DShoes

Phantom electrical issue?

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

You could just swap out the connector plastic with a good used one and diagnose the reason for overheating and repair it. That is the simplest way.

 

This tool make it easy:  https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-56500-Terminal-Tool/dp/B0009OR906

 

I have had most of the terminal ends off my Riviera, cleaned and serviced the wires, and reassembled them.

 

A high resistance location that often gets overlooked is the bulkhead connector plugs. The spade connectors can get pretty corroded inside then and still let the loads operate.

Bernie

Good thought, Bernie. I'll try cleaning and servicing the wires as a starting point. I like the look of your tool and have it ordered.

 

Now for that plastic connector... So far all I see is this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/62-63-64-65-Buick-Riviera-LeSabre-Wildcat-Electra-Ignition-Switch-Connector-NEW/232630981408?hash=item3629e31320:g:vx4AAOSwxOFaXZzG&vxp=mtr

 

 

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If you weigh that 40 bucks against a 2 or 3 hour trip to find one in a junkyard it is not a bad deal. "My Mechanic" who rears his head on here often, would turn that junkyard trip into a $300 part.

 

I have an NOS '60 Buick ignition switch about 10" beyond arms length on the shelf by this computer. I picked it up a couple of years ago when a loose wire was giving me trouble on the foot starter. "Murphy's switch" If I have it I'll never need it,

Bernie

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The wire/connector becomes loose because of age & heat buildup. It's a naturally occurring product of expansion & contraction. As it constantly heats & cools the wire terminal becomes loose & generates MORE heat  which in the end melts the plastic. It did it on my '64 Riv. when it was about 3yrs. old. I replaced the switch & the plastic connector, which wasn't even available at the dealer, had to buy a whole harness at the time, & went to the salvage yard to get one. I haven't had any problems since then, but every 2-3yrs. I remove my switch & clean the contact & tighten the connector.

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3 hours ago, telriv said:

The wire/connector becomes loose because of age & heat buildup. It's a naturally occurring product of expansion & contraction. As it constantly heats & cools the wire terminal becomes loose & generates MORE heat  which in the end melts the plastic. It did it on my '64 Riv. when it was about 3yrs. old. I replaced the switch & the plastic connector, which wasn't even available at the dealer, had to buy a whole harness at the time, & went to the salvage yard to get one. I haven't had any problems since then, but every 2-3yrs. I remove my switch & clean the contact & tighten the connector.

Hi Tom,

  See my previous post.....there are many years of experience behind our advice. I hope someone takes away some benefit from it!

  Tom

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DShoes,

Do not simply "clean" the terminal on the large red wire at the ignition switch, REPLACE it. That terminal no longer has the properties which enable it to "grab" the male terminal of the ignition switch due to mettalurgical changes from heating and cooling cycles. If you replace the plastic housing but fail to also replace the female terminal it will melt again. If you cannot find a complete "pigtail", which is the plastic housing with new terminals and a short wire length, a used plastic housing and NEW terminal are available. I would also recommend the appropriate crimping tool for packard connectors. Dont want to see another Riviera go up in flames!

  Tom Mooney

Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)
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11 minutes ago, 1965rivgs said:

DShoes,

Do not simply "clean" the terminal on the large red wire at the ignition switch, REPLACE it. That terminal no longer has the properties which enable it to "grab" the male terminal of the ignition switch due to mettalurgical changes from heating and cooling cycles. If you replace the plastic housing but fail to also replace the female terminal it will melt again. If you cannot find a complete "pigtail", which is the plastic housing with new terminals and a short wire length, a used plastic housing and NEW terminal are available. I would also recommend the appropriate crimping tool for packard connectors. Dont want to see another Riviera go up in flames!

  Tom Mooney

 

Thanks Tom. All clear on REPLACING the plastic housing and terminal. That is the plan. I took the cleaning reference as a separate starting point for diagnosing why the wire is overheating. I'd like to add a relay limiting the amps that get pulled across it, but am struggling to any info on how to do it.

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Belden Electric used to make the OEM type terminals with the retainer clips for the plastic plug and the pinch grips for the wire and a separate one for the insulation. NAPA had a big display rack at one time. Someone sharp at the counter should be able to find them. They are not the Sta Kon ones commonly found. It is worth it to have a selection on hand.

 

Here is a male uninsulated terminal of the typr I would use from the NAPA site. Your immediate replacement would be a female uninsulated spade terminal of the same type. There are four tabs at the wire end, two over the wire and two grip the insulation.

 

This one pictured would be common in a bulkhead connector with a matching female.

Terminal.jpg.64e267a9b45c3c53fceaac518a3e1497.jpg

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Yes Tom,

 

   And to add to that is the reason I suggest using fusible links. See that black wire next to the red wire?? That's a ground!!! When the connection gets bad enough & causes even MORE heat the insulation starts to melt off & they eventually come in contact with each other. A DIRECT SHORT!!! Since they are both 10gauge it's like crossing the positive & negative cables together. It happens SO FAST you don't have time to do ANYTHING!!! Except maybe watching your BABY burn to the ground!!!  That's where the fusible link comes into play.

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Localized heat like that is usually from a bad connection, not a short. The heat most likely came from the spade connection, but could have also come from the contacts inside the switch. Something had too much resistance. The 3 likely suspects are: 

 

1) The contacts in the switch

2) The spade connector, and 

3) The crimp where the spade attaches to the wire.

 

This invites a discussion about chickens and eggs, because all three are most likely fried now. We can only guess which one overheated and fried the other two.

 

I would repair the connection with w factory-style spade as Bernie suggested, replace the plastic connector housing and the switch. Make sure to scrape the wire until it is squeaky clean and bright. Use the right kind of crimper to get a nice tight crimp. If it were me, I would also solder it, being careful not to wick solder up the wire.

 

 

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On 1/28/2018 at 6:32 PM, RivNut said:

I looked again and they had one for a 65 Pontiac.  Does anyone know if ignition switches were a corporate item used by all GM models that were built on the same platform?

Ed, just an FYI, Del Mar Wire's two connector / pigtail options (one being the Pontiac) do not line up with my current '65 ignition switch or the one NAPA swears will work.

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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Localized heat like that is usually from a bad connection, not a short. The heat most likely came from the spade connection, but could have also come from the contacts inside the switch. Something had too much resistance. The 3 likely suspects are: 

 

1) The contacts in the switch

2) The spade connector, and 

3) The crimp where the spade attaches to the wire.

 

This invites a discussion about chickens and eggs, because all three are most likely fried now. We can only guess which one overheated and fried the other two.

 

I would repair the connection with w factory-style spade as Bernie suggested, replace the plastic connector housing and the switch. Make sure to scrape the wire until it is squeaky clean and bright. Use the right kind of crimper to get a nice tight crimp. If it were me, I would also solder it, being careful not to wick solder up the wire.

 

 

 

Bloo, I like where you're coming from. Tons of good common sense in your approach. Might not need that relay after all...

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D@mn it. I think I must be on a hidden camera show. At least I hope someone's getting a good laugh. I'm on my back with my head near the pedals and my hand easing the faulty ignition switch out just now when everything related to the wiper control switch comes raining down on me (no pun intended). I sure hope the shop manual has a good diagram on putting that one back together... Fortunately, its always sunny in Seattle....

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A little late to the party, but I'd concur with the ignition switch being a likely culprit. I had a car that exhibited these exact symptoms; it was the switch.  Rather than pull the column to replace the switch (which was a PITA) , I hooked up a jumper that connected the ACC feed to IGN.  With the key in RUN, power to the IGN circuit bypassed the IGN contacts in the switch.  I also added a toggle switch under the dash to disable the jumper and rely on the stock wiring in case I wanted to listen to the radio while parked or something.  If I'd known I was going to drive that car for a few more years, I probably would've fixed it right. ;)

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I think I would have the dash pad off and the instrument cluster out by now, maybe even put the steering column outside the car. And I'd be testing home runs with an ohmmeter.

 

40 entries for a pretty simple job. I am looking up at the McGraw Hill Automotive Electrical Equipment book my Mother helped me buy in 1959. I still reach for it and many other automotive references quite often.

Using a training/reference source is best. Find some good DC basic learning materials.

 

There are three types of electricians, construction electricians, maintenance electricians, and automotive electricians. The similarity ends with copper conductors, sometimes not even that.

 

Take a couple of weeks to get steeped  in some good automotive electrical learning and avoid the anecdotal advice. You will enjoy it more.

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On 1/29/2018 at 5:34 PM, 1965rivgs said:

DShoes,

Do not simply "clean" the terminal on the large red wire at the ignition switch, REPLACE it. That terminal no longer has the properties which enable it to "grab" the male terminal of the ignition switch due to mettalurgical changes from heating and cooling cycles. If you replace the plastic housing but fail to also replace the female terminal it will melt again. If you cannot find a complete "pigtail", which is the plastic housing with new terminals and a short wire length, a used plastic housing and NEW terminal are available. I would also recommend the appropriate crimping tool for packard connectors. Dont want to see another Riviera go up in flames!

  Tom Mooney

Look on-line or at a full line jobbers for Auveco electrical terminals. Male and female as were original.  They also make insulators to go with the terminals.  

 

image.jpeg.e88f360b78abf2bcbd5a663bd4496034.jpegimage.jpeg.646e920c9335994527838ab2c8dda02c.jpeg

 

They also make the "shells" that insulate them.  Parts #8774, 8775, 8776, and 8777.

 

Get a good set of crimp pliers, not the universal kind that will measure, cut, strip, and crimp.

Like these  https://www.harborfreight.com/9-1-2-half-inch-wire-crimping-tool-36411.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image.jpeg

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12 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Take a couple of weeks to get steeped  in some good automotive electrical learning and avoid the anecdotal advice.

 

Except that anecdotal advice is often someone else's experience.  I mean, who ya gonna listen to: the guy who says "I read about that." or the guy who says "I've done that."?

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1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

 

Except that anecdotal advice is often someone else's experience.  I mean, who ya gonna listen to: the guy who says "I read about that." or the guy who says "I've done that."?

 

Haha! If nothing else, I do love the personalities on here!

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9 hours ago, RivNut said:

Look on-line or at a full line jobbers for Auveco electrical terminals. Male and female as were original.  They also make insulators to go with the terminals.  

 

image.jpeg.e88f360b78abf2bcbd5a663bd4496034.jpegimage.jpeg.646e920c9335994527838ab2c8dda02c.jpeg

 

They also make the "shells" that insulate them.  Parts #8774, 8775, 8776, and 8777.

 

Get a good set of crimp pliers, not the universal kind that will measure, cut, strip, and crimp.

Like these  https://www.harborfreight.com/9-1-2-half-inch-wire-crimping-tool-36411.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image.jpeg

Ed, et al.

  Auveco is an aftermarket company. I believe the originals are Packard or Delco/Packard or some combination of those names depending upon time frame and who bought who. But I have used these Auveco aftermarket terminals and they worked out OK. There are several types of crimping tools which are available to properly install these terminals. I remember a Packard crimping tool which was exteremely expensive back in the day but did a great job. There are other more affordable and simple tools for the home hobbyist which do the same job but are a little less user friendly. No matter the source of the tool what you want is a crimper which crimps both the wire in the terminal and the insulation at the same time. The crimper in the center of the pic in the link Ed sent is not that type. The crimper in the lower right corner is is the type which will make both crimps at the same time. I have this crimper and dont care for it. The quality of the crimp is not what I like and this crimper is bulky to use, especially in tight places. I would post a pic of the other crimpers I have but they are in my shop which is 25 miles away. I dont remember the source, probably the Matco or Snap On tool truck...but they are out there. Do a search and use Delco/Packard or GM in the search. Take a good look at the jaw of the crimper and you will see a double step surface in each location in the jaw. One step is tighter than the other because it crimps the wire and terminal. The other jaw will be more open, or have a larger space, because it is intended to crimp the terminal to the insulation.

  Tom

  Tom

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I did a search for the Packard crimper and found one for a little over $170.  I think that I can do two separate crimps with a less expensive tool. ? The one I pictured from Harbor Freight is only for the picture, I actually have a Klein one. I think it was about $30.

 

I didn't mean to insinuate that the Auveco terminals were what was used originally, but that they're of the same general design.  They have the tangs that secure them in  the shell/insulator and require the Lisle tool that Bernie pictured earlier for release.   I've never had a problem with them pulling loose if crimped properly.

 

Ed

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Here is a picture of the extent of my electrical hand tools unless you count a soldering iron. The green tool is the Lisle terminal tool.

And that is a '64 Riviera harness disassembled to be repaired and rewrapped with non-adhesive tape. I also have a short piece of 2x6 with a row of finishing nails on one edge. I put that in a vise to tension the wires while I wrap.

 

Notice the work is being done on a folding table. The picture is from around 1994. I had my home garage built in 1988. By that time, and still today, I do most of my work on folding tables that lean against the wall when not in use. I have never seen a psychiatric term called "flat surface syndrome"  but it must exist.

 

Oh, the can of lacquer thinner is for cleaning the wire ends where the used car lot detail man painted everything black.

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This is something I need to address on my car......the ignition key gets very warm after driving the car for a half hour. My car only has

57,000 miles on it so these switches don't take many key cycles to burn up.

 

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Which begs the question: which circuit is heating up?  The ignition doesn't draw that much current; it is likely the accessories which are responsible.  Although a lot of the high-draw components (windows, lights, etc.) don't go through the switch, those that do (blower, etc.) are substantial enough to put a strain on the wiring.  You could probably get away without a relay on the starter circuit.  Even though it's a long run and a heavy draw, it's a really short duty cycle (might save your neutral safety switch, though).  In any event, you could probably eliminate the warm key problem with one relay. 

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                      99 per cent probability it is the red wire connection at the switch. When i fix it I'm going to put the wire

on a relay to take the load off the switch.

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6 hours ago, RivNut said:

I did a search for the Packard crimper and found one for a little over $170.  I think that I can do two separate crimps with a less expensive tool. ? The one I pictured from Harbor Freight is only for the picture, I actually have a Klein one. I think it was about $30.

 

I didn't mean to insinuate that the Auveco terminals were what was used originally, but that they're of the same general design.  They have the tangs that secure them in  the shell/insulator and require the Lisle tool that Bernie pictured earlier for release.   I've never had a problem with them pulling loose if crimped properly.

 

Ed

Yes Ed, as I stated the "genuine" Packard crimper is expensive. There are cheaper alternatives but the jaws must have a projection in the middle which folds the "wings" of the terminal to the inside and down as you complete the crimp. If you look at a factory crimp, what I describe will be evident. A regular pair of oval shaped jaws will not duplicate the same crimp.

  Tom

Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)

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