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Technical Rebel Wire troubleshooting shorts to ground

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by REBEL43, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. REBEL43
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 705

    from TENNESSEE

    Hey guys, I posted this in another thread, but that one is getting kinda long and I thought this would be easier to find. I'll try to add more to it later, but here's one thing I got into recently while wiring a guys 55 Chevy. He brought it to me to "clean up the wiring" but that's another story. So part of the issues is that the horn constantly blew, which meant it had a short to ground in the column somewhere. Here's how I went about finding that, and I'll post more later about finding other shorts to ground, but basically the same principle.

    So I started by taking my test light (my homemade "long range" version with alligator clips) and clipped it to a constant hot and the horn relay trigger wire (for the ground side). Since it was shorted to ground inside the column, my bulb lit up. Here's a link to the video of starting to do that.

    After getting the horn ring off, which was part of the short, I had to go deeper to find the rest of the short. Which seemed to be in the column bushing.

    After some insulating and some homemade rubber washers here and there. I got it where my bulb only lit up when pressing the horn ring, which is how you want for it to work.

    I'll post some other tips on finding shorts to ground, and a way to save fuses finding it later. Right now I've got to get back to building harnesses to ship out.
    Jeremy @ Rebel Wire

    Got a couple minutes between harness builds. Here's some easy tips for finding shorts to ground (that keep popping expensive fuses). Instead of using a fuse, use a simple 2 wire light bulb with some spade terminals, to plug into the fuse slot in place of the fuse. With one side hot, and the other side shorted to ground, instead of blowing a fuse you'll just light the bulb.
    finding a short.jpg
    Whatever the fuse is for (lights, turn signals, gauges, etc) you know the area your short is in. You can start disconnecting wires, pulling bulbs out of sockets, etc until the bulb goes out. When it does you know you found your short.
    finding a short 2.jpg

    I've got a bulb with about 12ft leads on it that I made to do this (and check for parasitic draws) that I can move around the car with me and watch the bulb. Hope this helps someone out.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
    TagMan and Dave Mc like this.

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