'91 Pontiac Sunbird Electrical

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Hi folks, I purchased my first car at Christmas time and have been waiting for the cold weather to deminish. Well it's about that time to start working on my new and first purchased car. Its a '91 Pontiac Sunbird V6, and having this be my first car I am seeking some advice. This car was never up to par when I bought it in the first place, I bought it to learn how to fix, and to have a toy to play with in the spring and summer time. Having said that, spring break is approaching in two weeks for myself and I want to start working on it right away when this hits. Theres only one problem. I don't know where to start. Having said that, again, I don't know what I am doing and having this be my first car to start working on to fix up I know nothing. This is why I purchased it, to learn :).

First off I wanted to describe what seems to be wrong with her. She starts fine, there is no problems with the engine, or transmission. Infact she runs perfectly and could be driveable, ONLY if she were to pass inspection. Thats the problem. I need to get this project started, but the electrical in the car is pretty much hell. I have headlights, tail lights, but no signal, horn, AC/Heater or AM/FM sterio. Well I plan on putting a sterio system in it after the electrical is fixed anyways. I haven't even checked the fuses yet, which is my first step but I was wondering if anyone had an idea where to check the connection of the horn/signal lights and the other dash components. I do have interior lighting, and the dashboard lights/gauges work, but I do not have all the other dashboard components that will work. It probably is not a hard job, I just don't know where to start and want to learn. So I figured I better post here and you might be able to give me some helpful advice. I plan on checking the fuses, but I have a feeling that this might not be the problem, as the headlights and such work fine.

Let me explain, I purchased the car from my cousins friend who ripped the thing to shreds trying to install a sterio system. Obviously he did not know what the heck he was doing and really messed things around with the electrical, this is why I have come to conclude that I do not think it is the fuses that are bad, but wires that have been cut, YES physically cut by this person, if pictures are needed I will take and post some, I might even need an electrical diagram for a 91 or equivilent. Thanks for your time, any advice you may give to get me start, will help greatly ;)

Kirk Davidson

posted by  Davidson

Just check the fuses for starters, use a test light to check them, visually doesn't always work. Turn the key on, ground the test light, and touch both pieces of metal on top of the fuse (don't take the fuse out..). If both piece will light up the test light, it's good, if only one will, it's bad, if neither will, no power or it's not being used.

You've got a LOT of work on your hands if he just hacked away at the electrical.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Yeah, good luck with re-connecting the spagetti under the dash on that one. You might have to go to the boneyard and pick up a replacement wiring harness for it. :doh:

posted by  srober32

there is a vary good chance that it is the fuses, as for the wires cut, hopefully it was the ones to the sterio,the sterio main power wire is also the cig power wire, if the dome light dont work its the acc fues that turnes on the sterio via key switch. i would get the wireing back together and buy the gm sterio adapter.not made by gm but for gm, you can even find it a walmart. and go ahead and get a twenty dollar haynes manual for your car, its a good start on your project and will tell you how to do your oil change, and all the other stuff you want to do and yeah it has the wireing diagram you might need, my final sugestion as my friend is a link i found here. autozone.com, you can put your car on there and find most of the stuff you will need,it also has manuals and wireing diagrams though you might not need it. it will also tell you about recalls, mabey you can get gm to replace something fo free! lots of luck on your car. i had a 92 that i sold to my brother and he junked it becouse it would'nt run like he wanted ! well the trany didnt act right and he had to put her in nurtal when stoped, but i dont think it was ready for the bone yard, could of beed a $ 5 part, hopefully you have more paitents then he did

posted by  donaldnjamie

chopped wires are fun.at least they are all weird striped colors etc.a wiring diagram is more helpful.you are better off to find another identical car that you can borrow and check it that way because a)most wiring diagrams say TYPICAL and b)the wiring is quite different on the pages than pictorials inside
the car. good luck.remember that alot of circuits are live even when the car is "off"

posted by  the lobster

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