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Swamp Thang: Electrical issues?

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    Posted: 01-November-2013 at 2:44AM
Hey gang,

We are trying to save a '73 Torino Squire that found itself in the middle of the September flooding we had here in Colorado.  The car had been a driver that was parked for at least 8 years before the flood came.  The water made it just to the top of the ash tray, just below the bottom of the radio.

The car is running again, and we've made it just around the block a few times.  Most of the electrical systems appear to be working, with a few exceptions.

1-I cannot get any idiot lights to come on.  They worked the first 4 or 5 times we cranked the engince (to eject the water/Marvel Mystery Oil/WD-40 potion from the block), but they stopped coming on after that.

2-Neither of the turn signal indicators (on the dash) were working.  They did eventually start working, but when the blinkers are turned off, the right dash indicator stays on.  Now, this car is a factory "Trailering Special", with Ford trailer wiring.  (Never saw that on a wagon before now.)  There are turn signal and emergency flashers in the fuse box under the dash, but also flashers behind the right rear taillight.  Is that typical on these wagons?

3-I got the factory service manuals, and to diagnose the electrical issues with the warning lights, they said to reference Car Diagnosis Manual FD 7962.  Argh!  So I found ONE copy of 7962: 3 notebooks with flow charts.  I purchased these, but I fear they may be incomplete.  I see no reference to any electrical diagnoses.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
Jason & Sam






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-November-2013 at 9:51AM
you might have to go through every connection, behind the dash including the printed circuit with something like this stuff... Deoxit
http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.188/.f


Edited by Rockatansky - 02-November-2013 at 9:51AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GTW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-November-2013 at 9:56AM
Welcome and glad you saved the wagon!
Griffin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-November-2013 at 6:16PM
Just got the gas tank back today. Had it reconditioned and repaired. Does anyone know where to get a sending unit for these? Or at the very least, a sending unit seal?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-November-2013 at 5:23AM
they pop up from time to time, NOS in the box... Whoa you're in luck here comes one now!
 
 
FWIW the fuel sender isn't rocket science, IMO the most important feature is the direction the tube exits the sender. the inside tube you can fab to suit your tank, slight bend tweek or complete cut / replace with the correct shape & length if necessary. if you're not confident brazing or soldering the tube have a radiator shop zap it together for you
 
here's another that looks like it'd be 'workable'
 
the seal should be the easy part, i'd look at the Mustang parts places. just curious, does you tank use a lock ring & the same seal for the breather like the sender, or is it a push in grommet with a plastic breather insert?
 
can you post pics of the tank?
 
if you have any other rubber parts like the filler grommet & hose, filler breather hose, vent/seal/grommet/hose etc i'd replace them all now, when I did my tank all that rubber was junk.
 
also be aware that old school rubber doesn't hold up to today's gasoline blend, the methanol eats through it. you need the special Poly Teflon lined hose or it won't last Thumbs Up


Edited by Rockatansky - 03-November-2013 at 5:27AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-November-2013 at 5:28AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-November-2013 at 10:21AM
Sand blasted and unclogged the sending unit today. I think we'll be able to use this!

The tank has a separate breather that comes out the top. It's a plastic valve that's just pressed into a rubber grommet.

I'll try and get some pics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-November-2013 at 12:07PM
Originally posted by Turbo Turbo wrote:

The tank has a separate breather that comes out the top. It's a plastic valve that's just pressed into a rubber grommet.
 
good new$ on the sender then!
 
the rubber grommet is the 74+ style as far as Rancheros go, but it's a different tank I know... 1973 was a year of many mysteries, possible that early 73 were made with the 1972 style metal vent with the lock ring & seal like the sender, that's the way my 1972 Rancho tank was but I ended up swapping it all over to 74+ style
 
how's your filler grommet, hose connector & breather hose look?, like I said mine were trashed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gazoo2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-November-2013 at 4:26PM
The relays behind the taillight are part of the trailer package. If they are filled with water then I would expect all sorts of problems with your signals and brake lights. You probably will need to replace them. The good news is that probably just about any similar Ford relays will work. Worst case, you would have to splice in new auto-parts store relays and plugs. Relays are generally marked as to which terminal is which so adapting them is pretty easy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-November-2013 at 1:52AM
Welcome from another wagon owner. Glad you save her!

Yes, if in doubt, replace them.
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-November-2013 at 2:42PM
Rockatansky, thanks for the tip on the contact cleaner. The issue appears to be corrosion between the bulbs and sockets. A quick cleaning with a brush restored continuity with the volt meter. Just waiting for the cleaner to arrive and I'll replace all the bulbs and flashers, hose it down and put it back together.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2013 at 4:14PM
I can't take full credit, picked up the tip from Ranchero.circus but it looked like solid intel when I saw it
 
hope the stuff works for ya Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-December-2013 at 5:47PM
Cleaned all the contacts. Replaced bulbs. Still no warning lights.

I'm out of ideas, and SO frustrated with this car.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dan the ranchero man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-December-2013 at 12:51PM
start checking ground connections. I would check the ignition switch as well. The trick is to stay with it. If it pisses you off just walk a way and regroup. Go at it again with a fresh mind another day. Been there done that. You will get her running right again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-December-2013 at 1:37PM
SOMETIMES JUST UNPLUGGING/RECONNECTING THE CONNECTORS A FEW TIMES MAY GET THE CONTACT GOING AGAIN. SINCE IT WAS THAT FAR UNDER WATER, ANOTHER SPOT YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK IS THE MAIN BULKHEAD WIRE CONNECTOR AT THE FIREWALL RIGHT BY THE BRAKE BOOSTER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GTW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-December-2013 at 1:56PM
Originally posted by Turbo Turbo wrote:


I'm out of ideas, and SO frustrated with this car.

Please don't get so frustrated that you junk the car...there's not a lot of these wagons left, let alone Squires. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-January-2014 at 11:29AM
Just an update: still working on the idiot lights.  Replaced the ignition switch.  Still doesn't work.  The lights glow very dim, so you can only barely see them at night.  I'm thinking maybe a bad ground?  Not sure, still frustrated as HELL.  I gutted the car finally, so hopefully I'll be able to get to more wiring.   

Got the gas tank back in, and it's nice to be able to run the car on its own tank without having a bottle under the hood.

The power seat appears to be stripped, only on the drivers' side.  Not sure what that's all about but I haven't tackled it yet.

Still pluggin away!

And still can't find a heated rear window for it.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dan the ranchero man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-January-2014 at 11:50AM
Don't foret to check the fuse box and the bulkhead that attaches to it. Lots of area there for corrosion to set in. Check the headlight plugs too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-January-2014 at 12:26PM
which lights glow dim? headlights or all of the lights?
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GLAD you kept it!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-January-2014 at 4:50PM
The only lights that aren't working (just BARELY glow) are the oil and alternator idiot warning lights. Y'know, when you turn the ignition on, before you crank the engine. And the right front parking light barely glows. That blinker isn't working either, though everything else is.

I did disconnect the two main bulkheads(?) that go to the firewall just to the left of the brake booster, and cleaned them out. Also cleaned all contacts on the gauge cluster, and replaced all of those bulbs. Replaced the ignition switch. Replaced both flashers under the dash, but not the ones behind the right taillight (in the factor trailer wiring harness).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-January-2014 at 5:41PM
re: idiot lights, this may sound dumb, but did you look inside where the bulbs go, to see if that chamber for the light was coated with a layer of dried muck (making them show dim?)  could also be a bad ground somewhere. what do they do with the engine running any change? also try removing the sending unit wire from the water and oil and ground it directly to ground (with the key on engine not running) the light should show full bright, try that on each, then no ground/ jumper wire, unhooked from sender, key on,  light should be off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Torinogts73c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 3:33AM
RE: IDIOT LIGHTS have you checked the voltage regulator? Also I have had problems with my printed circuit board have had to clean the contact area where the bulb holders twist in at. I used contact cleaner and an eraser on a pencil to clean those areas up!
Gary 73 Gran Torino Sport 351CJ,SVT LIGHTNING,07 CHARGER R/T HEMI,97 Mustang GT Vert

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 4:02AM
Californiajohnny, I followed you for a little while but then ya lost me.  The dash cluster is all cleaned out.  The water didn't get that high, only to the top of the ashtray (I don't think  the radio got wet...best damn AM radio I've seen).  I get what you're saying about unplugging the sending unit (for the oil) and grounding it directly.  I'll try that and see if it changes anything.  I got lost after that.  

The lights go off when the engine is running.

There was a long process after getting the car home of draining water and flushing everything, etc.  When I was finally ready to crank the engine, the warning lights worked great.  Probably the first 5 or 6 times I cranked it they worked.  After that, nothing.

Torinogts73c, I have checked the regulator, but I haven't delved into it.  The printed circuit board on the back of the dash cluster did have some gunk on the back, barely visible, but it was reading some resistance on the meter, so I cleaned it all out.  I used good contact cleaner, and replaced all the bulbs.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 4:06AM
The issue here is I can't quite figure out what triggers the warning light test cycle.  I don't see any relays or anything.  Now that the interior is stripped, I hope to be able to explore more.  Also, I don't see how to get the fuse block off the inside of the firewall.  There are a ton of wires with labels saying they're for the trailer wiring harness.  I think these are getting in the way.  :(

I'll make some more progress this weekend hopefully.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smhj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 4:40AM
The 2 wire harness beside the brake booster unplug them then fuse box should pop off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 5:13AM
^ from the engine bay side use a 5/16" to remove the 2 connector blocks from the back side of the fuse box. then there's a 4 little squeeze retainer clips holding the fuse box to the firewall, they may or may not be real strong but I always push down on the 2 on to & let the fuse box tip into the passenger compartment

be careful tightening them back up they're only going into plastic

when you said the lights were good for 5-6 cranks then not, I suspect the bat terminal connection on the solenoid. that's where the feed wire is for all the dash & interior

there also may be a ground or 2 on the metal support bracket for the lower dash. sounds like that might've got wet. matter of fact the whole dash harness runs along the bottom of the dash under the column. de-oxing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 10:54AM
basically the idiot lights get positive power when you turn on the key, and the ground is made through the sending unit, oil pressure when engine starts makes the ground lose contact so if oil pressure drops too low it makes a ground connection and turns on the light, water sender heats up inside  a piece of metal makes contact if too hot and turns on the light.
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74 VETTE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-January-2014 at 12:37PM
Originally posted by Turbo Turbo wrote:

The issue here is I can't quite figure out what triggers the warning light test cycle.


I don't get that part either
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-January-2014 at 7:11AM
We pulled the fuse boxes this past weekend, cleaned everything with Deoxit, and put it back together. Several of the fuses had gotten water inside them. Didn't see any obvious ground points under the dash, but we need to look again. One small victory: I got the parking brake working again.

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures. This is the repaired gas tank before we installed it. The tank was seriously crusty inside, and had already been poorly repaired by a previous owner.




I was wondering if anyone knows that this part is? It attaches to the starter solenoid on the right fender. I tested it for continuity and it needs to be replaced, but I have no idea what the part is so I can order a new one.





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