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UltratechOne
UltratechOne, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  General Automotive technician for 39 years. ASE certified. Shop Owner and MBA.
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Customer Question

my son has a 1973 plymouth satellite custom with the 318 engine. recently went to start and the red lead out of column had a meltdown.this lead goes into wiring harness and was factory fused together with 4 other wires.we found where a wire had grounded out in engine compartment,repaired that and thought fixed,but not.each time when we touch the red wire to wires in harness where it was connected in just the red wire gets hot. any idea on how to find/repair would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  UltratechOne replied 4 years ago.

UltratechOne :

hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX i'll be helping you today. welcome back to just answer!


 

UltratechOne :

your problem is relatively straight forward but will require some elbow grease to get it fixed.


 

UltratechOne :

first, you need to disconnect the battery so there is no chance of voltage passing through your meter.


 

UltratechOne :

you will need a common multimeter you can measure resistance with.


 

UltratechOne :

connect one lead of your meter to a good ground and then the other lead to to the wires in the harness where, when you try to connect the red wire it starts to get hot. you should find a closed circuit to ground at this point (leads level resistance).


 

UltratechOne :

once you have verified this, i would take each of the wires that are factory fused together at this point and cut one of them with wire cutters so as to disconnect it from the others. then check the resistance again. if the meter now shows an open then you have found the wire you need to trace out and find where it has contacted ground and fix that.


 

UltratechOne :

if the fused wires still show a connection to ground the problem is in one of the remaining wires. continue cutting one at a time until you have identified the bad wire and trace it out and fix it.


 

UltratechOne :

alternatively, you could cut each of the wires at the fused together point and test the resistance of each to ground. this may be better because there could be more than one of them now connected to ground because they got hot at some point.


 

UltratechOne :

once you have no connections to ground in any of those factory fused wires you will find you can connect them all back together with the red wire without the red wire getting hot. at this point you should be good to go!


 

UltratechOne :

i am going to jump out to q&a mode now so you can see the entire answer in one place. please let me know what you find. unfortunately, there really is no easy way to trace things like that without getting your hands a bit dirty!


 

Expert:  UltratechOne replied 4 years ago.
if you have any further questions or need clarification of something please don't hesitate to ask! and when you have it fixed let me know what you found. also, when you get a chance please give me a high rating. positive feedback is always appreciated! best of luck! :)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Answer to question below did not help. The only wire showing to ground is the red lead from ignition switch and I’m not certain if it is supposed to show grounded or not. Please have ultratechone reply directly to this email address.
Thanks, Bill

Expert:  UltratechOne replied 4 years ago.
hello, bill. thanks for the info. and the answer is no, the red lead from the ignition should NOT show to be grounded. so now you have found which wire to concentrate on. from that point back to the ignition switch, somewhere in there the wire is touching ground and that must be fixed. just to be sure it's not the ignition switch itself you should disconnect the connector at the switch and then test for connection to ground on the red wire again. if the ground goes away, then the switch is faulty. if the ground remains you will need to trace that wiring between those two points and fix where it is grounding. it may go through the bulkhead connector and that's a good place to start. if the is grounded somewhere and you simply cannot find where sometimes the easiest fix is to simply run another wire and cut both ends of the grounded wire. those can be very tough to find and this may be your quickest and easiest way to fix it. but make sure it's NOT your ignition switch before going to the trouble of tracing out the wire or replacing it if you decide to go that route.