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Sherlock Ohms

I Fixed My Broken Corvette for $0.00

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Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: needs replacing SOON, anyway -so-
Jack Rupert, PE   10/29/2012 10:38:11 AM
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Any idea what the blacik substance was that you were dealing with?  Sounds almost as if you had some bad contactors there.  Glad the switch continued to survive until you got rid of the car.

Bob Salter
User Rank
Iron
Re: needs replacing SOON, anyway -so-
Bob Salter   10/29/2012 12:51:33 PM
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Hi Kevin,  I realized a long time ago that I was electrically challenged, which is why I became a Mechanical Engineer who was proud to obtain Bs in EE 101 and 102. So, I'm not conforable reading or understanding wiring diagrams. I do know that the computers in modern cars are controlling more and more auxilliary functions, usually through micro relays. So, after checking the fuse for non-operating function, I think the next thing would be to check the relay. Next would be the ground connection followed by possibly hot wiring the device itself. The root cause of the problem with my Corvette was found in the ignition switch that has to be "on" to supply voltage to many auxilliary circuits. Fortuneately, from a technicians experience and advice, I was able to go directly to the ignition.

When you bought a new ignition switch, did you get the whole assembly with the key/lock mechanism? If so, did you get a key with the same "pellet" resistance?

 

Bob Salter
User Rank
Iron
Re: needs replacing SOON, anyway -so-
Bob Salter   10/29/2012 1:00:26 PM
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Hi Jack,  I have no idea what the black substance was or any way to remove it for analysis, as it all went into the 2000 grit paper. What is interesting is the black coating exacly matched both contacts. The shape of the black on the third contact was a long thin triangle, both contacts. It took very little polishing as the "black" appeared to be very thin, with absolutely no visible pitting. I do know that most "springy" electrical contacts are brass with Berilium alloyed in. Could the "black" be an oxide of Copper, Zinc or Berilium?

Kevin Shaw
User Rank
Iron
Re: needs replacing SOON, anyway -so-
Kevin Shaw   10/29/2012 1:27:20 PM
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Hi Bob,

My situation is the opposite. I'm comfortable with the electrical schematics and less so with the mechanical side of things. I warned those "electrically challenged" readers of my posts in the Corvette forum about the dangers of jumpering between fuses in the fuse block.

The ignition switch assembly was in two sections: the actual switch and the keylock cylinder which had the contact to read the resistor in the key. I kept the original cylinder and just replaced the multi-section electrical switch. I found instructions on how to do it on a website that sells service manuals online (not sure if I'm allowed to mention the name of the website in this forum). The instructions on how to take the lower half of the dash apart was worth every penny.

Kevin

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Group knowledge
Ann R. Thryft   10/29/2012 6:00:23 PM
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This story reminds me of our current problem with my husband's aged Honda coupe. The check engine light has started to go on occasionally, usually solid but sometimes blinking. Then it goes off, for days or even weeks at a time, before going on again. After reading what seems like a zillion forum postings on this issue, we've decided that the alternatives are many: sensor malfunction indicating nothing at all is amiss, sensor malfunction indicating the sensor didn't like the way my husband replaced the gas cap last time, and sensor malfunction indicating it didn't like several other things that have nothing to do with possible engine malfunctions. It's also a very remote possibility that something catastrophic is about to happen to the engine, but the more we read, the lower that probability appears. As the owner of my second Nissan Sentra--both of which I kept for well over 10 years, and which never tell me anything they don't mean--I am boggled by this non-working device that says everything *except* what it means. For now, we, too, have decided to spend $0.00 to fix it, in our case by doing nothing.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Mystery Light
tekochip   10/30/2012 9:04:39 AM
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I had a `98 Explorer a few years ago, when it seems that everyone did.  Anyway,
the vehicle began to run poorly and then a light appeared on the dash.  It was
one of those icon lights that looked like a fuel pump, but the cute little
pump had small drops of rain falling on it.  I had never seen the icon before,
not even when starting the car, so I was really confused.  Just the same, the
icon suggested water in the fuel, and the car was acting like it had water in
the fuel.  I stopped at a gas station where the vehicle struggled to idle and
threw in a can deicer.  Almost instantly the combustion smoothed out and I made
it back home.  I went through the manual and couldn't find the rainy fuel pump
icon anywhere.  I drove to the dealer and asked them about it, but they said
there was no such thing.  I took a flashlight and lit up the dash where you
could see the little rainy fuel pump icon, the service people were astonished to
see the icon, but said there was nothing at all in the service literature.  I
did a little digging on my own and found that there was a fuel contamination
sensor and light on the diesel version, so for whatever reason my vehicle had
been equipped with the mystery sensor.

Scott Orlosky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Group knowledge
Scott Orlosky   10/30/2012 11:09:32 AM
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Tim.  I couldn't agree more.  The real power of the Internet is the shared collective knowledge base of the civilized world is at your disposal.  It's my first stop for just about any problem these days.  Of course I can still tackle things the "old fashoined" way by just disassembling stuff until I find the problem - if I have to.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Group knowledge
Tim   10/30/2012 7:29:31 PM
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In 2004, we had a need for a minivan.  Looking at the local used car lots, we found a 99 Toyota Sienna at a fantastic price.  The vehicle was old, but it was low in mileage.  To be safe, we checked the Carfax on the vehicle, and it showed no issues.  We also ran a google search for the 99 Sienna and found that a significant amount of that model year had problems with oil sludge buildup and catastrophic engine failure associated with no oil flow.  With that knowledge, we knew why the deal was too good to be true.  The dealer was most likely sitting on the vehicle for a while and needed to move it.  We passed and bought a Ford instead.  125k miles later, we bought a brand new Sienna that had no sludge related issues reported.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Good idea
jmiller   10/30/2012 10:06:32 PM
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I love it when a little enginuity and hard work save a lot of money.  I just wish I was a little better at that sort of thing and had the patience to do it.  Quite often I fall into that trap of thinking it's just easier to pay and have someone else do it.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good idea
Rob Spiegel   11/1/2012 12:30:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Jmiller, I agree it is easier to just let someone else fix it. But it's more satisfying to figure it out and fix it yourself. Plus, the price was right.

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