Need to fix a few things so we're street legal

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by SPG, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Alright everyone, I know jack about wiring....ok thats a bit of a lie. I know jack about wiring a car though. I'm going to be gutting this car eventually but I'm taking the time in between to learn as much as I can because I still want to drive it since "nothing" is seriously wrong with it (from what I've discovered thus far)

    Right now I have 5 main problems with the electrical.

    1. Front blinkers never turn off
    2. Rear blinkers never turn on/blinkers just don't work
    3. Rear brakes lights are always on/don't turn on when you press the brakes
    4. (not sure if this is electrical) my RPM gauge just does not work, I don't think the gauge is broken
    5. and the most important of all issues, the horn doesn't work (steering wheel most likely isn't wired up)

    My car's carb caught fire at one point and the last owner redid the electrical, but he did it wrong. I find wires every so often connected to literally nothing and I want to get this fixed, it will teach me a lot about my car, and will make it so I don't have to unplug the battery every time I turn of my camaro.

    I found this wiring diagram on autozone...but I honestly have no idea what I'm looking at.
    https://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideMain.jsp?pageId=0900c1528007dd14

    Here are some pictures
    Goes to nothing
    [​IMG]
    Green wire with plastic tab goes to nothing
    [​IMG]
    never turns off
    [​IMG]
    Never turns off
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  2. Scott51

    Scott51 Veteran Member

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    Pics aren’t showing so it’s a little hard to help but you want these GM wiring diagrams:
    http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/wire/1976-camaro-engine-wiring.html
    http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/wire/1976-camaro-dashcluster-wiring.html
    http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/wire/1976-camaro-taillight-wiring.html
    http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/wire/1976-camaro-taillight-wiring.html

    I generally print mine out tape them together and trace the relevant lines with different coloured markers to make it easier to understand. Once you’ve ID’d the correct wires/circuit, work your way from fuse to device with a circuit tester and at some point you’ll find a bad connection (power not getting to where it should be), faulty switch/trigger, bad ground/incomplete circuit or faulty device eg. busted tach.

    If the wiring’s been screwed with, pulling all of the fuses except for the circuit your working with can also help narrow things down.

    1-3. sound kind of like the turn signal switch wiring is messed up so I’d start with the brake lights, pulling all fuses except HAZ STOP and tracing the wires. They’re operated by a simple continuity switch above the brake pedal and should be a pretty easy one to solve.

    After that add the DIR SIG fuse and see what happens (your brake lights might stop working again). The turn signal circuit is a little more complicated but just work through one wire/bulb at a time until you find something wrong. Often turn signal problems are due to bad grounds.

    4. Tach gets its signal from the distributor, look for a single brown wire with a black connector under the dash that should be plugged into the back of your gauges. With the car running this wire should have pulsing voltage, though some testers may read it as constant. I’m guessing someone didn’t hook it up after a distributor swap, msd install or aftermarket tach install

    5. Horn is also a pretty simple circuit, the horn button grounds the relay completing the circuit so power goes to the horns up front. The usual suspects are the horns not being properly grounded due to rust and paint, dead relay or horn button not working due to someone pulling the steering wheel and not putting things back properly. Horn relay wiring is dark green so that might be the disconnected wire you mentioned.
     
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  3. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    I've updated the photos, and opened a private browsing tab to make sure other people can see them....that might have been why no one was replying to my thread.
    for 1-3 I'll look into that, see what I can find, I have a feeling everything just isn't connected, or bypasses these switches which is why they're always on
    4. I think that's the disconnected wire in one of my photos, please verify.
    5. I think that might be the other disconnected wires as well, though harder to say.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  4. Lars_2Gen

    Lars_2Gen Veteran Member

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    Ok, a couple thoughts...

    The wires that run up by your hood hinge look like they could be the horn wires. Those electrical cord wires are super slick... for a table lamp - and dangerous in a car... get rid of them.

    The wire coiled up next to the carb may be the temp sensor wire. Does the temp sensor work?

    The wiring diagrams are available online (http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/diagram.html) or for less than $10 from some of the Camaro parts houses. Get one - it will save you a lot of trouble.

    Cheers,
    Lars
     
  5. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    so, I looked at the car and we have a lot of secrets to unfold....most of which will make you want to just rewire everything
    So first things first, I was told this car got a new wiring harness....I didn't really check because it didn't really matter to me all that much.
    But boy oh boy, it makes me want to buy it sooner than later, because let me tell you guys...this is a rat's nest. Not as bad as it could be sure, but it's most certainly jacked to all hell.

    So I looked under the dash to figure out what's going on, and here are some pictures
    [​IMG]
    I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like there is much connected to that fuse box....is it meant to be that way? Are the wires behind everything? It's possible there is a new wiring harness and i just don't know where the fuse box is (which I doubt)
    [​IMG]
    From there I took off the wheel to figure out the horn, and there aren't any wires in the column whatsoever...so that's awesome. Which makes me think the turn signal switch is the same way (but there are wires coming out of it so it gives me hope...)
    [​IMG]
    Here is an aftermarket temp gauge working, car just started so that's why it's so low, and yes that's a horn button...not sure why it's right there. The horn button does work, so I know it's wired correctly (in a very half assed way) I just didn't realize car needed to be running for it to do anything.....I'll need to run those wires up if I want to use the horn...on the wheel.
    And that lamp wire goes from this button to the horn, so that's what that is.....super jankey
    [​IMG]
    And finally, I found two more wires, a plug that goes to nothing, and a wire that's just cut off
    Anyone know what this plug is for?

    I'll try to actually fix all this stuff on the weekend, I've been spending my lunch hour just looking over everything since that's the only time I have...time
     
  6. Scott51

    Scott51 Veteran Member

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    post #1 pic 1 - windscreen wiper motor
    post #1 pic 2 - wrong color for a factory temp sender wire and doesn't look like anything I've come across in the engine bay, best to trace that one back through the bulkhead connector and see where it goes.

    post #5 pic 1 - that's a factory fuse box with a few things that aren't right:
    - thick red wire coming out the front to the jerry rigged horn button, you'll need to unbolt the fuse box and find out what that's connected too before removing or rerouting it (don't just cut it)
    - the spiral covered wire coming through the firewall next to the speedo cable isn't original, it's for that aftermarket temp gauge
    - don't recognise that little silver barrel on the bottom left of the fuse box but does look factory, possibly a noise supressor for the tach wires.

    post #5 pic 2 - your factory column connector looks fine just not clipped to the side of the column where it belongs. Once you've returned the horn wiring to normal, grounding the 20G blk wire on that connector should set off the horn. If it does but your horn button still doesn't work the problem is in the column (look up the exploded diagram in the manual) If it doesn't it's one of the other problems I mentioned in my first reply.

    post #5 pic 4 - they look like the windscreen washer connectors but how about checking what colour the wires are and finding the circuit on the wiring diagrams we posted. Once you get over the mass of squiggly lines they're way easier to understand than typed replies on a forum
     
  7. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Thanks for all the help!
    I'll trace everything Sunday/Monday and see what I can do. I'm having a friend come over (hopefully) to help me out, she's an electrical engineer so I'm sure she'll help me make heads or tails of all of this.
    I'll get back to you guys with more info when I can.
    In the meantime...what wiring harness do you suggest I eventually upgrade to so I'm using more modern fuses?
    I found two, American Autowire and Painless
    From what I can see, they're pretty similar, autowire is cheaper, but painless comes with new gromets (which doesn't seem too worth the extra money)

    Do to all the modifications I'm making, this will need to be upgraded eventually. First and foremost though, fixing up this mess a little bit.
     
  8. Scott51

    Scott51 Veteran Member

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    Since you’ll be changing so much with the LT1/LT4 swap check out Rebel Wires 21 circuit American Muscle kit.

    Waaay cheaper, made in America and customer service is second to none. Their website looks kinda budget but if you google them you’ll see they’ve got a really good reputation on a lot of forums.
     
  9. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    What's the advantage of using rebel wires (aside from price) The kit seems very bare bones and lacks replacement switches for a lot of the car (which seem to straight up missing on my car)
     
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I would stick to a harness designed for your car (Painless/AAW etc.) When you do these swaps, very little integrates into the factory harness. You want a full up application specific harness for your car and a stand-alone harness for the engine. The factory harness will likely only provide switch power to the ECM. My harness only provides switching power to the ECM and relay power to the fuel pump. Everything else is segregated. My engine even has its own fuse/relay box.
     

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