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Dash smoking when lights are on.... Pontiac Firebird


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#1 Alarus

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:10 PM

Looking for a wiring harness...cost is an issue but i dont wanna get something thats likely to burn what should i be looking for??? im running electric fans, power windows, all aftermarket gauges, and a cd player...would a 12 circuit harness be good or do i need more?
I dont have alot of money to fork out for this but i dont wanna skimp too much on quality, as it is im gonna have to sell my corsica for the money to do this...

Also any tips? i have never done anything like this and dont wanna end up having to take it to someone to get it done...

i feel it is necessary to replace it due to the wiring being completely screwed up in the dash but any ideas on what to check to stop it can be tried

I do have a harness from a dodge truck...think i can make that work (joke)
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#2 Alarus

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:44 PM

Also i have taken the light switch out and cleaned it, there is a burnt wire on the light harness...yellow i believe
1973 Ford Mustang...my first love (RIP) http://s46.photobuck...ms/f104/Alarus/
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#3 79/6.6

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:33 AM

The best advise I can give someone who has never rewired a car, is to find a friend who has (verifiable) experience and assist him. You may even buy him dinner. Attempting to rewire a car, even with a prewired harness can be a monster for the inexperienced. Often it is better to shell out the money, and have it done professionally. ONE small mistake could cause your car to go up in flames. An electrician would be an ideal person.
I myself, am not the best mechanic, and often take my car to my mechanic, when it requires attention. Somethings mechanically are over my head, and I would rather pay a little more now, than pay a lot more later.Posted Image
Posted Image

#4 Alarus

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 04:21 PM

Think i figured out what the prob was, started digging into the dash and a couple wires were twisted together, fixed them and no more probs...still need to replace all the wires but its better now
1973 Ford Mustang...my first love (RIP) http://s46.photobuck...ms/f104/Alarus/
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#5 Pete W

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:07 AM

The best advise I can give someone who has never rewired a car, is to find a friend who has (verifiable) experience and assist him. You may even buy him dinner. Attempting to rewire a car, even with a prewired harness can be a monster for the inexperienced. Often it is better to shell out the money, and have it done professionally. ONE small mistake could cause your car to go up in flames. An electrician would be an ideal person.
I myself, am not the best mechanic, and often take my car to my mechanic, when it requires attention. Somethings mechanically are over my head, and I would rather pay a little more now, than pay a lot more later.Posted Image


Boy I agree 200% with Larry on this one!

The damage and fires I have seen over the years by guys playing with wiring is scary and as Larry mentioned 'up in flames' can be 100% of the car.


#6 Alarus

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:29 AM

yeah i do agree with that, only prob is it would be years before i could pay someone to do it for me :beer: im pretty much a jack of all trades (when i comes to hands on) Ive done electrical work before, just not much in cars, other than hundreds of radios...with the radios ive learned a bit...
Im not too worried about doing it wrong as long as i have the right stuff, just rewiring the gauges i took about 6 hours just tracing and retracing the wires that were there just so i didn't do it wrong...starting with new wires im pretty sure it wouldn't be a prob for me...might take me a few days just so i know it was done right, and i do have friends that know what there doing, i just wanna get the experience in for myself (wile having someone help out)
1973 Ford Mustang...my first love (RIP) http://s46.photobuck...ms/f104/Alarus/
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#7 JQ455

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:41 AM

I would make sure those aftermarket guage lights are wired to the the vehicles parking light wire (brown) and not the instrument cluster wire (usually grey) at the headlight switch. The grey dimmer wire is desighned to run and the cluster,radio and climate control bulbs only. When you use the brown, you wont have dimmer but you will have a fused curcut that will pop before any damage occurs... also you won't smoke the reostat in the switch wich I have seen dozens of time!! Especaily when guys try and hook up the dimmer wire on a aftermarket radio.

#8 ElCaminoguy

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:39 AM

Better yet, get ahold of a good wiring diagram, run the lights off a relay triggered by the light switch and power them off a dedicated BAT feed.

I know on my 74 El CAmino I rewired the headlights so that they activate via a relay. The original wiring had full draw going through the dash harness which just seemed stupid.
Much happier with the results and once I figured out the circuits it wasn't too hard to do.

Just an idea..
I don't know everything but I know more than I let on....

#9 Mark White

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:10 AM

Here is my 2 cents.

Number 1 always have a fire extinguisher, there is no excuse they are not that expensive compared to Paint Interior of complete loss.
Keep it in the passenger compartment within easy reach.

I save a car myself using one at 19 years old because Like on a boat when you are deep in the woods on a dirt road or out at 3 am on a strech of hwy in the middle of nowhere...Thats when things can get ugly.

Number 2 as the above fella referenced dedicated lines and wires run through a relay.

You can rewire everything on the car,(well second Gen at least Pre computer) and use a toggle switch if needed. run it with switched power from fuse block that you run just like when you install a sub or amp, driving lights what have you.

Then you run your own wires and route them nicely then if you want even add the plastic conduit, if in doubt use heaver gauge wires to handle the amps. for my headlights and driving lights I use monster cable just like my amps run, they can handle almost direct ground.
Make sure you have a fuse in line in fact you can even use two one at the switch and another right before what you are wiring in. Double protection...some will say it useless.
Well not entirely I have seen a fuse get so hot it blew, but it had melted and bridged the connection directly bypassing the fuse. So I say a fuse is not that expensive.

You were attempting to fix the lights from the switch and had to rip out the dash, then try to figure out which wire was becoming hot when you pulled switch to on position. so you clearly have a bit of experience there and have a solid idea of whats going on.
You take a test light select good ground point, then simply test each wire as you activate the switch to find out if and which wires are becoming energized....(Thats for people who do not already know)

To simply run a toggle switch and install a relay should not be that difficult for you either. Then as I pointed out put a fuse from the fuse block to the switch and then another one from the hot wire to the device you are powering.
Should never have any more issues.

Good luck to ya, I do this all the time and usually do not have any more issues once running my own wires, probably wired my entire car at least twice that way....

Edited by Mark White, 13 June 2014 - 05:12 AM.

Here I Go Again...

 





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