Analysis - Part 2 - 05/16/2014

I can't leave well enough alone. No sooner than I get home from work on a Friday where I'm tired from not sleeping do I set off on an adventure to get some tools. I find 2 nice sets of Kobalt ratchets that have pieces I've been meaning to get anyways for a while and head home. It's around 9PM and I decide I'm going to check out the car and see if I can't fix the blowing fuses and get some brake lights and turn signals!

I picked up an air filter earlier this evening. Yeah, I had no air filter in this car and actually drove it a few short miles like this. Bad, I know. Fixed now!

The one common thread to all of these circuits blowing is the turn signal switch in the column. Since someone has already monkeyed with it, it's suspect. I remember this giant clutch return spring is jammed into a hole in the column, and if you look closely you can see it's pinching some wires inside the plastic jacket that is supposed to protect them.

Pulling it out you can see the end of it is black compared to the silver of the rest. Pretty suspicious to me. The black wipes off with your finger like charred remains. Once I remove the harmonica connector and reposition the wires, the fuses no longer blow. Suspicious once again!

I now have brake lights! Only on 2 out of 4 bulbs though...

Turn signals finally back to working. The short in the column actually burned out the turn signal flasher in the car and I had to put another one in and it works fine. I managed to get the leftmost bulb working with repositioning, it's a little finicky after 45 years.

Right turn signals work too, with headlights on for added effect. The rightmost bulb does not work with the headlights anymore, the wire snapped off when I touched it lightly (solder time!).

The left marker light even works. Nice touch.

The left front signal works, but it is extremely sensitive to position of the turn signal switch, indicating the turn signal switch needs to be replaced. The little red marker on the side is neat, not sure if it's factory though.

Right front works fine, but no nifty red marker light.

The rest of the problems in the trunk. The brown headlight wire snapped off and the ground for the side marker is broken. A little solder should fix these guys right up.

Well that was satisfying. Everything works like it should now (except the dash gauges, a different saga). I spent probably 45 minutes running the turn signals, hanging out on the brakes, and hazard flashers to see if a fuse would blow and it never happened (yet). Obviously the turn signal switch wiring is compromised as is the switch itself. I'll be needing to replace it and probably just throw a new column in because of the difficulty tracking down the missing pieces this car is lacking. A side benefit of removing that monster spring is I found underneath the car that the factory return spring is still in place. Even on the seller's photos it is right there if you aren't a moron and look at it. I should have known better than to trust this stupid garage monkey hack. The clutch is MUCH easier to operate too, it slides in and out with some effort but you aren't going to need hip replacement after driving the car anymore. Tomorrow I take it for a road test to see if the problems are fixed "good enough" for now until I can get the steering column sorted out. It also could use new tires...

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Last updated May 16th, 2014