67 Mustang - All electrical failure - good battery - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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67 Mustang - All electrical failure - good battery

I have a 67 Mustang. I recently replaced my radio and pulled my instrument panel. While I had it out I replaced all my bulbs. I ran a constant wire back to the battery for the radio. I put everything together and turned the car on. All was working a few minutes until I had smoke coming out from behind the instrument panel.

I turned the car off, pulled the instrument panel and started the car up again. No smoke this time.

I waited a day and pulled the instrument panel out all the way to see if there was damage. No evidence of anything.

My car is now totally dead. I tried jump starting the car. No power
The dome light in the car does not turn on
When you turn the key, no power, no start
When I put a tester on the battery it lights up

I think there is an issue with the Solenoid or something with the wiring, ground, etc.

I am looking for some advice on how to figure this out
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:44 PM
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I'd suspect the ignition switch is the issue. It controls everything electrical in the car: solenoid, starter, instruments, lights... if the switch is faulty, nothing works.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:57 PM
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It is likely you blew a fuse or turned a hot wire into one. A test light is a nice indicator, but does not tell you a lot. For example, the battery may be putting out a voltage, but it could be significantly below 12 volts. Having seen smoke from behind the dash means the insulation on a wire burned up somewhere, you just have not found the wire segment yet.

In almost all cases, every wire from the battery should be fused in some way. Running a direct wire from the battery to your radio is not a good or safe thing to do. As you have found out, a pinched wire turns into significant damage in a hurry.

Buy or borrow a digital multi-meter with voltage and resistance (ohms) measurement capability. You will need the voltage measurement verify the battery output and verify voltage is getting to where it should. The resistance measurement can be used to trace continuity in other wires that may be collateral damage.

If you can obtain a set of wiring diagrams for your year car get them as a reference.

Disconnect your battery if you have not already done so. Then use a battery charger to full charge the battery so you have a known good voltage output.

Check your fuse block to see if you have blown fuses.

With the battery disconnected, continue to look for the source of the smoke. Do not reconnect the battery until you have found the damaged wire and have insulated it from any metal, that is a path to ground or you may see smoke again if you try to reconnect the battery.

No easy fix here, you have to find and repair the damage.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Anyway to test the ignition switch or is it just something that needs to be replaced ?

Anyway to be sure that is the problem ?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Still trying to figure out this wiring problem.
Could it be a bad fuse ? Would bad fuse knock out all the electrical in the car ?
Dome light, headlights, radio, ignition, nothing comes on. The battery is fully charged

any other suggestions
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:56 AM
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First I would disconnect the wire you ran from the battery to the radio.
Then check the battery to see what the voltage is. If the battery is good and you have no bad fuses.
I would start checking to see if you have voltage at the ignition switch.
You will need to find a 67 wiring diagram.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 01:07 PM
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Methodical diagnosis is the best way to track down a dead short in an old car. While a '67 has a fuse box, be aware not all power is fused. The main power wire on the "+" side of the solenoid that goes to the main under-dash harness, the headlight switch, the ignition switch, and one other circuit are unfused. (yes the headlight switch has an internal circuit breaker but if the problem wire is upstream of the switch, the circuit breaker will not trip).

Also keep in mind that over the years prior owners may have monkeyed around with the wiring adding and deleting circuits with shade tree precision. If someone added a fusible link to the main power wire from the solenoid and it melted due to a short downstream, your car will be dead electrically until the blown link is replaced.

Good luck and be patient.
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