headlights on - gas gauge = empty - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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headlights on - gas gauge = empty

When I turn my head lights on my gas gauge goes to empty (regardless of the amount of fuel in the tank). Also, my dash lights as so dim they are nearly non existent.

Any ideas?

Oh, I bought the car this way. I have yet to troubleshoot it. I thought I might discover someone here who has had a similar problem. Everything in the car is stock, except for an aftermarket radio.

Strick
'67 'Vert (408" SBC), V-Rod, Street Glide, and too many other motorcycles to list.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 07:47 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

Go thru and check all your Earths (grounds) Bad earths (rather than no earths)can cause weid things to happen because of the resistance across the bad connection

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 07:52 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

JimM has 2 excellent stickies at the top of this section with reading about finding the issues with the old cars. Usually grounds are the issue but read thru those posts up above, I bet you find your problem and answer.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 08:44 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

make sure the top center screw in the dash cluster is there, that is the ground for the dash lights and fuel guage. If that doesn't help, you might reach up there and see iif you can attach a short peice of wire with a ring terminal to one of the quarter inch screws that hold the back of the instrument cluster together, then ground the other end of the wire.





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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 08:45 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post
make sure the top center screw in the dash cluster is there, that is the ground for the dash lights and fuel guage. If that doesn't help, you might reach up there and see iif you can attach a short peice of wire with a ring terminal to one of the quarter inch screws that hold the back of the instrument cluster together, then ground the other end of the wire.

this will fix your problem 100%. Good luck.

Steve
1968 that started life and a 6 banger with a PG. Now it's a 350 with a TKO600, Moser 12 bolt, Speedtech LCA/UCA, ATS Tall Spindles, Hotchkis Springs, Forgeline ZX3P, C5 (Kore3) brakes with other cool stuff from Ron Davis, Vintage Air and soon to be Terminator EFI.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 07, 09:59 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

definately a bad ground.....good luck. My interiors didnt even work. had a bad connection at the fuse, so while I was at it, I just took a wire brush to all the grounds.
Headlights are pulling the juice away from your gas tank guage because its smaller resistance across the headlights than it is across the resistor in the tank. JM.02

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

Thanks guys, I will give it a try and post back my findings!

Strick
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post
make sure the top center screw in the dash cluster is there, that is the ground for the dash lights and fuel guage. If that doesn't help, you might reach up there and see iif you can attach a short peice of wire with a ring terminal to one of the quarter inch screws that hold the back of the instrument cluster together, then ground the other end of the wire.
Is this screw you are mentioning visible from the outside, or is it inside. What I am trying to say is, if I am sitting in the driver's seat can I see it?

Thanks!

Strick
'67 'Vert (408" SBC), V-Rod, Street Glide, and too many other motorcycles to list.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 12:58 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

You might not see it, but you can feel it. It is on the outside, just above the high beam indicator





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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 07, 12:59 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

You should be able to see the screw. It's at the top of the gauge cluster in the center, above the steering column between the two big gauges (speedo and tach or gas).
The ground strap is behind the dash and will require you to loosen the column if you need to remove the gauge cluster.

Steve
1968 that started life and a 6 banger with a PG. Now it's a 350 with a TKO600, Moser 12 bolt, Speedtech LCA/UCA, ATS Tall Spindles, Hotchkis Springs, Forgeline ZX3P, C5 (Kore3) brakes with other cool stuff from Ron Davis, Vintage Air and soon to be Terminator EFI.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 07, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

Well, I am now completely rebuilding the suspension and putting in the new motor (if it will cool off 106 yesterday, 108 today). I found that the battery was grounded to the block, the firewall was grounded to the (sub)frame, but the ground wire from the motor to the firewall had broken and was not attached. Do you think this is my problem?

I tried the R&R of the dash screw (no rust) and that did not help.

Strick
'67 'Vert (408" SBC), V-Rod, Street Glide, and too many other motorcycles to list.

Last edited by Strick; Jul 6th, 07 at 07:35 AM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 07, 09:09 PM
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

oof. Im not sure that would have that specific problem Strick. Keep going and let us know as you go what you find...
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Thanks Chief.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 17th, 07, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: headlights on - gas gauge = empty

I wanted to throw out thanks and kudos to Harley, Steve and my man JimM (and all others). The advice they gave about the bad ground on the dash cluster was 100% correct. I had to replace my ignition switch tonight, so I finally go around to properly grounding the dash. I took out one of the cluster 1/4 drive screws (on the back of the fuel gauge) and grounded it to the lower framework of the dash. Viola' my fuel gauge remains constant with lights on or off. Before when I turned the lights on the fuel gauge would drop to empty or below, the turn signal (dash) lights (both) would stay on dimly, and the dash lights would not work. All of that is in the past!

Thanks again!

Strick
'67 'Vert (408" SBC), V-Rod, Street Glide, and too many other motorcycles to list.

Last edited by Strick; Sep 19th, 07 at 09:33 AM.
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