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Discussion Starter #1
Ok,
So my ZX3-2000 is having electrical issues. With the head lights and dash lights getting bright and dim on and off at 2500 rpm while sitting in park.

The gauges max out ,then all the way just to opposite of max to dead, also at 2500 rpm all the while the rpm's go down slightly while I hold the gas pedal at 2500 rpm.

Driving down the road @ 60 miles per hour around 2000 rpm and all gauges go dead. Also heard crackling sounds traveling thru the cars speakers.

All checked out at Auto Zone such as battery, alt, and starter. So I took it to an auto electrical shop who specializes in electrical issues.

So they tell me that the JM module is bad and the Charge lamp relay. I don't have the knowledge or tools to do this and I don't know of anybody else other than my mechanic who I don't trust with this electrical issue.

He may have said GEM Module, but I thought he said JM. Talking on the cell phones can be a challenge .

Quotes me 520.00 to make the repairs. It doesn't sound like basic work to me BUT Ouch !!! What are your thoughts ?
 

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Before going and replacing a GEM, please check your negative battery terminals and the wires that connect there. You should find at least 2 small black negative wires that attach to the terminal with the large black wire that provides the main ground to the engine. Those 2 little wires will cause all sorts of electrical gremlins with these cars. On mine the wipers came on by themselves, the radio was turned up to max, and neither would turn off. These must be inspected carefully- a simple visual check will not suffice. Remove the nut that holds the 2 small black wires, and inspect the ring terminals at the ends of the wires. Grab and wiggle them. Mine looked good, but was barely holding itself together. Those 2 wires have to be grounded to the battery.

You should also look for another ground wire. I don't know the location of this wire on a Zetec, but it's called the radio noise suppressor, and it looks like a black box with a wire going through it to the car's body somewhere. That wire can cause strange sounds in the radio like what you heard if it is bad. I think that wire might be located at the back of the cylinder head. I know there was an SVT once that had lost the main ground to the engine, and his whole engine electrical was going through that little wire until it broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Before going and replacing a GEM, please check your negative battery terminals and the wires that connect there. You should find at least 2 small black negative wires that attach to the terminal with the large black wire that provides the main ground to the engine. Those 2 little wires will cause all sorts of electrical gremlins with these cars. On mine the wipers came on by themselves, the radio was turned up to max, and neither would turn off. These must be inspected carefully- a simple visual check will not suffice. Remove the nut that holds the 2 small black wires, and inspect the ring terminals at the ends of the wires. Grab and wiggle them. Mine looked good, but was barely holding itself together. Those 2 wires have to be grounded to the battery.

You should also look for another ground wire. I don't know the location of this wire on a Zetec, but it's called the radio noise suppressor, and it looks like a black box with a wire going through it to the car's body somewhere. That wire can cause strange sounds in the radio like what you heard if it is bad. I think that wire might be located at the back of the cylinder head. I know there was an SVT once that had lost the main ground to the engine, and his whole engine electrical was going through that little wire until it broke.
Thanks for your post and the knowledge within. I did the best that I can do with checking the battery and cables etc before taking it to the electrical shop.
I have no electrical testing equipment and no-know how to test it.
I can only hope and pray that the shop is not BS'ing me and taking advantage. If they are I can only pray for them that their shop doesn't catch on fire or something.
I need that car and I need it to be dependable as I use it to travel around town all day.
So I guess I will have to fork out the 520.00 for the repairs. I just want to make sure that the 520.00 is a fair quote for the amount of work.
PS,
He stated there's a lot of corrosion in a lot of the wiring.
 

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I have no electrical testing equipment and no-know how to test it.
.
You don't need any special equipment. You just need to first look at your battery terminals by removing the battery cover. Then remove the battery terminal from the battery and clean the battery terminal and the wire. You can do most of this with Windex and a rag. Abrasives, like a Scotchbrite pad, or those 2 sided sponges that you use to clean dirty dishes, definitely help. Then bolt it back down securely. Regular sockets and wrenches will do the trick.

Now if the terminals on the battery are REALLY corroded- if it looks like stalactites growing there, or some picture of an undersea coral reef- then you should run back inside, throw down the pots and pans sponge and grab some baking soda. Mix a couple of tsps with warm water and allow to dissolve, then dump this on top of the terminal. That should dissolve all this stuff. You should also take a garden hose and thoroughly wash off that area to prevent rust problems.

After the terminal is cleaned on both sides, reconnect the cable to the battery, and bolt it down securely. Re-install battery cover, and see if your problems persist. You'd be surprised what sorts of problems are solved on this board through simply cleaning battery terminals. Maybe one day you can amaze your friends at a cocktail party or something.

Check those 2 small black ground wires also. Remember, safety too- always make sure the car is cut off before removing battery terminals, and always remove the negative before the positive. Installation is the reversal of removal. Never lay a wrench across the top of the battery terminals, or put anything metal up there that could bridge the two terminals.
 

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OH, and if you happen to have any sort of automotive or basic grease other than cooking grease- that will prevent corrosion on the terminals. Apply grease to the battery terminal before installing the cable, and then put a coat of grease on the top of the cable terminal once you've installed it. That's an old farmer's trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep,
I cleaned both terminals on the negative and positive cables prior and in fact changed the red terminal with a new one. So those are clean and with grease.

The car at the shop now waiting on my approval to do the work.
 

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I'll bet money the shop won't replace a single thing.

Go and get the car.
Clean all the grounds and connectors. Corrosion and rust are the #1 problems with anything electrical. If they told you some connections are corroded, odds are that's a big part of the problem and what they'll clean ... and tell you they replaced such-n-such.
 
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