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Old 07-14-2012, 12:56   #1 (permalink)
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Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

I have a 71 Torino:

Okay so this started yesterday. I got in my car to head home from work and all of a sudden my horn goes on steady and doesn't stop! I tapped on the horn button in the steering wheel and nothing, opened the hood and tapped on the horn, nothing. When i go back in it stopped... But then I noticed my radio/cd player didn't work. I figured it was a fuse and went home.

I got back in later that night only to find my radio still didn't work. It would flash for a second like it wanted to turn on but that's it. I turned on my lights and realized my running lights, dash lights and radio would flash on and back off...
I drove a few miles down the street to my GF's house for the night.

Finally the next morning I find my car was dead. No lights not even a click when I turned the key.... I got a ride to work and back. Pulled the battery and alternator out (as these were the same symptoms of a bad alternator in my Subaru) and had the. Tested. The battery was at 6v and the alternator was dead. Cool. $50 on a new lifetime warranted alternator I swapped that out and used the old battery as it still held some charge. Hooked it all up and got a jump. All seemed well, and I drove it home.

As I was driving home I decided to turn on the radio... No dice. Turn on lights and what do you know, still flashes!! I got home and let the car sit maybe 45 mins and tried to turn it on. The car barely turned over and started as if it were low voltage or near dead battery again.

Also when the lights and stuff flash I hear a click in my dash about mid way across that sounds like a relay activating and deactivating... Plus I noticed with the car off and key out, when I have the door open the dome lights dim and brighten in the same manner....

Sooooo what the hell would cause this??!!
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Old 07-14-2012, 16:35   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

You definitely got a short to ground (and yes, I am the master of the obvious), does it have AC? I used to own a 72 'Stang and presently have the shell and electrical of a 73 Ranger. The only things in the center are your fans (not sure if the 71 Torino has a second fan for the AC), wiper motor, radio, and heater/vent fan. Everything else should be over by the driver. The Mustang also had a warning that if someone sat in either seat and didn't put on the seat belt, a light would be lit and it buzzed or chimed, can't remember which. Anyway, none of these should have power with the ignition off.

Can't help much more, but here;s a link for the wiring to a 71 Ranchero, pretty much the same thing in the wiring department.
Free Auto Wiring Diagram: 1972 Ford Ranchero Wiring Diagram
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Old 07-14-2012, 16:51   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

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Originally Posted by CatSkinner View Post
You definitely got a short to ground (and yes, I am the master of the obvious), does it have AC? I used to own a 72 'Stang and presently have the shell and electrical of a 73 Ranger. The only things in the center are your fans (not sure if the 71 Torino has a second fan for the AC), wiper motor, radio, and heater/vent fan. Everything else should be over by the driver. The Mustang also had a warning that if someone sat in either seat and didn't put on the seat belt, a light would be lit and it buzzed or chimed, can't remember which. Anyway, none of these should have power with the ignition off.

Can't help much more, but here;s a link for the wiring to a 71 Ranchero, pretty much the same thing in the wiring department.
Free Auto Wiring Diagram: 1972 Ford Ranchero Wiring Diagram

It had AC a long time ago. the compressor unit has long since been removed and Ive had the car for many months with no issues to the electrical until now. I am thinking something to do with the aftermarket CD player the PO put in there.. something is doing this on a line that is always hot regardless of key on or not because its draining my battery..

what would the radio, horn, dashlights and flashers all have in common?
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Old 07-14-2012, 17:29   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

If you have the owners manual, or a map of the fuse block, that might be a start. Each item is powered by the battery, since the horn is energized by a relay, I'd hunt down the relay and go from there.
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Old 07-14-2012, 20:04   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

Okay so I think I may have found the culprit... I looked at the wires coming down from the steering column and noticed a couple exposed wires.. both of the exposed wires run to some form of light system like flashers and the switch.. how do you pull these pins out so you can re-pin them? possibly just wrap them individually with electrical tape?
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Old 07-14-2012, 20:52   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

What's the feasibility of jumping around the pins, that looks like a clip or socket. You can repin it, but it takes a special tool that you'd have to buy at a decent electronics store (eliminating Radio Shack) and you;d have to know the size of the pins. What I've done in the past is cut the wire before the damage and butt splice a pigtail long enough to reach the wire on the other side. Cut that end and crimp on insulated male/female spade connectors.

Electrical tape's the cheaper way, but with age and summer heat, it can unravel, most hardware stores sell liquid electrical insulation. You just paint it on, but you'll have to give it a couple of coats as it goes on kinda thin. Since you have continuity and the wires are in reasonably good condition, I'd go with the paint on and give a dollop to the ends of the other butt splices.
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Old 07-14-2012, 21:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

ah, good thinking the pigtail idea is a good one.. dunno why I didnt even think of that (as I am an aircraft mechanic and we deal with those daily) and if whatever reason needs I can quick-disconnect them.

Ill swing by our local electronic supply store and see what I can do.. now... hopefully this is even the problem, it could be just coincidence like my alternator ..
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:24   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hazards/Dash lights keep flashing!

In case you need em


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