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Discussion Starter #1
So I was casually driving around in my 67 when an odd smell wafted to my nose. I sped back to campus and pulled the battery. When I looked under my dash that night there was a little bit of smoke coming from between my heater switch and my headlight switch. I've also been having problems with ALL of my lights flickering, only when the car is on.

I've found that one of my ignition wires didn't have a nut on it and there was some arching between the wire and the post. I bought a new nut and installed, and that seemed to help a lot of the flickering. However, it didn't go away.

Any Ideas?

I pulled my headlight switch which looks ok, but I don't know how to test it. I've got a simpson volt meter. Has anyone had this problem before?
 

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I don't know how bad the flickering is, but if it is only a little noticeable it could be your voltage regulator, most all do this.
 

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If you give it some throttle, does it STILL flicker?

I'm NOT an expert, but maybe someone will jump in here and answer my comment.

The comment is, MAYBE YOU CAN JUMP THE HEADLIGHT SWITCH TO DETERMINE IF IT IS THE PROBLEM NOW THAT YOU HAD THE SMOKE ISSUE.??????? I have never done that though, so need an expert.

Dale in Indy
 

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Check all of your grounds. Many electrical issues are caused by a bad ground. If you have seen smoke you are cooking a circuit somewhere. After you have checked the grounds. Look for a voltage drop with a VOM. You may have some burnt wiring under the dash. One of my friends had a car burned to a crisp because of faulty wiring under the dash.
 

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Check your alternator/ voltage regulator.

Flickering dash lights could be a failing alt, it could be a seperate issue from the smoke.
My dash lights have flickered for a while now, but went away when I fitted a new alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tested my alternator a little while back and it was actually producing a little bit more voltage than necessary but I adjusted my regulator accordingly. I'll test them again to make sure. This past weekend I checked all the grounds and cleaned them. I don't dare drive it until I have fixed this issue, however my friend did lend me the fire extinguisher just in case. This is my only mode of transportation and i've been fixing her up myself, so I can't let her burn. This is how she repays me after I fix the windows.

I guess the next thing to do is just start testing every wire. Nothing has completely burnt up yet since i'm not losing any voltage. This just seems like a weird issue. The smoke is coming up from what seems to be right in between the heater and light switch. You all probably know how much fun it is to climb under that dash but i'll start looking at the wires and see if any of them are showing signs short circuiting (exposed, burnt). Shoot, I'll even start smelling the wires.

Thanks for the advice! If anything else comes to mind, please let me know.
 

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I can not help with the smoke. However I changed out the headlight switch to make my lights to stop flickering.
 

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Until you figure it out and determine what caused it to smoke (where there is smoke...there will be fire) I would make sure that you can easily remove either one of the battery terminals quickly if need be. I watched the fire department "destroy" a car about a year ago putting out a wiring fire that had migrated to the engine compartment from the dash. The thing was in that case, was that the "latch" under the hood had plastic components and the heat melted them, and nothing helped to try to open it, they wound up using pry bars inbetween the fenders and the hood to force it open, once they got that part of it under control, they hosed down the inside of the car too. The gal that owned was okay, but was really bawling about the damage to her car. It was a newer car and parts would probably be easy to get to repair it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So after skipping a class or two, and spending those hours with my electrical teacher unplugging connectors under my dash, in my trunk, and in my engine compartment we measured 5-18amps being drained somewhere. We followed logic and the schematics but still couldn't find anything, not even burnt wires. We did notice that whatever was draining the amps was also shorting the warning relays making them click. So we disconnected those too and still the drain remained. So I took my front seat out to better lay under my dash and started wiggling some wires around. My teacher noticed that the resistance was changing when I wiggled the ballast resistor wire to my ignition. It can take heat but not that much without smoking. So we're mostly confident that this is the issue. Using more class-time tomorrow to figure it out.
 
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