1980 Ramcharger (360) electrical outage 2nd question/comment

Asked by Sep 19, 2015 at 09:34 AM about the 1980 Dodge Ramcharger

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The electrical outage is 100%.  The only positive test is at the large terminal on the starter relay (new replacement relay).   All ground terminals here test out.  Large red wire connection on relay is dead (same as the old relay).  No positive lead test to or from alternator or any of the plug terminals at the firewall.  The 4 terminals at the ceramic resistor all test as grounded.  This is a complete outage with no indication of current either side of the firewall.  
The shutdown occurred while engine was running.

7 Answers


Does it have an amp meter? if so I have seen quite a few of these burn out the meter so then it looses all electrical power, not too hard to check once you get to the meter.

1 people found this helpful.

That must be the charge/discharge indicator integrated into the dash cluster. Assume must remove that whole unit? How do you test; continuity? And, is this a ground wire attachment or hot? Thanks.


After you gain access to the gauge you will see 2 big wires, one is a hot feed into the gauge and the other is a hot out of the gauge, you can remove them and put them together and see if it cures you problem, if it does then you know that the the gauge is fried. If it is then you can replace it with an aftermarket with a little bit of work, or replace it with a voltmeter, a voltmeter will be a two wire connection one hot and one ground. Most people have went with a voltmeter just because it does away with the high amperage through the cluster. Hope this makes sense.

Thank you. I removed the instrument cluster. There was a large black wire and large red wire attachment. No power to each. Both tested as a ground (12v tester from wire terminal to (+) battery terminal/ no circuit when tested with (-) battery terminal).. Attaching the two together made no difference. The problem must be before the gauge. If one should be (+), then why both negative?


Here is a simplified wiring diagram, look for the blown fuselink.

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks. will check it out. Seems curious that the two wires at the ammeter both test ground. Will energize the black wire to see if it's "downstream" components work.

It is fixed. Ultimately, there was a burned wire prior to the fusable link that had to be repaired. It was hidden in electrical tape wrap and was exposed when tracing. Thanks for your help. deeply appreciated

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