Wiring is getting hot - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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I recently bought a 67 SS350 and I'm in the process of checking the wiring. Yesterday I discovered that the reason the engine wouldn't crank was because there was corrosion on one of the terminals of the voltage regulator. After cleaning it off the engine turned over just fine. Today after I replaced a few fuses and dash bulbs I went to crank the engine again and then the wiring harness from the courtesy light switch and the harness that runs along the drivers side of the body began to get really HOT. What would cause such a thing to happen? Since I am in the process of restoring the car there are many parts still off the car(interior,grille,headlamps&parking lamps) and I need to get this fixed before I put the rest of it back together. My dash lights and courtesy lights also currently don't work. Since I know very little about diagnosing electrical problems any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

------------------
Phil
67 Camaro SS 350
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 05:34 PM
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Check for a short in your wiring. Usually when you have a short it will blow a fuse, but I have found this isn't always true. Not trying to insult your intelligence, but you said you know little about wiring, a short is a hot wire touching a ground or touching another wire and grounding. Good luck, should be a simple fix.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 05:36 PM
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Sorry, I forgot to tell you what caused this same problem for me was the alternator. Check the wiring for a short and if you don't find one take your alternator and have it checked at a local parts store.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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James thanks for the help. The wire that was giving me problems the other day was the #10 red wire from the horn relay not the voltage regulator. I cleaned my wiring up the other day with some cleaner so that I'll be able to tell the correct colors and I think that I may have a hot wire touching a ground. Wiring is pretty confusing to me sometimes but I'm learning as I go. Thanks again for the help.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 08:20 PM
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all so look at the ground's. the batt should be grounded to the motor. the motor should have a ground strap to the body.

personaly i run a extra ground strap from the motor to the sub frame. this help's out alot! as the sub frame is grounded out from the body and a very small ground lead off the batt to the radiator suport. this is the ground for the head light's by the way, and the voltage regulator.

is the wire geting hot when the light's are on? or off? all so as wire ages the resistance get's higher, so a wire can get hot just from the load cause it take's more juce to get the job done in the circit.

if it get's hot when you crank the motor, that is ver bad! if the light's are off. you are getting a back feed into the circit and it is grounding out in the circit. not a fun thing to find! i could not tell you how to start looking. except that it is grond before the light, if it is not lighting up. if it is then you are some how grounding the starter out in that circit. this is very bad! the starter should be grounding out through the engine block.

[This message has been edited by ilbl8 (edited 04-14-2001).]
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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All of my engine grounds are really good and the engine itself is ground to the subframe. My battery is mounted in the trunk and its grounded to the rear frame. The wiring was getting hot when I was trying to crank the engine with the lights off. Then I pulled the light switch just to see which lights worked and my dash lights were out. The only ones that worked were the "GEN" light and the gear selector light on the steering column.
My wires are in pretty good shape. The only ones that are frayed are the white wire from the courtesy lamp switch in the door jam and one of the rear tail lights.
I have the factory assembly manual and that helps when it comes to tracing the wires but I was wondering if there is another book (something with illustrations) that might be able to help me diagnos electrical problems. Thanks again for the help.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 01, 10:39 PM
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shadow,
part of your problem is, the camaro dose not have a full frame. so you are grounding your starter through the body. the front subframe to the body to the rear subframe.

this could contribuit to your problem. electicity is like water, it flow's the path of least resistance. by grounding the motor to the front subframe and puting the batt in trunk and grounding it to the rear subframe, you are useing the body as the link.

in a DC circit the flow of the electricity is from negative to posative. by makeing a longer path for this flow you creat resistance. with old tired and well used wireing you are asking for all sort's of gremlin's.

now do not think i am nut's! ask a electrical enginer about this. you will find what i am saying is the truth.

the camaro is what is a called a ground based electricl system. not a posative based. that mean's the switch's control the posative part circit the ground is the constant conection in the circit. oh well have fun! most people do not relize the problem's that can be caused by moveing a batt to the trunk. this is realy important in a unibody car like the camaro. on a full frame car it is not as important.

i bet the light circit is giveing you less resistance so the elctricity is trying to all flow through that circit, thus causing it to heat up. with a starter we are talking about alot of amp's! that mean's a big load on a small wire. think about it, the circit ground's at the front of the body and the back. the wire is less resistant than the body to the flow of the electricity, thus it all tri's to go down the wire instead of the body. every weld and joint in the body resist's the flow of the electricity creating resistance.

well i am getting very technical but this is how you have to look at this. if you move the batt back up front i bet the wire will not get hot. or run a very heavy gage wire from the batt's ground to the motor. one that can hadle the hi amp's the starter uses and offer's a path of least resistance for the flow.

[This message has been edited by ilbl8 (edited 04-15-2001).]
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