Electrical hell

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nikoxr4ti
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Electrical hell

Post by nikoxr4ti » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:31 am

So I have a 88 xr Everything is good visually but, i am having a real problem with the small electrical issues. warning lights wont display, tach and fuel level gauges are down, powerdoor locks aren't working and foglights aren't working.
funny thing is they worked after i restored the car to running condition. one day they all just....stopped.
Can't anyone help me source the problem I have tried the fuse and cleaning contacts I can't find it to safe gods life...please help!!

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Bob Weir
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by Bob Weir » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:53 am

“small electrical issues”
This is an understatement! Your list of in-operatives is on a variety of power and ground circuits.

“restored the car to running condition”
What did you do? You must have made mistakes in the wiring, probably both + and -! Go back and check your wiring.

Hopefully, you have the Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual [≠$20] for your year. There are minor changes for different years. If not, get one from Merkur Midwest, Rapido, an MCA member [by posting a WTB in the XR classifieds] or ebay.

How good are you at electrical diagnostics? Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

1] Grounds are the achilles hell of an XR. Take them apart, clean thoroughly, secure & TEST.

2] Check "System Voltage"! Get SV from battery. Most components require SV [12v]. A few mini volts drop is ok, but < 12v = a short or open, that is a bad connection or broken or frayed wire, or least likely a bad component.

Fill in your Profile, especially city & state. Tell us a little about auto repair capabilities, especially electrical. What you did to the xr to get it running.

Good luck

nikoxr4ti
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by nikoxr4ti » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:54 am

OK so when I received the car from my father it had not been started in eight years. I dropped the gas tank and sent it to be cleaned and lined,bought a new in-tank fuel pump and strainer, fresh gas and fired it up. I touched nothing else beside the spark plugs wires. Afterward I started checking the electrical stuff... turn signals, head lights, tails..etc. found that the windows did not work. I removed the window switch box and clean the contacts and reinstalled it they started working. all indicators were fine after that. so i put her on the road to feel the car. that's when I notice that my tach didn't work...in retrospect I should have notice far earlier but I think I was too excited. I have not tried to solder the tach points, but I did attempt the fuel gauge hack and it still doesn't read correctly it consistently reads full. Now the weird part days later i drove it to my mothers to visit and got out of the car and locked the doors....no sound ... driver door locked but it dint auto lock the hatch and pass door. later the same day night fell and i turn on my headlight and fogs only to notice the fogs weren't on. I think that s as far back as I can remember

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Bob Weir
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by Bob Weir » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:13 pm

"had not been started in eight years."

I strongly suspect the grounds after sitting this many years. Start with the lights or locks. A good chance your first drive was enough to disturb marginal, corroded grounds.

Fuel gauge - might be wires to the fuel tank.

Tack - search the XR forum.

Did you get the Elec & Vac book or find schmeatics?

nikoxr4ti
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by nikoxr4ti » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:04 pm

I have not yet. I do need to purchase it. I have the shop manual for the xr but that's it.

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merkurdriver
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by merkurdriver » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:03 am

I can send you the 88-89 electrical troubleshooting manual via email, just drop me a line at merkurdriver@gmail.com

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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:22 am

I highly recommend making a list of items and visiting either merkur depot or merkur midwest. They always seem to hook you up. You can take parts from a couple broken clusters and make a good one. Ya my fuel gauge lies to me also, I'm still waiting for someone to find a easy fix using the sending unit from a fiesta or something. Carry an empty gas can. Every spring I have to fool around with rear lights and power windows, just goes with the territory. Mike from merkur depot told me to use wd-40 and a little brass wire brush on taillight contacts. It works good. You could also try electrical contact cleaner and dielectric grease for the bulbs bases. I actually cut away some carpet in the rear so I can just look behind me and see that I have brake lights/turn signals. Make an extra ground for each bulb holder also. You must learn to love the electrical gremlins. Also I hope you changed all the fluids.
You're only as good as the last car you build.

nikoxr4ti
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Re: Electrical hell

Post by nikoxr4ti » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:51 am

Update so I cleaned all the grounds and make sure they were tight and everything is pretty much working also found out that the exhaust burn the speaker cable to the point where it broke into two so I will to get back together sort of speak.
Thanks for all the help.

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