Volt gauge low, engine stall on load. But voltage at battery and cig lighter seems fine?

I’m having two very frustrating problems with my 1985 Suzuki Samurai 1.0L w/carb. They may be connected:

Problem 1) The voltage gauge in my dash is on the very low end, sometimes touching the red area. Sometimes while driving, when the voltmeter is at low, the engine will just stall immediately when I turn on the turn signal. I suspect it is because the turn signal draws power, and it just gets too low voltage. The stalling problem usually only happens shortly after starting to drive.

I don’t understand why the voltage is low in the dash, because when I measure it, it seems fine. I have done the following measurements:

Measurements from battery:
Car off: 12.9V
Car on: 14.0V
Car on w/acc on: 13.8

Measurements inside the car:
In cigarette lighter: 13.7V (12.6V with “everything” on)
Wires from ignition: 13.4V

I have checked all grounds in the engine bay, and they seem fine…

Problem 2) Sometimes when I turn the ignition to ON, no lights will show up in the dash. Completely dead. I can turn the starter fine, but engine won’t fire, just starter cranking. The lights usually come on after a few seconds, but sometimes can take up to a minute (a very low “click” is heard from engine bay(?) when it turns on). When dash lights come on, the engine will fire without any problem. I tried wiggling various wires, and ignition, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

Edit: Sometimes when car is cold, just putting the gear shifter in reverse will cut the power/lights in dash. Probably because backup lights turn on and use voltage.

Anyone have suggestions?

I had an old Hyundai Pony of this vintage back in 84. Contrary to most modern cars that uses electronic ignition,they use ignition points that needed periodic replacement because they had a tendency to burn and the car would start interminently.

I suspect problems are related. You have poor electrical connection or failing relay. To fix it, you need a schematic of the car’s electrical system, a DVM and some basic troubleshooting experience. Or find a mechanic with electrical troubleshooting experience…

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I think I can rule out the ignition switch as the cause for low voltage at least. I tried a different ignition switch, and the volt gauge showed the same. Did not try it long enough to see if the problems happened though.