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Old 12-06-2018, 11:51 AM   #1
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Puzzling out disordered wiring

Greetings all,

I'm struggling to restore the wiring of a 1989 non-turbo 900 manual hatchback to basic functionality - at least enough for it to drive under its own power. A friend *ahem* helped to get it running by doing a little cutting and dicing and bypassing of wires (the problem actually was almost certainly bad fuel and a corroded ground connection), with the result that I was left with a tank full of good fuel an an intractable puzzle.

Long ago, a (competent) friend enabled me to avoid purchasing a replacement ignition switch by using a toggle switch and a contact switch. That worked well for years. (I failed, however, to get around to mounting the switches and securing what became a hanging grapevine of wires. *hangs head in shame*) More recently, the car sat untouched for an extended period and couldn't be started when it had to be moved urgently. Enter a friend, who did some electrical surgery. That failed. Someone kindly allowed me to tow the ailing beast to her yard - with the understanding that the arrangement would be temporary. At this point, I've disconnected all the romex and, following the circuit diagrams in Bentley's, seem to have re-created the necessary connections, so it should run. Isn't theory wonderful?

Initially, with the Creative Re-wiring, the fuel pump made occasional gasps. With the logic of The Old Ways were the Good Ways, I restored the excised wire between fuel pump and front wiring bundle. At one point the fuel pump hummed when I bypassed the fuel relay. Later it didn't with the same jump. At another point I was able to get the starter cranking, though it was lacking fuel to turn over. Now it's not cranking at all. Another wire which I *think* I've restored goes between the solenoid and fusebox.

At present, instead of the long-gone ignition switch I have two light switches: power and starter. When I turn on the power switch, the check engine, battery, and shift up lights come on. The instant I turn on the starter switch, all the lights go off and nothing else happens.

What suggestions or thoughts - ideally other than a quick tow to the junkyard - do folks have? On the whole I enjoy puzzles and challenges, but I'm getting dangerously near throwing in the towel.

Many thanks in advance from an exasperated amateur!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
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The Bentley's probably your best bet, but it's hard to imagine what you're dealing with after years of wiring hacks. Whereabouts are you located? There may be someone nearby that can help.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ninehundredt View Post
The Bentley's probably your best bet, but it's hard to imagine what you're dealing with after years of wiring hacks. Whereabouts are you located? There may be someone nearby that can help.
Good point. I've added my location to my profile. FWIW, I'm a half-hour's ferry ride west of Seattle. I would dearly love help if someone were nearby. I can't offer much, other perhaps than handmade chocolate truffles...
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:32 PM   #4
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I think Scanwest is close, but that wouldn't do you any good if money is an issue. Maybe someone here is close enough to lend you a hand.

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Old 12-12-2018, 11:14 AM   #5
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The body and engine harnesses didn't change too much from year to year, it might be easier to swap in a junkyard harness to replace what got hacked up?
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