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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2004, 03:00 AM
riversurfer
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Weird electrical problem on Sidekick

Last night my '89 kick quit on the way home. I found that it would start and run okay with the lights off, but any lights on would cause the engine to run rough and stop. The brake lights and turnsignals also cause the engine to quit. When the engine is running, with the lights turned off, all the lights, except the headlights, glow dimly, with the turnsignals being the brightest. There is no glow if the engine is not running. Has anyone else had this problem, or have any ideas where to look for the problem? Thanks.

Joe
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2004, 06:19 AM
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Re: Weird electrical problem on Sidekick

Howdy,

My friends and I put together some parts last fall: the drievtrain from an 89 sidekick and the body from a 95 tracker.

The most noticable problems afterwards were electrical. The intermittent wipers would come on when you put on the right turn signal, which was not glowing as brightly as it should, either. This turned out to be a bad ground. The right front fender and some of the rest of the front clip had been replaced and the wire that was supposed ground that section was grounded to the replaced part, which itself was not grounded well enough. We moved the ground over to the "old" part of the body and the problem went away.

There have been intermittent issues with blowing of the main 40A fuse under the hood while starting, too. I haven't traced this yet, at least not to the point of being able to fix it, but it no doubt involves something grounding out that should be. For a while I would blow my taillights and rear sidemarkers out when I turnedd on the radio, but that was my own fault for the way I wired up the radio. Still it took me a while to figure it out and lots of blown fuses.

One of the guys in here whose a real whiz with circuitry will hopefully drop in and just tell you its this or that wire that needs grounding. It sounds to me (not an expert) that you have a loose ground under the hood somewhere. The wires on these older rigs can develop a lot of corrsion and stop grounding, even though they look to be sound. One might even be broken off. Check for connectors screwed to the body with no wires going to them and corresponding wires that dont go anywhere [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] You might do well to locate all the underhood grounds (especially in the lighting part of the harness) and take them off, clean them up, and put them back on. To make your search a little easier you could try jumping each of the grounds to a known good ground to see if you can get the faint glow in the lights to go away. Get a jumper wire and touch it to the connect at the end of the ground wire where it screws to the body. If you can get it to change the faint glow you know you;re in the right neighborhood, at least! You should also go along the entire length of the wiring harness to see that none of the insulation has worn through exposing the wire underneath and allowing it to ground against the body or frame, or another wire. That sounds kinda daunting if you havent ever really looked at the underhood wiring, but there isn't really all that much of it (compared to newer vehicles..yikes!!!) and you should be able to methodically cover all of it if you take your time. One *good* thing about it is that your problem is consistent. Whatever is wrong will still be wrong when you find it. Intermittent problems are no fun. [img]images/graemlins/AR15firing.gif[/img]

Now hopefully aftermarket4x4 or someone with lots of wiring experience will chime in and give a more well informed opinion.

hope this helps a little...welcome to the ORC BBS, too [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]

~daxe
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2004, 07:22 AM
 
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Re: Weird electrical problem on Sidekick

You want me to chime in?.......Yeah, what Daxe said! Check all the grounds under the hood and also the ground at the combination switch (headlight/wiper switch), as well as the grounds at the drivers and passengers kick panels. This typically solves the problems. If not re-post and we'll try again.

Sean
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 03:29 AM
riversurfer
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Re: Weird electrical problem on Sidekick

Thanks for your replies. It did turn out to be a bad ground. My kick is VERY rusty (it spent its first 12 years in the rust belt on the southeast side of Lake Erie) and the part of the body with the ground in the left rear fender well had rusted off and was hanging by the ground wire. I found some solid metal and reattached the ground wire and that seemed to cure the weird problems. It also needed some wires reconnected that had corroded off the gang connectors and two new taillight sockets.

Joe
post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 01:54 PM
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Re: Weird electrical problem on Sidekick

Not to be cocky but i knew it was a bad ground before i read the first post. Damn zuks are notorious for bad grounds. Havent owned a zuk yet that didnt have a wierd electrical problem due to a ground.

Glad to see you got it fixed.
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