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Light Switch - Smokin' !

Discussion in 'Fuel System & Electrics' started by phantom, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. phantom

    phantom Member

    Rural NSW
    Evening all,

    Patient is a 72 Kombi, standard 1600 and usual wiring, etc. The electrics have been good since I got the car a few years ago. For the past 2 years it hasn't been driven much - car club events only.

    Last outing I switched the headlights on and within 10 seconds got smoke coming out under the dash, also a lovely burning-plastic smell. I switched the lights off and proceeded as normal. I have since found that I still have parking / headlights but no dashboard lights (until then I thought all lights were gone).

    I've looked under there briefly and whilst I can't get in a good position to see much, I couldn't see anything obvious.

    Today I changed out the switch for another one, thinking the switch is probably at fault. After doing this, surprise, I had smoke and that lovely smell again. I've pulled that switch back out.

    On the switch I removed, the only thing I could note is that I believe that terminal 58b could be looking a bit blacker than when I connected it all up, and the plastic around that terminal also looked a bit different, ie probably on its way to melting. I could not see any other signs of problems. I can't find any wires that show signs of melting.

    It would be handy to be able to remove the cluster, but I haven't done this before. I think the levers for the vents would stop me removing it.

    I will guess that terminal 58b on the switch is probably for the dash lights, but I don't know why suddenly it would want to melt....twice...in 2 different switch bodies. Does that mean that suddenly there is too much power going to that circuit? Nothing has been changed in the car to warrant this.

    All ideas appreciated, thanks!
  2. Alpal

    Alpal Moderator Staff Member

    Melbourne Bend of Islands
    Dashboards are not rocket science. Disconnect the battery and mark any wires as you remove. Sounds like you need to sort out the short before you smoke the whole vehicle.
  3. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Avalon Beach NSW
    Levers for the vents pull straight out...then undo the screws on the dash face-plate & it's off. Retaining clips can be a bugger to re-fit & don't lose any...they're a bit like hen's teeth these days.
    Sounds like a cable has rubbed through its insulation on a sharp edge somewhere, causing the short when you power up the circuit.
    Good luck with the short.
    Cheers, Mark
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  4. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    I do agree with recommendations above but add- check you ignition switch wiring - ie get a torch and stick your head up under the steering column support bracket and check for wiries shorting.

    Mine did this earlier this year with similar smoke from dash issues but mine stopped running due to the ignition system short. The offending wire really melted.

    IF spot lights or any other guages with lights have been added - check that wiring as they may be the cause.

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