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Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

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Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:58 pm

This was mentioned around Christmas time and although you good people helped me find a solution the problem has now progressed.

Six weeks or so ago I lost the use of my OS dipped headlight beam. The problem was traced back to a cremated fuse holder in the fuse box so I chopped that out and replaced it with an aftermarket fuse holder and then had my OS dipped bean back again.

With in a day or so, I lost my NS dipped beam but this time the fuse box and fuses are fine. So how do I work out where the problem lies with that?

Also my fuel gauge reads full all the time. I dropped the tank this morning and pulled the sender out. Put a multimeter across the terminals and the sender is working fine. Then I cleaned all the electrical connections and put it back together..... gauge still reads full.

Electrics aren’t my strong point but I do need to learn. So before I call out an auto electrician, has anyone her got any idea where I should be looking to rectify these two issues?
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby Chug » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:49 pm

Have you checked the headlight bulb? and the wiring to it?

Does the fuel gauge drop when ign is off? just checking to make sure the guage is working.

The wire from the sender unit could be earthing out somewhere, when the sender is earthed the gauge will read full
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby Keef » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:38 am

Chug wrote:Does the fuel gauge drop when ign is off? just checking to make sure the guage is working.


Gauge still reads when you turn the ignition off on a MK5 doesn't it?
Last edited by Keef on Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby MinorMatt » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:47 am

Keef wrote:Gauge still reads when you turn the ignition off on a MK5 doesn't it?


yup.

What I can't remember is if a late one reads full when disconnected or vice versa? They did swap in 1997.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:58 pm

It’s a 1997 van so I guess it’s right in the cusp.
Gauge reads full all the time, and I’ve swapped the bulbs over between the headlights and I get the same problem on the same side, so both bulbs are fine. Connectors were grotty (verdigris) but I’ve sprayed them with contact cleaner and WD40 and “tickled” them clean with micro brushes.

Won’t get a chance to investigate more until the weekend now but I’m eager to get the whole van working properly before I strip it down and start fitting everything to my “new” body shell.... hopefully when the weather warms up a bit.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby Chug » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:26 pm

Did the wires to the h/light have power and earth? If it works on high beam then it could just be the dipped beam power feed?

Have you tried banging the dash in case the gauge is just stuck? or you could try disconnecting the wires to the gauge and see if it moves.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:57 pm

You’ve just reminded me. The heater blower doesn’t work either.... I used to be able to get that to come on with an accurate and well torqued blow to the dash.

Similar strikes to the dash don’t fix the fuel gauge, though. ... my windscreen washer pump isn’t working either but I’m waiting for a new pump before I look at that.

Thanks for your help, everyone. Should have some time at the weekend to investigate further.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:09 pm

Quick update.

As I was driving home this evening I noticed that, after three years out of action, my fuel gauge has sprung back into life. Must have been a delayed reaction after I was trying to coax it back into life last weekend.

Tomorrow I should get some time to have a better look at the head lights and also my new washer bottle pump arrived today, so that might get crossed off the list too.
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:56 pm

Ha! Sorted it :D

There was me thinking all these issues were somehow related but today I just, methodically, worked my way through them all and everything now seems to be back in business.

The washer jets were just a case of replacing the motor and flashbanding over the cracks in the bottle. The dipped beam was caused by me not noticing that the two fuses for the dipped beam share one common terminal. When I cut out the "cremated" terminal for the OS headlight Id unknowingly disconnected the NS headlight as I was doing it. :roll: so Chug was spot on. The fuel guage might be giving me a false reading, not sure at the moment but it was half a tank when i got home last night and now its 3/4 full so I need to keep an eye on that.... and while I had the electrical tools out I decided to fit a DAB headunit and hands free kit, which is all very 21st century.. not like me at all :wink:
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby Chug » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:58 pm

glad you sorted it :D,

I've had similar where the sender unit was playing up and fiddling with it got it working again, albeit still not reading correctly, luckily I had another spare tank with a good sender unit in and swapped them and life was good again. :D
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:39 pm

Thought I was getting a spare tank and sender with my “new” van..... but the guy whipped them both off before I collected it...... still couldn’t complain about the price though :)
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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby MinorMatt » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:41 pm

What do you need sender wise? I have at least one good used one?
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93 L GL Minibus
96 P 150 TD 100PS LWB Hi-Top

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Re: Electrical gremlins, I don’t understand!

Postby jimllshiftit » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:31 pm

Thanks for the offer Matt... mine seems to be behaving itself this week but if it goes wafty again I’ll drop you a message. Although, I do need two rust free upper windscreen/ top of A post corners cut out of a high top, if you have them.
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