19 Years old, never worked on a car before and got a HJ61... Looking for general guidance/resources (1 Viewer)

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Hello dear Landcruiser enthusiasts!

I'm 19 years old and just got to learning how to drive.
My father has bestowed upon me this beautiful beast of a machine that he also uses for hes day to day activities on our property and getting around the area.

A HJ61LG-MXW!

Now as the title suggests I'd like to get into some basic to intermediate tinkering with this car... Since it does have a few issues my dad doesn't have the patience for to fix.
You see, I've always had an affinity for taking things apart, fixing them here and there and putting them back correctly. I have done some bicycle mechanics and consider myself quite handy with mechanical components. I'm also patient and don't start smashing or forcing things when they don't seem to work. 😅 Ofcourse a bicycle's complexity pales in comparison to a freakin' car... I've watched some car build series and do seem genuinely interested into some maintenance on cars.

So with the backstory out of the way I'll get to my questions.

The car has 2 main electrical issues.

-The batteries don't charge while the car is running.
-The lights don't work

The car starts up fine and all the fuses are ok, so we're thinking it's just some bad wiring connections somewhere in the car. Or maybe the alternator is broken.

Today I opened up the hood and just stared around in the engine bay a bit and just not knowing where to begin.
(Well the first step into any electrical work is to disconnect the battery right?)

We've dug around a bit and found the correct service manuals with the correct wiring diagrams in a readable resolution.

Now my experience with electric work is non-existent. I know of the basic concept that electricity must be a closed loop and your hot connections, negative connections and ground.
I have a multimeter around here that I know how to work with to read currents and continuity between connections.

So I don't really know where to even start beginning to find a possible bad wire connection or diagnose a alternator in the belly of this beast... Deciphering the wiring diagram onto the real world things is quite a mess with everything being surrounded by wire harnesses...

If anyone has any input, links or resources for a newbie getting into tinkering and repairing there own Landcruiser we'd really really appreciate it.

Thank you very much!



HJ61 anon numberplate.png
 
Joined
May 28, 2017
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in the woods
welcome to this morass of madness n mayhem called mud :flipoff2: what i would suggest is to download all pertinent factory manuals that can be found in here. believe it or not, but land cruisers are not much more complex than bicycles. oh $h!t!!! i missed that you'ed already dug up some manuals👍
now, just cuz dad bestowed that weapon to you, i trust you're not mining his pocket for all the rest:hmm: yeah, this ole fawker is funny that way:hillbilly:
 
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oh yeah right, i read something about patience. re: electrical. i'm no expert but if you simply start following one circuit at a time, you should be able to suss it all out. i think that the manual should describe the proper method for testing your alternator that's not alternating
where is somewhere?
 
Joined
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somewhere
oh yeah right, i read something about patience. re: electrical. i'm no expert but if you simply start following one circuit at a time, you should be able to suss it all out. i think that the manual should describe the proper method for testing your alternator that's not alternating
where is somewhere?
Hey kirvesmies, thanks for your reply! Hearing that land cruisers aren't considerably more complicated then bicycles gives me some confidence... Somewhere is in France! :) And don't worry I won't mine in the pockets of my dad, there isn't much anyway 😜
 

EscapeWagon62

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Jun 29, 2017
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Longmeadow MA
You are in for a grand adventure (technically working on these rigs rapidly becomes a sickness)
I knew nothing 5 years ago and I’m getting close to having mine completed.
They are incredibly forgiving if you fix them wrong (except electrical of course). Be fearless.
Search this forum by using google, what you are tacking and ih8mud. It gets you the threads faster than the search on the forum itself.

Two facts -
1. 99.9% of your discretionary funds are now spoken for (repairs, upgrades, heck just for fun)
2. When you are getting to the point where you start breaking things just so you have something to fix.....you are half way finished.

enjoy
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
in the woods
Hey kirvesmies, thanks for your reply! Hearing that land cruisers aren't considerably more complicated then bicycles gives me some confidence... Somewhere is in France! :) And don't worry I won't mine in the pockets of my dad, there isn't much anyway 😜
no problem bud.
i understand the "there isn't much anyway":D my old boy helped me $wise with my first one at the age of thirteen, after that it was "you're on your own boy"
 

OSS

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Jun 30, 2017
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Everyone who contributes to this forum, including all the "experts", never worked on a car at some point in their life. We all learned by picking up a wrench and turning the first bolt - then the next - and the next - and then putting it all back together - hopefully the right way
 

Ducks

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Welcome! I'm just getting back into fixing mine, and now also collecting a few more.
I would recommend starting at the endpoints before working through the harness.
1. Make sure the battery is in good enough condition to hold a charge.
2. Check that the alternator is working.
3. Then start looking for shorts in the wiring.
 
Joined
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Fairbanks, Alaska
Welcome, I'm also 19! It sounds like you have a tinkerers background so you'll get to know your way around the cruiser in no time.

My father raised me in the garage, so I understand a fair bit of what makes these old old yotas turn. However if I was in your position, spend the $20 and print all the FSMs relevant to your cruiser, and watch as much as you can on youtube. You'll pick up a lot of little tips by watching others work, even if it's not immediately relevant :)
 
Joined
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Durban, South Africa
Great - I have just started my learning journey - only 20 years later in life than you. My dad worked in computers, I dont think he ever did anything mechanical.

Busy with my own rebuild, and diesel swap out. Lots to learn. Looking forward to all of it. I am lucky to have a workshop at my disposal through my business. and a friend who is an experienced bush mechanic who is amped to help me :).
 

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