Ammeter in console gauges not working. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 14, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ammeter in console gauges not working.

My 67's ammeter hasn't worked since I got it. In trying to nail down why it doesn't work, I discovered the dash harness has been cobbled, cut up badly. The black and black/white wires were cut just after dash harness connects to the console harness. I have an MSD 6al box so I have no idea where to start running the new blk and blk/wht wires in the engine compartment. I realize that the ammeter is a doe doe type gauge and would prefer a to have a volt meter. But, I am kind of set on keeping the original appearance, however if someone has created a volt meter that would bolt into the gauge cluster where the ammeter would have been. I would have to give it serious look. Until that happens, can anyone help me get started under the hood? BTW, my tach and water temp gauges are not working either. The Tach did work prior to having the MSD box hooked up. For now, I'll take it one step at a time. Thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 02:17 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Hey David I am having similar problems with my '69 gauge cluster. I have yet to get to the bottom of it. I wonder if we have the same problem?

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Did you install a MSD box? I was told by the people that did the work, that is why my Tach doesn't work. As for the water temp. I have not traced the wiring, yet. The ammeter was simple once I traced the wiring. Years ago, I hooked up an ammeter to my 65 Corvair this was back before volt meters in cars made their appearance. But there was no such thing as MSD boxes back then. I know it had to go in series to the battery. That's been nearly 50 years ago, memory plays tricks sometimes, but that's as I recall it. The MSD box has made me a bit leery of trying without expert advice, first. What type of issues are you having?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 02:54 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moses david View Post
Did you install a MSD box? I was told by the people that did the work, that is why my Tach doesn't work. As for the water temp. I have not traced the wiring, yet. The ammeter was simple once I traced the wiring. Years ago, I hooked up an ammeter to my 65 Corvair this was back before volt meters in cars made their appearance. But there was no such thing as MSD boxes back then. I know it had to go in series to the battery. That's been nearly 50 years ago, memory plays tricks sometimes, but that's as I recall it. The MSD box has made me a bit leery of trying without expert advice, first. What type of issues are you having?
I installed a Pertronix Electronic Ignition and have been having nothing but problems tying to get it to work correctly. I am not sure if all of my issues are connected. Very frustrating.

My gauges read like this when the car is running. When I turn the lights on my ammeter goes towards positive slightly. My fuel gauge stays the same even when I add fuel. Temp never goes past a quarter.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 03:20 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

For both of you, this schematic might help.
One of the popular aftermarket suppliers sells a voltmeter for the OE console gauge package.
There is a gas gauge sticky in Electrical as it may help troubleshoot the gauge circuit.Tach may need MSD's tach filter.
68Z, the ammeter leads may be reversed, no engine running, neg deflection with lights on, positive def with alternator on.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Instrument_Panel_with_Gauges.pdf (49.4 KB, 227 views)

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

My fuel gauge is what got me into sorting this issue out. It went well past full when I knew it was less than full and it sat there. This section on electrical and wiring pointed me in the right direction for fixing the fuel gauge. Pulled tank put in a new sending unit. My old unit was probably repairable, ( the ground wire spade on the unit was broken off and I had no wire going to ground. Decided to put in a new sender. Could not see myself dropping the tank again later down the road. Anyway, once I had the console torn apart, it was an easy progression to try fixing the other gauges that set there telling me nothing. I was not expecting to find a cobbled and cut up mess in the electrical harnesses under the dash. I sure wish I had looked up under the dash years ago before I bought this ride. Hey, I followed your posts on your 69 grandma. Liked your 10 step plan. The last I saw was from a few years back. How's that coming along?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 03:44 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

An easy conductivity check for the sending unit is using the ohmmeter and with one lead to ground, the other lead to the tan wire of the disconnected connector.
0 ohms is empty, 90 ohms is full and anything between should give an approximate indication is gauge side is working and power is getting to the gauge circuit/console harness and console ground connection is good.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Thank you Everett, that diagram helps to point me in the right direction. I imagine a fusible link is something I can get at NPD or other auto parts store. I'm gonna guess that I need some 12ga. wire for the blk & blk/wht wire runs. If I need heavier ga.wire, please let me know. This cars wire harnesses are so cut up, it makes me wonder about its history...What happened that got it to this point?
BTW I would like to say the post re: fuel gauge testing was just what I was looking for. I got inspired to check it which led to the sending unit replacement and now I have a working fuel gauge! Thanks.

Last edited by moses david; Aug 1st, 14 at 04:53 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Everett, Would you be able to say which supplier offers the voltage meter replacement? I'd like to check out that option especially if it would retain the original look of the gauges.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 06:16 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

I hope you know you have 68 gauges shown in the picture. NPDlink.com is close to you and they have the Amp guage. http://www.npdlink.com/store/product...-113460-7.html Here is a picture of the 68 console gauges. http://www.npdlink.com/store/product...-119424-7.html. Here is a picture of the 67 console gauges http://www.npdlink.com/store/product...-119423-7.html. I have always liked the 67 Camaro console with gauges better.

Last edited by Cdminter55; Aug 1st, 14 at 06:32 AM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 08:44 AM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

You're welcome. If you look on the schematic provided, the number next to the wire is the gauge.
For an OE ammeter, 14 AWG will work as the OE ammeter is actually a millivoltmeter measuring the loss of voltage of the length of #10 AWG red wire going from the horn relay buss bar to the battery junction block.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Exactly what I learned when at the parts store where I got fusible link. Is there a standard length to cut the fusible link wire? The schematic is great. Would you be able to direct me to one that details where the dash gauges plug wires go or come from?. I found double green wires snipped as they come out of the pig tail. They are in the No. 2 terminal spot. I am not looking for more work, but these cut up harnesses are making me crazy. I just don't understand who does this! BTW the gauges in the post are from another poster. My gauges are typical 67 RS console style. Just had a chat with a friend who suggested I gut the ammeters innards and try to put a volt meter innards in place using same face and needle. Has anyone ever heard of that?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 02:56 PM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Basically a fuseable link is no more than a bit of wire with a lower rated current draw than the main feed wire.....
In one of smokey yunks electrical books at the back he has a chart of suitable wire sizes ratings lengths (think was 3 or 4" from memory) one can simply splice into the current wire behind the battery
Im sure if u google u will come up with similar info somewhere.
Quote:
who suggested I gut the ammeters innards and try to put a volt meter innards in place using same face and needle. Has anyone ever heard of that?
yep.. the innards need to have the tiny screws that mount to the face in the same place to be neat... otherwise it stands out like whores draws...I had issues finding a unit for one of my old vintage cars with correct screw distance, so used a few spots of urethane sealer to glue the innards on the back, then cut the thread off the original mounting screws, a small tiny tiny tiny spot of silicone or urethane glued those in place

Often thought about doing it in the camaro ... for the last 30 yrs , just never got around to it... never justified the effort really.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

Does anyone know if the 2 green wires in terminal 2 spot of the dash instrument plug are for a water temp warning light?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 14, 05:04 PM
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Re: Ammeter in console gauges not working.

The ammeter on GM cars is fed by 2 12V sources. One near the battery and one near the alternator. The difference is what moves the meter. If the battery is being charged by the alt, the gauge needle moves right.

Measure the voltage to ground on each gauge terminal. Chances are one or both are floating.

Look at a schematic and trace the lines back.
Don't have a voltmeter? They're giving them away at harbor freight.
For other gauge problems, the solution is similar. Get a schematic and troubleshoot a bit. Really, anyone can follow lines on paper around, see where they go and trace wires.
As always, funny electrical problems (but not the 'ammeter') are often due to bad, missing, or dirty grounds.
Fusible links have exactly nothing to do with the operation of gauges. If the ammeter connects to the printed circuit.

A 3 second search leads to:
Check the schematic pic: https://www.google.com/search?q=1st+...D2%3B723%3B894
https://www.camaros.net/forums/showth...t=41936&page=2
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