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Technical 1954 Ford Crestline V8 electrical issues

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rockin' Rob, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Hi, friends. I have a '54 Crestline. Having a couple of weird electrical issues. Might be related?
    1. the horn is going off when I turn the steering wheel. I had to temp disconnect the horns until I figure out what is going on. 2. the drivers side headlight flashes on high beam whenever I turn the blinker on towards the right/passenger's side. Any idea what's going on or where to look first? Grounding issues?
    Thanks for any help...
     
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 21,399

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    check condition of wiring - may need to be replaced - same for switches/connectors
     
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  3. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,303

    BJR
    Member

    Sounds like the wiring in the steering column is bad.
     
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,894

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Horn wire is shorting out inside the steering column. You will need to remove the wheel to get at it.
     
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  5. Splinter
    Joined: May 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,113

    Splinter
    Member

    Horn issue is under the steering wheel or in the column- horn relay is looking for a ground, something is rubbing when you turn the wheel. The other problem is prolly behind the dash- your turn indicator in the dash is shorting out to your high beam indicator.
     
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  6. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Thanks for the help, fellas. I've had nothing but problems with this one since I bought it. How it goes sometimes, I 'spose.
     
  7. As mentioned, the horn issue is very likely the wire going down the center of the steering shaft. It's probably got a bare spot on it. You don't need to pull the wheel, just the horn ring. Unplug the wire from the harness where it exits the steering box, then pull it out at the wheel end. You can buy a new replacement.

    On the headlight, check the headlight/turn ground(s) at that corner of the car.
     
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  8. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,116

    evintho
    Member

    Take a peek at your wiring in general. In '54 all the insulation is cloth (they hadn't discovered plastic yet). After 65 years.....it tends to deteriorate! You've probably lost some insulation and bare wire is touching things it shouldn't touch. I know my '54 is a maze of bare wiring underneath the dash. Of course, it sat in a field for 20 years so I shouldn't be surprised!
     
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  9. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Thanks, Crazy Steve. I have taken the horn ring off the wheel but there are no wires to be seen behind the ring. There is a tube on the outside of the steering column that I assume contains all the wires going up into the steering wheel?
     
  10. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Yeah, I need to get someone to help me with that. The old guy I bought the car from had changed it over to 12 volts at some point BUT there is still alot of original wiring to be found for sure. My temp gauge on the dash isn't working correctly because he never put in volt reducer going to the gauge. 12 volts into a 6 isn't optimal, I don't believe. I hope the gauge isn't burnt up on me. I have it unhooked at the sending unit for now until I can get a reducer installed and see it gauge works correctly. The gauge rests on the HOT side when ya turn car off and then goes to COLD side once car is on. THEN, it just keeps climbing to the HOT range but the car isn't overheating.
     
  11. You won't see a wire; what you will see is a black ring and button in the end of the steering shaft. The black ring is the insulator, and the button is crimped onto the end of the wire.
     
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  12. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Ahhh. Ok I think I know now. There is a plunger button there so I will look into that. TYVM!!!
     
  13. Tie a bit of string to the end of the old wire as you withdraw it out of the column, so you can get the new one back down there.
     
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  14. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 21,399

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    nothin' new here - just hang in there and do basically one thing at a time - wiring is just a basic task that you have to think through - don't let it short circuit your progress - lots of replacement stuff out there - from speedwaymotors.com or others for a copy of How to Wire Your Streetrod From Start to Finish by Jack Sweeden - do not let title scare you away - just good basic info

    this is a step in the right direction - if all is done correctly
     
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  15. 54vicky
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 972

    54vicky
    Member

    I think for your headlight blinking you need to look closely at the junction block on left front fender.someone may have plugged the headlight wire in wrong spot(signal).the horn problem is probably in the horn ring if insulator is missing in horn button
     
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  16. Rockin' Rob
    Joined: Feb 17, 2018
    Posts: 59

    Rockin' Rob

    Thanks for the pep talk, Joker! Much appreciated.
     
  17. Possible that the turn signal switch is toast or also has bare wires on it.
     
    sidevalve8ba likes this.
  18. BoilermakerDave
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 245

    BoilermakerDave
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Maybe think about rewiring the whole car. Looks like a huge task at first, but once you get after it it’s not too bad. Give yourself a whole weekend to do it right, and have some patience.

    Your car might be a big fire waiting to happen.
     

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