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diagram of a car's electrical system

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by J Jensen, Jun 27, 2004.

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  1. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest


    Does anyone know where I can find a good diagram of the basic (ignition)
    electrical system of a car? (Preferably on the web). The manual and a
    couple books that I have aren't quite enlightening, and I haven't been
    able to find anything good with google...

    Specifically I'd like to understand what all the basic components are
    and how the interrelate. For example, what exactly does Ford's ignition
    module do (other than need to be replaced) ?

  2. That depends on how basic you need.
  3. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

  4. Almost every year, make and model has a different schematic.

    Here is a primitive schematic or two (hit the next button:
    It shows a DC generator instead of an alternator.

    Here is a GM training schematic collection:
    from the Practice section of:

    You might want to look for a Chiltons or Haynes repair manual at the
    local library that covers your vehicle.
  5. I'll study that timely PDF myself, as I'm trying to get access to the
    horn relay circuit on a '96 BMW 328 SE please? I want to add a
    supplementary circuit.

    I've located the appropriate terminals in the fuse/relay box under the
    bonnet/hood. Essentially that was luck, as it was the first relay I
    tried; yellow one at top left corner. None of them are identified,
    either in the fuse box diagram or the service manual.

    But that leaves me with the daunting task of getting wires inside.
    Anyone here know a convenient 'hole' BTW?. That's why ideally I'd like
    access inside the car, i.e. to the horn activation wire, and 12V and
    0V too please.

    I used to be able to add gadgets to my cars with relative ease a
    couple of decades ago... ;-(

    Jeff: Hope you don't mind my chipping in to your thread.
  6. John G

    John G Guest

    Terry, no disrespect just a fun comment.
    I think you are from the old Lucas school where you could put one fuse
    between the 2 positions and everything would work.
    I once rescued a lady way west of Mount Isa (Australia) by jumping the
    starter relay of her Austin 1800 with a spanner. Told her to not stop
    the engine till she was at a garage which was propably 200 miles away at
    the time.
  7. You're probably not far wide of the mark <g>.

    BTW, Joseph Lucas (where my aunt worked for about 30 years) was a few
    miles away from my childhood home in Erdington, Birmingham.
  8. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    ...what exactly does Ford's ignition module do
    I got the best wiring diagrams for my old American cars (mostly Fords)
    from National Service Data (now Mitchell).

    A good library will have all 3.
    A great library (L.A. County) will have multiple copies of all 3.
  9. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    thanks again, John. Yes, I think this is the best picture I've
    seen so far ( I clicked "next" 2 times)

    Yes, I have one of these (Haynes, I think). It is pretty good for actually
    trying to replace something, but the circut diagrams are way too detailed
    for the kind of overview that I wanted.

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