Instrument panel lights woes, any ideas? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Instrument panel lights woes, any ideas?

Got a nice 1987 Spider.
When it came home 1 year ago, only the top two gauges in the instrument would light up.
Took it to my mechanic, removed the pod examined everything and replaced a wire loom there. All lights came back!

Next, I disassembled the interiors to replace with new. All done, put back together and very anally checked that I did not disturbed the wires too much when removing and replacing the knee bumpers on the driver's side.

Drove the car last night for the first time after the above and NO LIGHTS at the instrument pod.

Checked the wiring diagram., all 7 instrument gauge lights are connected together and the power comes from a white/black cable.

Removed the Driver's side knee bumpers and disconnected the rheostat plug from the rheostat. (thinking that the rheostat would be faulty).
Fashioned a jump cable between the white/black cable and the yellow cables at the plug. Turned on the lights and I get only the top two instruments lights. like when I bought the car!

There is 12 volt across the jumper cable.

How in the world, if all seven instruments lights are connected one to the other, I only get two lights only??????????????

I guess that maybe it will be necessary to remove the Monopod to investigate further??? Very sadly, my Alfa mechanic passed suddenly away 3 weeks ago. Otherwise I would not be asking these questions.

If somebody has any ideas , I would appreciate any hints.
capisce is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Disregard, problem mysteriously solved by itself!
I can live with that.
capisce is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:47 PM
Moderator
Platinum SubscriberModerator
 
Alfajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Posts: 9,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by capisce View Post
How in the world, if all seven instruments lights are connected one to the other, I only get two lights only?
Perhaps all seven are getting +12v power, but only two are properly grounded.

Quote:
Disregard, problem mysteriously solved by itself!
Trust me, no problem solves itself! Next time you hit a bump, those five bulbs will go out again. And come back on two bumps later.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
Alfajay is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
As soon as the first bump puts them out, I'll quickly look for an even bigger pothole to light them back up!

Seriously now, All the bulbs are connected to the same common printed circuit ground in the back of the pod like a continuous ribbon. If there was a break someplace, all should be out.
capisce is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 12:21 AM
Registered User
 
spiderserie4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 6,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by capisce View Post
...All the bulbs are connected to the same common printed circuit ground in the back of the pod like a continuous ribbon...
well, no...that little top section is actually separate, with its own 8 pin clear plug
(black/white wire at pin #1 at the plug)

the lower monopod illumination lights get connection thru the 8 pin white plug, pin #1 (white/black)

(both these then do join at the 6 pin white connector (connector "D"), behind the pod near the steering column)

But hey its working...so tackle it if it goes out again
Attached Images
 

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.

Last edited by spiderserie4; 06-11-2019 at 12:33 AM.
spiderserie4 is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Thumbs down

Sure enough, as predicted, problem came back.
I slapped , gently, the pod on its side and they came back up. then turned of the lights, turn them back on and no lower lights. This time no amount of slapping fixed it.
I have a photo of the back of the pod, below.
could you explain a little were the the problem may be? Pretty pleasee?
Attached Images
 
capisce is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:54 AM
Registered User
 
spiderserie4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 6,983
but it is only the illumination lights off, correct? iow. the lower section gauges and warning lights (fan, handbrake etc) all work?

if so, the diagram shows connection for the illumination for the lower section to be thru pins #1 and #2 of the connector marked with an X.
(dunno if pin numbers run from left or from right though)
I guess you could check continuity therefore between those 2 pins?

Other than that clean all those pins on all 4 connections and the corresponding plugs on the loom inside the monopod housing, with some contact cleaner and an old toothbrush.

I am no sparkey, so its all a guess but at least something I'd try myself!

Do you have Jim's diagram for the cluster/monopod?
Attached Images
 

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
spiderserie4 is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 09:34 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 154
My speedo and tach both randomly came back from the dead after going down a bumpy road a few times. ive learned to not ask questions and just run with the luck.
grizzly likes this.
stradguy93 is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 09:58 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 57
I would say that it is probably a grounding issue. Quite possibly the circuit track could have a crack in it somewhere. Look for a track that goes to all the lamps in question, ie a common ground track. Maybe by gently flexing the board you might see a hairline crack, possibly with the help of a bright light. If you find one it can easily be repaired by soldering a short link wire over the crack, after removing the insulating coating on the track.
The fact that it is only a small group of lamps should make it easier to trace which track it is.
Good luck!
spidermale is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:56 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
bruce1976spider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chardon, Ohio
Posts: 473
Garage
It's (nearly) always GROUNDS and CONNECTORS for these types of issues! (I say "Nearly" because I had a wire rub through on my 1976...)

Put the connectors on with the gauge panel unmounted, turn on the lights and start wiggling connectors & wire bundles.

If it's the connector at fault, you can carefully bend the contact sleeve sides to make more friction. For grounds, you can find and tighten the body connection - or just run a new ground.

50 years from now - how are we going to restore a "classic" microprocessor based modern car?? Alfas - 1980 Spider, 1987 Milano, 1976 Spider
bruce1976spider is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
All excellent suggestions.
I'm going to tackle the dismantling of the pod soon.
In the meantime, I'm going to disconnect the battery and
1) At the fuse box, remove all the old fuses, clean the connections and replace all fuses with new ones.
2) Do the same with all relays.
3) Proceed with the same operation in the engine compartment, including all electrical connections.
4) Clean and refresh all ground connectors that I can find.

Thanks for all the help!!
grizzly likes this.
capisce is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:36 PM
Registered User
 
grizzly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central CT, USA
Posts: 156
Garage
Please keep us up to date. My whole pod has issues...

David Griszkauskas

Old Stuff:
1988 Spider Graduate
1980 Honda CX500 (cool..), 1970 Harley Sprint

A nesuprantu
grizzly is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
but it is only the illumination lights off, correct? iow. the lower section gauges and warning lights (fan, handbrake etc) all work?

if so, the diagram shows connection for the illumination for the lower section to be thru pins #1 and #2 of the connector marked with an X.
(dunno if pin numbers run from left or from right though)
I guess you could check continuity therefore between those 2 pins?

Other than that clean all those pins on all 4 connections and the corresponding plugs on the loom inside the monopod housing, with some contact cleaner and an old toothbrush.

I am no sparkey, so its all a guess but at least something I'd try myself!

Do you have Jim's diagram for the cluster/monopod?
You were absolutely right.
I tackled the Monopod and found the two places where the ground connect.
Cleaned everything, sprayed around, reassembled the thing and I got lights for the instruments. The reostat also works well.
The Papajam (RIP) diagrams helped a lot and provide information not clear in the Service Manual.
Vielen dank!
capisce is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly View Post
Please keep us up to date. My whole pod has issues...
Grizzly:
As you can see I solved the problem with the instrument (gauges) lights.
You will need the Papayam color coded wiring schematic for your car AND also the Factory Manual because one complement the other. For one thing the Papayam material provides colors for the wires which the Manual does not.
Also the manual has diagrams that help a little bit more in some cases and provide the steps to do the dismantling and re-installation. But the Papayam schematic is invaluable.

Removing the Monopod is scary and a bear. I cleaned all the connections by removing the bezel (a *****), then unscrewing the instrument from the pod and pulling it towards the steering wheel. This is enough to disconnect the huge connectors in the back and cleaning them. A horrible bunch of cables back there and all those contacts that can go kaput.

I also resolved the problems I had with the rest of the "interior lights" as they are called in the Alfa manual. Namely the engine compartment light, trunk light, glove compartment light and the courtesy lights.

99% of them resolved with new bulbs and restoring the grounds.

The courtesy lights failure was due to the famous N-10 Relay (Sipea 0679) , 3rd position in the top row of relays at the fuse box.
The relay was shot. Apparently there are no new substitutes available, only used ones and expensive.
I found here at the BB an idea to put a jumper cable to eliminate the relay, which normally provides the function of a timer. The jumper goes from the left vertical slit to the top horizontal slit where the relay used to be. in other words, from the P to the L slots (see last photo.)

Now the courtesy lights work normally but turn off immediately after closing the door. I can still turn them on manually if desired or keep them off full time.
Some members say that the courtesy lights can be accidentally turned on by inadvertently pushing the switch with the knee or leg, causing a battery drain if not noticed. This is easily avoided by not connecting the red/black wire to the lamp assembly.
Of course, you lose the "manual turn on" capability. Then it will be On on opening the doors or Off all the time.

A friend asked me why I was fiddling with all these lights, since they are not essential and require maintenance. In my view, why not, they are part of the car, also these cars are for the most part a hobby.

Below are photos of the jumper to replace the Sipea 0679 relay and of what's inside the relay. All of that complication just to keep the footwell lights on for 20 seconds after you close the door???!!!
Attached Images
    
spiderserie4 likes this.
capisce is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 01:25 AM
Registered User
 
spiderserie4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 6,983
don't throw that relay away

it might just be a faulty solder joint

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
spiderserie4 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome