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Old 10-23-2011, 06:23 PM
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ELECTRICAL Gauge and light related

Hey guys looking for some help on a bunch of electrical issues for starts when i pull out the headlight switch the parking lights go out also if the parking lights are on with the headlights and i close the door they will go out but not all the time its like trying to nail jello to a tree also how do i wire the console temp and volt gauge any help would be greatly appreciated mike

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Old 10-23-2011, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to Hotrodders.....You will probably get more response if you post your electrical questions in the Electrical forum.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:19 PM
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moving this there
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:27 AM
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gages

mike are the gages u'r working on OEM or aftermkt?? the volt meter is easy, find a switched 12+ and any ground, and hook it up... done. temp is a dif story if its oem or aftermkt...
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:20 PM
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72 nova gauge wiring

the gauges are oem also what would you suggest getting 12 volt from ? also what gauge wire is ok to use the temp gauge is oem also
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:02 PM
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Mike,

Does the car have original wiring for the console guages?

If your adding them then you'll want to tie into the original voltmeter and temperature guage wiring. I don't have 72 service manual with schematics, so I don't have wire sizes and colors.

Since you have the lighting issues to deal with as well, you may have some wiring problems to look at. Not unusual for a 40 year old car. Do a visual inspection to look for cuts, scrapes, crimps, burns, repairs, and modifications. Also check connectors and components. Loose mounts and rusty relays can cause problems too.

Remember the old wiring is fragile, don't go ripping and tearing.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:09 PM
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volt meter

this did not come with the console gauges i picked them up later on is it ok to break the red wire to the alternator or could you recommend a better 12v line to tie into also the temp gauge can i power that from switched 12v and run wire to the sending unit ? mike
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:24 PM
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volt gauge

When I wired in my after market volt gauge I used the wires from my cigerette lighter so the volt meter will only be on when the ignition is turned on and turns off the same way saves accidently draining battery hope this helps with the volt gauge issue
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:49 AM
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Any switched 12v source will work for the volt meter...... temp gauge could be powered from that same source, but it will need the sending unit on the other side of the gauge.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:56 AM
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Mike

Any switched (ignition switched) 12V source will work for the voltmeter, there should be a switched 12V terminal on your fuse block. This is better because you can use a terminal end to connect rather than cutting into the stock wiring. Don't forget to put a ground wire on the other side of the meter, hopefully tie it in with an existing ground.

For the temperature guage I recommend installing a new circuit. The existing circuit (I presume) is for a warning light in the dash, this circuit uses a thermal switch to operate the light. The switch won't operate the guage. Leave that circuit in place, it will still operate and warn you if your engine runs hot.

You will need to locate a place to install a new temperature sending unit. By '72, there is a place for the sending unit on each cylinder head. The factory would install the send unit (or switch) in one head and plug the other. You will be removing the plug and installing a new sending unit in that head.

Now connect a switched 12V feed to the positive side of the temperature guage, connect the low side of the guage to the sender.

I will double check, but I believe that 18 guage wiring is sufficient for both the voltmeter and temperature guage circuits. I would want to match the correct wire colors (if you can find them) so that in the future I could identify the circuits/wires. If you can't match the wire colors, then put markers on the wires at each end and/or draw a schematic of what you installed and keep it with the car. That way if there is a problem you (or the next guy) will have something to go on.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confederate1
When I wired in my after market volt gauge I used the wires from my cigerette lighter so the volt meter will only be on when the ignition is turned on and turns off the same way saves accidently draining battery hope this helps with the volt gauge issue
Check the circuit on whatever vehicle is being equipped w/the gauge- many older vehicles had the cigarette lighter on an "always hot" circuit, i.e. the lighter works w/the key "off".
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:39 AM
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Good point Cobalt.

Also, I prefer to not piggyback on to other circuits. The cig lighter is a good example of one to avoid. Most accessories have a modest current draw, and certainly the current required for voltmeter and/or a temp guage operation is minimal.

However, an accessory like the cig lighter draws a lot of current; enough so that when you are going down the road with your guages working fine and you plug your laptop into the cig lighter socket, everything seems fine at first, then you smell smoke and your car dies.

The wiring to the cig lighter is sized for the high current needed for short duration of heating the lighters element. Continued use with high current continues to heat the wires until the insulation melts. Wiring other accessories (like guages) only makes this problem worse.

Point is: Wire accessories from a source that has the current capacity for additional load.

And: All of those navigation, cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, etc; can create real problems. Check them for current requirements (at 12V), avoid pluging them into your cig lighter (especially on older cars) when they need more than 500 mAmps. This is less of a problem on newer cars, because they changed the circuits and sized them for these devices.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:00 PM
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Cig lighter circuit, if switched, will make a fine place to tap into for the voltage guage..... never had a smokin car or one that died because of a miniscul draw from a volt meter
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:19 PM
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electrical headache 72 nova

guys thanks for all your help i am slooowly getting all the bugs out the headlight issue of now you see them now you dont is fixed it was in a bad high low beam switch but heres the next hurdle had a dead battery so i pulled the pos cable off stuck a test light in between and it lit up so i pulled every fuse out twice with it still lit finally i pulled the plug out the alternator [somebody put in one out of a 75 nova for whatever reason its charging around 14 volts but i am stumped how to fix this one what do you think mike
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOD Guy
never had a smokin car or one that died because of a miniscul draw from a volt meter
Neither have I.
I have seen plenty of wires for cig lighters with melted insulation.

Look at the schematics for this car, notice that the cig lighter has it's own wire (18 OR), trust me there is a reason for that.

To each his own, IMO, since you have to run the wires for the guages up under the dash, run the extra two feet to reach over to the fuse panel circuit, put a proper terminal on the wire and use that wire to feed both guages.
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