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Username Post: Wierd one -> Lights on/Kill Engine/Obvious Short        (Topic#356497)
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-20-19 08:54 AM - Post#2766789    

I have had my 56 Convertible running with current wiring and accessories since 2005.

Problem
When I turn on the headlights, or even just park lights, it kills the engine. Point of note: the HL switch fuse does not blow.

Environment Considerations
I am running an LS1 engine; Push button start (PBS); 4 prong brake switch (required for the LS1)

Wiring is not from a harness. I wired it myself, back in '99, with changes jumping in as mods happen. For example, the PBS system.

So, much of the wiring is based on original '56 Chevy wiring diagram, but certainly not all, given the different engine, etc. Other example, while in the original wiring the clock and horn relay are pulled from the power on the headlight switch, I did not wire those from the switch.

I've just been studying my wiring diagrams, playing with the fuse in/out, etc.

A little detail of what I found:


The power to the brake switch is coming from the headlight switch. I thought "Why did I do that?". Studying the original wiring diagrams, I find that is where the power to the brake switch is pulled from. So this information is pertinent to my tests below:

With light switch fuse in place
  • Turn on headlights...kills engine
  • Fuse does not blow
  • I see severa amp draw on the volt meter. Seems obvious short to me.
  • If I have the engine running, and want to stop the engine, I must push the brake pedal and push switch. This is normal expected operation


Light Switch Fuse Removed
  • Turn switch on/off, nothing happens, does not kill engine
  • When push the PBS button to kill the engine, it dies immediately. No brake needed, no pause before shut off (I have determined this would be normal behaviour if no power to brake light switch.


I have come of the opinion that the headlight switch may be malfunctioning. I suspect a lower of column, removal of gauges and good look is next on my agenda. And figure out how to test the switch. I suspect I will change how my brake switch is powered too.


My question is, does anyone have any thoughts? Have you seen a HL switch do something like this? The thing that is really confusing is why does the fuse not blow? I have tried a different fuse and same results.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 




56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-20-19 10:19 AM - Post#2766806    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Another thing I tried, given that the light switch feeds the power side of the break switch, I pulled the power wire from the brake switch, taking that out of the equation l. Made no difference.


What is really confusing is why the fuse does not blow

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 05-20-19 10:20 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-20-19 01:37 PM - Post#2766815    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Do all the lights work when the engine is not running?
The brake switch protected by the circuit breaker with stock wiring.
Do you have a diagram for the PBS?

  • Quote:
I see severa amp draw on the volt meter. Seems obvious short to me.



The headlights will draw 10 amps or so. How much is several?
Seems like it would be in the PBS circuit.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 05-20-19 01:42 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
junkman104 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1397
junkman104
Age: 60
Loc: Murphy N.C.
Reg: 01-25-14
05-20-19 05:48 PM - Post#2766825    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Recheck all your grounds. Fixed an F150 a while back with the same exact problems. The headlamp ground backfed to the ecm.



 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 06:28 AM - Post#2766839    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

  • Quote:
I want to have a relay that when a particular circuit loses power that it sends a negative to the output wire.



Did you wire in the brake light fuse indicator?
Did the problem start after that?

It may be affecting the PBS.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 08:13 AM - Post#2766845    
    In response to junkman104

  • junkman104 Said:
Recheck all your grounds. Fixed an F150 a while back with the same exact problems. The headlamp ground backfed to the ecm.



  • junkman104 Said:
Recheck all your grounds. Fixed an F150 a while back with the same exact problems. The headlamp ground backfed to the ecm.



I presume you mean all the main grounds, such as battery, engine block, etc. No?

  • acardon Said:
  • Quote:
I want to have a relay that when a particular circuit loses power that it sends a negative to the output wire.



Did you wire in the brake light fuse indicator?
Did the problem start after that?

It may be affecting the PBS.



In answer to your question, yes, but that is on my
61. This is my '56, and it has been all wired and running with no changes for 10 years.


The PBS diagram wiring is below, and below that a short Youtube video. When I double checked after your question about lights working with engine off, I noticed that when I turn them on the right turn signal flashes, both at frist notch (park lights) and second notch (headlights). Maybe that is a clue to a problem in the steering column curcuit. I pulled the connector from the column, no change.

But, another thing I noticed...when engine is off, and I toggle the light switch on/off, I hear what sounds a bit like a relay toggle (albeit a loude one), seems to be coming from near where in fact the PBS box is located. I'll need to catch my wife home and not busy to toggle the switch while I put my head down there to see if I can locate where the noise is coming from fo sure.


value="transparent">
PBS Diagram:


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 09:03 AM - Post#2766847    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I don't know what you program into the box, but did you try reprograming it?
There may be a heavy duty relay in the box to activate the starter solenoid, making the noise. I see you have a external relay to start penciled in.

I'm curious, what tells the box that the engine is running, so that the second time you push the button, it kills the engine instead of cranking it, or do you have to push the button twice if the engine fails to start, the first time the button is pushed?

  • Quote:
I noticed that when I turn them on the right turn signal flashes,


That could indicate a bad ground on the cluster.
Check the right front parking light housing for a bad ground.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 05-21-19 11:37 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 11:37 AM - Post#2766859    
    In response to acardon

I'll investigate answers to your questions when I can get back out there.

RE Possible bad ground on the cluster: The only thing getting power at that point is the light that lights the cluster. That would be in the dash lights circuit. Given that info, abad ground on the cluster would possibly be causing the flash on the 1 turn signal indicator?

I'm thinking maybe I need to trace down the right tail light wires and see if disconnecting that would make any difference.

I'm still mistified about the fuse not blowing.

(I still have not chased down the chassis grounds.)



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 11:44 AM - Post#2766860    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

A bad ground on the right front parking light housing can cause the blinker indicator to flash when the lights are turned on.
Are the lights programed to flash when activating the security system?
I don't think you have a short to blow the fuse. If there was a short, some of the lights would not work at all. You indicated all the lights lit up. Do they all work with the brakes on? With the turn signals flashing?

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 11:58 AM - Post#2766861    
    In response to acardon

I haven't tried lights on, brakes applied, simultaneously. I expect they will. I'll test when I get out there.

Re flash for security system: I haven't implemented a security system. I think the wording on that wiring sheet for the PBS is misleading. Armed in the context of that document means the key is out of vicinity, and the car will not start.

Bad ground on the front parking light rings a bell. I did something that I figured I would have to make correct several years ago. That is, I put in some headlights I purhcased at the Back to the 50's which have an orange LED in the bottom area for turn signal. When I first installed them, disconnecting the original turn signal bulb, they would not work. This was back when LEDs were pretty new thing. I hooked the original bulbs back up in order for them to work. I figured when a bulb went out I'd have to address that. Maybe that jury rigged thing is related to that light.

I think I'll give a call to the folks that sell the PBS and see if they have any thoughts about my symptoms related to that.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 12:33 PM - Post#2766862    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

I just arrived back.

Turn signals work fine, engine on or off. Of course, can't test anything with headlight switch on, as it kills the engine.

If I just turn on the ign, turn signals, work fine. Then if I pull the headlight switch out, turn signals stop, and the light on the push button goes out. Turn switch off, signals start again, light on push button comes back on.

It does feel like a PBS issue, but as it's not hooked into the light circuit that I can think of, I don't know how it's related. OH.....I just studied the chart I uploaded again, and there is a grey wire that hooks into the parking lights!

Re: a short: I just assumed it was a short given the symptoms. And the voltage gauge drops to 8 (minimum reading) while HL switch on.

But with no fuse blowing, it does make sense that I don't have a short.

I just called Digital Guard Dawg and waiting for a call back to see if they have any thoughts. It seems there is more evidence pointing to the PBS given that it is hooked into the parking lights.

Later today my wife should be home, and I'm going to have her toggle the light switch so I can see what is making the noise on right side under dash.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 12:49 PM - Post#2766863    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

  • Quote:
Of course, can't test anything with headlight switch on, as it kills the engine.



Why can't you test the headlights or parking lights without the engine running. They should be wired to constant power, not ignition.
Turn signals are wired to ignition power.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 05-21-19 12:50 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 02:06 PM - Post#2766872    
    In response to acardon

Sorry, my comment was misleading. But the further writing was based on testing them with engine off.

So to be sure I don't have you confused: I CAN and DID test them w/o engine running.They worked fine. And again, if I had the turn signal working, with the ign switch on (engine not running), and then turned on the lights, the turn signal quit, and the ign switch light went out. Turn lights off and they came back on.

Still have not got the call back. I bet I don't get it tonight.



1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


Edited by 56_Kruiser on 05-21-19 02:07 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 03:21 PM - Post#2766876    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

OK, the lights aren't working fine. Any time one circuit (headlights, tail, or park lights) affects another circuit, (turn signals) it's a bad ground.
The headlight switch and turn signals never meet except at the dual filement bulbs, and if they are grounded, you will never have a back circuit from one to the other.
I don't know how it affects the PBS, but apparently it does, because of the light on the PBS.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 04:19 PM - Post#2766881    
    In response to acardon

When I say they are working fine, that of course is within the context of the specific test. When engine is off and I turn them on, there is zero obvious problems with the operation of the lights, brake lights or turn signals.

Wife got home and I was able to determine that in fact it is the PBS that is clicking when I turn on the headlights.

The only connection to the PBS that I can see right now is the grey wire connected to the parking light circuit.

I don't know if then it is ground related, bad PBS controller or what. Before I do much morr I'm going to talk to the tech person on that system. I think you were right in your early comment about it being related to the PBS.

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-21-19 04:27 PM - Post#2766882    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

Try disconnecting the park light wire from the PBS.
I think it's function is to blink the lights if you have a lock/unlock system.

  • Quote:
with the ign switch on (engine not running), and then turned on the lights, the turn signal quit, and the ign switch light went out. Turn lights off and they came back on.




That sounds like the lights are affecting the turn signals.



Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 05-21-19 06:49 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-21-19 07:39 PM - Post#2766900    
    In response to acardon

I actually plan to do that, but without pulling stuff it will require a cut/splice back.

I'm planning on seeing what the tech folks have to say first.

On the test just discussed, I have considered the cut off of turn signal and Push Button to be same as what happens when engine running, albeit no engine running to quit.

Don...I apprecaite all your input. It has definitely helped me to stumble through this. I think we know it is PBS related.

I'll post back some time tomorrow after I talk to tech, and maybe make some progress.

If they remain hard to get hold of (usually they aren't), I'll cut that grey wire and see what happens. But I still want to see what they say. I won't be comfortable with cutting that and leaving it that way w/o them saying it's OK. I suspect you are right about the reason for that being hooked in the park lights.

1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11290
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
05-22-19 07:44 AM - Post#2766921    
    In response to 56_Kruiser

  • Quote:
I noticed that when I turn them on the right turn signal flashes,




You could take the park light lead off the light switch if it's easier to get to.
The park light lead on the PBS is connected to the front park lights. The PBS sends a momentary voltage to the light when lock is activated. I think you have a bad ground on that bulb, so the park light lead on the PBS is getting a signal from the light switch. This is affecting the PBS in some way to activate the relay.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 05-22-19 08:57 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56_Kruiser 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2850
56_Kruiser
Loc: St. Augustine, Fl
Reg: 09-23-05
05-29-19 10:43 AM - Post#2767288    
    In response to acardon

Been slow to reply back. Sorry.

I found the problem. I finally had time to focus on the '56, and started to check out grounds. Yep...it was a ground.

The PBS unit had a ground that went back to the battery in the trunk and grounded at the battery (per instructions of the install).

I have a similar to this.. When I was getting ready to go to the car gathering in The Villages, I put the trunk panel back in and straightened it all up back there, and in the process disconnected the PBS ground on the post.

I'm surprised it started. Must have been pulling the ground through the dash light harness via the grey wire from the Pbs plugged into that. But when I turned on the headlights, then that ground wasn't sufficient.

Problem solved of course by plugging that ground back up.

Thanks for all the help/thoughts on this one.


1956 Chevy
Vid of 61
61 Chevy


 




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