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Old 05-08-2017, 09:17 PM   #1
Kenneth
 
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Waxahachie , Texas
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HELP!!! Gauges went dead!

In route to the Breaux Bridge Annual Crawfish festival my dash a/c compressor locked up and destroyed the belt. It must have hit something in the engine compartment that disabled the guages. I tested the fuse and its still hot on each side. The only thing I can surmise is the belt may have knocked a ground wire loose, but I can't find anything. Any ideas?
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:45 AM   #2
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Have a a look in the electrical section of the P Chevy wiring manual. There is a section on electrical diagnosis. It sets out the test procedures for the instrument panel and gauges.

I am assuming that you have replaced any fuses feeding the instrument cluster. From what I can see on my diagram, there are different fuses for the cluster and cluster lights.

Have you lost all gauges and lights - no power whatsoever?

Also, check whether the rear support bracket for you air con pump has broken off. They are a known issue and that might have caused the original belt issue.


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Old 05-09-2017, 03:50 AM   #3
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I dont know the configuration of a 87, in my 84, to knock out power or ground to the gauges, the belt would have to break through the fan shroud and cause damage to the back of the fuse block that is above the shroud on the firewall.
This is a diagram of the gauge connections on mine.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:36 AM   #4
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If it were me, I would pull the front of the dash panel loose (6-8 screws) and use a tester to find out if you've lost ground or power. Then go from there. Right now you really don't know. Ive learned to never ever "assume" anything on these beasts. Good luck, you'll find it, hopefully something simple!!

Mike
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:46 AM   #5
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A word of caution about removing the front dash panel. The heater control module that is fastened to the dash panel and when trying to remove the dash panel on my old 310 the heater control module pulled loose from the panel due to the control cable being held in place by the heater control valve. There is little or no give so be careful when tugging on the dash panel! Same goes for the speedometer cable. It's rather rigid and will pull the speedometer loose from the panel if pulled to hard.

Don't ask how I know about these issues

Brad
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:59 AM   #6
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Good heads up Brad. I should have been more specific. Don't try to pull or remove the dash panel, just tilt it out enough to get your tester probes to the back of the gauges. On my Diesel, Ive also got the fuel shut off cable attached to that panel.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:40 AM   #7
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Good heads up Brad. I should have been more specific. Don't try to pull or remove the dash panel, just tilt it out enough to get your tester probes to the back of the gauges. On my Diesel, Ive also got the fuel shut off cable attached to that panel.
Ouch, another cable! That would certainly complicate things for sure.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:56 PM   #8
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I finally was able to take a look it this weekend. Got the locked up a/c compressor off and hoped I would find something. No luck. All fuses are good. I do have instrument lights but no fuel, amp, temp, oil pressure, tach, and oddly enough no leveling jacks either. Everything else seems fine
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1987_345 View Post
I finally was able to take a look it this weekend. Got the locked up a/c compressor off and hoped I would find something. No luck. All fuses are good. I do have instrument lights but no fuel, amp, temp, oil pressure, tach, and oddly enough no leveling jacks either. Everything else seems fine
The leveling jacks should be powered from the coach battery and if they are wired like my old 310 the ignition switch has to be on for the leveling jacks to function. It sounds like possibly your ignition switch is bad because all the other items you listed are powered through the ignition switch.

This Delco ignition switch should be correct for your 345.

On the leveling jacks there should be a solenoid mounted on the pump and the battery feed should come from the coach battery. The solenoid however will be energized from the starting battery through the ignition switch "on" position (possibly "aux" position as well).

Brad
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:34 AM   #10
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I would also recommend replacing your ignition switch. Since I purchased my 310, the gauges have all twitched whenever the directionals were flashing. A minor issue but for some reason it drove me crazy. I added a new ground and cleaned up all of the wiring on the back of the instrument cluster but no improvement. One day while driving, the engine died. I coasted to the side of the road and found that nothing had 12v power. After a long and frustrating search, I found that rotating the back of my ignition switch slightly would restore power. I drove on and the problem cropped back up several more times. I replaced the ignition switch this spring. Not only did it cure my random no-power issues; now my instruments don't flicker with the turn signals! The old switch looked fine, the pigtail connected to it had no problems but something was loose or dirty inside and applying slight pressure would cause it to make and break connection. If it is your switch, I don't know why your problem would appear with your AC failure but maybe the additional electrical load damaged some contacts.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
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I would also recommend replacing your ignition switch. Since I purchased my 310, the gauges have all twitched whenever the directionals were flashing. A minor issue but for some reason it drove me crazy. I added a new ground and cleaned up all of the wiring on the back of the instrument cluster but no improvement. One day while driving, the engine died. I coasted to the side of the road and found that nothing had 12v power. After a long and frustrating search, I found that rotating the back of my ignition switch slightly would restore power. I drove on and the problem cropped back up several more times. I replaced the ignition switch this spring. Not only did it cure my random no-power issues; now my instruments don't flicker with the turn signals! The old switch looked fine, the pigtail connected to it had no problems but something was loose or dirty inside and applying slight pressure would cause it to make and break connection. If it is your switch, I don't know why your problem would appear with your AC failure but maybe the additional electrical load damaged some contacts.
I have been having similar gauge needle motion with turn signal usage, I was assuming a bad ground, maybe it is time for a new switch for mine?
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:35 AM   #12
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+1 here
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:09 PM   #13
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Keep in mind anything electrical that is added generally gets power from the ignition side of the system which means additional current is flowing through the ignition switch contacts. The switch contacts were probably border line overloaded from the factory so each added device puts that much more load on the ignition switch contacts.

Same goes for your headlight switch. All those additional running lights are going through the headlight switch contacts. I actually had a dimmer switch fail on the 310 while driving I-64 in Kentucky around 11 pm one time. Not fun when all of a sudden your headlights go out!
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have been having similar gauge needle motion with turn signal usage, I was assuming a bad ground, maybe it is time for a new switch for mine?
For $25.00 it is one of the cheaper and easier repairs you will ever make! I reused my original lock cylinder and made a tool to to turn the bezel from a triangular piece of aluminum. Took me longer to make the tool than to do the job.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:55 AM   #15
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Thank-you for all of the valuable input. I hadn't even considered the ignition switch. I wasn't able to get the link that Bkahler provided so does anyone have a part number by chance??
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:04 AM   #16
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If the link doesn't work, here is the part info: ACDelco D1406A switch body.

Brad
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:19 PM   #17
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Ok. Still haven't fixed my problem but am getting closer. I changed the ignition switch but that didn't help. I did figure out though that it isn't a ground problem I don't think. It's a power supply problem. The Gage's fuse has power and the fuse is good but the pink wires with black tracer on the back of the inst panel don't have any power and thet is what supplies power to the Gage's. I'm assuming the power is somehow coming from the ign switch but am having trouble tracing it. Does anyone have a drawing showing where the pink wire w black tracer gets its ign power from?
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:09 AM   #18
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About the only suggestion I have at this point is to find a 87 GM chassis wiring diagram and see if you can locate the pink with black tracer wire on it. Pink is the standard color for GM ignition circuits. Not sure what the black tracer would indicate.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:26 AM   #19
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This is for my 84, The first link is for my dash modification, the second is for a pdf of my schematic. There will be differences with yours, but it may help

http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/ai...d_Rebuild.html
http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/ai...d%20Wiring.pdf
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:29 PM   #20
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If I run a hot wire to the pink with black tracer everything works as it should except the key isn't on so I believe the bulk ign wire coming from the ign switch somehow provides power to the Gage's via pink w black tracer wire. I just need to find the schematic to see how so...
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