my battery recently died in my 78 rabbit. we hooked it up to a meter to see if the alternator was charging it, and it was. after we had taken the battery cable off the terminal there was some arcing, and the car died.
now my fuel gauge will not work! the speedo works and i cant find any fuses that have been blown. nothing in the owners manual says anything about this problem. any thoughts? thanks for the help
The fuel and water gauge aren't fused, there is a 10v rectifier (voltage stabilizer) that is on the back of the instrument cluster that can cause intermittent behaviors.
Since all you did was to disconnect the battery may I suggest that you start there.
Replace the Ground cables from the battery to the frame (on the frame horn in front of the strut tower drivers side).
Then from the frame to the engine / tranny mounting bolts (there is a studded bolt that holds the transmission to the engine usually top
rear of the engine.
Replace the engine to the Firewall ground, it goes from the rear of the valve cover drivers side to the firewall, usually the coil bracket.
You can then also run a ground from the front valve cover nut to the body of the alternator.
Grounds are very important, and your car is over to to have them all replaced.
The fuel gauge can be tested by removing the rear bottom seal cushion, then pulling the circular inspection plate.
Pulling the electrical connection off of the sending unit. You will see that one side is ground, and the other is the positive.
With a 9Vdc battery you can jumper the positive to the positive and the ground to the ground, you will see that the needle on the fuel gauge will deflect, if it doesn't then you wave a wiring issue to the gauge, or a bad gauge.
Removing the cluster from the car you will see that on the back side of it there are 2 brass nuts that are holding it to the mylar circuit. Using your 9Vdc battery place the positive on one side and the negative on the other, no deflection reverse no deflection then you have a bad gauge. If the gauge deflects then you have a bad wire between the sending unit and the gauge. Re-running the wires may be your quickest fix for that issue.
Checking the gauge from the rear seat eliminates the removal of the gauge from the dash and taking the dash apart....
On the back side of your instrument cluster you will see a small "transistor" looking thing. That is your 10Vdc voltage stabilizer, you can try to test it, and be proven wrong, as the circuit is a little deceiving so I would just go to www.mouser.com and order a lm7810C for 38 cents and replace it, shoot for that price I usually order 10 of them. You can of course go to www.autohauseaz.com and order the real thing, but they want 15 dollars for it...
First thing I would do is to replace all the grounds. Bad grounds are the bane of the cabby/rabbit world and you will fix quite a few flaky things.
Moving this thread to the OLD Rabbit forum.
What do Divorces, Great Coffee and Cars all have in common?
They all Start with good GROUNDS.
Replace all of them that you can, 99 percent of flakiness will disappear.
92, 93 Cabriolet.... 89, and 90 are Deceased.