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Thread: Ghost in the electrical system

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  1. #21
    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by Chet Zerlin View Post
    Thanks everyone for your replies.
    "Healey Nut" my car is negative ground. The car has been in an air conditioned garage that was newly built a year ago so I doubt rodents are involved
    I have a brand new home built it myself less than two years ago fully air conditioned , caught a mouse in the dining room in the summer ......and we have a cat !!!!!
    Rodents look for food ,they dont care about the climate control or the colour of the curtains or if it has tile or hardwood.
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
    Best Healey in show ABCD Ottawa 2013
    Best Healey in Show Boot n Bonnett Kingston 2013

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    Yoda
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Side note: We have a real mouse/rat problem in our barn (really a shop). So far, it's mostly tracks, droppings and chewed-up parts bags but I'm really afraid one will take a liking to the brand new leather seats in the 100. We've tried several types of traps, and occasionally snag one, but the best 'trap' we've found is a 5-gal pail with open top. If one mouse falls in and expires, apparently other mice will follow the scent (according to an exterminator friend of one of our tenants). I hope they suffer.

  3. #23
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    Side note: We have a real mouse/rat problem in our barn (really a shop). So far, it's mostly tracks, droppings and chewed-up parts bags but I'm really afraid one will take a liking to the brand new leather seats in the 100. We've tried several types of traps, and occasionally snag one, but the best 'trap' we've found is a 5-gal pail with open top. If one mouse falls in and expires, apparently other mice will follow the scent (according to an exterminator friend of one of our tenants). I hope they suffer.
    Bob - is that an empty pail or with water in the bottom?
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
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  4. #24
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Re the original problem, if-it's-not-rodents version: my friend told me his green brake supply wire gave out for no reason inside the harness on the firewall.

    So if it's not the mouse or rat, it's still possible a wire gave out inside the harness due to age fatigue. Especially if you have an original wiring harness.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
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    Yoda
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Bob - is that an empty pail or with water in the bottom?
    Empty. I want the mouse to make distress calls to all his friends. I've seen some homemade traps where people build a ramp up to an opening on the side of the pail; inside the pail is a 'rolling pin' sort of thing coated with peanut butter. When the mouse tries to get the peanut butter he falls into the pail.

    My friend who knows the exterminator told me about his girlfriend who had a bunch of furniture in storage; when they went to get the furniture it was completely destroyed and the locker was filled with olive pits. We have an olive tree in our backyard and rodents cache the olives everywhere. Yeah, I could cut the tree down but it was my dad's favorite and I just don't have the heart (yet).

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    Yoda
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Re the original problem, if-it's-not-rodents version: my friend told me his green brake supply wire gave out for no reason inside the harness on the firewall.

    So if it's not the mouse or rat, it's still possible a wire gave out inside the harness due to age fatigue. Especially if you have an original wiring harness.
    Probably not the cause of this problem, but I think a lot of Lucas 'gremlins' are due to the barrel-type connectors (my dad's Model As used the same type). Since they're not sealed, any moisture in these can cause corrosion leading to intermittency. I've gotten in the habit of using dielectric grease whenever I do or re-do a connector; it does seem to help.

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    Moderator Editor_Reid's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    I know a Healey owner/restorer here in Oregon who lives semi-rural on a farm near a small city and he feeds a bunch of feral cats, maybe 20-30 of them. He puts out food twice a day for the cats and there are no rodents or traces of rodents anywhere in the area! Of course if you live in a city or if you just don't care to see feral cats roaming your property this probably isn't a good solution for you, but it works well on the farm.
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine

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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    I'll take feral cats over mice, rats and squirrels. We had one hanging out, but he disappeared when they harvested the cornfield next parcel over.

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Hi Chet,

    Asside from the rodent discussion, Bob brings up a potential issue that could cause electricity to take an unexpected path. A while back I was chacing an issue in my Saab where switching the directionals left or right would light both sides. The issue turned out to be caused by corrosion inside a seemingly sealed tail light units that resulted in causing electricity to take an unexpected path through the light bulb filaments. The fix was quite easy, separate the light housing and clean and coat with dielectric grease. But finding the problem was not that easy as it seemed electricity was flowing through seemingly unassociated circuitry and causing all sorts of things to take place.

    When reviewing your issue, the electrical path taken to establish the things experienced seem to a far greater amperage then I would expect could travel through a light filament. However, it could be taking an alternate path through another component or connection seemingly separated from the original as with the potential that has already been presented by Vette. I would take the approach of disconnecting all connectors within the properly assigned circuits and clean and reinstall with a liberal use of dielectric grease. This would eliminate any resistive corrosion to allow for easy flow and promote the appropriate path as the best electrical connection.

    By the way, the reason for not using a conductive grease is that in hot weather, if not constrained by a closed environment, a conductive grease displacement can cause electrical bridging leading to your present problem and others but a non-conductive grease will maintain circuit isolation at the connector while eliminating the intrusion of corroding moisture and easily evacuates with a little pressure to provide good contact. I use the dielectric grease in all bullet connectors, on component contacts, on my battery terminals and even liberally installed within my master switch.

    Just a thought,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Jedi Knight andrea's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Bob - is that an empty pail or with water in the bottom?
    Hi Steve
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/AiwJyPS4rJX65rH26
    This was the lodger of my AH find during the dismantle - just rear the dash -probably dead for ......electrical wiring overdose

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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    I have a brand new home built it myself less than two years ago fully air conditioned , caught a mouse in the dining room in the summer ......and we have a cat !!!!!
    Rodents look for food ,they dont care about the climate control or the colour of the curtains or if it has tile or hardwood.
    Yep: LOL
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

  12. #32
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by andrea View Post
    Hi Steve
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/AiwJyPS4rJX65rH26
    This was the lodger of my AH find during the dismantle - just rear the dash -probably dead for ......electrical wiring overdose
    Hi Andrea - Looks like a bird skeleton
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
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  13. #33
    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Hi Chet,

    Since this thread seems to have turned into a "rat," let's see if we can get back on track. Looking at the 100-6 wiring diagram, power from the battery would flow from the battery, through the battery cut-off switch, to the starter solenoid, to terminal A on the generator regulator/control box, through the control box to terminal A1, to the light switch, to the ignition switch. The ignition switch supplies power to the coil, then to the 35-amp fuse, where it is distributed to the fuel pump, overdrive (if you have it), and the various fused circuits.

    Apparently, you left the battery cut-off switch on when you went on vacation; the fuel pump and fan were energized and drained the battery because the battery minder couldn't keep up. The battery charger has enough oomph to power those.

    Since you still have the problem when you disconnect the ignition switch, the short is before the ignition switch.

    My next test would be to remove the 35-amp fuse and see if the fuel pump still runs. If not, you have eliminated any of the fused circuits. After doing that test, since you're there, remove the 50-amp fuse and check if the fuel pump still runs. If not, that eliminates the horn circuits.

    If removing either or both fuses stops the fuel pump, check that a green wire from the 35-amp fuse hasn't come loose and touched the 50-amp fuse, or a brown horn wire has come loose and touching the 35-amp fuse. If not, check for a short in the steering column wiring between the horn circuit and power to the turn signals.

    If removing fuses eliminates the fused and horn circuits, possible cross-connects might include:
    1. Check at the 35-amp fuse that the white wires to the overdrive, coil, or fuel pump aren't touching the 50-amp fuse circuit.
    2. The coil grounding wire (white w/black stripe) which normally grounds the coil to keep the engine from starting has become connected to the positive battery cable. Power would feed back through the coil to the fuel pump.
    3. There is a short in the heavy brown wire in the harness before the light switch.
    4. If the light switch is on, there could be a short in the harness between the blue, red, or red with white wires, and the white wire from the ignition switch to the coil, or white wire from the coil to the 35-amp fuse.


    Please let us know how that goes.
    John, BN4

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    John,

    Very good analysis and diagnostic procedure.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Maybe a couple of bottles of this will fix it.....
    But you will nead the Negative earth stuff which is pricey
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
    Best Healey in show ABCD Ottawa 2013
    Best Healey in Show Boot n Bonnett Kingston 2013

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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Hi Chet,

    Since this thread seems to have turned into a "rat," let's see if we can get back on track. Looking at the 100-6 wiring diagram, power from the battery would flow from the battery, through the battery cut-off switch, to the starter solenoid, to terminal A on the generator regulator/control box, through the control box to terminal A1, to the light switch, to the ignition switch. The ignition switch supplies power to the coil, then to the 35-amp fuse, where it is distributed to the fuel pump, overdrive (if you have it), and the various fused circuits.

    Apparently, you left the battery cut-off switch on when you went on vacation; the fuel pump and fan were energized and drained the battery because the battery minder couldn't keep up. The battery charger has enough oomph to power those.

    Since you still have the problem when you disconnect the ignition switch, the short is before the ignition switch.

    My next test would be to remove the 35-amp fuse and see if the fuel pump still runs. If not, you have eliminated any of the fused circuits. After doing that test, since you're there, remove the 50-amp fuse and check if the fuel pump still runs. If not, that eliminates the horn circuits.

    If removing either or both fuses stops the fuel pump, check that a green wire from the 35-amp fuse hasn't come loose and touched the 50-amp fuse, or a brown horn wire has come loose and touching the 35-amp fuse. If not, check for a short in the steering column wiring between the horn circuit and power to the turn signals.

    If removing fuses eliminates the fused and horn circuits, possible cross-connects might include:
    1. Check at the 35-amp fuse that the white wires to the overdrive, coil, or fuel pump aren't touching the 50-amp fuse circuit.
    2. The coil grounding wire (white w/black stripe) which normally grounds the coil to keep the engine from starting has become connected to the positive battery cable. Power would feed back through the coil to the fuel pump.
    3. There is a short in the heavy brown wire in the harness before the light switch.
    4. If the light switch is on, there could be a short in the harness between the blue, red, or red with white wires, and the white wire from the ignition switch to the coil, or white wire from the coil to the 35-amp fuse.


    Please let us know how that goes.

    Well if in this don't fix it , its is a GHOST:
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Hello all,

    Well the problem has been found and solved thanks to the excellent help and guidance received here. When I looked at the fuse box I found that somehow a (very) few of the wires attached to the 50amp fuse block frayed and were touching the 35amp fuse block. Apparently those few wisps of wire were enough to complete the circuit and make the ignition active regardless of the ignition switch. No idea how this happened (especially since the car has been parked for several months and was working fine before that!)
    I reattached them so they were not touching and magically everything works fine. No apparent injury to my coil and points but the connection was sufficient to drain my battery to a point where it could not hold a charge so I got a new battery and all is well.

    Thanks again for the wonderful help you all gave me!
    Chet

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to Chet Zerlin For This Useful Post:

    steveg  (01-27-2019)

  19. #38
    Jedi Knight andrea's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    To Steve: it can be also a Little Canguro ? from North Carolina???

    To Keoke
    Original (LUCAS?) Cut off Switch is unreliable- This is my opinion After have completely rebuild the oldest one,
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/BfbCgY19sWH9Miry8
    Not satisfied I have bought one other NEW -
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NfZU3g3SwCccbu9N6
    At my first driving tests on a hard corner I have one GHOST engine shut OFF- few second after the energy return ON- Returned at home I bypassed the Origina Cut Off Switch - and put on the battery one simplest Disconnect switch -ENDING all my GHOST problems on my AH
    Attachment 57247
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #39
    Yoda
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by Chet Zerlin View Post
    ... Well the problem has been found and solved thanks to the excellent help and guidance received here. When I looked at the fuse box I found that somehow a (very) few of the wires attached to the 50amp fuse block frayed and were touching the 35amp fuse block. Apparently those few wisps of wire were enough to complete the circuit and make the ignition active regardless of the ignition switch. No idea how this happened (especially since the car has been parked for several months and was working fine before that!)
    I reattached them so they were not touching and magically everything works fine. No apparent injury to my coil and points but the connection was sufficient to drain my battery to a point where it could not hold a charge so I got a new battery and all is well. ...
    Sound like your points happened to be open; if they were closed the coil could have heated up enough to be damaged, or your harness could have gotten damaged (the few strands that were touching would have served as a 'fusible link'). Certainly, if you'd had a Pertronix Ignitor I installed it would have been toast.

  21. #40
    Luke Skywalker LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: Ghost in the electrical system

    Oh, the jealous British car that's left alone to sit while the other cars get to play!
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
    03 Cooper S, 2011 Cooper S Countryman, 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX, 1964 Valiant V200
    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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