Michigan Short Track Racing Club: 1994 Suburban 3/4 ton wants to stall when the lights are turned on - Michigan Short Track Racing Club

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1994 Suburban 3/4 ton wants to stall when the lights are turned on Need all mechanics help

#1 User is offline   fastforward Icon

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:03 PM

Looking for some opinions and solutions from the mechanics on this board..

1994 Chevy Suburban 2500 5.7L

I haven't driven this Suburban much this year, but decided to take it out this afternoon and it ran good just like it always has. On the return trip home late this evening, I stopped at a gas station to gas up and turned on the head lights as we were about to leave the station and... the head lights came on, the wipers came on (?), the dashboard lights dimmed, all the gauges (fuel, voltage, oil pressure, water temp) read near zero and the engine acted like it wanted to stall as it developed a rough idle. So, I turned the headlights off and the idle went back to normal, the wipers went off, the dash lights went back to normal as well as the gauges.

But I had to drive home and had to have the headlights on to do so. The drive home was all highway and was able to keep the car running at speed but the dash lights were dim, gauges read near zero, the "check gauges" light would come on intermittently and when I used my blinker that would would cause my speedometer to fluctuate back and forth even though I maintained a constant speed. Also, when the blinker was used it caused the volt gauge to bounce and fluctuate all over as well.

Made it home into the driveway and it stalled as soon as I came to a stop. I turned the lights off and it started right up and idled fine again. Turned the lights on one more time and the symptoms as described above occurred again.

Any ideas what might be the problem or what may fix it??

Thanks for the help.
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#2 User is offline   Bishop Icon

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:24 PM

There should be ground wires on the thermostat housing stud. Try cleaning them and see if that helps.
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Posted 05 October 2015 - 08:28 AM

View PostBishop, on 05 October 2015 - 12:24 AM, said:

There should be ground wires on the thermostat housing stud. Try cleaning them and see if that helps.

I will try that when I get home.

Has anyone ever heard of this stuff happening?

Thanks you.
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#4 User is offline   mod911 Icon

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 10:35 AM

check the ground wire on back of left head,on frame rail below driver and the tank ground also. After the stat ground,if it does not help. partially melted wire harness on top of the dash under the cover is common. I had that on one old truck I had,all the harness was kinda melted together. Makes weird things happen and different things day to day.
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#5 User is offline   jhaydenX Icon

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 11:57 AM

View Postfastforward, on 06 October 2015 - 12:28 AM, said:

I will try that when I get home.

Has anyone ever heard of this stuff happening?

Thanks you.

Short in the lighting circuit causing excessive draw on the battery. I would start where bishop said or find which ground involves the lighting circuit.. but Dick is right as well, early 90's GM light trucks and vans have been known to have melting wires in the steering column and dash causing weird problems like that. Next it will let the smoke out(FIRE) and you cant put that back in.
Johnny Hayden

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#6 User is offline   mod11 Icon

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 02:24 PM

unplug light switch and pull on harness from under dash,there is a column support that the harness rubs thru on left side of steer column,fun to reach,repaired many many of these
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Posted 05 October 2015 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for everyone's help... I found a broken ground wire running from the battery to the fender. Fixed it and it runs great.

Thank you
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