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Old 03-22-2014, 05:24 PM   #1
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Question battery gauge indicator bouncing/ headlight, dashlights flickering

I have a 88 mustang 5.0 lx and I have had this issue for about 2 months now. My battery gauge indicator is bouncing kind of quick and my headlights and dashboard lights are flickering which causes my car to start surging at idle and almost die at stop lights at night. I have an upgraded 3g alternator which is the 130 amp and I have the upgraded power wire 4 gauge (from alternator to ignition solenoid). I have ordered a replacement alternator and installed it. It stopped bouncing and everything ran really well for about 10 minutes and then the issue came back. I just bought a new battery and installed it today. Its a size 58 interstate battery and I installed that and it didnt make a difference. I had my system checked and My cranking system is good and my alternator and new battery are perfect. I checked my headlight switches and hazard light switches and even removed the blinker/ wiper arm and checked that as well. They are all fine no corrosion on terminals or wires... I cant figure out what this problem could be..
help?..
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
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Do u have a sub system
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Sounds like a grounding problem, are all your grounding locations tight and secure?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:12 AM   #4
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Do u have a sub system
No I have after market speakers and headunit. Although I wired it correctly and plugged it into the stock amp. One cord in stock amp on chord to one of the two stock headunit wires. Only one headunit cable isnt used (from the original headunit).
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
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Sounds like a grounding problem, are all your grounding locations tight and secure?
Everything is tight and secure.. How do I take off my upper intake manifold? I still need to replace that main ground strap. I've tried from all angles and I cant get to it. Its my only option left. I am also going to buy an ignition switch and replace that because I've heard they go bad and could cause a similar problem..?
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:36 AM   #6
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To remove the upper from the lower.

Remove the 4 Torx screws on the cover to access the 2 long bots underneath cover.
Unhook the plastic clip holding the 10 pin connectors
Remove the 2 long 5/16 bolts under the cover
Remove the 4 smaller 5/16 bolts on the ends of the upper intake.
Disconnect the 3 inch hose to the throttle body and move out of the way
Disconnect the electrical connection to the throttle body and EGR valve
Disconnect the vacuum line to the EGR

Now break loose the upper intake from the lower and remove , sometime breaking the seal of the gasket from upper to lower can be a pain.

Ease the upper up and remove the vacuum lines on the underside of the upper intake.

There is a rubber hose in front that goes to the Charcoal Canister.

A large rubber hose to Source on large vacuum T on firewall.

Thin Black plastic line to rubber 4 port emissions near the passenger side strut tower.

Thin RED vacuum line to Fuel Pressure Regulator.

A short hose to the PCV valve

Install

Clean old gasket material off
Install new upper intake gasket
Reconnect vacuum lines to underside of upper intake
Torque all 6 bolts (4 SHORT AND 2 LONG ) to 12-18 Lb Ft
Reinstall electrical connections and hook up EGR Vacuum line
Hook plastic 10 pin connector clip back up.
Reinstall and tight 4 Torx screws.




Side Note:
It depends if your upper has ever been remove before or not and if it has did someone remove and throw away a metal bracket that attached to the back of the upper intake and the opposite side to the lower intake. See attached
If that bracket is still there then on the back corner of the upper intake there is a stud with a nut that you'll need to remove ad then remove the lower bolt so that you can remove the metal bracket and have access to the nut on the stud of upper intake. see attached diagram
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ALMOST STOCK View Post
Removing the upper intake depends on you mechanic skill level but even as a beginner it shouldn't take you any longer than 30-45 mins
to remove the upper from the lower.

Remove the 4 Torx screws on the cover to access the 2 long bots underneath cover.
Unhook the plastic clip holding the 10 pin connectors
Remove the 2 long 5/16 bolts under the cover
Remove the 4 smaller 5/16 bolts on the ends of the upper intake.
Disconnect the 3 inch hose to the throttle body and move out of the way
Disconnect the electrical connection to the throttle body and EGR valve
Disconnect the vacuum line to the EGR
Now break loose the upper intake from the lower and remove , sometime breaking the seal of the gasket from upper to lower can be a pain.
Ease the upper up and remove the vacuum lines on the underside of the upper intake.
There is a rubber hose in front that goes to the Charcoal Canister.
A large rubber hose to Source on large vacuum T on firewall.
Thin Black plastic line to rubber 4 port emissions near the passenger side strut tower.
Thin RED vacuum line to Fuel Pressure Regulator
A short hose to the PCV valve

Install

Clean old gasket material off
Install new upper intake gasket
Reconnect vacuum lines to underside of upper intake
Torque all 6 bolts (4 SHORT AND 2 LONG ) to 12-18 Lb Ft
Reinstall electrical connections and hook up EGR Vacuum line
Hook plastic 10 pin connector clip back up.
Reinstall and tight 4 Torx screws.




Side Note:
It depends if your upper has ever been remove before or not and if it has did someone remove and throw away a metal bracket that attached to the back of the upper intake and the opposite side to the lower intake. See attached
If that bracket is still there then on the back corner of the upper intake there is a stud with a nut that you'll need to remove ad then remove the lower bolt so that you can remove the metal bracket and have access to the nut on the stud of upper intake. see attached diagram
Okay on second thought I'm going to try to just reach for the dang wire. Where is the bolt mounted on the back of the intake? I really need a picture if anyone has one.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #8
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Okay on second thought I'm going to try to just reach for the dang wire. Where is the bolt mounted on the back of the intake? I really need a picture if anyone has one.
The bolt is located on the back of the block not the intake.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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The bolt is located on the back of the block not the intake.
Which is a better Angle to reach it at? Under the hood or under the car?
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
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I would say from under the hood with a boxed end wrench.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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I would say from under the hood with a boxed end wrench.
I'll give it a try. I'll let you know how that goes.
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:14 PM   #12
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Worse case find a new home for your new ground strap. Undo an Intake bolt and find a place on the firewall. Lazy way to do it lol

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Old 03-23-2014, 04:36 PM   #13
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Worse case find a new home for your new ground strap. Undo an Intake bolt and find a place on the firewall. Lazy way to do it lol

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I'm about to do it that's way because I can't reach this freaking bolt! Or find it for that matter! Gauge is still bouncing though... replaced the negative battery cable and the ignition switch... no difference... still bouncing..
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:39 AM   #14
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Do you have a messy wiring harness? Maybe somewhere along the lines of a pinched wire. Sounds like something silly your gonna end up kicking yourself for later after you find out whats wrong

Dont go crazy, just try to keep it simple

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Old 03-24-2014, 07:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mrponyboy View Post
Do you have a messy wiring harness? Maybe somewhere along the lines of a pinched wire. Sounds like something silly your gonna end up kicking yourself for later after you find out whats wrong

Dont go crazy, just try to keep it simple

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Not that I recall... I guess I'll take out the stereo and check
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:56 AM   #16
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Definitely replace that ground strap first tho, it could be stopping certain things that are groundes to your motor to not be grounded at all

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Old 03-24-2014, 08:04 AM   #17
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Definitely replace that ground strap first tho, it could be stopping certain things that are groundes to your motor to not be grounded at all

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I will, although could the radio be the issue?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:17 AM   #18
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Could be a possibility, didnt you mention a wire from your stock harness wasn't connected to your headunit? Make sure that wire isnt causing any trouble. Does this problem happen every once in a blue moon, or every time you drive it? Does it seem to have a pattern to it or is it sporadic? If you explain alil bit more in-depth on whats going on with the car and the conditions its under when it happens hopefully we can point you in the right direction. Another random thought, check your alt wiring, make sure non of those wires are piniched/burnt/etc.

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Old 03-24-2014, 08:35 AM   #19
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Could be a possibility, didnt you mention a wire from your stock harness wasn't connected to your headunit? Make sure that wire isnt causing any trouble. Does this problem happen every once in a blue moon, or every time you drive it? Does it seem to have a pattern to it or is it sporadic? If you explain alil bit more in-depth on whats going on with the car and the conditions its under when it happens hopefully we can point you in the right direction. Another random thought, check your alt wiring, make sure non of those wires are piniched/burnt/etc.

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Well I have a stock amp be size I have 6 speakers so I had to plug one harness into the amplifier and a other harness into one of the two stock harnesses (the two that originally connected to the stock headunit. As for the problem it just randomly occurred but it was after the install. The bouncing is in sync with the engine slow at idle and as I speed up the needle bounces faster along with it. And it happens ever time I drive the car. But doesn't occur with just the accessories on. It also seems like it's making my surging idle worse... or it might just be me..
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:45 AM   #20
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Well your surging idle can be caused by alot of factors. One of which has to do with the connector at the injector harness. But by the sounds of it my hunch would be something with your.charging system if everything else checks out. Like I mentioned, id deff take a look at your alt wiring and make sure that all looks good on a count of your alt tested good on a charging test

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Old 03-24-2014, 11:49 AM   #21
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Well your surging idle can be caused by alot of factors. One of which has to do with the connector at the injector harness. But by the sounds of it my hunch would be something with your.charging system if everything else checks out. Like I mentioned, id deff take a look at your alt wiring and make sure that all looks good on a count of your alt tested good on a charging test

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It isn't the charging system. Had a load test done and the cranking system is fine and the alternator and battery are excellent. It's gotta be something else. I already checked the iacv and replaced the EGR and position sensor, etc
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #22
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One thing ive learned working in the feild is to not to be so quick to say something is good when a machine says it is without a good look over. A charging system check will only check to see if your alt is putting out the proper amount of current. Doesnt necessarily mean that everything in your charging system is good. Im not saying your wrong, but id still suggest a visual on the wire condition. When you bought your alt did it come with a replacement connector as well?

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Old 03-24-2014, 12:08 PM   #23
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One thing ive learned working in the feild is to not to be so quick to say something is good when a machine says it is without a good look over. A charging system check will only check to see if your alt is putting out the proper amount of current. Doesnt necessarily mean that everything in your charging system is good. Im not saying your wrong, but id still suggest a visual on the wire condition. When you bought your alt did it come with a replacement connector as well?

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Yes it did and I replaced it. I just purchased a new Interstate battery and ordered and put in an alternator replacement and it still is acting up.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #24
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I know I sound repetitive and I apologize but double check the alt connecter you put in, make sure all your spices are solid.

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Old 03-24-2014, 12:15 PM   #25
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I know I sound repetitive and I apologize but double check the alt connecter you put in, make sure all your spices are solid.

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I'll put the old one back in now and see what I can do
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:32 PM   #26
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U dont have to put the old back on, just make sure the spices on the new one are tight.

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Old 03-24-2014, 01:57 PM   #27
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U dont have to put the old back on, just make sure the spices on the new one are tight.

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I just checked everything is tight and I replaced my main ground wire. I found where it was bolted on and it wasn't even tight it was lose almost off. I replaced the ground strap and tightened the bolt. I turned the car on and the gauge bouncing stopped for about 10 seconds... then I reed my engine a bit and it started bouncing again...
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:06 PM   #28
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Not sure if the alt is internally regulated but if its now you could check that
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:08 PM   #29
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Not sure if the alt is internally regulated but if its now you could check that
It's not my alternator or charging system. I'm gonna pull out my radio and turn it on and see if that has any effect
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:52 PM   #30
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Here is an update.. took out radio and checked the splicing all good the radio isn't the issue... And the fuses are all good
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:39 PM   #31
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Welp, im stumped lol, when you say your gauge bounces, what do u mean exactly? Does it drop down to zero? Or does it spike? Or just move back and forth speraticly?

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Old 03-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #32
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Welp, im stumped lol, when you say your gauge bounces, what do u mean exactlyaccessoriesrop down to zero? Or does it spike? Or just move back and forth speraticly?

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Speraticly Up and down. As I drive faster it moves faster. It does this when I have the car running but with the accessory turned on it doesn't do it. I'll have to video it for you. I can't figure out what is wrong.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #33
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Post a pic of behind the radio I'm very proficient in car audio and if that's the issue I'll be able to spot it
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:12 PM   #34
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What about a bad gauge?
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:35 PM   #35
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Is there any whining ? Or road noise when this is happening if not there's obviously a current draw somewhere I know u checked all your wiring but did u completely disconnect the radio and restart the car? I believe u said this started after that install
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