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1989 Eddie Bauer - 351 5.8L V8
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

Recently replaced my turn signal switch ('89 Eddie Bauer 351, tilt steering) and after installing the new one, ran through testing all the signals & lights with everything working fine. I rebuild the column and put the steering wheel back on, test again and everything works until I hit the right turn signal - at which point I blow the 15A turn signal fuse. Replace the fuse and try again, blows again.

This was my trouble shooting process:

-Assumed I shorted something, so I pull the wheel and take out an ohm meter to check the circuits in the switch in the various positions (hazards, left turn, right turn, horn etc.) and all looked right​
-Replaced blown fuse and bypassed the hot line from the flasher to the left turn and right turn signals (one at a time), both work fine and no blown fuse​
-Reinstalled the switch and tested again, with the wheel off, all signals work fine and no blown fuse​
-Put the wheel on (without tightening down) and test, all work fine and no blown fuse​
-Leave right turn signal on and tighten down the wheel. Just about as soon as the nut made contact with the wheel the fuse blew.​
-Took a look for where the switch may be shorting to the wheel, nothing stood out to me.​
-Remembered that previous owner had put a 25A fuse into that slot. Figured why not test it, and put a 30A (since I didnt have a 25 on hand) fuse in and tested with the wheel off, no issues.​

-Tested right turn signal with the wheel on, blew the fuse - but before it blew, it flashed about 3 times... and for some reason flashed and dimmed my instrument illumination lights at the same time. It was night at this point so I had running lights on, but not headlights. (Edit: after thinking it over last night, I realized that this was probably caused by the short putting a heavy draw on the battery before the fuse blew, causing everything else to dim in the process)​

Now I've stared at the wiring diagrams and cant figure out any way that the wheel could cause a short with the instrument panel lighting, but I'm hoping someone on here that knows more than I do may have an idea of the cause of the issue. I've attached a couple of pictures of my switch and wheel in case there's a visible cause for the short that I'm just not seeing.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
 

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had a truck that wore the column wiring on the steering shaft farther down in the column that caused the fuse block to melt and the associated turn signal wiring that ran to the passenger side of dash to a turn signal switch indicator to melt also.
 

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1986 Eddie Bauer 5.0EFI AOD Full length headers Y pipe into single 3" Magnaflow 3" factory exit
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982 Posts
I just had a horn problem where the hot wire, right at the horn had rubbed thru & was making contact with the core support, so every time i hit the horn, it blew the fuse. I went thru a lot of fuses before finding that chaffed wire.
 

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1989 Eddie Bauer - 351 5.8L V8
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
had a truck that wore the column wiring on the steering shaft farther down in the column that caused the fuse block to melt and the associated turn signal wiring that ran to the passenger side of dash to a turn signal switch indicator to melt also.
Thanks for the tip, how far down the column are we talking?
 

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1989 Eddie Bauer - 351 5.8L V8
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just had a horn problem where the hot wire, right at the horn had rubbed thru & was making contact with the core support, so every time i hit the horn, it blew the fuse. I went thru a lot of fuses before finding that chaffed wire.
I've already chewed through half a dozen fuses before I was able to figure out that it only happens when the wheel is on. I'll pull the switch off and check the wiring again to see if I somehow managed to chaff the wiring in the process of installing it
 

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1989 Eddie Bauer - 351 5.8L V8
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Thanks for the info! I'm inclined to think that the wiring at the lights is fine since when the steering wheel is off everything is working totally normally and I'm not blowing any fuses, but there's always a chance that there's something I don't know here though. So I'll take a look at the plugs anyway and see if I can't see anything and post back if I come up with anything
 

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1989 Eddie Bauer - 351 5.8L V8
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

Problem solved!

While I was getting ready to dig into the column to check for any chaffing on the cabling, I had the idea to remove the key shroud from the steering column and reassemble everything and test it again. My thought was that doing so should allow me to hopefully see what's coming into contact with the steering wheel and causing the short. While I was re-mounting the turn signal switch after taking the shroud off I noticed that it was seating differently on the column than it had been with the shroud on. Finished the assembly, reattached the wheel and tested - naturally no blown fuse and everything worked fine.

Turns out the nub from the zip tie at the bottom end of the switch was pressing against the inside of the shroud, causing the wire bundle at the top of the switch to get wedged against the shroud (see 2nd picture), which prevented the top end of the switch from seating all the way up against the column. After looking back through the pictures from my original post I noticed that there's a visible angle on the switch from the side profile that probably should have been a dead giveaway (1st picture).

So, I shaved the zip tie nub off and rearranged the wires at the top end and everything's working fine! The 3rd and 4th pictures show the assembly once correctly mounted.

Thanks for the help everybody, I was at a total loss after the ~4 hours I spent trouble shooting yesterday and really needed the fresh ideas to spot the real issue (as simple as it ended up being).
 

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The pre 92 columns are very delicate setups with a lot of room for error. I know when I rebuilt that truck's actuator and upper column section (had cracks in housing) I could not time they key properly after and had to set it so you can only turn it forward not backwards.
 
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