ca65riv

Sorting out electrical gremlins on a 65

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I have a couple (well more, but two I'm focusing on) of electrical gremlins was hoping to get some pointers on how to troubleshoot.  Gremlin #1 is a parasitic draw and gremlin #2 is courtesy fuse blowing a couple of minutes after replacement.

 

In terms of #1 - My battery drains after only a few days (4-5) of sitting.  So i put my multimeter between the neg terminal and cable and I can see a draw of 0.424 amps when everything is off.  Interestingly, when I do that and complete then break the circuit, I hear a clicking noise from an area near the battery, so I assume its related to the two relays up front.  I attached pictures of those.  Equally interestingly, during the troubleshooting exercise of completing/breaking the circuit the clicking stops and the drain stops.  However, the behavior eventually returns.

 

Looking for ideas on what the described behavior is, does this mean I've got a faulty relay, or loose connections.  Could anyone recommend some troubleshooting next steps to further narrow the problem?

 

Gremlin #2 - I opened the interior fuse panel and found the CSY-GLV CLK 5A fuse missing.  Probably explains why none of my interior courtesy lights work :) .   So I replaced the fuse, reconnected the battery.  When I open the door, the rear courtesy light near the ash try came on and it could be operated via its switch. None of the rest of the courtesy light did, however, I can't vouch for the state of any of the bulbs.  After a couple of minutes, the fuse blew.   I repeated the exercise, blew the fuse again.  For the record I'm using a Littelfuse AGC 5A fuse.

 

What's the most likely cause of a blown fuse on this circuit and could anyone suggest what I do next to troubleshoot?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Tim

relay1.jpg

relay2.jpg

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#1: Disconnect the clock (it's a constant draw).  Pull the fuses one at a time until the draw disappears.  Inspect that circuit.

#2: Replace all bulbs (a defective bulb can short).  Get an AGC-ATO adapter and (if you can find one) a plug-in 5A circuit breaker.

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The courtesy lights have a positive 12V wire running directly to the lamp, the switch is in the ground circuit.  Sounds like you have a short in one of those wires.  Pull your door jamb switches and pull the three wires from each. Plug in one at a time until you figure out which of the three circuits has the problem.  From there it should be simple to find.

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Posted (edited)

WIth your multimeter connected as you stated, and 0.424A showing, (or better yet a test light connected that way and glowing, easier to see a light when it's just one person), pull fuses one by one until the light goes out. Once you know what circuit it is, get out the wiring diagram.... At least you know what circuit to look at.

 

If no fuse makes the light go out (or meter go down), then get out the wiring diagram and start disconnecting things that are unfused.

 

Common causes of a key-off draw, no matter the make or model:

1) Borg Clock with stuck points

2) Trunk light staying on (cant see with trunk shut)

3) Glovebox light staying on

4) Shorted alternator diodes (or maybe a stuck field relay if one exists, should be in the voltage regulator on a 65 Riviera)

5) Automatic courtesy lights screwed up (if you have them), but since you have the fuse pulled, probably not that.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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26 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

I have a couple (well more, but two I'm focusing on) of electrical gremlins was hoping to get some pointers on how to troubleshoot.  Gremlin #1 is a parasitic draw and gremlin #2 is courtesy fuse blowing a couple of minutes after replacement.

 

In terms of #1 - My battery drains after only a few days (4-5) of sitting.  So i put my multimeter between the neg terminal and cable and I can see a draw of 0.424 amps when everything is off.  Interestingly, when I do that and complete then break the circuit, I hear a clicking noise from an area near the battery, so I assume its related to the two relays up front.  I attached pictures of those.  Equally interestingly, during the troubleshooting exercise of completing/breaking the circuit the clicking stops and the drain stops.  However, the behavior eventually returns.

 

Looking for ideas on what the described behavior is, does this mean I've got a faulty relay, or loose connections.  Could anyone recommend some troubleshooting next steps to further narrow the problem?

 

Gremlin #2 - I opened the interior fuse panel and found the CSY-GLV CLK 5A fuse missing.  Probably explains why none of my interior courtesy lights work :) .   So I replaced the fuse, reconnected the battery.  When I open the door, the rear courtesy light near the ash try came on and it could be operated via its switch. None of the rest of the courtesy light did, however, I can't vouch for the state of any of the bulbs.  After a couple of minutes, the fuse blew.   I repeated the exercise, blew the fuse again.  For the record I'm using a Littelfuse AGC 5A fuse.

 

What's the most likely cause of a blown fuse on this circuit and could anyone suggest what I do next to troubleshoot?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Tim

relay1.jpg

relay2.jpg

  The clicking relay normally occurs when turning the key on and off. Did you have the key in the "on" position when breaking and restoring the circuit? If not, something may be simulating a key on position, although, there should be other symptoms like an amp light? Those relays are associated with the headlight motor so perhaps disconnecting the 2 wire plug at the headlight motor will interrupt your drain?

  If you pull the door jamb courtesy light switches out of the body there will be 3 wires attached. Each of these 3 wires is hot or "+", represent the ground side of one of the three courtesy light circuits and goes to ground through the switch when the door opens. While the switches are out of the body, ground each wire individually to check which circuit it operates and see if all the bulbs on that circuit illuminate. The 3 circuits are the side console lights/glovebox door light, the rear sail panel lights and the rear console light. If you have an issue with a bulb or socket, it is that bulb which will likely not illuminate or will be dim as compared to the others. Make sure your rear console light switch, located under the rear console light, is not switched "on", causing your drain.

  Hope this helps, good luck!

Tom Mooney

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Thanks all for the suggestions.

 

Tom M - Re: The clicking relay, the key is not in the ignition, and I don't see any amp lights.  Thanks for confirming those are related to the headlight motor, I'll try disconnecting that to see if it helps.

 

In terms of troubleshooting the courtesy lights and blown fuse, it is quite a pain to keep replacing that... Kongaman is this what you're suggesting, so that I can reset the circuit when it breaks?

https://www.jegs.com/i/RestoParts/759/CH30265/10002/-1

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Resettable-Automotive-Fuse-ATO-ATC-APR-Breaker-5A-Type-III-Thermal-Circuit-Reset-/172300875862

(I see there are also glass fuse circuit breakers but I couldn't find a 5A one)

 

I'd been avoiding pulling the door jamb switches, that seems to be next step...

 

thanks again,

Tim

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2 hours ago, ca65riv said:

In terms of troubleshooting the courtesy lights and blown fuse, it is quite a pain to keep replacing that... Kongaman is this what you're suggesting, so that I can reset the circuit when it breaks?

https://www.jegs.com/i/RestoParts/759/CH30265/10002/-1

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Resettable-Automotive-Fuse-ATO-ATC-APR-Breaker-5A-Type-III-Thermal-Circuit-Reset-/172300875862

Those will do. 👍 Constantly replacing fuses is an expensive PITA.  Once you get it sorted, you can put a proper fuse back in.

 

You might also try the courtesy lights using the dash switch rather than the door and the sail panel lights using the headlight switch (that switch is a notorious source of lighting problems, as it's prone to burning, melting, and corroding).  But again, I'd pull and check/replace all the bulbs.  Don't overlook the obvious. ;) Be careful removing the sail panel light covers.  They get brittle when they're old.

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Don't know if it will help with this particular problem, but Classiccarwiring makes a beautiful laminated & color-coded wiring schematic for the '65 Riv, which I have found very helpful over the years. Can be purchased on eBay. Everyone should have one as it is a work of art. check it out!

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Each of the three circuits has a dedicated switch.  The headlight switch activates one circuit. The lamp at the base of the console has a switch for that circuit, and the third circuit has a 'courtesy light' switch in the control panel under the dash. Tom M. described each circuit in an earlier post.  Pulling the door jamb switches is an easy task.

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On 3/8/2020 at 5:03 AM, RIVNIK said:

Don't know if it will help with this particular problem, but Classiccarwiring makes a beautiful laminated & color-coded wiring schematic for the '65 Riv, which I have found very helpful over the years. Can be purchased on eBay. Everyone should have one as it is a work of art. check it out!

Thank you - I did obtain one of these, it has been very valuable.

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On issue #1, I've experimented a bit and read as many previous forum posts I could find on Aux relays and determined the following:

  • I unplugged the connector from the Aux relay and left it for a few days - no battery drain.  So evidence seems to support that it is this relay (or maybe the Main relay could still be implicated since they are connected).
  • I found lots of valuable information from posts by @Seafoam65 .  As far as I can tell, my wiring is sound.
    • Pin 3 on the Aux relay is connected to the black/orange wire, coming off the transmission control switch.  My multimeter tells me it is only hot in the Key ON position.  I can hear the relay click when I turn the ignition to ON
    • Pin 2 is connected to a black wire that appears to be routed to the motor for closing the covers
    • Pin 1 is a black wire that is connected to the Main relay pin 2
  • Similarly, the Main relay appears to be wired correctly
  • The Aux relay appears to be grounded fine
  • The headlamp motors do appear to behave correctly:  Open when lights are turned on.  Do not close when lights turned off.  Close when lights off and Key ON.  However, initially they didn't close until I jiggled the Aux relay connector, so maybe there's an issue there.

However, I can still replicate a problem of hearing "clicking" when I connect and disconnect the negative battery terminal (with Key off) which remains puzzling to me.

 

I do observe that the black wire running from Main relay pin 2 to Aux relay Pin 1 appears to be Hot.  Which I think is right because it's coming from the "Normally closed" pin on the main relay?  I'm wondering if anyone can confirm.

 

Therefore, I'm wondering if the Aux relay I have is defective.  It's obviously a replacement, and perhaps one of the now unobtainable replacements.  I'm considering going with the mod of using the same style Main relay in place of the Aux per other forum posts to see if that corrects things.  Does that seem like a reasonable next step?

 

Finally, I do see that some of the wires running to the headlight motors have worn out insulation and a bit frayed which doesn't seem great even if not causing this problem.  Does anyone have recommendations on how to repair these wires reasonably easily?

 

Thank you,

Tim

 

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If you're going to repair the headlight wiring, consider doing it right and adding relays so that full power doesn't go through the switch.

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Yes, the black wire coming out of the main relay going to the aux relay should be hot with key off and headlight switch turned off.

You definitely need a new auxiliary relay if you had to jiggle it to get the headlamps to close. Get a GM heavy duty main relay and

do the 5 minute conversion on your plugs and change it out and see if your drain is fixed.

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Might not need a new relay.  Maybe it's as simple as cleaning the contacts.

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On 3/12/2020 at 3:29 PM, Seafoam65 said:

Yes, the black wire coming out of the main relay going to the aux relay should be hot with key off and headlight switch turned off.

You definitely need a new auxiliary relay if you had to jiggle it to get the headlamps to close. Get a GM heavy duty main relay and

do the 5 minute conversion on your plugs and change it out and see if your drain is fixed.

 

On 3/12/2020 at 7:15 PM, KongaMan said:

Might not need a new relay.  Maybe it's as simple as cleaning the contacts.

 

I'm thinking it could also be the connector.  Today I had a behavior where I had the Aux relay connector pulled off and headlamp covers open and when I plugged in the connector to the Aux relay with no key in ignition, the headlamps closed.  The metal tabs in the plastic connector look pretty poor condition, I'm wondering if that hot wire off the main relay is somehow connecting to the black/orange wire to trip the relay.  Anyway, I did order a new relay, seemed like $7 well spent (for the record I ended up buying this one, not sure how heavy duty but interchangeable part number as far as I can tell: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=930660&jsn=114)

 

Plan is to do a bit more investigation on the connector first but replacing relay seems inevitable.

 

Thank you for the help.

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On my #2 issue, I made substantial progress:

 

* The front lower courtesy lights had the wrong bulbs in them with the incorrect base, I replaced those with No 90 lamps, replaced the map light, replaced the 5A fuse and lo! I had light in the front, including glove box.  And no blown fuse.

* Rear sail panel lights had no bulbs.  A couple more no. 90s and at least 1 of the sail panels is working

* Lights come on with front courtesy switch

* Lights come on when door opens, although a bit of jiggling needed on the door jamb switch, so something to look at there.

 

I've got some questions remaining though:

1. My clock light doesn't work.  I replaced the bulb but nothing.  Am I right in saying that the clock light should come on with the rest of the dash panel lights (most of which seem to work)?

 

2. My left rear sail panel light does not work, checked with a known working bulb.  The right rear works.  Thinking next step is to remove the bulb socket and assembly and check the voltage/wiring there.

 

3. The service manual figure 10-167 suggests there is a Dome - Roof Center bulb on "ALL" models.  I don't see that on the wiring diagram, nor do I have one.  Is there one hidden under my headliner, or did the Riviera not have one?  I do have a Dome 20A fuse but as far as I can tell from the wiring diagram, that is connected to the rear sail panels and the trunk light switch although 20A seems like a pretty beefy fuse for those circuits.

 

4. Is there really a little bulb hidden down there in the front ash try, maybe towards the right hand side?  I don't see it mentioned on the classiccarwiring.com color diagram, but do see it on the service manual wiring diagram and Figure 10-167 lists it as a bulb No 53.

 

Thank you!

 

Tim

 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

* The front lower courtesy lights had the wrong bulbs in them with the incorrect base, I replaced those with No 90 lamps, replaced the map light, replaced the 5A fuse and lo! I had light in the front, including glove box.  And no blown fuse.

* Rear sail panel lights had no bulbs.  A couple more no. 90s and at least 1 of the sail panels is working

:D

 

47 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

My clock light doesn't work.  I replaced the bulb but nothing.  Am I right in saying that the clock light should come on with the rest of the dash panel lights (most of which seem to work)?

That's correct.

 

48 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

My left rear sail panel light does not work, checked with a known working bulb.  The right rear works.  Thinking next step is to remove the bulb socket and assembly and check the voltage/wiring there.

For any of the sockets that have a spring loaded contact in the base, the wire gets hard and immobile, and the spring can't push the contact against the base of the bulb.  Try turning the lights on, then pushing the bulb back into the socket and against that contact before you go through the PITA of removing the sail panel, etc.  You might also consider replacing the sail panel bulbs with LEDs.  Those bulbs get hot enough to discolor the lenses and make them brittle.  LEDs will mitigate that.

 

52 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

The service manual figure 10-167 suggests there is a Dome - Roof Center bulb on "ALL" models.  I don't see that on the wiring diagram, nor do I have one.  Is there one hidden under my headliner, or did the Riviera not have one?

No dome light. Over the glovebox, on the sides of the console, at the rear of the console (with its own switch), and sail panels.

 

54 minutes ago, ca65riv said:

Is there really a little bulb hidden down there in the front ash try, maybe towards the right hand side?  I don't see it mentioned on the classiccarwiring.com color diagram, but do see it on the service manual wiring diagram and Figure 10-167 lists it as a bulb No 53.

It's there.  IIRC, the lamp holder clips into the ashtray frame above the ashtray.

 

Also, the flaky door switch is SOP.  You can take them apart and clean them, or have them rebuilt with better innards.

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I found these headlight wiring kits via a discussion on another forum.   

https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-Headlight-Headlamp-H4-Light-Bulbs-Relay-Wiring-Harness-4-Ceramic-Socket-Plug/283659793787?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I have two different ones on order for my '65 Corvair.   My intent is to take the load off the headlight switch.  

On the discussion where I found the information,  they were installing LED headlights and were having problems with the cars electronics not seeing enough load because the LED light draw so little current.  

I ran into a problem with my '39 Buick......tried to install LED bulbs in the tail lights and they would not work.  Never tracked down the problem but it appears

there is enough connection via ground to keep the LED lights from working.... the symptom (bulb was two element, brake and tail lamp) with a crude jumper arrangement I could verify that both brake and tail light wiring would light the LED individually,  but with the LED installed in the '39's bulb socket and making contact with ground, brake and driving it would not work......some sort of feedback in the wiring so I gave up.

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11 hours ago, KongaMan said:

:D

 

That's correct.

 

For any of the sockets that have a spring loaded contact in the base, the wire gets hard and immobile, and the spring can't push the contact against the base of the bulb.  Try turning the lights on, then pushing the bulb back into the socket and against that contact before you go through the PITA of removing the sail panel, etc.  You might also consider replacing the sail panel bulbs with LEDs.  Those bulbs get hot enough to discolor the lenses and make them brittle.  LEDs will mitigate that.

 

No dome light. Over the glovebox, on the sides of the console, at the rear of the console (with its own switch), and sail panels.

 

It's there.  IIRC, the lamp holder clips into the ashtray frame above the ashtray.

 

Also, the flaky door switch is SOP.  You can take them apart and clean them, or have them rebuilt with better innards.

 

Good call there, a bit of wiggling of the bulb and the light came on.  I've now seen all my courtesy lights on!  Door jamb switch operates all lights successfully although not just all at the same time, it seems to be the contact the switch is making with the metal as with a little bit of hand pressure things work.   Progress, and thanks for the help.

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On 3/13/2020 at 9:50 PM, ca65riv said:

 

 

I'm thinking it could also be the connector.  Today I had a behavior where I had the Aux relay connector pulled off and headlamp covers open and when I plugged in the connector to the Aux relay with no key in ignition, the headlamps closed.  The metal tabs in the plastic connector look pretty poor condition, I'm wondering if that hot wire off the main relay is somehow connecting to the black/orange wire to trip the relay.  Anyway, I did order a new relay, seemed like $7 well spent (for the record I ended up buying this one, not sure how heavy duty but interchangeable part number as far as I can tell: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=930660&jsn=114)

 

Plan is to do a bit more investigation on the connector first but replacing relay seems inevitable.

 

Thank you for the help.

 

Final update on this one:  I got my new relay, followed the instructions here: 

 

 

Worked like a charm.  I bought a single-port plastic connector housing and inserted the black/orange connector in there to connect to the single prong on the relay.  Had to get a bit creative on the orientation of the relay to avoid drilling more holes... the spacing of the holes on the 4-prong relay bracket differed to bracket from the original relay and the broken replacement but was able orient it in a way to make use of 2 of the 4 holes I had and still make everything stretch (the wire from the main relay to the connector for the aux was pretty short).

 

Back in business.

 

Now onto the clock, clock lamp, fuel guage, radio and antenna...

 

Cheers,

Tim

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On 3/14/2020 at 2:26 PM, ca65riv said:

 

Good call there, a bit of wiggling of the bulb and the light came on.  I've now seen all my courtesy lights on!  Door jamb switch operates all lights successfully although not just all at the same time, it seems to be the contact the switch is making with the metal as with a little bit of hand pressure things work.   Progress, and thanks for the help.

Tim,  just an FYI on the door jamb switches. ROA member Gordon Wolfgang rebuilds them. His ad is in the Riview classifieds. I can’t recommend him enough. Shipped him mine last Tuesday and received them back yesterday $30 for the pair. Installed last night and working perfectly. Excellent service. 

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