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328 Lights Out

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by btemplin, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. btemplin

    btemplin Rookie

    Dec 17, 2003
    39
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Templin
    I have an '86 328. When I turn on the parking lights and or headlights, the dash lights do not come on, nor do the sidemarker lights. The headlights & tail lights do come on when switched to that position.
    My guess is that's a fuse in need of replacement. But before I go tinkering around in there, I wanted to ask first.
    Thanks.
     
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  3. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
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    May 27, 2003
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    DGS
    #2 DGS, Feb 5, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
    The 328 has two kinds of parking lights: the running lights (on the stalk), and the parking corner lights (from the console).

    If you lose F16 (15A), you'll only get the corner lights when you twist the stalk (one bulb per corner).

    If you have a voltmeter there are a couple of quick tests you can make.
    There are a couple of small openings in the visible side of the fuse where you can probe the fuse while it's in the car. With the parking lights on, if you have more than 0 volts across the fuse, it's open (bad).

    Is this a US edition? Have you had the relay board out lately? Were you running the fog lights lately? Does the green "P" light come on when you twist the stalk?

    One of the flaws in the US edition is that the US mandates that the fog lights have to be slaved to the lighting circuit, so they run the fogs off the running lights.

    That means the entire 15A from F16 is running through pin J3 on the relay board. That pin has two fat wires connected to it. When you push the relay board into place, it can pull a bit on the connector pin, causing the connection to not be flush against the board pin. Then when you turn on the fog lights, the connection can heat up and melt the plastic shell around that pin causing the same symptoms as the fuse being out.

    That's happened to me twice in the ten years I've had my '88.
    Usually in spring or fall, when I use the fogs at dusk instead of lifting the headlight buckets.
     
  4. SeattleM5

    SeattleM5 Formula 3
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    Jul 9, 2006
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    Ettore Palazzo
    Sorry, I don't have a specific answer to your question but I would like to pass along the following tip that I picked up from another board member a while back. After purchasing my 328, along with changing out the relays for new ones, I replaced all of the fuses with LED indicator type ATO fuses. Now, instead of going to the workshop manual and sorting which fuse to test I pull the fuse box panel and know right away which fuse is out as the LED will be lit up. There are a number folks that manufacture these but I purchased mine from Del City. Here's the link: http://www.delcity.net/store/ATC%C2%AE:ATO%C2%AE-Fuses-with-Indicator-Light/p_791783.a_1. The usual disclaimer . . . I have no financial interest in the company, blah, blah, blah. Hope this helps.
     
  5. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2005
    2,765
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    F683
    Wish I could find them in 40 amp versions but I don't think they exist :-(

     
  6. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
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    May 27, 2003
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    DGS
    So, did you find the problem?
     
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  8. btemplin

    btemplin Rookie

    Dec 17, 2003
    39
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Templin
    I finally got around to tinkering with this yesterday. It is a US car. I run the fog lights all the time.
    I replaced the fuse labeled "fog lights and dashboard lights" with a brand new fuse. That didn't change anything...the dashlights, fog lights, and the running lights are still out, and the green "P" light does not come on. The parking corner lights from the console switch do come on.
    I did not have time to pull the whole fuse panel out yet and inspect pin J3 on the relay board. But it sounds suspiciously like that must be the problem. What is the recommended procedure for curing the problem, assuming this is it?
    THANKS!
     
  9. marklintott

    marklintott Formula Junior

    Jul 13, 2005
    548
    Taipei / Somerset UK
    Full Name:
    Mark Lintott
    Bump.........anyone?
     
  10. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
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    May 27, 2003
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    DGS
    #8 DGS, Mar 3, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
    Does the green "P" light come on with the console switch?

    Typically, if the J3 pin is out, the steering column switch and the console switch will both do just about the same thing.

    There are two separate circuits. The running, dash, and fog lights are on one circuit. The corner parking lights are on the other.
    The console switch supplies power to only the parking light circuit. Relay "O" is an oddball that connects power to both circuits when the relay activates from the column (stalk) switch.

    From the relay, the power for the running lights runs through the fuse, and then through pin J3 to all the lights it powers. If that's out, the running (and dash) light circuit won't get power from the fuse board. But the other side of the "O" relay will power up the corner parking lights, just as the console switch will.

    If none of the lights come on from the stalk, check if relay "O" is activating.

    If your pin J3 is fried, it all depends on how badly it's fried. If the plastic shell isn't too badly burned, you can burnish the connector and get it to make contact again. (Then be careful how you route the wires when replacing the board, so they don't pull on the pin.)

    If the shell will no longer hold the pin, the "dealer" fix is to replace the connector shell. (Available from Ricambi.) That means extracting all the pins from the old shell and inserting them in a new (unburned) shell. (Plus replacing the J3 pin.)

    (If you go that route, I'd suggest maybe connecting one wire to the J3 pin, then splicing it to the other two wires an inch or two away from the board, leaving a "service loop" of wire so the pin doesn't get stressed by the wires.)

    What I've been thinking of doing to my 328 is to get (or make) a 90 degree spade connector that will connect a wire at the fuse socket. The "load" side of the fuse runs directly to J3. I've been thinking of relocating the fuse to an external fuse holder connected between the "power" side of the fuse socket, and then splicing the other side into the circuit wires --- bypassing the J3 pin completely.
    (E.g. pulling the circuit out of the board at the fuse socket, then re-routing it externally to the lighting circuits, rather than using the circuit traces and J3 pin on the board.)
     

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