Dead Eletrics

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Hectork
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Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:45 pm

67 Traveller - standard engine and electrics.

I went to get the car out of the garage yesterday. Started well. Reversed back, noticed indicator light on stalk was permanently on, bulb getting hot. When I indicated right or left light came on with no flash.

Turned ignition off and on again, electrics now completely dead.

I’ve had a fish around. Both fuses and inline fuse are all 35a and fine. Replaced them anyway, no difference. Battery showing steady 12.6V. No problem starting before it went kaput.

Ignition switch wiring all fine. All wiring behind dash looks fine.

Have ordered another flasher unit from ESM. Is that likely to be the issue? Seems strange that I’ve lost all electrics, although I understand strange things can happen in a car with 3 fuses!

If not any other ideas of where to start please? Many thanks.

Sleeper
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Sleeper » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:27 pm

Location would be good,if you were local I'd help..

John :wink:
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StillGotMy1stCar
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby StillGotMy1stCar » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:12 pm

Is it totally dead, do the headlights still work?

Hectork
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:06 pm

Totally dead, not a sausage. 12v at the bottom of both main fuses

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:07 pm

I’m in London John, but thanks for the offer

ManyMinors
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby ManyMinors » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:57 pm

If you have 12v at the fuses then the electrics are not "dead". You haven't answered the question regarding the headlights - which are not fused. If you have 12v at one side of the fuse but not the other, then plainly the current is not getting through the fuse. This will be because either the fuse is flown or the fuse holder is corroded/dirty.

Yes, it sounds as if your flasher unit is also faulty but this is a separate issue.

Hectork
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:23 pm

Headlights don’t work. Interior lights don’t work. No lights on dash. No wipers. No ignition. No heater fan.

No equipment or systems working beyond the fuses, but fuses checked/replaced and OK.

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geoberni
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby geoberni » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:41 pm

Well I can't comment from the aspect of a comparable model, since mine is a Series II, but let's talk basic electrical fault finding.


In the sequence you're describing, starting with the stuck on lamp, my first thought was Flasher Unit, but now you're saying the whole thing is dead dead, we might need to come back to that aspect.
Hectork wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:06 pm
Totally dead, not a sausage. 12v at the bottom of both main fuses
As my fuses are mounted horizontally, i don't know if the bottom is the supply side or the demand side....

You've said you don't have any headlights.. but headlights don't have a fuse on any variant that I'm aware of...


Sounds like a really poor earth connection then.
I'd look at the earth strap from the battery.
Basil the 1955 series II

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Hectork
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:45 pm

I’ve checked the earths in the engine bay. i think there’s one on the gearbox? I’ve not crawled under to check that one, will have a gander. Cheers.

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:46 pm

Sorry, fuses are showing 12v at top and bottom

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geoberni
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby geoberni » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:02 pm

Don't worry about the earth to the engine or gearbox, that is totally irrelevant at this point.
To get the lights to work you need the circuit complete from battery post, through the wiring and switch, through the lamp and to earth on the body. Then the circuit is completed from the body to the other battery post via the big fat brown cable.

As you have said nothing is working, but the fuses have 12 v at them, if it hadn't started, I'd have said a duff battery ... :cry:
Basil the 1955 series II

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby StillGotMy1stCar » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:21 pm

The best approach would be to turn on the headlights to give the system a load, multimeters draw negligible current and can give confusing results where high resistance connections are concerned.
Then check the voltages again with the headlights on starting at the battery. It could be a poor connection at either battery terminal, the earth on the battery box or where the main battery lead goes on to the starter solenoid.
It won’t be the gearbox earth.
It is also not unheard of for batteries to fail without warning.
I have repeated some of Geoberni’s thoughts sorry my slow typing!
Regards John

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:11 pm

Thanks John and Geoberni.

I’d like to think it’s the battery as that’s an easy fix. But I’ve never had one work perfectly then shut down completely before. Also it is showing 12.6v across the terminals. I’ve just put it on a c-tech charger/conditioner so that should let me know what’s what with the battery.

I’ll try checking with the headlamp load on as you set out when I get back from work tomorrow.

A further update - I feel pretty foolish reporting this but it has occurred to me I was measuring between the positive terminal on the battery to the fuse box. Jeez. Both leads to the battery are black! That probably explains why it was 12v. Apologies if that’s thrown some red herrings.

Short circuit somewhere? Could that mean it is all due to the flasher unit going u/s after all? But even then the headlights would work?

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby beero » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:45 pm

Is your car positive earth or negative earth? If positive then you would get a 12v reading when testing from the fuses to the positive terminal.
Do you have a dynamo or an alternator? If you have a control box next to the fuses then check all terminations and take it off and have a look at the back. There is a strap that can melt and give your symptoms. Check for 12v on A and A1 on the control box and let us know.


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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby oliver90owner » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:06 am

Hectork wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:11 pm
Thanks John and Geoberni.

I’d like to think it’s the battery as that’s an easy fix. But I’ve never had one work perfectly then shut down completely before. Also it is showing 12.6v across the terminals. I’ve just put it on a c-tech charger/conditioner so that should let me know what’s what with the battery.
Only earlier this year I had a total battery failure. I drove 70 miles to my brother’s house, then (when his vehicle had a clutch problem only a few miles down the road, and we had to return to his house with no clutch at all)) we took my car to pick up a spare for his vehicle. OK until I parked up, then 5-10 mins later it simply failed to start - totally dead. Lucky that we were parked outside the parts outlet as we were soon going again, after buying a new one and changing it on the spot.

There had been no symptoms, at all, of a failing battery. It had been starting its diesel engine with no problems. They say things happen in threes. We had vehicle 3 issues, between us, that day (can’t remember the other one). The battery would not accept a charge, when I put it on a charger the following day. Total instant failure.

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:32 am

Are the cables correctly connected to the battery? you have tested the battery but sometimes the cables can work loose.
I would be inclined to check all the visible wiring for loose connections sounds like something has worked loose.
Battery
Ignition wires
Fuses and holders for corrosion
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Hectork
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:10 am

Ok, I charged the battery overnight. Now 13.7V. No faults reported by charger. You can guess where this is going...now starts fine.

Strikes me that I have a short somewhere, that ran the battery down.

All connections to the battery are good.

Back to square one, running car with indicator light permanently on. I think that’s a coincidence, as the flasher circuit is off when the ignition is off? Will replace the flasher unit when the new one arrives tomorrow, and check again for loose wires. Will also keep an eye on the battery, this might be a false dawn. It is at least 4 years old, but the car is garaged.

Car is negative earth, to respond to the earlier post. I was just being a dork and getting my wires crossed :-)

Thanks all who responded, the almost universal cry of ‘it’s the battery’ was a big help. In 32 years of car ownership I’ve never had one fall off of a cliff like that before. I’ll know next time!

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:41 am

I have had a similar issue with the indicators on my 65.
When I activated the indicators they would flash initially then hold a solid light until turned off, then they stayed constant, I noticed the light on the stalk was on one night when going into the garage in the dark, I replaced the flasher unit and everything returned to normal.
I wonder if your stalk light was on permanently causing the battery drain?
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Hectork
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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby Hectork » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:39 pm

OK, got to the bottom of it, but an unexpected twist.

When I did the alternator conversion a couple of years ago I ended up with one of those horrible bullet connectors with three wires in and three out to patch together the control box cables. I did my best and covered the end job with shrink cable wrap. Seemed a solid job.

I put the new flasher relay on this evening and nothing happened, all dead again. Put headlight switch on, even though they were not working. 12.2v across the battery. Felt the cables around the relay, reflecting on beero’s observation about the wires there. My 3 way bullet connector was warm and getting warmer. Wiggled it, lights flickered on and off.

Switched off, unpicked the shrink wrap, pulled all the bullets out and put them all back. Everything now working. Pulled the cables out of the ‘chassis’ side of the bullet, everything went dead again. No ignition, no headlights.

So...I’ve pushed the bullets back in and taped the connector up for now. All running/working fine and cables not getting warm.

I reckon I knocked the cable/bullet connector when I changed the heater tap a couple of weeks ago. I think the flasher relay fault was a coincidence.

Going to get an auto electrician to re-do/solder the cables together properly. I don’t trust myself to solder the cables with so little slack to play with and so near the rest of the loom.

Any recommendations for a good Morris friendly auto electrician in the Watford area please?

Anyway, at least I have got to the bottom of it, thanks to beero!

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Re: Dead Eletrics

Postby beero » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:34 pm

Good result in the end. That's the beauty of the forum.



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