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Old 09-12-2022, 07:19 PM   #1
Ali
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Higher engine temps with headlights

I see higher engine temps on the dash of our 2000 Windsor when headhights are on, and it displays normal when headlights are off (like 20-25 degrees). Coolant temp on VMSpc does not change, so I think there is something fishy with our temp gauge.

I compared the chassis voltages between the battery and the stud on the front distribution panel (FDP) to troubleshoot, here are the results:

Engine ON, Headlights OFF = Battery:14.06V - FDP:13.06V (0.1V drop)
Engine ON, Headlights ON = Battery:14.12V - FDP:13.72V (0.4V drop)

Any thoughts on the voltage drops I am experiencing? I think 0.1V drop is okay between front and back, but 0.4V drop with headlights on might be a bit excessive.

Any suggestions on improving back to front voltage drops would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:26 PM   #2
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What does your Alladin say your coolant temp is, both with and without headlights?
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:00 PM   #3
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Never heard of that happening.
Just a stab in the darkÖ.a poor ground connection causing the drop on the headlight circuit? Possibly in the dash lights?
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:18 PM   #4
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Wag.. imho.. looks similar to the Chevy of that time.. you may have loose connection on back of dash circuit board.. where the main plug comes in.. they can wiggle loose.. also.. on temp gauge.. if I can remember.. there is a resistor that prevents back feed.. so wag.. if temp gauge has resistor.. it's going out.. or temp sensor on eng.. needs to be.. taken out and cleaned.. do sensor cleaning 1st.. easier..
Now on headlight.. check voltage right at each connection and clean each of their grounds.. but also check each bulbs.. because one could be very dark.. indicating ready to burn out..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:29 PM   #5
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Run a dedicated ground wire to the temp gauge.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:29 AM   #6
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I noticed recently that my temp gauge does the same thing, consistently shows maybe 10 deg hotter with the lights on than off.

Once I realized what was happening I wasn't too concerned about it. I do have the dash disassembled at the moment for another issue, so will make sure all connections are tight, incl clean ground connection from the gauges.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:39 AM   #7
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I'm thinking related to dash lights rather than HLs ,back feeding for a better ground..But just same line of thinking already out there. Try just running lamps and crank up dash light to full and dim look for change.
A better ground or focus to lamps ,as gauge ground might end up carrying dash light still.
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:17 AM   #8
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Agree with the replies regarding ground. Also Suggest you get the BlueFire app to read off ECM to obtain a true picture of performance. Super cheap piece of mind even if you only use it in cases like this. The poor man’s Silverleaf!
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Old 09-13-2022, 01:10 PM   #9
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Find a good ground for your digital voltmeter and put it in the smallest DC scale it has.

Sharpen the positive prove so it can touch the center of either the wire or better yet if you have some sort of nut/connector on the negative side of the gauge.

Many have already suggested a bad ground but this should help you identify it.

Another method is to sharpen both probes and place them across the positive and negative connections of the gauge.

You can do the same test on your headlights to determine a bad ground on them as well.

Since the lights are higher current draws it could easily be their ground causing the issue.

Grounds, grounds, grounds. Clean and bright, take them loose and polish them up.

Sometimes just tightening a nut 1/4 of a turn makes things come alive.
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Old 09-13-2022, 05:21 PM   #10
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It may be a faulty instrument voltage regulator.

Ken
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Old 09-19-2022, 01:29 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I think there might be a faulty ground.

I've done some measurements yesterday. First I pulled a 8 AWG wire from chassis battery negative and measured voltages below:

Chassis Battery (-) and Firewall Ground Bar :
0.2 mV - headlights off
8.5 mV - headlights on

Chassis Battery (-) and Dash Gauges Ground :
6.8 mV - headlights off
940.0 mV - headlights on

I think I will need to find out how dash cluster gets it ground from the firewall ground bar and clean connectors on the way, and then measure again see if I can bring dash gauges ground voltage drop to less than 10 mV levels.

I will keep you posted.
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Old 09-19-2022, 03:01 PM   #12
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Have you cleaned up the main jumper to firewall. That and put the ground wire you mentioned to the bus bar . That should tell you if it's a growing issue.
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Old 09-19-2022, 09:50 PM   #13
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Oops grounding issue. Auto correct
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Old 09-19-2022, 10:20 PM   #14
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Good evening Ali; I had the same issue on my 2000 Windsor. I called the Oregon service center back in 05 when you could talk to a tech. He told me that Monaco went cheap in the gauge of the wiring they used in the dash. You will get a lot of voltage drop because of the use of smaller gauged wires. Also the grounding is not the best. Sometimes the grounding will pass through a gauge and give a false reading. When I turn my headlights on without the engine running in my 01 Windsor, my temp gauge will pin itself all the way to the right. When I shut the lights off the gauge will barely drop back to the left towards the cold side of the gauge. If I then turn the ing. on the temp gauge will swing back to the cold position so fast the needle pins itself to the left side of the gauge body as there is no pin in the gauge to stop it from going that far. Since I have a Silver Leaf system I just don't pay that close attention to the gauges besides the spedo and the tach. Be interesting to see what happens if run some additional ground wires. My previous 2000 Windsor always read higher temp on the gauge when the headlights were on.
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