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Old 04-01-2015, 02:42 PM   #1
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Lovely electrical problem...GEM?

2004 ZX3 5 speed

Looking for some help here. I think I've got it down to the GEM but want some second opinions.

Symptoms:
-Dash started going haywire (flashing on and off, no gauges), radio would cut in and out, and the door locks were going nuts. Then about 30 seconds later it would be good.

-Next time I start the car (20 minutes later) it does the same thing except now when it settles out as soon as I hit the blinker or brake light everything either loses power or cycles on and off. And eventually it would settle out and be fine.

-A few hours later I get the car home and now I have nothing... no instrument panel, interior lights, radio, brake lights ( only the 3rd that does no go through the GEM), blinkers, door locks... etc

Things i've checked:

Battery voltage
Alternator voltage
All fuses to just about everything (except the #63 fuse to the GEM ...too dark last night
Power across fuse #1 and #7
As many grounds as I can test


I am at a loss here. This is my DD so I'm usually not wrenching with it so any help from you guys is greatly appreciated.


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Old 04-01-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
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I should add the car runs and drives fine.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:51 PM   #3
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Mentioning the blinker/brake light points a finger at the common hatch umbilical wiring issue.

MANY threads here on this (with pictures) - the wire insulation & sometimes even the wires break down from repeated flexing, causing cross connections, shorts to ground etc. depending on what touches where.

Dash going nuts when this happens has often been reported.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:17 AM   #4
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Yep, the blinker/brake sends up a red flag that it might be that umbilical.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses. I will check that out after work and report back.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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Wow thats impressive. Wires are all cracked up. Found the how to on the fix and will take care of that.

Now I still have no power at the GEM fuse 63. Fuse is ok but nothing across the termjnals. How/where is the GEm powered from and grounded. I thought I saw something that it ran theough the lightswitch? Still going to clean the grounds up under the hood.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gblagdon View Post
Fuse is ok but nothing across the termjnals.
I have the 2004 wire diagram book, but not with me atm. I will check it later.

That fuse gets power from a bus, where several other fuses also get power from. It would be HIGHLY unlikely that only fuse 63 is missing power.

It probably has power, but (assuming) the method you are using is incorrect. The meter test leads are not supposed to "go across" the fuse. Put the black test lead on car frame ground/car battery ground. Then look for power with the red test lead. You should find power on one side of the fuse; and on both sides once the fuse is installed.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:16 PM   #8
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Correct. Went to a few different grounds and I'm getting about .7-.8 volts with the car running.

Also when I pull fuse 7 (main electrical) out of the engine bay fuse box nothing changes. I don't lose anything more than what is gone but im reading 14V to ground.

When I pull fuse 1 I lose everything else(windows, 3rd brakelight, wipers, headlights etc)

Thanks for the help. Its much appreciated
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gblagdon View Post
Correct. Went to a few different grounds and I'm getting about .7-.8 volts with the car running.
So what? Are you SURE one of those grounds you used is a good ground? I think you said "yes" got a good ground & voltage is MIA. Ok.....

New Topic:
Follow the battery black cable down and find where it connects onto the drivers side wheel well. It is in plain sight as you are hovering over the battery. Disconnect and clean that connection.

I will review the wire diagram later.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:44 PM   #10
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Ran a cable up to the negative terminal and getting .15 this time. Along with the other spots I was using initially.

Ground looks like crap i'll disconnect and clean tomorrow.
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