CALLING ALL ELECTICAL GENIUSES

Tom Kelly

Member
I’m glad that I could help with ideas even though it might not be your culprit but definitely its something you can check off for diagnosing.
I've been shopping for replacements for the connector and I guess the relay as it seems part of the connector must be stuck in the relay. It looks like the outside relay connector has five wires and the inner one only four. Are the relays and connectors different. In other words do I need a four pin relay and connector for the middle and a five pin for the outer one? Thanks
 

yuh8tng

New Member
I've been shopping for replacements for the connector and I guess the relay as it seems part of the connector must be stuck in the relay. It looks like the outside relay connector has five wires and the inner one only four. Are the relays and connectors different. In other words do I need a four pin relay and connector for the middle and a five pin for the outer one? Thanks
I’m not sure but I can tell you that you discovered something that you prolly wouldof never thought of. What I mean is if that relay looks like that then imagine what the rest of electrical relays or other electrical parts could look like. It’s definitely gona be a lot of time and chasing but you will fixing, replacing and upgrading to newer parts that will last for the future. Trust me it takes a lot of patience but its worth it
 

mikestertwo

Well-Known Member
I've been shopping for replacements for the connector and I guess the relay as it seems part of the connector must be stuck in the relay. It looks like the outside relay connector has five wires and the inner one only four. Are the relays and connectors different. In other words do I need a four pin relay and connector for the middle and a five pin for the outer one? Thanks
The relays are the same. They have normally open and normally closed contacts. They're not all used in both circuits. By the way...did you try putting a switch in the power feed to the gauge leaving everything else connected? Don't turn it on until the engine is started. It will tell me a lot.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
I’m not sure but I can tell you that you discovered something that you prolly wouldof never thought of. What I mean is if that relay looks like that then imagine what the rest of electrical relays or other electrical parts could look like. It’s definitely gona be a lot of time and chasing but you will fixing, replacing and upgrading to newer parts that will last for the future. Trust me it takes a lot of patience but its worth it
Plenty of time these days sadly.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
Figured it out. The relay had come out of its case and was still stuck to the connector. I pulled them apart and the connector is fine. I ordered two RY145 relays (Found out high and low speed relays are the same) Arriving next week. I am hoping this helps with the gauge issue. I am optimistic because when I was playing with the relays the gauge intermittently worked fine even after warm up. This might be it!
 

Tom Kelly

Member
The relays are the same. They have normally open and normally closed contacts. They're not all used in both circuits. By the way...did you try putting a switch in the power feed to the gauge leaving everything else connected? Don't turn it on until the engine is started. It will tell me a lot.
I am still wondering why it is not the same as simply disconnecting the power harness from the controller/gauge before cranking and then re-cpnnecting after engine starts? I tried it that way and it made no difference
 

mikestertwo

Well-Known Member
I am still wondering why it is not the same as simply disconnecting the power harness from the controller/gauge before cranking and then re-cpnnecting after engine starts? I tried it that way and it made no difference
Because you are removing the ground reference along with power. You're not duplicating the normal power up sequence of the gauge. This will tell me if you are truly have an issue with power or more likely the sender.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
Because you are removing the ground reference along with power. You're not duplicating the normal power up sequence of the gauge. This will tell me if you are truly have an issue with power or more likely the sender.
Oh I see what you mean. Well I have discovered a faulty cooling fan relay and will replace it as soon as it arrives. I understand that could also be causing the problem and it is sensitive to engine temp so I am hoping that is it. If not I will try your suggestion. I am sure that eventually I will locate the problem. The reason I am skeptical that the problem is the gauge or the sender is that speedhut has replaced them for me as well as the harness, all to no avail. Also, the fact that it is temperature related also leads me to hope it is the fan relay. Thanks for your input.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
Well, I just installed new low and high speed fan relays and disconnected delay relay. Checked relay operation and the low speed relay clicked the fan on at 165 degrees (couldn't get it to 190 to test high speed relay). To no avail. Problem persisted. So I tried cutting off just the 12V source to the gauge and reconnecting after starting the engine. No help! Gauge continues to initialize properly if I just turn key on but goes to sender error as soon as I start the car. Remaining possibilities include alternator (I have a new original style alternator on the shelf which I will install when it turns a little warmer) and the starter (been thinking of installing a mini starter for awhile). Other than those two I am at wits end.
 

mikestertwo

Well-Known Member
Well, I just installed new low and high speed fan relays and disconnected delay relay. Checked relay operation and the low speed relay clicked the fan on at 165 degrees (couldn't get it to 190 to test high speed relay). To no avail. Problem persisted. So I tried cutting off just the 12V source to the gauge and reconnecting after starting the engine. No help! Gauge continues to initialize properly if I just turn key on but goes to sender error as soon as I start the car. Remaining possibilities include alternator (I have a new original style alternator on the shelf which I will install when it turns a little warmer) and the starter (been thinking of installing a mini starter for awhile). Other than those two I am at wits end.
I just talked to Speedhut to get a better understanding on how the gauge works. When the gauge initializes it is looking for anything in the range of 0.5v to 4.5v from the sender. It will give you an error if it is not seeing this voltage or it is out of range. I asked him about ignition noise and he mentioned it could produce spikes on the sender line to put the signal out of range. I also asked him about the easy touch bezel that the gauge incorporates for programming. He didn't feel that would cause the error you are seeing but a different type of error so we will rule that out. I asked about that because you said you moved the gauge from a 2 gauge mount to a 3 gauge mount. The bezel is sensitive to where it is mounted because of the capacitive touch feature built into the gauge for programming. My suggestion is to temporarily move the sender and wiring into the passenger compartment away from the engine and see what happens. It's possible the sender is picking up electrical noise from the engine putting the voltage out of range. Just a thought. :unsure:
 

Tom Kelly

Member
I just talked to Speedhut to get a better understanding on how the gauge works. When the gauge initializes it is looking for anything in the range of 0.5v to 4.5v from the sender. It will give you an error if it is not seeing this voltage or it is out of range. I asked him about ignition noise and he mentioned it could produce spikes on the sender line to put the signal out of range. I also asked him about the easy touch bezel that the gauge incorporates for programming. He didn't feel that would cause the error you are seeing but a different type of error so we will rule that out. I asked about that because you said you moved the gauge from a 2 gauge mount to a 3 gauge mount. The bezel is sensitive to where it is mounted because of the capacitive touch feature built into the gauge for programming. My suggestion is to temporarily move the sender and wiring into the passenger compartment away from the engine and see what happens. It's possible the sender is picking up electrical noise from the engine putting the voltage out of range. Just a thought. :unsure:
Thank you for all your effort. I actually did that. When they sent me a new harness I ran it outside the car and attached it to the gauge through the window. No help. I guess great minds think alike. I think the simplest solution is to switch to a different gauge form a different company. I have spent too much time on this (and everyone else's time too)
 

mikestertwo

Well-Known Member
Thank you for all your effort. I actually did that. When they sent me a new harness I ran it outside the car and attached it to the gauge through the window. No help. I guess great minds think alike. I think the simplest solution is to switch to a different gauge form a different company. I have spent too much time on this (and everyone else's time too)
Was the sender in the passenger compartment or still in the engine compartment? The sender and wiring has to be in the passenger compartment to test it. The sender does not have to be plumbed into the manifold for the test.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
Was the sender in the passenger compartment or still in the engine compartment? The sender and wiring has to be in the passenger compartment to test it. The sender does not have to be plumbed into the manifold for the test.
Ah. I see what you mean. The sender can be outside the car by itself. Good thought. I’ll give it a go.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
Ah. I see what you mean. The sender can be outside the car by itself. Good thought. I’ll give it a go.
Mikestertwo, I think you are on the right track. I just took the GN for a warmup ride and when I got back the gauge was as always "Sender Error" on restart. I have a spare harness and sender unit so I just disconnected the sender in the engine compartment and connected the sender in the passenger compartment. BINGO! Initialized perfectly. I re-connected to the sender in the engine bay and "Sender Error" So I assume this means that there is some static in the engine compartment and the solution would be to try to re-route the harness to have less yardage throughout the engine bay? It is currently connected to vacuum at the vacuum canister so it travels the whole distance. I know for example the vacuum line to the air conditioner is just running along the firewall so I will look to re-connect it there. Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion. I am once again optimistic.
 

dynoman

Well-Known Member
Are you using resistor or non resistor plugs ?? Non resistor plugs are known to mess with some the ECM's .
 

Tom Kelly

Member
We are definitely getting to the bottom of this now. I tried hanging the sender out of the car and it worked fine, Then I put it next to the sender connected to vacuum (so it was in the exact same position as the one normally in use and it worked fine. So I ruled out location of harness wire or sender location. Yet when I reconnected the harness to the sender connected to the vacuum line it failed. So I disconnected the vacuum line. It worked fine in that it initialized fine and read "38" whatever that means. But when I plugged the vacuum line in again it went to zero. So something is happening with the vacuum. The setup is this. The sender is "T'd" into the vacuum hose leading to the vacuum canister. after that there was a one way connector type going to the vacuum canister. I tried removing the one way job and put in a straight connector but it was the same. I will contact speedhut and ask about the effect the vacuum can have on initialization. I think I am getting close. Thanks to you all.
 

Tom Kelly

Member
PS About a year ago when I asked Speedhut tech support if vacuum could be a problem they said definitely not as the controller in the gauge only looks at voltage. I had asked them that because someone much earlier in this thread suggested vacuum could be at fault. Also, I tried bleeding the vacuum line and reconnecting it. didn't help.
 

1986 Buick GX1

GX1 #001 [The One and Only]
What about running a vacuum hose from your tee into the passenger compartment, connecting the sender under the dash and leaving it there.
If the sender doesn’t like the engine compartment maybe under the dash is an option that would make it happy.

I installed an Autometer mechanical vac/ boost gauge in ‘87 and tapped into the back of the plenum as I was only getting vacuum elsewhere.
I didn’t know those little black barrels were check valves and I was on the wrong side. Doh!
 

Tom Kelly

Member
What about running a vacuum hose from your tee into the passenger compartment, connecting the sender under the dash and leaving it there.
If the sender doesn’t like the engine compartment maybe under the dash is an option that would make it happy.

I installed an Autometer mechanical vac/ boost gauge in ‘87 and tapped into the back of the plenum as I was only getting vacuum elsewhere.
I didn’t know those little black barrels were check valves and I was on the wrong side. Doh!
Don’t beat yourself up. I only learned it was a check valve today. The sender doesn’t mind where it is. It’s something going on with vacuum but that shouldn’t be. I’m waiting for a callback from speedhut tech support to discuss possibilities before I do any more. On another note I installed a driver side NOS roof rail weatherstrip a few weeks ago but the difference with the aftermarket one was so great the window settings were way off. Kevin at John Csordas’ place st the old Readers Digest got it so perfect I can’t believe it. Thank you Kevin. Finally the wind noise is gone. Always something to do with our GN’s.
 
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