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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please... in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I'm glad I stopped to think before cutting it.... But that poses a question... (Referring to the above video) When ...
  1. #16
    bhs82's Avatar
    bhs82 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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)?

  2. #17
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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?

  3. #18
    bhs82's Avatar
    bhs82 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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).

















    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).





    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.

  4. #19
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Wow, talk about a fire hazard. I think you are in need of a DVM to take a few readings.

  5. #20
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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!

  6. #21
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    wow good job finding and fixing that bad wiring job! haha.

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

  7. #22
    rjgeyer is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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!

  8. #23
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    ColK is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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?

  9. #24
    bhs82's Avatar
    bhs82 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAJOR Electrical Problem - Video & Pix, HELP! please...

    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

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