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Electrical Problem? Need Help!!!

OK guys Rock has come back again with another question.

This time it is about the electrical system. the alternator died and we had to replace that. Now the tails lights wont turn on, it idles rough (when it shakes at idle i see the volt meter jump up and down) and the horn wont work sometimes. The biggest problem was when i decided to drive it down the road, on every turn it shook like mad (this might because power steering fluid leaks and it has no fluid?), and the speedometer didnt work! I had to be going like 45 and the speedometer wasnt working...

Any ideas on what the problem is? What should i check for? This kid is in need of some help...
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Old 09-26-2003, 12:51 PM
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Take it to a shop and have them check it out.
You could check the battery terminals and make sure they are tight.
Sounds to me you are into a problem you don't understand. I'm wondering what was actually wrong with the alternator....
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:05 PM
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Not having any power steering fluid should not cause the engine to shake, or run rough. It will make the car very hard to turn at slow speeds, and the power steering pump should be making an awful racket. Remove the fan belt to the pump, the car will still turn.

When you say it "...shakes at idle..." is the engine physically moving? If it's moving more than an 1/2 inch or so from side to side, check the motor mounts. I wouldn't drive with bad/broken motor mounts.

You can pull off a plug wire, one at a time, to see if all the cylinders are firing. If the engine is running rough, and you take off a plug wire, and there is no change, you found a big part of you problem.

The lights, speedomoter, and horn have probably blown a fuse and/or a relay.

You can check this site to locate fuses/relays:
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/1760/earlyfusepanel.html

Good Luck
Old 09-26-2003, 01:08 PM
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I checked all the fuses. The engine physically moving when it is running, the whole car just vibrates a lot. When i turn, it shakes because the ball joints are bad i think... but a friend suggested it might be the power steering. The alternator was shorting out, we took it to auto zone and the guy said it was shorting out. It would drain the battery too before we replaced it.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:24 PM
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First, stop driving it!

Next, pull the top cover of your timing/balance shaft belt cover and make sure you didnt break the balance shaft belt. If so get the broken belt out of there before it breaks your timing belt! If that is it, and you get the pieces out, you can drive it, but it will vibrate really bad! You may want to check your cam, and crank shaft pulleys in the TDC position, to ensure you didnt jump a tooth!

After that, I would back track the wires from alternator, and make sure they didnt fuse together, and cross up. Also check your ignition coil and make sure it is working correctly. Check plugs and spark at each cylinder to ensure you are firing on all four.

Beyond that, Im still learning about these cars so I will let the gurus do there job!
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:51 PM
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Going to be a steep learning curve. If the car survives.
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When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
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Old 09-26-2003, 02:11 PM
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You always so optimistic SoCal...
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Old 09-26-2003, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Manute
You always so optimistic SoCal...
Id have to say that there is a difference between optimism, and realism.

I may be new here, but I have learned enough to know that SoCal knows these cars.


Ive had my 83 944 for two months, and replaced timing and B/S belts, master and slave clutch cylender, new shift lever, and re-wired headlight motor. Simple fact is, with out SoCals help to other folks (the search button really does work!) , I would still be wondering what I did wrong!
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Old 09-26-2003, 04:00 PM
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rough idle doesnt really seem like an electrical problem. at least not in my experience. you could try replacing all the spark plug wires/removing them one by one as someone mentioned.
also by "it" shakes you mean the whole car? the engine? the steering wheel?
be sure to keep replenishing power steering fluid. running it with less fluid will burn up the power steering pump.
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Old 09-26-2003, 04:05 PM
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Ouch

That car is a hurtin unit.

Why don't you take it in for an inspection at a shop. It will cost you a couple of bucks but they will at least itemize all your problems. You may not need to fix them all but at least you will know what is wrong.

Don't take it the wrong way, it seems you may be a little over your head. We have all been there..............even SoCal when he was about 4 years old... I think his dad was Ferdinand.
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Old 09-26-2003, 05:27 PM
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i wish one of you could come down here and look at this piece of crapper. I found out that 1. The speedometer has always been like that, 2. There is a hole in the exhaust, and my stepdad said it needed to be welded or something after we get a new manifold. The car was junked up before i got it, im doing my best to fix it.
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Old 09-26-2003, 06:20 PM
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Where are you located........ maybe someone is close to you.

Hint: Fill in the Location field.
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Old 09-26-2003, 06:22 PM
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Old 09-26-2003, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rock
i wish one of you could come down here and look at this piece of crapper. I found out that 1. The speedometer has always been like that, 2. There is a hole in the exhaust, and my stepdad said it needed to be welded or something after we get a new manifold. The car was junked up before i got it, im doing my best to fix it.
It becomes real difficult to cut through your exasperation.

Do you have the Haynes manual?

If not then buy one.

If you have one then read it -- several times through.

These cars are great hobby cars. Meaning you the owner can do most of the repairs.

You really need to listen to the answers you ask of others. It's expected that you will try to do the tests and report the results accurately and timely. By doing so we, this forum, can redirect you as necessary.

You will then see progress. You will know the feelings of satisfaction the rest of us experience when a plan comes together.
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When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 09-26-2003, 08:49 PM
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I have to state that SoCal helped me a lot,maybe I thinkhes no optimistic due to the bad news sometimes gave to me,but i cant blame him,he knows what he say.

But saying this cars are hobby cars...maybe he angers when i reject to do myself most of things he says,but...i not consider myself an ignorant,and my father has years of (diesel) experience,but...i see my engine and think: "oh my god...how can i get my hands into that think without forgeting to do something?For sure a lot of pieces will exceed when i mount this..."
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:00 AM
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I fixed the tail lights, they all work now. The Speedometer, you just have to hit the thing then it will work again. Lol i guess a wire is loose or something, and i think that the hole in the exhaust is causing the rough idle. Other than that the only problems are the power steering leaking and then the ball joints are in need of replacing.
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:06 AM
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Rock,

A hole in the exhaust will not affect the idle. This is a DME/engine problem.

May not be only your ball joints. There are several places where steering assembly wear can cause wobbly control:

Steering link U-joints;

Tie rods;

A-arm bushings;

Wheel bearings;

Strut top bearing;

Even a loose steering wheel.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 09-27-2003, 08:24 AM
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Manute,

With all due respect to the many years of experiance your father has, a 944 has it's little quirks. If you chose to ignore them you will find yourself with a parts car.

As I told Rock; if you don't have the Haynes manual get one and read it through several times.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 09-27-2003, 08:30 AM
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Old 09-27-2003, 11:52 AM
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could the roughness be that the belt isnt tensioned enough? i noticed that me a/c drivebelt (the thicker one) isnt tensioned enough and this causes a little shaking. havent had the chance to check wether tensioning this would solve my problem vet because the adjusting strut is broken and i need a new one, but it is strong enough to hold the belt in place... for now.
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Old 09-27-2003, 01:01 PM
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