Sparks & Fire under the Dash...
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This is a discussion on Sparks & Fire under the Dash... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I need your help people... I was driving to work today, stopped at a light when I saw & heard ...

  1. #1
    Registered User kmcd's Avatar
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    Sparks & Fire under the Dash...

    I need your help people...

    I was driving to work today, stopped at a light when I saw & heard sparks from the
    driver's side area under the dash.
    There was a small burst of fire, smoke, and the check engine came on.

    I got out & looked under the dash, no visible damage; the smoke came from the area where the wires are under the steering column.

    It's been raining since yesterday here in NYC, I'm always careful when driving through water. I had my headlights & radio on when this happened. Nothing shut off & the engine
    was still running.

    My mod list shows all electrical components installed.

    The only aftermarket item under the steering column is the manual switch for the alarm.
    I have noticed that condensation is appearing in my driver side headlight.

    I have my people checking my car at home now while I am at work.
    Any help is appreciated
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  3. #2
    Registered User platano's Avatar
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    I would check the back of the fuse box if you have installed any aftermarket accessories to your car. Maybe a connection came loose and shorted. Check to see if the tape/solderless connectors/plugs/whatever are loose. If you have an aftermarket alarm also, check the connections made from that, specially the wire to the starter. If anything may have come loose, it can short by touching metal and cause smoke and sparks.
    the only other thing is, if you have some sort of electronic device installed down there that may have gone bezzerk, that could do it too. Check your radio connectors for the same thing (loose connections, wires that may be bare even if just a little), tape it up nice and neat.
    Check to see if anything is burnt, and replace it (wires). A sensor might have gotten fried if the CEL came on. There's a thread on here with CEL numbers. Check the code and see if there's something wrong with the device identified with the CEL. If it looks fine, just reset the ECU and start it up.

    Oh yeah, while you're working on this make sure to disconnect your battery so that you don't cause any more damage.
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  4. #3
    Registered User kmcd's Avatar
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    I will call my friends & have them do that. Thanks for the help!
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  5. #4
    Registered User kmcd's Avatar
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    Problem Solved

    I found the cause of the problem, I took pictures for reference & to prevent anyone from having a simmular problem.
    The power wire for my amp shifted under the clutch. Every time I stepped on the pedal, I was cutting the wire.


    It got to the point where the wire became exposed, metal clutch, exposed power wire, & the wall behind it caused sparks & fire.


    The fuse on the cable blew & saved my car from becoming a Barbecue grill.

    I repaired the wire & secured it to this with a zip tie


    Here is the pedal fully puhsed in & it does not touch the cable at all.


    Here is a pic my friend took of me fixing my baby!
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    no problem bro, glad to help. That amp cable was right in the path of your clutch pedal, you can see the metal on the side of the clutch pedal where the sparks and fire made brief contact with the exposed cable. The cable was fine when it originally wwas installed, but over time, depressing the clutch back and forth finally chopped into the plastic sheath of the amp cable. Thank god for that fuse we put in the line by the battery..
    Just check it again this weekend, make sure the cable hasn't settled back in the path of the pedal.

    G

  7. #6
    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Don't route the cable anywhere neer the pedals. Also, is the red wire connected to the orange one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    Don't route the cable anywhere neer the pedals. Also, is the red wire connected to the orange one?

    We originally used the hole in the firewall that Subaru provided to run the amp cable. Is there another factory hole that we can use? No, that orange wire is not connected to the amp cable, I think it has to do with the alarm.

  9. #8
    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G2Nice
    We originally used the hole in the firewall that Subaru provided to run the amp cable. Is there another factory hole that we can use? No, that orange wire is not connected to the amp cable, I think it has to do with the alarm.
    It's been a long time, but if I remember correctly, there is another hole farther up. If not, maybe you can make a new hole and just pick up a grommet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    It's been a long time, but if I remember correctly, there is another hole farther up. If not, maybe you can make a new hole and just pick up a grommet.
    sounds good, I'll ask KMCD if he wants to reroute the cable then. IT was put in last summer, I'm thinking the cable just settled in the path of the clutch pedal over time, cause it wasn't in the way when we originally installed it.

  11. #10
    Registered User kmcd's Avatar
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    I like the idea of creating a new hole for the cable, plus I'm thinking of replacing that cable entirely. I rather be safe than sorry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcd
    I like the idea of creating a new hole for the cable, plus I'm thinking of replacing that cable entirely. I rather be safe than sorry.
    You like the idea of creating holes in your car, huh? I'm just remembering the time we had to drill mounting holes for your carbon fiber wing in your trunk, you had kittens when we did that maneuver!!

  13. #12
    Registered User kmcd's Avatar
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