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Car won't start. Gauge lights work but not the actual gauges...

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Car won't start. Gauge lights work but not the actual gauges...

I need help. I've got a race in less than two weeks and still need to get the car tuned. --98 Camaro Z28

Here are some fact to help describe what has been done to the car. The car is now gutted, no hvac, no air pump, no egr, and no evap. Has a 6 pt roll cage. Has longtube headers, psc powering steering pump w/ cooler, improved racing oil pan baffle, and revxtreme catch can system. I have also removed the door harness as my doors are gutted for the nascar bars.

I got the dash back in last night and hooked the gauge cluster up to find out that the lights work -- brake light comes on(deleted the parking brake), Airbag light comes on(deleted both airbags), and the check gauges light comes on. However, the gauges & odometer do not work. The voltage gauge shows zero but I know the battery is not bad as I put it in my trans am tonight and it started right up. When I turn the ignition to start the car nothing happens except for a small black box clicks and the headlights turn off (but only when the key is turn to start the car). This black box is not the BCM.... (some kind of relay..??) Throughout the tear down of my car I would attempt to start it to make sure that I didn't unplug anything important..... the last time I tried was after I removed the door harness... and the engine would turn over when I tried to start the car. I have checked all of the fuses, they're fine. I even swapped the gauge fuse with the one out of my Trans Am to make sure that wasn't the issue -- no luck. I've made sure that all of the grounds inside the car are good. The ground coming off the side of the block on the driver's side looks to be in good shape. The alternator has been reconnected properly. I've run out of ideas.... why would the gauges not work but the lights do? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Allen
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:12 AM   #2
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Any ideas? Anybody? What powers the gauges? I wonder if the pcm was damaged when the cage was getting welded in the car???

Another thing I just remembered... there is a connector above the rear end that is not plugged into anything... I can't remember if that went to the evap system or not. I don't think it plugs into the fuel pump though.... and I know its not the ABS connector that goes onto the top of the rear end.
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Last edited by athornt2; 11-18-2011 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:14 AM   #3
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The only wiring that I remember to be above the axle are the ABS and fuel pump harnesses.

When you're talking about the small black box that clicks when the headlights go off, are you refering to the DRL (daytime running light) module?
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
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You were right, that is the DRL module. Good call! The connector that is not plugged in goes to the EVAP -- found that on a schematic.

Here is where I stand --
1) Put the battery in my trans am and it fired right up.
2) check alternator connections -- fine
3) Re-did all grounds inside the car
4) Took the dash off and inspected wiring on the back of the fuse box.
5) Pulled every fuse and inspected them - including the two fuse boxes in the engine bay
6) Swapped the gauge fuse with the one in the Trans Am
7) Swapped the starter relay with a fan relay

Put multimeter on the battery... 11.7 volts with ignition on -- when grounding from both the battery and the chassis.
Checked for continuity @ the starter relay. The starter relay is not being grounded. I attached a wire to a chassis ground and then into the relay terminal to ground it and stuffed the relay on top. After that I was able to activate the starter, however the car won't actually start. -- Eliminated ignition switch issue.

The gauges still are not working. The fan relay next to the starter relay is grounded. What provides the ground for the starter circuit? I have a bad feeling that something inside the car is not plugged and has been thrown away when I was gutting the car. I did that on my LT1 car... although the gauges never quit working... but it wouldn't fire until I replugged a relay from the passenger side airbag back in.

The module that I thought was the VATS module that clicks is actually the daytime running lights module....
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:46 AM   #5
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I'm going through the same issues and no one has a good direction to go to. Did you ever figure your issue out? I cannot tune the car do to the similar BS. OBD2 port will not power HPTuners, car will not power fuel pump, starter, or coils, and the cluster is going crazy also. Help would be appreciated
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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Default Car Won't start. Only have certain dash lights and clicking coming from black box.

Here's the back story:

Car has been sitting for about 3 weeks. The battery has been on a trickle charger the entire time.

Started the car up this morning with no problem. Went to put it in reverse and it died (not sure if I stalled or if it died for another reason). All the lights on the dash are out with the exception of both blinker indicators and the high beam light. The security light will come on for about 3 seconds and then go off (I have a viper alarm system). The car will try to crank over (does not sound like it is struggling), but I do not hear the fuel pump priming. When I turn the key to the off position, the gauges will reset (going all the way right then back down).

The black box behind the radio will click about every 1 second when the key is in the on position. I have a picture of it below.

I checked all the fuses. None are blown. Battery terminals are clean.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
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Update:

I believe that box is the daytime running light module. If i attempt to start the car with the ebrake up, it will not click. If I turn the headlights on, it will not click. Once I turn the lights off or drop the ebrake, it will click even if I pull the ebrake. I have to completely shut off the car to reset it.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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any updates on this thread? i am having a very similar issue. car wont even try to turn over. when i hit key nothing happens. power windows, power locks dont work. im lost.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey_osu10 View Post
any updates on this thread? i am having a very similar issue. car wont even try to turn over. when i hit key nothing happens. power windows, power locks dont work. im lost.
My problem ended up being a grounding issue with the PCM. Take a look here and see if you have any of these issues.

Low Voltage at dash. Random no start condition
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