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Discussion Starter #1
I've a couple small electical issues that I want to take care of. I think it is likely a grounding issue, but let me know your thoughts:

Car: 1993.5 Esprit

Issues:

1)the digital clock on the dash flickers on and off. Sometimes it is on, othertimes it's off....and sometimes it flickers. I have noticed that whenever the driver's door is open, the clock fades out. Usually, when I shut the door, the clock immediately comes back on. If I press my horn buttons (which don't work either :shrug:) the clock disappears, too. The deal with the door makes me think it is a loos ground somewhere. Also, when driving it usually flickers (probably due to the vibrations in the car shaking a loose ground.

2) The seatbelt light flickers while driving, too. likely a grounding issue again.


Any thoughts on these? Does it sound like it might be a ground issue somewhere in the instrument cluster?

Thanks for your thoughts and help,

Andrew
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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It's easy enough to check or verify the grounds to the binnacle. See Sanj's pages for pictures on how to access the bin. If you need the location of the ground connection under the dash we could look that up for you.

'90-'97 Esprit binnacle removal

From your description I'd look at power as well.

:popcorn:
 

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One quick and "dirty" way to prove it is a grounding problem would be to just run a piece of wire from the device directly to the battery. If the problem goes away you confirmed a grounding problem. If you do have a problem with grounding you should go over ALL of the ground connections, not just the ones giving you these immediate problems. Ground problems can be very sneaky. You wind up getting "backfeeds" to other circuits on the same grounding point giving you weird symptoms. Not uncommon to cars like Lotus with fiberglass bodies so there are not many places you can get to a good ground. You get many things all attached to a single grounding point. When it no longer connects to ground, the electric still tries to find it's way to ground going "backwards" through the other circuits on the same ground point.
David Teitelbaum
 

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One quick and "dirty" way to prove it is a grounding problem would be to just run a piece of wire from the device directly to the battery. If the problem goes away you confirmed a grounding problem. If you do have a problem with grounding you should go over ALL of the ground connections, not just the ones giving you these immediate problems. Ground problems can be very sneaky. You wind up getting "backfeeds" to other circuits on the same grounding point giving you weird symptoms. Not uncommon to cars like Lotus with fiberglass bodies so there are not many places you can get to a good ground. You get many things all attached to a single grounding point. When it no longer connects to ground, the electric still tries to find it's way to ground going "backwards" through the other circuits on the same ground point.
David Teitelbaum
+1 on this, big time.

I own a Corvette and a DeLorean; both fiber glass cars. Both of them have behaved much better since I went through and thoroughly cleaned ALL ground connectors.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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+1 on this, big time.

I own a Corvette and a DeLorean; both fiber glass cars. Both of them have behaved much better since I went through and thoroughly cleaned ALL ground connectors.

No luck with the plastic Saturn, huh? :D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's easy enough to check or verify the grounds to the binnacle. See Sanj's pages for pictures on how to access the bin. If you need the location of the ground connection under the dash we could look that up for you.

'90-'97 Esprit binnacle removal

From your description I'd look at power as well.

:popcorn:
Carbuff,

I think you are right. It may well be a power issue. I was checking on the horn this afternoon. I pulled the airbag and checked the switches; they seem to be fine, but there is no power coming into the horn switch. I checked the horn fuse and the horn relay. Both were fine. I tested the horn using a jumper wire across the relay plug (relay out of course), and the horn made sweet air horn noise.
So, I went back to the manual to look to see fuse might control the low current trigger of the trigger. Sure enough, there is a 5amp circuit that controls horn, highlight flash, and interior dome light. Ha, I didn't eeven realize that my interior wasn't working either.

well, the 5amp fuse is fine. :shrug: I wonder if there is some other inline fuse somewhere else in the car? the brits have been known to do wierd stuff like that. Tracking this down may be difficult. I'm thinking that opening up the binnacle may be the next logical place to look.

Does anyone have a schematic for this circuit? It is attached to Fuse 14 in the front "bonnet." I have a feeling that there must be a plug somewhere where power gets distributed to the horn, headlight flasher, dome light, and door lights.
 

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Test the fuse with a meter to see if it is good. Sometimes they melt and unless you look very carefully you will not see that it is bad. Make sure the fuse makes firm contact with both connectors in the fuseblock. Sometimes a connector can "back out" and not touch when you stick the fuse in.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unreal!!!!! I just decided to pull the fuse just to have a look at it even thought the test light showed it was still intact. The blades on the 5A fuse looked rather oxidized. So, I lightly sanded the blades and put the fuse back in..........

Voila, everything works. So relieved.

Now, I wonder if I should change out all my fuses for fresh, clean ones. Might not be a bad idea.

Again, thank you all for your help and suggestions.
 

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www.theapexinn.com
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Start at the beginning............Calling SirLotus..............
 

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Fuses are cheap enough, I would replace all of them. Mercedes Benz cars that used the ceramic fuses suffered this problem, replaced many of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
funny thing....now, I noticed that the pin switches on the doors need to be adjusted as the dome and door lights don't want to turn off unless you slam the door shut.

I'm chasing my tail, here. Ha.
 

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Every solution causes 2 problems! You keep slogging through them all till you get to where 1 solution causes only 1 problem and eventually 1 solution solves all problems. In your case I would just replace all of the fuses. There is a coating on them to prevent oxidation but obviously it has been worn off probably because someone had a problem and was pulling and reinserting fuses. Make sure each fuse is the correct size for it's spot, VERY common for someone to replace whatever is blown with whatever is handy (not always the CORRECT one). Make sure each connector grasps both ends of each fuse tightly and does not "back up" as you insert each fuse.
David Teitelbaum
 
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