1968 New Yorker Bulkhead and fuse panel problems/intermittent headlamps/park lamps

dplotkin

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This 3 year tale of woe wound up today with resolution that I want to share with the rest of you. I've owned a 68 New Yorker for 15 years and have put 55,000 hard miles on a 98,000 mile car. After owning and driving it for years, about 5 years ago I replaced the burned out side marker lamps. Not long after that I would intermittently lose my instrument, park and stop lamps. Not long after that I would lose the headlights completely, both beams and then they would come back. It would turn out these were separate problems happening at the same time but I was convinced they were related. I suspected a bum headlight switch figuring the extra load of the side markers had finished it off. When I held the switch in-between detents I could get everything working, so I condemned the switch. So I replaced it with one from Devin Duke (Devinism). That took care of it or so I thought. The following spring both problems reappeared. I studied the wiring diagram. I studied the fuse panel. I pulled out the switch and did what I could to improve connections. This second switch behaved exactly as the first.

Finally I removed the switch and sent it and my original to Devin who took them apart and found no trouble. In the meantime I installed a third known-good switch and same result. So now out come the bulkhead connectors I've been reading about here. They were a mess as evidenced by the photos below. Cleaned up and greased they are replaced but same result. Last night while out for a drive and everything working I note a whiff of burning plastic that could be coming from the car in front of me. Alas it occurs to me that the odor is pronounced when I'm on the brake, and I note that the dash lamps are dropping more than usual when I am. But still no hard short, no unusual ammeter activity, all lights working until the parking, instrument and brake lights drop out. The smell goes away.

This morning I awoke resolved to solve this mystery today. Now you would think that a guy who already had to bypass the melted AC fuse lug with an in line fuse would have taken a closer look at the back of that fuse panel again. But not until a phone call to Devin who walked me through the headlight switch circuits was I prompted to put my eyeballs on the pink wire on the load side of the fuse. There, obstructed by another wire and my failure to look carefully was the feed to the switch connection to the load side of the fuse melted and burned out, only visible from the rear. (Never assume therefore that a dead fuse lug is trouble elsewhere, it could be underneath!). See photo below. Note that a high resistance connection with a big load on one 18 gauge wire. Maybe 16 but I don't think so. It slowly burned over 54 years until finally it was running on a few strands and then that's all folks.

I ran another bypass as I did for AC from the fuse panel buss through an in-line fuse holder to the pink wire whose end had burned up, but never blew the fuse. It all works. While out for the test drive one of my 13 year old Toyo radials belts seperated. So tomorrow its new tires. Then hopefully another 50,000 miles.

Ps. If anyone needs a 68 headlamp switch I'll part with one at my cost. It was rebuilt by Devinism who is one helpful dude. Remember! Electrical problems in 68 C bodies are going to be in the bulkhead connectors and the back of the fuse block.

Danny Plotkin

Chrysler New Yorker bulkhead connector 2.jpeg


Chrysler New Yorker bulkhead connector 1.jpeg


Chrysler New Yorker Fuse panel.jpg
 
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John Kirby

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Rebuilt my fuse panel earlier this year. terminals were rusted so bad I was having issues with low voltage when circuits were on. Found the kit on ebay. Solved many issues.
 

Loadrunner

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I love me some electrical talk. By now I've been doing Mopar - and other - wiring for 50 years, finally got good at it, or I have been for a while, but only getting better.

Everything is soldered and heat shrinked unless it's absolutely impossible or makes no sense.

The project I'm working on now is the most intense I've ever done, I'm "de-wiring" a '64 D100 that was a victim of "old man syndrome" way back in the day, the most insane wring mess I've ever seen.

I can't believe I tried to drive this truck, actually did drive it 15 years ago, around the block and it died, with this wiring.

I'm about halfway through, dealing with the insane underdash now. You have to go deep in the zone for wiring, and I like it.


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1970FuryConv

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I love me some electrical talk. By now I've been doing Mopar - and other - wiring for 50 years, finally got good at it, or I have been for a while, but only getting better.

Everything is soldered and heat shrinked unless it's absolutely impossible or makes no sense.

The project I'm working on now is the most intense I've ever done, I'm "de-wiring" a '64 D100 that was a victim of "old man syndrome" way back in the day, the most insane wring mess I've ever seen.

I can't believe I tried to drive this truck, actually did drive it 15 years ago, around the block and it died, with this wiring.

I'm about halfway through, dealing with the insane underdash now. You have to go deep in the zone for wiring, and I like it.


View attachment 556963View attachment 556964View attachment 556965
67 W200 Power Wagon under hood. Something to give inspiration. Not perfect, but a great running truck.
DSCN4219.JPG
 
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Glad you found that before it sparked anything else off- as you say, that's been quite toasty for a long time.
I rewired my Pontiac, that is from an era of screw-down terminals rather than the push-on disconnects here, but as with my Mopar the gauge of wire used by the factory is marginal at best for the often-used, often high current circuits. That, coupled with a few Ohms of corrosion sure does add up over the years.
I am going to be tearing all the wiring out of my Fury (it's been hacked about with, the car had lights and a CB radio and other gizmos in the past) including the removal of the firewall connectors and glass fuse panel for something a little more modern with (usually) a better mechanical connection to the fuse lugs.


One thing I have done and it's worked well for me in the humid, oft damp area of the car up under the dash- DeOxit D100L, the red stuff in the little bottle with the long needle-like nozzle. Pull apart all terminal lugs where a metal-on-metal contact has to pass current, and apply a small amount of the fluid. It's slightly oily and has excellent anti-corrosive properties. Slide the lug on and off a few times to burnish the connection. It also eases the amount of force required to move the connections, relieving the stress on the plastic retainers.
Works well on light bulbs, too.

Good luck and hopefully now many more miles of happy, illuminated motoring!
 
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Didn't know about DeOxit D100L. I had been using WD40.
It's quite a bit more expensive. While WD-40 does a good job of keeping the moisture out, it does not have the chemicals in which convert the oxides on the connection.
D100L is also very good for small-signal stuff too, data connections and audio.
 
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