Darn SHort! but long story... - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 02, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Sunny CA
Posts: 22
I love this site, so much good info! I love my 71 camaro too, but sometimes love hurts!

I've been going nuts over this drainage problem I'm having...... it began with the car not being able to turn over... started up with boost, but after sitting for a while, would need to use the portable booster pack again.

i started by removing and cleaning all cables and connection points. no change. over the past couple of days, i thought that i had fixed it by cleaning the wires (over night for the past 2 nights it started fine in the morning) but then today it went flat again.

so i tested for a drain using the old "disconnect the neg cable and bridge the gap with test light" method and lo and behold, i saw the light! so now it's indicating that i had a drainage (by the way, i did the same test several days ago, several times and there was no drain).

OK, so now i begin to pull the fuses to see where this drainage is from (no it is not from the crtsy light because that fuse has already been pulled. so finally a i pull a fuse and the light shuts off. its the fuse marked RADIO TCS SOL ...

what is TCS? is it Transmission Controlled Spark? and is SOL referring to the solenoid maybe? could either of these things be causing the short (i already completely disconnected the radio and the test light stayed on)?

now here's the kicker! the light turned off for no reason at all. and now i can't get it to go back on! so now i've pulled the fuse and started the car to see if everything was ok and the car is running fine but i'm wondering if i need this TCS or SOL for normal operation or if i could do without until i find what the real problem is!

sleepless in stockton
jstcruzin81Z is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 02, 05:44 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Temple City, Ca
Posts: 523
The Haynes repair manual has a fairly good explanation of how the TCS system works. Basically it limits vacuum to the distributor vacuum advance during certain transmission temperatures and driving conditions. Part of the pollution control system. These are a little bit of a pain to keep functional due to the difficulty getting parts. Most I've seen don't operate correctly anymore.
Can't advocate defeating smog equipment because a lot of places require it. However, to help you troubleshoot an electrical problem you can by-pass the entire system with a piece of vacuum hose. There is a hose, on the carburetor that runs to the TCS solenoid. Another hose runs from the solenoid to the distributor. Disconnect these hoses and run a new one from the carburetor directly to the distributor. Same way older cars had it before the TCS system came out so your car won't know the difference.
The TCS solenoid gets 12 volts from the TCS relay at certain times so your intermittent problem may also be the TCS relay. May also be the idle stop solenoid. Believe that car has one. Good luck.
John_Muha is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 02, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 5,277
Not familiar with TCS, but if there is a relay involved they can hang up on you. The contacts get burned over time switching an inductive load like a solenoid. After the contacts get roughed up pretty good they can stick together. Perhaps if your able to dupliate the problem you can tap that TCS solenoid and see if the light mysteriously goes out.

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