DodgeTalk Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings to all of you. I wish to say that this site is wonderful and that I've learned a lot already.

So, I just bought a new 1986 B250 Van converted as a camper by Campwagon. On the first ride, it died on the road due to a dead alternator and regulator. This have been changed and it now sits in my driveway.

The fuel and temp gauge don't work and didn't work when I bought it. I've already (following the advice of other posts) removed the instrument panel, tested the gauge and the ground. Next I'll try the sending unit. The limiter seems to be working but I'm not sure. I might just replace it anyways.

Funny thing, the wipers were working great at first, from what I remember, then, after the alternator change, they only work on high. (no low, no delay) and they speed up.... as I speed up ! I'm not sure this is normal. Maybe there was a deadly spike when the alt died ?

Then, Looking at the heater this afternoon, I saw that when moving the temp control from Cool to Warm the cable was bending and that nothing was pushing in the cable. So I tried to push it with pliers and it broke... Anyways, I guess it's stuck somewhere farther so I'll have to change something anyways...

For now, these are my three main jobs as well as repairing the radio. It's always better with music !(After I'll see if I can replace the OLD propane tank that is under the van and get access to the auxilary batteries).

Any help or advice is greatly welcome. Thanks !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Bob,
I am a diehard believer in the "BOOK", aka the 86 Dodge Maint Manual. Check eBay Motors, I just ordered a used one for the 86 Sportsman I JUST bought. If your wipers are only working on one speed, could be one of several issues but my primary guess is the switch. Temp and fuel gages for the most part dont go bad, so as your doing with the fuel sending unit I'd look at the temp sending unit.
As for your heater cable, there is a clip on top of your heater box to hold the cable in place and give it something to push against, those clips are notorious for breaking.
If ya need some more inputs be glad to assist as I can
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Bob if you get back here to read any of this, I now have an 86 Dodge Van Manual and am willing to assist you in anyway I can thru pvt messages if you wish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

Thanks for the reply ! I finally ordered the original service manual online. It helps !

For the wiper problem, it turned out that the guy that changed the alternator forgot to plug a wire. It is now back in control.

For the fuel gauge, everything now points out to the Sending unit. It is -18C here right now so I'm reluctant to go work under the van... I'll wait until march to go there. Thanks for the pointer on the temp gauge. I might just order one to be safe !

The temp cable broke when I pulled on it... I had been bent and unbent multiple times... I'll have to order a new one.

On a side note, I've installed a new stereo head unit and placed speakers in the doors (there was only one mono speaker in the dash...). It's more fun to work with good music :)

Cheers,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Yes it is Bob, Am currently in deep troubleshooting mode of my 86, just bought it and the wiring is really hosed, thankfully tho am getting close to my current issue of no headlights, or parking lights when you pull the switch out. Seems like when I do I am grounding out the power. Went thru and unplugged any and every component even remotely supplied or associated with the power wire, no change. So next is an inspection of the bulkhead connector cause I think it has a burnt cavity causing the short. Originally I couldnt hook up the battery without the posts arcing, cured that wiring in 2 days thanks to the BOOK.
Just an FYI too Bob, I been finding the FULL RED wires, which are generally power wires, old aged and cracked in mine, so if you ever have an issue this could be something to keep in mind.
Have fun with your sending unit later, just make sure for your sake gas tank is closer to empty. 6.5 lbs per gallon approx, or about 3 kg per 3.8l.
As for the temps -18c WOW dats chilly. we had 64F today but by Sunday gonna be around 0C /32F for a hi
GL Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey,

Just wanted to update on the van.

I finally reinstalled the gauges and control panel yesterday after a couple months of fiddling with everything. The good thing is I now have a better idea of how everything works.

The good news :
- The cluster panel voltage regulator works great and is clean inside/out.
- The fuel and temp gauges works. The fuel one doesn't come up much, I tested everything , it must be the sending unit...

- The heat control cable was broken from the trap controler on the AC unit being stuck. It was stuck open so that must have been why the temp wasn't going up much before as I was doing short rides in cool weather. Now the trap door works fine, the control cable too and the temp gauge comes up !

- New Alpine stereo with USB port + 4 speakers... makes working in it much better !

- New LEDs in the cluster panel make up for a brighter experience.

To do :
- Fix fuel sending unit
- Oil gauge gets up on ignition, only to come down later. Could it be plugged backwards ?? When hot it settles in the middle.
- Change some sensors/filters.
- Check the motor, direction for leaks and wear. Hopefully it shouldn't be too bad.

I am wondering what MPG you hit with your B250. The second tank on mine is condemned and I'm not sure I want to replace it.

Have a great day!
Bobcamper
 

·
Off the Grid
Joined
·
1,827 Posts
I just messed up my instrument cluster voltage limiter. Nice 1930's technology they gave us there. There is a little screw on can fine tune voltage with, if you have a analog voltmeter. A digital multimeter bounces around from 2 to 11 volts when the ICVL is fed a constant 12.8v.

I'd cleaned all pins and connectors in the general area with DeOxit, and found my gauges were now brighter.

I'm going to be removing the green bulb filters and installing red incandescent 194 bulbs. LEDs are too bright and do not dim properly in my experience. The dimmer on my newish headlamp switch was already crusty, but some DeOxit d5 cleaned it nicely and some Deoxit shield lubed it nicely, so it turns nice and smooth and no flickering.

I added solder to the primitive circuit board pins, and where the voltage limiter is held as well.

I'll be replacing the voltage limiter with a solid state device, one that will not rise and fall with battery voltage and bring the gauges with it.

http://www.amazon.com/Kimdrox-Adjus...r=1-50&keywords=Dc/dc+Converter+12v+Step+Down

I still have the full fuel gauge sweep, but the gauge is inaccurate by 1/8th a tank or more. Perhaps the above unit will allow me to dial it in better and not peg the temp gauge. I don't care about the OP gauge, I have an aftermarket mechanical gauge.

I get 8 to 10 MPG around town due to steep hills and infuriating traffic lights. A recent roadtrip I got just over 16.5 MPG highway at 65mph, and I used to get close to 18MPG on Gasoline, but seem to get no better than 16.5 with gasahol.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top