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Old 03-03-2019   #1
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Earth Fault - Next steps?

1992 Panda CLX
Apologies for long post - I wanted to cover what I have investigated so far...
A couple of weeks ago the panda started fine, but when I turned the headlights on, the dash light went off, and rear window heater light, fuel light, fog light light all lit up dimly and the indicators didn't work.
I have read Dragon Man's thread about commonly occurring faults and other threads about weird electrical behaviour.
I have attached a jump lead from the engine to the bodywork and the fault persists. (I already have an additional earth running from the battery to the bodywork) The hedgehogs look fine and everything seems properly connected
My problem seemed to be similar to the fault on the thread: (https://www.fiatforum.com/panda-clas...rth-fault.html) which traces a fault to the ignition. So I checked the connector blocks under cowling and then swapped the ignition barrel for the old one I replaced in Sept '18 (The barrel was fine, one of the door locks had broken). The fault still persisted. I didn't check for connections coming from the ignition barrel housing (I couldn't feel any)
Whilst I was putting everything back together, I discovered the horn only works when the key is out of the ignition, but when in the ignition and turned 2 stages the horn doesn't work but all the gauges max out and all the coloured lights light up while pressed.
So I was thinking maybe it could be the ignition barrel or the connectors coming directly from it(?) What would I be looking for behind the ignition barrel electrical connections-wise?
Also I was wondering of any of the recent work done on the car would have caused it to suddenly have a earth problem. Recently a core plug has been replaced and the coolant replaced, and the oil and filter changed.
Any advice on how to rule out the ignition barrel connections or any other sources of issues would be very gratefully received. It would be good to be able to drive in the dark again (and toot the horn)
Many thanks
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Old 06-03-2019   #2
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

hey there, i know you said you have checked them but have a go at physically moving all of the wires on the earth point under the battery tray.. do it while you have some one look at the dash to see if anything moves or returns to normal.
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Old 06-03-2019   #3
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

Thanks DragonMan.
I didn't check them whilst someone watched the dash so I'll try this at the weekend and report back.
(Also, I was thinking about what has changed between the issue arising and when everything worked. The mechanic replaced the core plug next to the cambelt tensioner and told me he had to move the engine mount to get access, so I will check the whole area and make sure the earths are actually attached to the bodywork)
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Old 10-03-2019   #4
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

So I tested the spade connectors on the hedgehog underneath the battery with my son watching the dashboard. Just moving the black wires (rather than actually removing them) made the dashboard return to normal and then moving them slightly again made it return to "weird".
I did try to eliminate which cable was causing it but the 8 cables (for the 4 spade connectors) are so stiff and closely bound together that all of them move when one moves and cause a reaction on the dashboard.
So, thanks @dragonman, your advice really paid off to find the fault.
Can you suggest a fix? The black cables seem quite inflexible and brittle. Could I cut and replace all of them 150mm from the ends with new, more flexible cable and new spade ends?
Thanks so far.
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Old 10-03-2019   #5
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

i would pull the cables from the.. spade tree thing then cleaning it up with some sand paper or a wire brush then using a pair of pliers, pinch in each spade on the wire side so the grip on harder to the spade tree earthing point.. i'd then use some copper slip grease to prevent it happening again. just dab each cable into the copper grease then connect it up again.

you can cut the cables and solder new if you want. so long as it makes a good connection with the ground of the car, it wlll work fine
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Old 14-06-2019   #6
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

I just added an extra earth from batterie to bulkhead and from bulkead to engine,
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Old 14-06-2019   #7
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

Drives like new
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Old 14-06-2019   #8
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Re: Earth Fault - Next steps?

Multi earthing, especially on older vehicles can benefit the electrical system. No need for fancy kits, you can make up some yourself. I can't do links but look up the "tinternet" on such matters. I had a mk1 punto years ago & did this, it started immediately every time & ticked over like a clock. From the battery negative to starter motor & the alternator, plenum & body are the best points.
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