools are calibrated yearly. The jaws have a latching mechanism that won’t release until the correct crimp pressure is applied. The Ideal Crimpmaster tool that I use on the factory style “open barrel” terminals is this design.
 

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Well, the insulation was certainly better than the old cloth stuff, that's for sure Dean, but I don't think that the General had intended for the wiring to last 30 years or more and still be in good enough condition to run everything and more. Especially when around engine heat, past stresses, and who knows how many splices that were done poorly.

My guess is that most guys will put lots of time and money into restoring and upgrading, but forget the harness because electrical is not their forte. In some cases, that could be a real problem. Especially the guys that add on, or bought a car that was butchered electrically.

If you are going to put time and money into a car, upgrade the electrical is my opinion. Not everyone has to agree, but I hope they at least inspect thier electrical system well.

As for crimping, where can I get one of those fancy crimpers? How much does it cost? Where do I get it calibrated yearly?

Myself, and maybe I worry for nothing, but I'd be worried about things like galvanic reaction from dissimilar metals touching, oxidation, humidity, increased resistance, and more.

I think if I put a couple layers of heat shrink over the soldered terminal, and minimize wicking, that soldering will be ok for me. I think that's the way I will go myself.

Steve
 

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"As for crimping, where can I get one of those fancy crimpers? How much does it cost? Where do I get it calibrated yearly?"

If this is a serious question, I can find a source or two. Calibration can be had probably through a few local sources. They aren't hard to find.

"Myself, and maybe I worry for nothing, but I'd be worried about things like galvanic reaction from dissimilar metals touching, oxidation, humidity, increased resistance, and more."

The opposite is true. Copper to brass/bronze (connectors) does not cause galvanic reaction. Brass is commonly used as a neutralizer between copper and steel to prevent reaction. Actually brass and bronze are not considered solderable unless overplated with at least 50 microns of tin. It has to do with the release of lead into the solder. More you heat it, the more free lead occurs with-in the joint. Can't actually get a good solder joint into a connector crimp barrel.
http://www.kester.com/faq_solderability.html
 
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