: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...



bhs82
07-04-11, 06:47 PM
It's probably an electrical short but dang thing spooked me!
I was blogging in another thread about the problems I had with the power window motor (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/233690-1968-deville-window-motor-questions.html#post2636418) (still not completely resolved) and the last paragraph of my OP is what ties to this. The one other thing not mentioned there is that the Temperature Guage is pegged to Max Heat (right) position and stays there all the time.

In the interim, I've been doing other work. The radiator had been leaking so I used a couple different stop leak products and it seamed to do the trick. Yesterday I was in the process of flushing the system (driving, cooling slightly, drainging, refilling). I was about 5 feet away from the car with the keys out AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE CAR TRIED TO START ITSELF.

I'm thinking I've heard an engine sputter on shut down but this was long after shut down. I carried on about my business and then all of a sudden the car tried turning itself over AGAIN!!! Then it happened again, this time while I was under the hood adjusting the dashpot. I was sure it was one of those Jack Ass / Punk'd moments with my buddy standing around a corner with a remote trying to video tape my reaction. Then when I got in the car, I noticed the Temperature Guage was normal. I turned the key and sure enough the horn, power seats and power windows were all working. Whew! I was afraid wires had fried due to a failed Circuit Breaker (keep in mind, I only have a temporary 30 Amp fuse occupying the slot right now).

I drove the car through 2 more flushing cycles... at the end of the 2nd cycle, I was backing in the driveway and I noticed when I shifted the tranny into R, the Temp Guage pegged again and neither the horn or power windows or power seat were working again. (Shifting into R triggered the electrical problems)WTF!

All in all the car tried to start itself maybe 10 times.
Here is what I've noticed;
1. A previous owner rewired the ignition to a hidden start button. To start the car, the key needs to be turned to the on position, then the separate, hidden button pushed.
2. Without a key in the ignition at all, you can push the button and the car will try and start, but not turn over. Apparently turning the key to the 'On' position powers the fuel pump which makes the difference (I'm assuming).
3. The problems all started after replacing the power window motor, however, I've also done several other things recently including replacing the voltage regulator, condensor, radio, putting new plastic sleeves around the wires running along the valve covers and taping them closed (insulation), etc., so any one of those could be a culprit but the power window motor was the most recent.
4. WHEN everything related to the power window CB #11 (and the Temp Guage)... I've found that driving the car, then draining the coolant system while still hot, TENDS to trigger the 'Ghost Starting'. The 'Ghost Starting' tends to reset all the problems related to CB#11.

Then I get a phone call today. My buddy went to start the car and the starter kept trying engaging with the vehicle running (cringing grind we've all experienced) so he simply had to pull the negative cable from the battery.

I'm on my way over there now. I'm thinking out loud and would sure appreciate input;

I wanna try and disconnect the new power window motor behind the door paneling in the event that is a source of a short in the system... however... before putting in a temporary fuse, when the fuse slot was vacant with neither a fuse or a circuit breaker, everything on that circuit which MAY have been the source of a short was disconnected so I don't think that is going to make a difference (right or wrong?).

I can't find a 'fuse' for the starter. I've read about a 'Starter Relay' but not sure where to find that. I'm thinking if it's possible to access it, the thing to do is start the car, then disconnect the starter/solenoid wiring so it won't randomly engage, just to get the car back to his house without having it towed.

My assumption is that there is a short in the system.
How does one trace a short?
I'm assuming that I can pull fuses one at a time, essentially disconnecting all components related to that fuse (thinking if a component is the source of the short that disconnecting that component would eliminate the short).

Everything was working fine previously so I'm afraid I did something or introduced a change. The one other thing is the fuse panel itself. It did not operate or lock or slide like the Owner's Manual stated it should. I'm wondering if merely pulling it down or changing it's position compromised wires or contacts.

Any input is appreciated. I hate electrical problems!

DouglasJRizzo
07-04-11, 10:19 PM
Hooo boy..... :confused:

First, I really hate home made electrical stuff, especially in cars. A hidden start button? Why? Sounds like that's condition number one to check.
The second would be that if the temp gauge is pegging "H" all the time, and the power windows act up, you've got a panel problem for sure.

I can't give a lot of electrical advice, but I will say that until the bugaboos are cured, I'd disconnect the neg cable whenever the car is left alone, as this sounds like the kind of stuff that can cause a nasty car fire.

CADforce69
07-05-11, 09:16 AM
2. Without a key in the ignition at all, you can push the button and the car will try and start, but not turn over. Apparently turning the key to the 'On' position powers the fuel pump which makes the difference (I'm assuming).

Fuel pump in these cars are mechanic; not electric. What makes the difference is coil receiving electric power when ignition is switched on by the key, and sending through distributor electricity to sparks.




I can't find a 'fuse' for the starter. I've read about a 'Starter Relay' but not sure where to find that. I'm thinking if it's possible to access it, the thing to do is start the car, then disconnect the starter/solenoid wiring so it won't randomly engage, just to get the car back to his house without having it towed.

The neutral switch is what cuts electric flux to starter when is in a different position than "P" or "D". Apparently, this switch is bypassed in your car -Similar modification in my 69-, so only the button should open or cut the circuit. I think you have a cut too.


My assumption is that there is a short in the system.
How does one trace a short?


You will have to follow the wires powering starter and see if there is any point where + and - can contact apart from the switch. You can even force the situation by moving them at that point. I think circuit should be restored to original as soon as possible. I want to make this in my car some day, though I never had this self starting problem.

I can not make any comments on the rest of issues as my electricity knowledge is rather limited. Just an advice: ALWAYS disconnect a battery wire when operating in the engine compartment. Belts or fan could trap your fingers, shirt or other complement you wear if that self starting takes place at that moment.

bhs82
07-05-11, 07:17 PM
This is what happens when I try and connect the battery now;
http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/th_MVI_6839.jpg (http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/?action=view&current=MVI_6839.mp4)

Any suggestions on diagnosis?
My guess is a short in the starter solenoid?
I plan to disconnect the cables from the starter to test it but have not had the opportunity.

Before anyone notices and comments, the bozo before me used a black cable for Positive and a red one for Negative/Grounding. The Negative/Grounding cable is bolted to the engine block. Due to the current problem, I removed the battery and have been using a 300amp "Battery Jump Starter" at medium charge for testing as I've tried changing out cables and fuses. That way I can connect both Positive and Negative by cable to a smaller source and use a switch to test. Instead of the big sparks, I hear clicking - as if the starter were not getting enough power.

Here is an image of the entire setup. I've never before seen a 200amp fuse at the battery.
(Click on ANY of the images for a larger picture)
http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6835-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6835.jpg)

Here is an image of the positive cable connector.
http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6838-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6838.jpg)
I disconnected all of the wires from the Positive Cable connector except for the largest black cable. I believe the smallest red wire goes to the ignition key switch/Button, while the cable going through the fuse was for the starter. However, even with disconnecting all but the large black cable, the problem still exists. If anyone can elaborate on what these various wires/cables are to/for, please... But my biggest issue is in the video above.


BACKSTORY - There were some electrical problems as I blogged on here. (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/234314-68-deville-must-haunted-ghost.html) Then everything was fine and my friend took the car out for a 20 mile drive and stopped for breakfast. According to his girlfriend, an hour later when he went to start the car he kept pumping the gas and pushing the starter button for a while. The engine fired up but then the starter did not disengage and he got that grinding sound like when you try to start a car with the engine running. In a panic he jiggled around some wires under the dash then franticly pryed the positive battery cable loose from the terminal (it mounts with an allen bolt but he simply stripped it off given the urgency). Then I got called down. I disconnected the Negative cable from the terminal, connected the Positive, and now when I go to connect the Negative it does the above.


SIDENOTE - This whole set up is clearly after market. I found the original Negative grounding cable still mounted to the frame and hanging in the engine compartment. I connected that to the Battery Negative Terminal and interestingly got no power to the car. Strange.

THANK YOU to anyone who can help... Electrical is really not my forte.

bhs82
07-05-11, 07:19 PM
Gentlemen, thank you for your input, especially with respect to Safety..
An entirely larger situation currently exists warranting a new thread. It MAY be related but the new situation is alarmingly shocking. I took pix and video and posted the thread here. (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/234404-major-electrical-problem-video-pix-help.html#post2645238)

Sorry if it's confusing but now the situation is more dire.
Once I get past the "New" problem, I can revisit this one.

csbuckn
07-05-11, 07:30 PM
My guess is that your starter coil has shorted out. You could take it out and have it tested. This really sucks to have this type of issue. I've never seen anything like this. Does anybody else have a fuse on their starter wire?

Dirtywaterdiver
07-05-11, 08:20 PM
I have a similar problem. My temp needle jumps everytime there is a problem. (seems to be the canary in the mine)

When my window was shorted out the needle would jump when I stepped on the brake, or hit the horn, etc.

Seemed my key buzzer (white wire to the horn relay) was causing a problem so I unplugged it. That was fine for a while but the headlight switch was going.

Replaced it with a new one and it still did not work right. Had to use a jump wire. After that the needle stayed pegged, but everything worked.

Until yesterday, now no headlights or parking lights. If the switch is pulled in the on position the lights light up only while the started is engaged. When the motor starts off they go.

Something is burnt out somewhere. But with a thousand 43 year old wires, most with faded color, and a removed old alarm system put in by who knows who. I don't know where to start.

Ain't old cars fun!

CADforce69
07-05-11, 08:49 PM
My caddy electric system was tampered in the past. Even has a separate button to make starter work (You must turn ignition on with key before; if not, starter turns but engine do not start). No fuse on the starter wire nevertheless.

I think there must be a short in the starter motor too; itīs consuming a lot of electricity so as soon as you get wire close to terminal, a big spark comes out and probably starter would turn again if you held the wire close enough time. First I would take out starter, install another starter and see if this happens again. You could get a cheap one at a junkyard. If everything is ok, leave it installed. Maybe it works for a lot of years yet. I would not try to repair old starter unless I had an appreciable experience in fixing electrical devices. Taking it to a repair shop probably have a similar cost than buying a new/remanufactured one.

Anyway, something odd must have been happening to this car in the past as the former owner installed such a fuse and substituted original ground wire. Maybe the old ground cable broke but this kind of fuse has an explanation only if a huge electric consumption could take place. Maybe this problem occurred in the past from time to time and the car tried to start by itself from time to time.

This cases remind me the movie Christine

bhs82
07-05-11, 10:19 PM
RE "Christine" - LMAO!!!

Alright guys thanks. Good points. Last night he was stranded and I did not bring my floor jack and his car is VERY low which is why I couldn't get under it then. I won't have an opportunity to do anything for a couple days.

brougham
07-05-11, 10:44 PM
Start by getting a factory service manual and fixing some of those half-ass repairs. Pretty much all of these problems are because of the messed up wiring and that can also be a fire hazzard.

albymangled
07-06-11, 07:46 AM
ok so i noticed the black / red switched out combo and thought WTF for a while till I read your post a bit more.

maybe buy some different coloured cables?

it's your car....

sooo...

on my 1970 coupe the "major" battery negative cable (blue in this case) bolts directly to the chassis of the car in the front right wheel well area.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c265/albymangled/caddy/d9a4a403.jpg

there is no "minor" cable coming from the negative terminal.

the "major" battery positive cable goes directly to the starter motor.

the "minor" cable goes to the back of the alternator...

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c265/albymangled/caddy/8897dcae.jpg

as I understand it (and I ain't no sparky)

when you turn the key it

A: completes the power circuit for the points allowing the coil to charge up and sparks to form at the plugs via the dizzy and appropriate leads

B: when you turn further it powers up the solenoid which closes and in turn causes current to flow to the starter which then (if all goes well) cranks over the engine...

with the engine now turning by itself

(running...can you not hear the 7.7 litres of music?)

the alternator spins which causes electricity of a favorable nature to flow down the (on my car anyway) "minor" positive wire and charge the battery....

I'm sure someone in here will correct me if I'm wrong / leaving something out but that's how I see it any way....

power windows?

temp guage?....

hey, I already told ya I ain't no sparky.... ;)

I hope this helps a little....

Alby M.

CADforce69
07-06-11, 09:42 AM
Just to be sure that the problem comes from a short in the starter (and before you replace your starter):
You can disconnect the starter wires and connect them to another 12 V. device you positively know that is ok (a light, for example). If the device or light is on as soon as you connect the battery wire, the problem would not be inside the starter but in another point in the part of the installation concerning starter power. If the device or light is on just when you push the starter button, then the problem is inside starter.

turbojimmy
07-06-11, 05:26 PM
Start by getting a factory service manual and fixing some of those half-ass repairs. Pretty much all of these problems are because of the messed up wiring and that can also be a fire hazzard.

I second this. Start with a factory service manual and wire it back to stock as much as possible.

Someone had done some really crazy stuff on my Ford pickup to get around a failed turn signal switch. I had to operate two separate switches in order for the hazards to work. I finally decided to fix it after the 3rd traffic stop for not having any tail lights (sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't). It took me hours of studying the manual and tracing and pulling out wires to get it right again. Once it's back to original, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The original engineers really did know better than most shadetree mechanics.

bhs82
07-07-11, 08:37 PM
Great tips - Thanx to all... I'll be able to work on it tomorrow and look at some things more closely.

In the mean time, as I stated previously I found the original Negative Cable still attached to the frame and sitting there in the engine compartment. When I unbolted it from the frame and went to pull it, I found another 'mesh' wiring clamped to the cable where it bolted to the frame. I assume this 'mesh wire' attachment grounds something else which is why the cable was left mounted. Here is a picture. Can anyone tell me what that 'mesh' wiring goes to and if it is safe to merely cut it off without mounting or grounding it to the frame?
(click on image for a larger picture)
http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6842-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6842.jpg)

rjgeyer
07-07-11, 08:43 PM
That "mesh" wire is used to connect the body and frame together electronically. It effectively "grounds" the body sheet metal.

You'd likely run into a whole host of other problems (gauges, radio, windows, etc not working, or working inconsistently) if you remove that connection.

bhs82
07-08-11, 12:20 PM
I'm glad I stopped to think before cutting it....

But that poses a question... (Referring to the above video) When this old negative cable was still mounted to the frame, and the (new funky) Positive Cable was connected to the Battery, I touched the old Negative cable to the Negative Battery terminal and did not get any sparks, but did not get any power either (lights, radio, nothing). IS IT POSSIBLE that somehow this body/frame connection/grounding is not stable and that is the potential culprit for the problems I was having to begin with (all components connected to the CB #11 not functioning)?

outsider
07-08-11, 12:33 PM
hmmm...it could be something to look into...is the contact point on the frame clean and does the screw or bolt make a tight connection?

bhs82
07-11-11, 11:53 PM
OMG... Once I got under the car and started to unravel the wiring, the problem(s) were obvious. The joker before me connected wires by twisting them then wrapping with electrical tape. Then several wires had multiple splices with wiring exposed. In one case, he crimped a single connector on two wires together, one being 10 guage and the other about 14 guage. This caused the insulation on the 14 guage wire to completely dissintegrate. Even where he did use electrical tape, it was a joke as oil had completely coverered all wires and seeped inside his taping. See the pix and get a horrific laugh (Click on any image for a full sized picture of that image).

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6904-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6904.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6906-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6906.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6907-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6907.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6914-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6914.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6918-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6918.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6924-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6924.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6934-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6934.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6942-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6942.jpg)

I systematically traced each wire back to the furthest connection up and replaced each wire one by one using a wire connector and new connectors on the ends. I used electrical tape to completely encase each connection. I then color coded the wires using colored electrical tape. Then I used wiring conduit as far up as I could reach to encase all the wires and then thoroughly wrapped that conduit with electrical tape with 3 passes to be resistant to future oil seepage.(Click on any image for a full sized picture of that image).

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6948-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6948.jpg)

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6949-1.jpg (http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h359/raiderzfan53/1968_Cadillac_CoupeDeVille/Electrical%20Problem/IMG_6949.jpg)

This eliminated the sparking I was getting at the battery. As far as the second, smaller wire going to the battery negative terminal, that is a short wire grounded to the fender, I suppose as a secondary or safety to ground the body and frame the way the mesh wiring previously discussed is meant to do.

Once everything was rewired, I went to start the car (at this point I did not rewire the start button for two reasons; 1. It wasn't causing a problem before and I did not want to introduce an additional variable. 2. I don't have the confidence that the original key starter is functioning properly contact wise internally). NOW when I went to start the car, I could see smoke coming from the smaller ground wire under the hood and both grounding wires were incredibly hot.

I removed the starter (OMG, so easy on this car) and took it to Pep Boys to get it bench tested. It kept blowing the circuit breaker on the machine and the manager said he could hear the bearings were bad, that it should sound different. I went to Autozone to have it bench tested there, and it was blowing their circuit breakers as well. I had Autozone put a remanufactured one on the machine under the auspice of testing the machine and it just hummed. So for only $50 + core, I pulled the trigger on the Autozone Starter which has a lifetime warranty (Pep Boys was $64). Both stores had it in stock which surprised me.

Once the new starter was installed, the car started right up more smoothly than ever before with no electrical problems showing...

HOWEVER, when trying to operate anything tied to Circuit Breaker 11, nothing works and the Temp Guage needle pegs. So there is still a problem and my guess is it's something on that circuit. My next step is to disconnect the power window motor I put in on the driver's side. I'll check back in at that point.

Thanx to everyone who chimed in. YES I am very safety conscious, but hearing everyone's words about safety and fire hazzard reinforced the importance.

csbuckn
07-12-11, 01:20 AM
Wow, talk about a fire hazard. I think you are in need of a DVM to take a few readings.

CADforce69
07-12-11, 07:36 AM
OMG! Those pics are horrifying. What kind of brainless creature could do that? No wonder your starter was living its own life; you had a BIG short there but I couldnīt say if starter was damaged because of the bad installation or bad installation was a cause of trying to fix the starter by someone irresponsible. I think battery wire overheating caused previous owner installing the 200 Amp. fuse. I would tell him: If you are not able to do it well, take it to a professional. You are lucky that USA is the motherland of cadillacs and there is a lot of mechanics that can fix them.

Anyway, Iīm sure that you will fix those problems as a conscious person that gets informed before acting step by step. You did a good job at starter wiring but you will have to check carefully the rest of installation. Who knows what else "fixed" that nutcase. The first thing should be -as you told- window motor installation. You need a Shop Manual to have the wiring diagrams and see how everything should be. In the meanwhile I can provide you with a 69 diagram, if you need it. Most of it is the same but some things are changed, like maybe the ignition key installation.

First problem solved. Go ahead and keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

outsider
07-12-11, 09:44 AM
wow good job finding and fixing that bad wiring job! haha.

Now comes the fun part...trying to find the short in that circuit.

rjgeyer
07-12-11, 01:03 PM
Good work tracking that down!

I found some similar surprises in the wiring to my passenger side marker lamp and the turn signal indicator on the top of the fender. Glad I decided to blow the front clip apart so I could find those little goodies!

ColK
07-13-11, 12:55 AM
Reading this made me wonder if ours has some underlying electrical issues. A couple of years ago, my father-in-law had a problem with the horn blowing spontaneously while the car was idle, during the winter if I remember right. He disconnected the power to the horn rather than get it looked at. Last year while my stepdaughter's husband was driving it to school, the headlights quit working. He said he started noticing a problem related to using the dimmer switch before they completely stopped working so when he brought it back I replaced it, remembering a friend who had a similar issue back in the early 80s. After unscrewing the old one from the floor, I noticed the top of the clip that the switch plugs into was melted on top so there was a short at some point. Replacing the dimmer fixed the headlights(I also replaced the passenger side low beam as it was gone) but between the phantom horn and a short in the dimmer switch connection, should I be wary of anything else?

bhs82
07-15-11, 01:53 PM
LOL, Well I'm learning as I go. If I have it right, the power from the battery goes straight to the starter and the starter only. THAT is where all other power 'terminals' are connected - at the starter, and of course, the wiring from there going in through the firewall is subject to heat and oil in a fashion far greater due to the location (next to the exhaust piping).

Based on what I encountered, my recommendation is to get underneath it and trace the wiring back from the starter to the firewall, inspecting for cracks and compromising. The way they were on this car and even as bad as it was, because of oil and dirt covering the lines, I really did not appreciate how compromised the wires were until I got them disconnected and hanging.

Again, this is a 68 CDV. What I discovered is that there is a little 'clamp' or sort of 'u' shaped metal piece that acts as a wire guide/protector. Unfortunately, you can not see it in the pix I took, but it basically is a heat shield between the exhaust and the starter body. I had to remove this piece to be able to adequately access and inspect the wiring, and of course, once the piece was removed, I 'de-threaded' the wiring from it's path to the starter to come straight down from the firewall. Only then could I really adequately inspect the line and how far up the compromises went in my case. HAD I NOT done this, it is very possible I could have made repairs downstream from other compromises.

NOTE - The starter on this model is so easy to pull out once the wiring is disconnected. Only 2 bolts hold it in from the bottom. One mistake I ALMOST made... the heat shield I just discussed... originally when I pulled it, I left the bolt out knowing I would put it back in later. Fortunately I am in the habit of putting bolts/screws back in their place to avoid loss or misplacement. It turns out that the bolt holding on the heat shield is ALSO one of the two Starter Mounting bolts. ... Let's just say that testing the starter while only mounted with half strength favoring one side would not be something I would want to try. SO, if you remove the heat shield for inspection, then do testing before you put everything back together, make sure and put that Starter Mounting bolt back in first!

And before anyone else notes, ALWAYS disconnect the battery negative terminal before doing any electrical work and when re-connecting it to test something, don't forget to again disconnect it before resuming work.

Cheers