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Thread: Electrical Issues 1990 Dodge Shadow

  1. #1
    Mitsu booster
    Join Date
    May 2021

    Electrical Issues 1990 Dodge Shadow

    Hello everyone. I have a 1990 Dodge Shadows that last year I fixed a broken lug going to the alternator. It seems to be working fine as the engine would start and pur very nicely and battery stayed charged. It had a couple of gas lines leaks that have since been repaired. Then I needed to fix the no pressure brake system and that is where this problem began.

    I now have zero electrical going through the system. No dash, no lights, no wipers, no horn, no turn signals, dome light hasn't worked for years but I think it was due to no fuse, and the radio got stolen a few years ago and never replaced. Sometimes I'll get the open door chimes but not always. The battery keeps getting drained but will charge and maintain voltage as long as it's not hooked up and is about 1 year old.

    Upon looking around I found a grounding wire lying on top of the valve cover next to the carburetor. The other end is bolted securely to the chassis. I have no idea where it's suppose to go. The only thing close is the power steering. I also found a nut next to it as well. I can't find a bolt or anything where this is suppose to go to.

    In the past the dashboard lights along with the taillights will blow the fuse sometimes and go out. Sometimes it won't blow the fuse but just go out. If I turn the engine off and wait about 20-30 seconds and turn it back on most of the time they come back on. I've put as large as a 30am fuse in and it still gets blown. I don't know if the problems are connected or not but there is definitely a short. I've replaced the pull knob for the headlights and that has not fixed the dashboard light problem.

    I have the original Chrysler repair manuals but I'm not a mechanic and currently out of job so having someone else fix it isn't an option right now. One thing the manuals do not show is where some of the relays are located. They show me this triangular shaped base that 3 cube relays plug into and one sounds very important. I can't find it in the engine compartment and it's certainly not inside where the fuse panel is located.

    I picked up a relay tester to check those relays but getting rather mad that the manual gives zero indication where to find it. I've found the other ones but they are not the usual relays. They have wires feeding into the bottom and then plug into a cap. I need to fix the bulb on my tester but my question is if one of those are bad how do I replace it? Do the wires just pull out or do I need to splice them in with a new one.

    The car is a 2.2 L non turbo with AC body style AP. I'm not able to post pictures otherwise I would upload the 2 photos I've taken.
    Last edited by 135sohc; 06-25-2021 at 05:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Re: Electrical Issues 1990 Dodge Shadow

    The relay triangle base you are searching for is behind a door within the glove box

    DD '87 Sundance T1, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432 2.5 CB TII, SLH

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Electrical Issues 1990 Dodge Shadow

    I sectioned the original post to make it easier to follow and hopefully we can get you some answers.

    If your work on the brake system involved anything in the area of the master cylinder and/or proportioning valve there is good chance you had to move some wiring around. The P body (Shadow/Sundance) uses a handful of fusible links behind the battery in the area where those relays are near the strut tower. I am not familiar with the 1990 service manual for the P body, whether it was shared with some of the other FWD cars or just the P body.

    Either way in the electrical section for the P body in the first two or four pages there should be a very top level schematic showing the power distribution from the battery to the major sub components. You can find the fusible links called out and check them all out for function.

    The battery going dead is due to a heavy parasitic power draw. The most common sources are a glove box light, trunk light or under hood light. Not every car has those lights though. if yours does then check them out.

    The other end of that bonding strap should go to a bolt on the bottom of the intake manifold near where the EGR tube (if so equipped) is bolted to the manifold.

    Not super familiar with a 1990 but you may also look underneath/behind the knee closeout panel below the steering column near the hood release handle for the interior relay block.

    The under hood relays should have a release tab on the side of the plug that latches onto the relay.
    1994 Shadow Sedan. 2.2 N/A, A568 400,000 miles. "the science experiment"
    1987 Shelby CSX #418. Long term rebuild and restore ?

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