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Ignition Problem


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Had a fire in a capped hot wire leading from ignition switch to previously removed electric fuel pump in trunk. Rear seat pinched the wire to body when passenger sat in it.

Saw the smoke and sizzle(like a fuse) heading to the dash, and grabbed wires behind ignition switch and yanked them. Burned my hand, but stopped the fire.

Now the fun part. After removing the responsible wire, I was left with one big red unconnected, and two open spades on the ignition switch at the top, adjacent to each other, at what I call 11AM and 1PM when you look at it from the back.

Tried the red on both open spades, as well as left off completely.


In all circumstances, when key is ON( O and L at the top light up, and there is a wailing beneath the dash somewhere. When turn to crank, nothing happens. Silence, except for the wailing. No F light either.


Also noticed, I have no brake lights. Good bulbs. Good fuse.


Also noticed, since having broken my left front turn signal light, when activating left directional, the indicator only flashes once, but continues to click.


Have real good battery power. 


1) Is the wailing a relay? If so, where is it located, and what is it's purpose?

2) Why do I also have no brake lights?

3) Are all of the spades on the ignition switch dedicated, and if so, is there an actual picture of the wiring on the switch that I can refer to other than the wiring diagram in the manual? 

4) Are all these symptoms connected?


Just finished R&R on the heater box, and all new suspension bushings front and back, and all new steering rods, ball joints, etc. Want to get it to the alignment shop, but can't even get it out of the garage.

Frustrating after near fire, followed by accident that crushed my left front signal light and hood trim. Could have been worse, I know.

The weird part about it is that I had no problems with the wiring after the cooked wire, until I removed the center console and gauges to work on the leaking heater box.


Any help would be tremendously appreciated. Would really like to finish this project to get to the Vintage in Monterey this year. So close, and yet so far.

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Here are a few answers to your questions--not necessarily in order


#4.  Yes, I think they're connected


#1.  Depending on what year your car is, the wailing may be the "key in ign" warning.  It's more of an EEEEEEEEEEEEEEP than a buzz, but most have been disconnected by now.  The little relay is located inside the steering column surround. and is powered by the wire that comes out the side of the ignition switch (not from a terminal)--at least on roundies. 


#2.  Since the brake lights are wired through the ignition, and all the "ignition only" feeds go through the ignition switch, when you yanked all the wires off (or tried to replace 'em) you may have blown a fuse. 


#3.  Depends on what year your car is...on 12 fuse roundies--according to the factory wiring diagram, terminal P is unused.  It is used on squarelights


Basic ignition switch wiring on both 12 fuse roundies and squarelights.  The terminals on the ign switch back side are numbered: 

terminal 50 has a big black wire that runs to the starter solenoid and is hot when the switch is turned to start

terminal 30 has two red wires (thick and thin) that run to the alternator and battery (on roundies the thin wire goes to the light switch)

terminal 15 has three green wires--destinations are differnt on roundies and squarelights

terminal R has a violet wire that goes to fuse 12 on roundies and fuse 6 on squarelights

Terminal P is unused on roundies and has a grey wire going to the turn signal/low beam switch on squarelights.


Hope that helps you sort things out..



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Thanks for the response Mike. Really appreciate it. Been working off and on the situation all this past week.


I've got a square light. '75 Inca.


Got the indicator lights working. Repaired the socket, and replaced bulb.

Got the brake lights working. New brake light stop switch.

Found, and replaced the ignition relay. Turns out mine tested good afterwards anyway, but was weak and intermittent in response.


Tracked all the wires, and made sure they were on the right terminals on the ignition switch. Had photo of back of switch showing terminal numbers to work with, in conjunction with your information about what goes where(actually have 4 greens, and the #15 terminals have a jumper between them.


No gray on P. That was the burning wire to the removed fuel pump. Now just open.


Showed current to starter, so jumped it with remote switch, and it cranked. But not with the key.

Left the key on Farth, and cranked with the remote. Wouldn't start. After the third long crank, the key worked.

Still no start. Plenty of gas. May have flooded it. Pulled plugs and let it dry overnight.


Same thing next day. Had to use remote couple times before key worked. No start.

Got good spark at coil and plugs, but nada.


Have deep cycle yellow optima putting out 12.43 volts.


Looked down barrels of carbs when pumping linkage, and see squirts of gas as they should. 

Going to get some spray starter, and try again.


Could it actually be the ignition switch? Even with good spark, and fuel?





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