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Misc Weekend Resto Project Questions: Overspray, Electrical Leak, Headlight Revolve

Misc Weekend Resto Project Questions: Overspray, Electrical Leak, Headlight Revolve

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Old 10-27-2018, 04:31 PM
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Misc Weekend Resto Project Questions: Overspray, Electrical Leak, Headlight Revolve

Hey guys (especially RoadHog), thanks for all the help so far. My new-buy '66 Charger Franken-sled is running better, and I'm blasting around in the beast with a grin a mile wide. There's nothing like the loping roar of 440 cubes of Mopar power through glasspacks. But I've got a million fix-up chores to get started on, and this is what I've got planned for this weekend. Any help would be appreciated:

--There is a cold (i.e., ignition switch-off) discharge short somewhere in the wiring harness. If I leave the battery connected, within a day the battery runs flat. Compared to my old '64 Econoline, the Charger has a myriad of hot accessory circuits: glove box light, umpteen interior lights, trunk light, etc. Plus the sled has an A833 swapped in for the original auto and I suspect the tranny wiring was probably not correctly redone. I'll start with checking the fuse block for hot-to-ground shorts, but I suspect that tracking down the trickle short won't be that easy. Any suggestions for a likely culprit circuit?

--Unsurprisingly, the headlight revolve doesn't work. I know the headlight revolve relays are behind the glove box, but is the access circuit breaker for that circuit back there too? Any advice on how to disassemble the glove box without trashing it? I know the revolve motors work 'cuz the previous owner told me he could hotwire them to revolve.

--All the body emblems, door locks, etc. have been oversprayed with flat black paint, likely Krylon. The chrome emblems should clean up safely with a quick dip in acetone, but I'm worried about the arrow emblems just aft of the rear quarter windows. Are the colored inserts on those painted on, enameled or anodized? I don't want to accidentally strip off the OEM coloring on those trim emblems.

--Oh yeah, any advice on refurbishing or replacing the trefoil Dodge emblems on the front grill and trunk lid? I know that Classic has replacement parts for those, but no point in throwing away original parts if they can be refurb'd.

--The brake booster was rebuilt, and in the process apparently the brake pedal linkage was not correctly re-assembled. There is a lot of play and sticking between the brake pedal arm and the shaft to the brake unit on the firewall. I suspect there are bushings missing from the hinge pin. Anyone got an exploded view graphic of the pedal linkage?

--Also, there is a slight brake drag that manifests only after I warm up the rod and drive it awhile. Cold, the wheels roll freely. After warmed up, when you stop on a slight incline, the car won't roll, even after you pump and release the brakes and do the same with the emergency. Judging by the heat off the hubs, I suspect the front disc pads are dragging slightly. This problem arose after I had a mechanic refurb the brakes (bleed the lines, turn the rear drums and replace the rear shoes), so evidently this is a mechanic-induced problem. He's offered to fix it but he's not a brake specialist and I think I'd better figure out what he broke before he tries to fix it. The sled had a rather amateur front brake disc conversion done at some point, and there's no proportioning valve between the front discs and rear drums.

--Oh yeah, I gotta install a shade for the rear window. Black car, black interior, California weather...car turns into a freakin' oven if I leave it out in the sun. That rear window is a gorgeously retro feature, but I need to rig up some kind of shade for it.

--This is more a feature query than a repair. The sled steers amazingly well for a 60's mid-priced sedan. Very little play in the steering, so little I suspect the steering box was rebuilt at some point. Any ideas on how to check for that without pulling the steering box itself?

Again, many thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:03 PM
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Looks like you have a project! If I remember correctly, at I'm not saying that I do, the brake pedal is slightly different for power brakes. So if it had two peddles installed it could be the leverage is off or the rod to short.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:55 AM
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Your welcome for the input help.. Remember it's only my 2 cents !!

Bill, Did you make it out to "Fall Fling" I am sure most of what you needed was going to be at the event. If you didnt make it. Make sure you go the "Spring Fling" lots of those odds and ins are there.
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Sounds like s fun project. You got a lot going on here. But non of them sound like they cant be fixed.

1. Handling the short. Unhook the battery + cable. Put a test light between the cable and the battery post. The light should be off. If it is on. Start pulling fuses one at a time until the light goes off and them you will know what system to chase.
However if something is bypassed from the fuse panel ? Then you have to "Go Fishing" for the same result. You can do this by just unplugging things one at a time.

2. Sounds like the brakes are out of adjustment? And or the Booster rod adjustment is off? If it all worked good before. "Not to say that the install has been performed Correctly with the conversion." I agree with Iowan, Could be a list of issues created by the change over. I am surprised that a proportioning valve was not installed? That could a big factor? I would suggest to check with one of the brake conversion companies and go over what might be needed to straighten it all out.

Will leave some of this laundry list for a little later...
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:07 AM
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Well, I put in three hours on the sled yesterday trying to track down the trickle short and get the headlight revolve to work. Man, the wiring behind the dash is a complete mess! It's just a horrible spaghetti snarl of open leads, patch runs, bypasses, etc. As a professional tech guy, I want to strangle whoever it was who hacked up the wiring. I didn't manage to get the headlights to revolve, but I somehow disconnected the dash gauge lights and can't figure out how I did that. Which brings up another couple of questions:

--How is the headlight revolve circuit supposed to work?Arhe headlights supposed to open and shut with each push of the headlight revolve stalk button? Of course, first thing I need to do is reconnect the right-hand revolve relay. Problem is, I can't find the circuit pigtail for it. The relay is disconnected and there is no sign of the wiring connector plug. I also can't find the "access circuit breaker" for the headlight revolve power lead. Looks like it should be behind the glove box with the three revolve relays. And what is the purpose of that middle revolve relay? It looks like it's just distributing the positive power lead to the two primary revolve control relays.

--When the electroluminescent dash gauge lights were working, I noticed that they lit up nice and bright when I first started the sled, then dimmed after running the car for awhile, so dim that I couldn't see the speedo or tach needles. Since I've got some kind of dead draw that is running the battery flat if I don't leave it disconnected, possibly that is pulling down the harness voltage overall. I have noticed that when the sled is just idling, the headlights noticeably dim. Is that likely it or is there some peculiarity of these electroluminescent lights that could cause a time-related fade? Yes, I do have the interior dimmer turned full up, it's not that.

--As I've noted before, my '66 originally had a 361/AT drivetrain, and now has a 440 RB/A833 swapped in. Where are the reverse gear indicator leads on the A833? The backup lights were never rewired properly, and on a dark street at night, trying to parallel park the sled with no backup lights is a little dicey.

--Is the parking brake warning light the one above the high beam indicator light in between the speedo and the tach? I assume so, but it's not working. Also, I have no idea where the rotating headlight indicator light is.

--Where were the license plate light and glove box light originally mounted? I can't even find the leads for those, let alone the light sockets. But what the heck, when one of the previous owners replaced the headliner, they ripped out the dome light completely so why complain about a missing glove box light? I should count myself lucky the headlights work.

--What the heck is the "power pack" circuit? I see it on the wiring harness schematic, but I have no clue what it's for.

Racerhog, I see the logic in your suggestion of narrowing the short by pulling fuses, but that is only going to get me so far because there are only, what, six fused circuits in the whole car?! Mopar sure liked to gang together circuits in those days. One thing I did figure out is that all the accessory circuits are dead because that fuse is not just missing, the fuse clips for it have been ripped out of the fuse block. It's starting to look like the first step to sorting out the whole wiring mess will be to swap in a brand new aftermarket fue block. I'm going to need a lot of extra circuits eventually, because I'll be installing a stereo and various other non-stock additional power circuits. Hell, I'll probably need an extra circuit just for USB power sockets.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:29 AM
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The 4 speed backup light switch is in the transmission.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:36 AM
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don't forget about the bulkhead connector on a mopar, they tend to cause problems also.

good luck

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Old 11-01-2018, 03:13 PM
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By "bulkhead connector" do you mean the grounding strap that goes from the block to the firewall? Yeah, my mechanic noticed that the one on my sled is heavily corroded. Well, that's an easy fix. I don't see how a weak ground connection from the block to the body/harness ground would be causing a trickle short, but the grounding strap needs to be fixed anyway.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:45 PM
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I'm not sure if there is one but the connector at the firewall where the wires to into the body from the engine compartment.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:18 PM
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If thats the case...... Use a low amp probe and track the draw.. Still got to chase/track the short..
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:49 AM
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Yeah, I think it's going to come down to testing the amperage draw circuit-by-circuit to find this trickle short. At least I can rule out (I think) any circuits downstream of the ignition switch. The battery has been running down even with the ignition switch off, and I just replaced that switch so the short/leak can't be sourced to it.

Sorry for the obvious questions about the electroluminescent gauges cutting out and fading, should have done more research. Almost certainly the problem is due a failing "power pack". Now that I know what it does--mine fell out of the dash today--I can send it out to be rebuilt, or maybe do it myself. That kind of analog circuitry I'm pretty good at working on. I do love the retro-cool green glow of the gauges when the system is working at full luminosity. It's like piloting an old Star Trek shuttle craft. I definitely need to get the speedo re-numbered in "warp factors" instead of MPH.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:22 PM
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Check the power supply for a failed capacitor inside.. Might fix the dash lights
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RacerHog View Post
Your welcome for the input help.. Remember it's only my 2 cents !!

[...]

2. Sounds like the brakes are out of adjustment? And or the Booster rod adjustment is off? If it all worked good before. "Not to say that the install has been performed Correctly with the conversion." I agree with Iowan, Could be a list of issues created by the change over. I am surprised that a proportioning valve was not installed? That could a big factor? I would suggest to check with one of the brake conversion companies and go over what might be needed to straighten it all out.

Will leave some of this laundry list for a little later...
Thanks again, RacerHog. Turns out the braking system was upgraded at some point with a Right Stuff Detailing G80011501 booster & master cylinder kit. It wasn't until I dug through the service receipts and Mopar service manuals did I realize the sled does not have a stock brake setup. What gets me is that the supposedly old-school mechanic I had check out the brakes, replace the shoes and turn the drums on the rears, etc...at no point did the guy say to me, "Hey, somebody totally replaced the brakes head unit." I don't think he even realized the car had been converted to a power brakes system. Also, the front disc pads dragging, which has been getting worse and worse, was due to him overfilling the master reservoir with fluid. I mean, he bled the brakes and took the car for a post-overhaul test drive, and he didn't realize the front discs were dragging?!

To be fair, I looked at the booster & cylinder combo a dozen times and didn't realize it was a power unit either. I'm so used to working on 60's Cadillacs, I just expect to see a power booster on the firewall. I haven't worked on a pure manual brakes system since I had my MGB.

Whoever installed the aftermarket head unit did not install a proportioning valve, even though the RSD unit is meant to have one installed and presumably the new unit was installed as part of converting the front brakes to discs. OK, well, that is an easy fix.

So I drained out about an 1/8th of an inch of fluid from the two cylinder bowls and balanced the levels between the two. That seems to have cleared up the pads dragging. The brake pedal now has a bit more travel but there is still plenty of push to get the brakes to engage. Whether the master cylinder is driving the fronts & rears relatively equally, I can't tell. There's really no point in trying to tune the system until I have a proportioning valve installed.

Does all this sound right? A mere 1/8th or so overfill could cause the brakes to drag? What concerns me is that prior to draining out that margin of fluid, the brakes would only start dragging after the sled had warmed up. That sounds to me like the vacuum feed from the block to the booster isn't calibrated correctly. This kit is supposed to be compatible with both a '70 Cuda and a '66 Charger, but how about a '66 with a '70 Cuda 440 RB transplant? Shouldn't be a problem, but I wonder.

I will feel better when I can afford to rip out this Rube Goldberg hack job and install a full SSBC disc conversion kit. Sucks to have a hot rod you don't want to drive hard because you don't trust the brakes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:59 PM
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Oh yeah, the battery was too dead to crank again this afternoon, despite both terminals being left disconnected overnight. There seems to be a pattern of the battery being too flat to crank after a short drive, even with the battery fully disconnected. Plus the headlights definitely run dim at warm idle. Sounds like it's a charging system problem, instead of a trickle discharge somewhere in the harness. Possibly both, given how hacked the wiring is all over the car. In other words:

--Leave the battery connected overnight (ignition switch off, obviously) and the battery drains too flat to crank. That sounds like a cold-circuit drain.

--Run the car for a short drive, disconnect the battery, battery is too flat to crank the next morning. That sounds like the battery is not getting back a full charge after the engine is cranked up. Possibly failing alternator diodes? I'm pretty sure the alternator is either new or rebuilt, because it looks fairly fresh.

It's an awesome sled...when it runs.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:56 PM
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Sounds like a good plan..... I agree, Sounds like the battery might be no good or going south.....

Mite help with the draw issue... Just food for thought....
https://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Parasitic-Battery-Drain
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:58 PM
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I still cannot get the brakes right on my '66, and I can't figure out why. When cold, the car rolls freely. After it warms up and is driven, the car will no longer roll freely, on an incline.

--If it was the wheel bearings, I would hear a grinding or some other sign of bearings binding/crunching. I have had wheel bearings fail before, and it is obvious when they do.

--It definitely feels like the front pads are dragging. But any common problems that I can think of (calipers bad, rotors warped) would show symptoms when cold as well as warm. The brake pedal releases freely, so it doesn't feel like the rod or pistons are sticking. The obvious culprit is the booster check valve, but the brakes were working fine before I took the sled in to have the brakes overhauled, and as I noted previously, the whole booster/master cylinder unit is a brand-new aftermarket assembly. Besides, what could a mechanic have done during a routine checkover, bleed, etc. to screw up the vacuum boost? He test-drove the !#@$!# car afterwards!

--I have one bizarre theory that can't possibly be right. When the mechanic worked on the brakes, he reconnected the vacuum advance to the ignition, which was capped off. It seems very, very unlikely, but could the vacuum advance feed be affecting the vacuum feed to the brake booster?
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:20 PM
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I'm going to guess that maybe the wrong master cylinder may have been installed and it is possible that the residual valving in wrong. Holding the brakes to tight, and after you pump it once or twice, then the calipers cannot return.
Also could be the flex brake hoses? Unless they have all been replaced?

One other thing comes to mind.... Are any of the brake lines close to any heat source?
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:08 PM
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Yes old break hoses can act like a one way valve, the master will push fluid through but the hose will not let it return. I've seen hoses that look good be junk on the inside.
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