Help About Wiring - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Help About Wiring

Hello everybody.

I need some help please. I've got installed a complet wiring from AAW , my dash isn't completly in fonction. I think about a ground problem.

The instruction says that the instrument cluster ground must be connected To the dash frame, steering column pedal saddle, or any other good known chassis ground. For the second ground from cluster connector it says To connectTo back of cluster housing
Look at the vids and pictures To try To understand.

This is when the dash clock is disconnected :
https://youtu.be/RDm-uksl3sM

This is when the dash clock is connected :
http://youtu.be/vtfuEe_xs24


Can someone tell me where To connect ground? I put two ground here :

'66 Impala

Last edited by Charly; 07-27-2015 at 02:51 AM.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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If I understand I need to take a ground here "To back of cluster housing ",but where ???

'66 Impala
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 07:00 PM
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Any screw that is anchored into metal will work.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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OK but that doesn't change any thing. If I bolt grounds like on the first picture the problem is the same

Maybe my problem isn't about ground but wiring

'66 Impala
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I did an error. My second vid Was the same You can see now what is happen when clock is connected.

Do You think that if I bolt my dash to his place that will change any thing?

'66 Impala
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 07:14 AM
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The metal frame of the car is the other half of the circuit. Problem is two fold. Steel (iron) is a rotten electrical conductor (or of heat for that matter). On the Corvette which has a plastic body that doesn't conduct electricity at all, you have to use a separate copper ground wire for every circuit. This doubles the number of wires in the wiring harness. I learned automotive wiring and bought most of my wiring tools trying to rewire a 1959 Corvette roadster that I bought as a basket case (failed restoration) back in 1965.

With your steel body that was spot welded together you have to deal with corrosion. oversprayed paint and just poor connections that have vibrated loose. To simplify things I recommend running a separate ground wire from the battery negative terminal into the car's cabin and screw it into the steering collum support brace. Then attach all of your grounding wires to that one wire for a better ground.

Since most engines have been removed from the car at least once often the grounding straps for the car body are missing because they are too much trouble to reatach to the engine at the bell housing. There were two flat copper braided ribbons that grounded the car's interior, and the car's frame to the engine. The engine was grounded to the battery originally by way of the negative battery cable that could now be trying to ground everything through a shiny fresh coat of insulating plastic paint.

This is also a real problem for the starter motor as well, as it has to ground to the block to work, but is frequently insulated by Chevy orange paint on the block due to a fresh rebuild. Chevrolet never assmbled and painted a motor the way restorers do it. the paint was slathered on from the top; painting everything attached to it. They also missed painting many places of the block entirly because they painted the engine with the ehaust manifolds bolted in place.

You need to measure the actual resistance of ground circuits to verify that they will work (not reduce the voltage to zero by having more resistance that he car voltage can over come). This is why the inside joke is that eltrical engineering is as easy as PIE; which is Ohm's law, used to calculate if your voltage can over come resistance or if you wiring can handle a load. A continuity checker might verify a circuit is complete, but it doesn't indicate the actual quality of the circuit.

If you are thinking of a heavy duty amplified sound system then you are probably already aware that the factory wiring isn't up to the task. (I once saw a Volkswagen type one, aka "the beettle",filled with speakers and with it's trunk stuffed with a 24,000 Watt peak to peak amplifier in a sound store back in the sixties. That rated Wattage would have require more power than the engine could produce to run if the Wattage claim where true). Same applies for an electric fuel pump or an electric fan. Modern power consuming devices require a modern one wire alternator to feed them. This is why an A/C equpped car had the higher rated alternator and bigger battery (heavy duty electrical option) from the factory, to keep up with the blower motor running all the time.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thank You Big Dave.
So I am on the good way about ground.

You are right there is some new paint every where and grounding straps are missing. I remember that the only ground Is from battery To front on radiator support. I will put à new ground from battery but I don't understand where around the steering column (difficult translation)...

'66 Impala
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 08:26 AM
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There are two steel plates that are spot welded to the dash that hold the steering colum up. An extra hole in either of those two plates will not affect the value of your car or have any points taken away at a car show. It is just one suggestion of where to attach the ground strap inside the car cabin. You don't really want the ground lug to be visible from anyone looking at your car.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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So, my problem seems To be not solved. I've got a wire from battery (not bolted around the column for the moment) I put dash grounds on this wire and the problem is the same.

My dash does the same thing like on videos. No turn signal indicators and they stay light if connect the clock.

'66 Impala
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 05:05 PM
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Your tail light/brake-turn signal may not have a good ground. This is especially evident when you see both indicators glowing dim while both blink. The current is looking for a ground, and it can not fond one.

One of the best diagnostic tools I have is a twenty five foot 10 gauge black wire with a medium size alligator clamp on one end and a probe from a broken Snap on test light that I use to touch a device I am testing to see if it works. If it works when I touch it with my ground probe's spike I know I have a ground issue. Then it is just a matter of discovering what is the problem.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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I had a problem with tail lights. Fuses were broken when I connect battery. It's now ok, the problem was from socket.
Everything is ok. Tail lights, turn signal, low beam, high beam.
The only problem is the dash and I haven't got any courtesy light and dash light

'66 Impala
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 07:12 AM
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Dash lights could be blown bulbs (there are about four or five bulbs) or a bad light switch . The rheostat that controls the interior cabin lights and dash lights may be burned out or the wiper that runs across it is not making a good electrical contact.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Every switchs (ignition, wiper, heater, headlight, dimmer, door jamb) are new. I'll check bulbs It are the only things who are old.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I cleaned all sockets, connections and changed broken bulbs. (always one socket missing) It's better.
When clock is disconect everything is fonctionning. But when I put on hi beam turn signal are brighting.
I've opened clock and this is the result, it smell burn:

http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.ph...976IMG0517.jpg

Always no courtesy lights and dash lights.

'66 Impala
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 07:24 PM
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Looks like the windings on the motor are melted to me. If so it will cause a dead short and possibly a fire if pluged in.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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My clock is disconnected, it's more safe.

My courtesy lights and dash light problem was from the headlight switch: turned on off, very stupid

I want to buy and install original ground strap kit to complète the installation.

I will think about You said Big Dave, It's very instructive. I haven't got finished to build a garage for my Impala to my new house, more than a year that I haven't Work on my Impala and drive too...

'66 Impala

Last edited by Charly; 01-09-2017 at 03:11 PM.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 04:11 PM
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American Grounding Systems are the guys that make the grounding straps for American Wire Works.

Never mind they have a 50 piece minimum order so that won't be economical.

Plan "B" is to use a set of reproduction straps off a 1969 Camaro that has every part needed to make a new 1969 Camaro available in the aftermarket. These will replace the original fire wall forward straps:

Camaro Ground Strap Set, Engine Compartment, 1969

here are the factory screws to install the firewall end:

Camaro Sheetmetal Screw Set For Ground Straps, Washer Bottle Bracket & Misc., 1967-1969

and the serrated star washers to hold the screws in place:

Camaro Serrated Washer Set For Ground Straps, Washer Bottlebracket & Misc., 1967-1969

There are two additional braided cooper wires that go from the gas tank to the body and from the fire wall to the dash. But the Camaro parts are probably going to be too short. You could order another set of engine compartment straps if they are long enough to replace what is missing with yours, but only if they work out.

Just keep in mind the factory designed the electrical system with only 36 Amps total for a load ,so it is woefully inadequate for modern devices, and in my opinion it needs heavier gage wiring for anything more than 36 Amps as a total load (many modern stereo's require that much power).

The factory added circuits as separate wiring harnesses for anything that required a heavy load such as a convertible top or electric windows and seat. This allowed the low draw circuits to survive as long as they have.

Copper wire is getting expensive to buy but it is still cheaper than a new car to replace the one that burned to the ground due to an electrical fire.

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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I've seen similar kits on Hubbard & Eckler's (but they are not very explicit) :

https://www.impalaparts.com/products...6-GROUND-STRAP

Chevy Full Size Chevy Ground Strap Kit, 1965-1966 - Eckler's Late Great Chevy

But it are not very efficient if I understand You wrote.
My Impala haves no options (no AC, no power Windows or electrical seats...)

The only recent device is an electric fan (already not connected) and I plan to install stéréo équipements (factory look).

These kind ok kits are not built stronger than factory ? (efficient for modern devises)

'66 Impala
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:32 AM
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Nope! For two reasons they are the same size. First is the fact that some people would rather have inadequate brakes and the risk of an electrical fire because that is the way Chevrolet did it (making the cheapest entry level car that GM could build back in the days of slide rules and 45 mph speed limits nation wide. People forget that transistors, plastic, and the interstate system are all new; which is to say brought on scene in my life time.

Second reason is we are running out of strip mineable Copper ore (lying on the surface of the earth begging to simply remove the dirt to leave a crater the size of some cities) as such it is becoming much more expensive. This is why an old Copper penny contains six cents worth of metal today (and why a penny is made out of Copper plated Zinc).

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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So, the best issue is to buy bigger wires / cables and make my own kit, and forget these kits?

'66 Impala
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:02 PM
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That is what I do but I have been doing this since the sixties and then the cars were stripped down race cars that were being passed off as your mother's car. They were lightened and stripped of a lot of unneeded accessories (such as heater and radio) though they had to pass safety inspection in the state back then.

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hello everybody.

I recently had a problem when I added fuel. When I've restarted Impala the fuel gauge went after the graduation and the generator light bright.

When I turn key on ignition the generator light doesn't bright but when i start the engine the generator light bright... Tachometer and voltmeter don't work no more, It move a little bit when iI put headlights...

Do You think It's a ground problem or It from generator?

Thank You for you help, Charly.

'66 Impala
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 03:55 PM
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The Gen light remaining on after the ignition switch testing all of the lights is to tell you that your battery is discharging (not charging). It will result in a dead battery.

Your 1966 has a DN (external voltage regulator) style alternator. You can remove the alternator from the car and have it tested at any corner auto parts store (or you can measure the output voltage from the charging lug once you energize the blue field winding wire marked as either F or T2 on the alternator case). The White wire feeds back to ground through the bulb in the dash for the idiot light. If the battery is discharging it lights up. Once you know that it is good you can then test your voltage regulator following the instructions in your 1967 Service manual, or replace it. That should get you voltage out of the back of the alternator to charge your battery and allow the car to run.

Your DN alternator doesn't have sensitive transistors inside of it that blow if the alternator sees a voltage spike or change in polarity by jumping the car off incorrectly. But it does have three sets of Diodes that rectify the AC current the alternator produces into DC voltage used by your battery. They can be blown by excess current or voltage caused by a bad voltage regulator.

As far as making your own harness you need to know the length of every wire in the car. Because I made a lot of six cylinder Novas into BBC powered street terrors I yanked out a factory harness and took it apart. I then drove nails into a 4x8 sheet of plywood and marked each circuit on the board with size and color. By starting at the fuse box and winding wire around the nails I could recreate a harness with only the circuits I wanted in the size of wire I wanted.

Do not use electrical tape to wrap the wires as it becomes a gummy mess over time. There are miles of wire wrap in the junk yard that they do not want, and only have to throw away. Volunteer to strip wires out of cars (it doesn't have to be a Chevy) as it is just PVC plastic insulation that can be washed and reused. They can recycle the wire as copper once you strip the harness for them. It worked for me (but then I made it my business to know the owners of all of my local yards, just so we could scratch each others back like this).

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thank You Big Dave. My Impala have an alternator with internal regulator.

A bad battery or alternator can cause a volmeter / tachometer disfonction? The GEN light doesn't bright when I turn key on accessories or ignition. It only brigthts when engine is running. When I disconnect red and brown wires on alternator the GEN light bright normaly and shut down when engine is running but always no voltmeter and tachometer.

Edit: I've tested with another battery, same problem. So problem can come from alternator?

'66 Impala

Last edited by Charly; 02-28-2019 at 06:22 AM.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 09:26 AM
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Dave knows much more in this area than I do but it does sound like an alternator issue to me.

Do you happen to have a Voltmeter/multi-meter to verify the voltage at the battery while the engine is running? (sounds like you'll only see 12V or even less)

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
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