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Electrical Problem

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Scott Rodrigues, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    To preface: my series 4 has sat for a long time and I'm in the process of putting it back together.

    I got the battery and charged it at Autozone to see if the lights, turn signals, etc are working and check for any issues.

    Charged the battery, put it in, turned the key 1 click and nothing is happening. It is negative ground ( as far as I know, the kid I bought it from had a new stereo installed and the car worked fine).

    Negative is connected to the wall of the battery box. Positive is connected to the other line.

    Removed the cable from the battery wall, cleaned it and the wall with steep wool because it was dirty, put it back on. Nothing.

    Popped the hood and unscrewed the wire on the trunk lip above the dynamo, steel wool on both. Nothing.

    I didn't hear any pops, cracked, etc. Everything that is connected to the wiring loom is all Sunbeam. Is it possible the car is + ground?

    Any ideas on what's wrong or did I just screw up my car?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  2. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Out of curiosity, what are these wires for?

    Attached Files:

  3. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Do you have a multimeter to check voltages? If not now is the time to get one.
    Scott Rodrigues likes this.
  4. Toyanvil

    Toyanvil Gold Level Sponsor

    Is the fuse ok?
  5. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Both fuses are clean, no corrosion on them or the leads in the fuse boxes. I moved the battery and accidentally ripped one out. What is this wiring setup for? I'm assuming the radio because it's the only thing in the car that didn't come 'stock' with the car, or is it for something else?
  6. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    What you need is a multimeter as suggested by Jerry to check the voltage at the battery and the voltage
    at the starter relay under the hood. If you're turning the key and all you get is a click, I would suspect
    the relay. Easy enough to check, just jump the battery power terminal to the starter terminal. The starter
    should work (just make sure you're out of gear) Get yourself a continuity tester so you can see where your power
    is, or isn't. They're very easy to use and you can see ( because it lights up when power is present) where your
    power is. Besides that, check all your connections. From the pictures you've attached, the wiring doesn't look all that great.
    I wonder what the kid did to hook up that stereo?! Make sure that you check to see if someone put an inline fuse
    on the battery cable. If they did, that may have a bad connection or a blown fuse.
  7. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Thanks all, on my way to get a Multimeter, will post an update.

    I -think- the kid had the radio wired directly to the battery and ran fuses, at least that's my guess and that makes my head hurt abit...

    The battery hasn't been in the car in a long time, but... could it be possible the car is + ground and I have it in backwards?

    I'm thinking about getting new battery cables and replacing what I have. How hard of a job is that?
  8. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    So did you test the lights, turn signals, etc? You turned the key one click and nothing is happening? What did you expect to happen??

    Before you even turn the key , just turn on the headlights and see if they light. they should light. They are not controlled by the ignition switch nor are they fused.

    And please tell us or show us better where those extra wires in the battery compartment go. They are not stock, and we have no clue what they are for or what they are connected to .

    A Series 4 was originally delivered with a Positive Gnd system. The starter and wiper and blower ( as well as any lights) are not polarity dependent.

    Use this wiring diagram for the series 4 to see and understand what is connected to what :
    Scott Rodrigues likes this.
  9. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    It's been forever since I sat down with my Alpine. There's a lot that I'm realizing I've forgotten and starting back at square one. I figured or misremembered that if I turned it one click that the electrical parts would work.

    I totally forgot that the lights worked no matter what, so I went outside and flipped the toggle. And nothing happened.

    I went under the dashboard and all the wiring looks really good. I'm not seeing issues though there may be corrosion or whatever have you.

    The wires I showed in a picture earlier: I followed them from the battery box to the top of the transmission tunnel and yes, they are for the stereo. Wired through the transmission tunnel and spliced onto the battery.

    I'm thinking that I might just have a dead or borked battery since this one sat around for probably a decade, and am considering just going out and buying a new one and changing the battery cables since one looks really dodgy and the ground is far too long.
  10. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    A ten year old battery? The odds of that being good are damn close to zero.

    Get the multimeter.
    belmateo likes this.
  11. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Scott, I would also suggest you get a rubber grommet for the battery cable that is potentially a fire hazard. Scotts Battery Box    .jpg
  12. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Another option to the grommet is a short section of rubber hose over the cable to protect it.
    Scott Rodrigues likes this.
  13. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    I picked up a grommet at Autozone that fits in the plug area. Didn't even realize the danger there, thank you DanR and loose_electron for the suggestion.

    Update: Got a new battery and the headlights come right on. Everything works except for the turn signal switch. It worked before and now, nothing. Going to clean all the leads and look at the wiring diagram again. Picked up a Multimeter and will start going through stuff tomorrow.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  14. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Platinum Level Sponsor

    Check the flasher unit behind the dashboard. They can go Klunk when old.
    Scott Rodrigues likes this.
  15. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Will do. Where under the dashboard of a SIV should I look or what does it look like?
  16. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor


    Glad to hear things are lighting up.
  17. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    Here's a picture of the flasher on my series V, which is next to the tachometer.


    Scott Rodrigues likes this.
  18. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Thank you Mike!

    I found mine, it was on a hanging plug; a clear plastic Triton with a really bad crack in the plastic. Got the same model number replacement at O'Reilly's, plugged it in... nothing. I checked the butt connectors and they all look fine and uncorroded.

    I might have miswired it somehow, though. The pic below is how I have it wired. Is that correct?

    The parking lights, headlights, license plate double-lights... basically everything electrical that isn't the windshield wipers or heater core (which didn't work when I got the car) is working so maybe it's my dumb self.

    On the dashboard the left turn signal lights up with the headlights and stay lit regardless the position of the turn signal stick.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  19. Scott Rodrigues

    Scott Rodrigues Donation Time

    Update: Upon suggestion, I unscrewed the front signals, cleaned them and the steel around them, put them back on and the turn signal might be the problem. The left -front- signal comes on but is at times intermittent, the passenger side nor the rear lights do jack beyond the rear parking lights. Baffling. Going to buy new bulbs and see if that's the problem.
  20. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    You should have only a single dash turn signal indicator. It is green. The dash turn signal indicator receives its power from the flasher. If the dash turn signal indicator is lighting at the same time as the headlights, something is mis-wired.

    Also note that the turn signals should not work when the ignition is off. The ignition needs to be in the "run" position. Same is true for the brake lights.

    I have no idea if your Triton replacement flasher is a drop-in replacement. I think you are wiring up as negative ground? If so, here's an electronic flasher that is a drop-in replacement for the original (in case you find you need one). It also will work with LEDs.

    Headlights are normally wired as always "hot", and work regardless of the ignition position. There is a dash high beam indicator. It is blue. So hopefully it is the blue high beam indicator that is lighting when the headlights are on. The high-low headlight switch is normally on the floor, left of the clutch pedal.

    The front light housings contain the marker (running) lights and turn signal bulbs. Marker bulbs are in the white section. Turn signals are the amber section. Are the marker lights coming on with the headlights? The ground for both bulbs is the metal housing, which in turn is grounded via the long attachment screws. Poor housing grounds are a typical problem.


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