68 light wiring gone crazy!!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 12, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

My 68 is still work in progress and i didnt work on it much last year.. However 2 years ago, i went thru all the wiring and i swear all the lighting was working correctly.. Since then, all i have done is install new carpet/seats..

Today, i started it for one of the 1st times this season.. I notice the lighting is all crazy.. Brake lights are on all the time. Turn signals do crazy random things on both sides when turned on, etc..For instance you can put the left signal on and the rear right and left may light one bright/one dim and then one flash, then stop, etc.. I have no clue what could have happened/gone wrong with it just sitting for 1.5 years or so since last checked. Not even sure where to start checking...
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 04:01 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Several things to check. First and foremost on first gens are GROUNDS. Then look for loose bulkhead connector. Next look for mice damage. Then look at each power distribution leg one by one and trace it from start to end. I'm thinking if you only changed the carpet and seats, start at the fuse block and make sure it is snug to the bulkhead connector on the firewall. Also make sure the rear run under the sill plate didn't get crimped or pierced by the plate or the screws when you put the carpet in.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 04:32 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Good suggestions. Individual grounds for each light bezel are a problem.
Remember, rear light bulb ground is from the light base, the side of the bulb, to the socket to the light socket receptacle to the bezel to the tail panel.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

I think all grounds would have to be good since all the lights do go on at various times, just the WRONG times! Thats the weird part.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 04:53 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Not necessarily, you mentioned both rear lights come on when a turn is selected.
The selected bright turn light has the bad ground as it is using the other side dimly lit bulb ground, hence, both lights come on.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Ok that makes sense. Im also wondering if my headlight switch maybe bad. I cant figure out why the brake lights would always be on too. They are on bright. Stepping on the brake doesnt make the brighter but the flash off briefly as you release the pedal.. very weird stuff
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 07:13 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Adjust the brake light switch above the brake pedal.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 07:15 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Like others have said, you almost for sure have a ground problem.

I am not an expert but spent lots of time chasing the same problem you are now chasing. It was also after my car sat for one year.

The grounds I would address first:

The ground wires from the dash gauge cluster (there are two and they must be tight)--this will cause turn signal/brake light/parking light problems. They way GM grounded these is a bit odd and they can come off easily. I installed a third ground wire there just to be safe.

If the car is a RS, make sure the front parking light/turn signal housing has clean grounds with the mounting bracket frame. The housing itself is the ground and if dirty, will cause the turn signals to freeze "on" and the brake lights to act strange. My car sat for a year and the ground corroded and caused the exact problem you are having. Remove and clean the housing, the bolts, and the mounting surface. Replace the bolts and use star washers and dielectric grease. You can quickly test this by taking a length of wire and touching it to the housing and the bumper bracket with the parking lights on--if it is a ground problem the problem will disappear and you will have your fix once you take care of the grounds for that housing.

Then, install star washers on all the grounds to the radiator core support (the headlight ground there as may the extra ground from the battery)

If still a problem, swap out turn signal and brake light bulbs to see if one of them is shorting out somehow.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

I did some more experimenting just now to figure out exactly what is happening. I am now thinking i may have wired the rears wrong maybe??
1) Front lights all work as expected.
2) Rear inner lights always on bright. Turning on running lights or headlights does not change them. Stepping on the brake makes them flash off on release.
3) Turn signals make the same bright inners on the rear flash and the outers flash very dim on the off-beats
4) hazards just light the dash lights solid.. nothing else
This doesnt sound right at all!

Last edited by jeffs68camaro; Mar 22nd, 12 at 07:48 AM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 10:06 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Fix the hazards and the rest of the problems will probably clear up.
Hazards overrule the rest of the lights.
RS inner lights are just tailights, I believe

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

Ok adjusting the brake switch made those lights go out and they now only come on dim as taillights and bright when braking. They also flash with turn signals. The outer lights (RS) are only coming on dim as taillights, they are not doing anything else, not sure if this is normal. The hazards still dont work, just the dash lights light solid. I swapped the flasher from the turn signals with the one for the hazards and same thing. Is the hazard flasher supposed to be a different part than the turn signal flasher? I think mine are both the same.

Last edited by jeffs68camaro; Mar 22nd, 12 at 10:28 AM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 10:43 AM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

They can be both the same type of flasher unit- Regular Duty or Heavy Duty or a mix. In practice the HD units are more reliable and use a different mechanism. Regular Duty rely on heat generated by voltage drawn if I remember correctly, HD units just pound out the blinking sequence regardless of the draw.

Does your flasher button on the column push in all the way and lock in the on position?


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

yea the button pushes in and the dash lights light solid but nothing else happens. Both flasher cans work fine on the directional circuit. I have not checked the tiny hazard fuse yet. That is my next step..

Is it normal that the outside rear lights on the RS only come on as taillights? Its odd that they also light dimly with the turn signals.

I also still need to check turn signals with brake lights on.. Because that was the initial scenario with the bad switch adjustment and they were not working as expected. Not sure what would cause that scenario.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 06:34 PM
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

If you have a standard flasher for the hazard flasher, it won't work because the flasher is turniing on six lights rather than three in a selected turn.

On an RS, inside lights should light as taillights as only one wire going to socket.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 12, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 68 light wiring gone crazy!!!

ok i will buy a new flasher for the hazard then. I think its just a standard one. Looked the same as my turn signal one.

So you are saying i have my inside lights swapped with my outside lights?? On my car the tail/brake/turn are the inside and the outs are just tail.
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