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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I hope someone can shed a little light on this for me. ANY ideas would be appreciated:
The situation is as follows:
I have newly aquired a 1982 rabbit convertible. The (aftermarket) radio memory wire was disconnected so I reconnected it. when I fired the car up there was a small curl of smoke from somewhere behind the instrument cluster or under the drivers side dash. I disconnected the stupid wire, restarted the car to find that the only things working in the instrument cluster were the speedo, clock and the high-beam warning light. This turned out to be an intermitant problem. No rhyme or reason, just sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
I have since replaced: the instrument cluster with a salvaged one, the voltage stabilizer on the 'new' cluster, the fuse panel and the load reduction relay.
After doing some trouble shooting I found that there is no juice getting to the voltage stabilizer.

Anyone have any idea how to proceed?????
 

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Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (82cabby)

"Get out the Bentley and start tracing wires" is the only thing that comes to mind. Removing the knee bar is relatively straightforward (2 bolts each side, and remove the wiring to the ashtray if you've got one) and makes life a WHOLE lot easier at least on my '84.
Electrical gremlins are tough little buggers but if you work backward from the problem (no power to the cluster), trace the wires, be methodical, be logical, and WRITE THINGS DOWN as you do them you should be able to track it down. When you do, consider it a large victory.
Also trace that [email protected] memory wire and see where it goes - sounds like it may have shorted, heated up a couple wires headed to the cluster, melted the insulation off, and caused them to short out. Find 'em, tape 'em up with Scotch 33+ electrical tape and a small ziptie on each (to keep the tape from unraveling) and you should be golden. Take the time to check which fuse and relay they went to in order to see if that's the problem.
While you're in there, check for other old, cracked, dried out, worn, rubbed off, or exposed wiring and clean it up - pays off in the long run.
Also get a circuit tester so you don't short stuff out while working on it.
Good luck my man.


Modified by dixonL2 at 4:34 PM 5-20-2004
 

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Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (dixonL2)

Quote, originally posted by dixonL2 »
"Get out the Bentley and start tracing wires"

Exactly.
 

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Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (dbreid)

Check your grounds also. Almost every electrical problem I have encountered in a VW has been ground related. There should be a grounding point under the dash above the fuse box (either a screw with eyelet terminals under it, or a male spade). Make sure connections are clean and wires are not burned.
 

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Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (83 Rabbit Tdi)

Check the multi-connectors on the back of the fuse box for rust or corrision. Check if power is present at the connectors. Good luck your gonna need it
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (dixonL2)

"Get out the Bentley"...
Yeah, thats what I was afraid of. I went to my local VW junk yard (I live around the corner from a VW specialty shop with a wrecking yard. How lucky can you get?). I was hopeing to find a wireing harness from a similar car and start swaping wiring harness componants. But no luck. I ended up pulling a fuse panel and complete interior harness from an later 80's cabriolet. It's not the same but its close enough that maybe I can learn something from it.
Guess its time to start pulling stuff apart again!

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (83 Rabbit Tdi)

Yeah, I thought about the grounds. Looking at the wireing diagram it makes sence that its lost its ground. Unfortunately, I went through the grounding point up behind the dash and cleaned each ground and coated it with dialectic grease. No change. The harness at the instrument panel also shows a good ground.
Time to keep looking.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (bcjetta)

I looked at those. Some are ok, some needed cleaning. Is there a trick to getting the pins out of those connectors to clean them? There are a couple that need more attention than I can give them in the connector....
Thanks!
 

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Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (82cabby)

a lot of the lights in the dash are on a circuit that is not fused. bit of a dumb decision on somebody's part over at VW. im wondering if the person who installed the AEM stereo tapped into that lighting circuit. when the radio was activated it drew too much current on the circuit, caused some wires to melt and smoke.
suggest that you start by tracing how the stereo was installed, and then removing it completely. follow the wires it was connected to to see if you can find a melted section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Electrical mystery in 82 rabbit convert! HELP!!! (dino01)

The radio tapped into a line from the emergency blinker switch which is only on when the ignition is on. The memory line I THINK came off of one of the e-blinker lines that is on all the time.
Your right that the circiut I am trouble shooting doesn't seem to be fused. What rocket scientist designed that?
I'm going to try to dig into it after memorial day and chase some lines. I will start with those lines that the radio connected to and then go with the harness from the instrument cluster....
 
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