1985 FJ60 with stock 2F motor. Need help with motor. Hard start whether cold or warm. (1 Viewer)

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This is DEFINITELY an ELECTRICAL ISSUE. Minor though. I have to chime in here! I noticed that the voltage on your gauge is low when the engine is faltering and then when it starts running good it goes back up to where it is supposed to be. I had a similar problem a couple months ago that led me to put in a new alternator (that I didn't end up needing!). The engine would run just like yours and I had to keep hitting the gas. I could actually drive but had to keep the choke out so it wouldn't stall (so I initially was blaming the carburetor too). BUT my problem ended up being a short in the carb fan cooler circuit. Weird I know. That short for me was burning out the "engine" fuse circuit, which also runs the voltage regulator at the alternator. Try unplugging the connector to the carb cooling fan. You don't need this thing to work (mine is unplugged now) and I read on other threads here that it is a common issue - the wire that runs to the switch that runs the carb cooling fan gets fried because it's so close to a heat source. Also check the 15A fuse called "engine" - but your fuse probably isn't burnt out since it will start running right again. The car will NOT run right and you will have low voltage when the engine fuse is burnt out. AP
 
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I wanted to point out that the alternator is a pretty simple device. Not much fails in an alternator. The bearings could fail but you’d have no issue realizing this because the pulley would wobble, or seize, or make a horrible noise. The windings rarely fail unless perhaps the volt reg failed and the alternator over charged and basically cooked itself.

the most common things to wear are either the brushes or the surface the brushes ride on. Your voltage regulator basically sits on the brushes and those brushes in turn ride on the rotating shaft that is connected to the field coils. The brushes allow power from the electrical system to flow from the rotating to non rotating part of the alternator. These brushes wear down over time and the surface they ride on also wears. When the brushes wear too much they start to make intermittent contact and thus stop charging. That’s why sometimes you can wack the case of the alternator with a hammer and it starts charging again....because you cause those brushes to move and make contact. Same idea as wacking a starter that’s not starting.

in the fj60 the charge light on the dash grounds through the voltage regulator and the brushes. So if the charge light is not on then somewhere in that circuit there is a problem. Since sometimes your charge light comes on and sometimes it doesn’t I’m leaning towards alternator issue. But it could also be a bad wire somewhere that’s moving around with vibration and sometimes makes connection and sometimes not.

wiggle test. Start truck. Wiggle wires and see if anything changes. It’s free and easy. Just don’t touch anything that’s moving else you might see the inside of your body.
 
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Before you buy another alternator just make sure the wires between the alternator and battery are all good. Your intermittent charge light makes me think alternator but I’d pull the wires off the battery and alternator first and give them a real good look.

I checked all the wires from the Alt to battery and they are good. Even shook all the wiring harness with the motor running without the idle being affected. Even checked the wires going for the Fusible link as well and all are good. I will give the Alt a tap with a hammer though.
 
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This is DEFINITELY an ELECTRICAL ISSUE. Minor though. I have to chime in here! I noticed that the voltage on your gauge is low when the engine is faltering and then when it starts running good it goes back up to where it is supposed to be. I had a similar problem a couple months ago that led me to put in a new alternator (that I didn't end up needing!). The engine would run just like yours and I had to keep hitting the gas. I could actually drive but had to keep the choke out so it wouldn't stall (so I initially was blaming the carburetor too). BUT my problem ended up being a short in the carb fan cooler circuit. Weird I know. That short for me was burning out the "engine" fuse circuit, which also runs the voltage regulator at the alternator. Try unplugging the connector to the carb cooling fan. You don't need this thing to work (mine is unplugged now) and I read on other threads here that it is a common issue - the wire that runs to the switch that runs the carb cooling fan gets fried because it's so close to a heat source. Also check the 15A fuse called "engine" - but your fuse probably isn't burnt out since it will start running right again. The car will NOT run right and you will have low voltage when the engine fuse is burnt out. AP


Hello Aaron,

Sorry for the newbie comment, but which connector is to the carb cooling fan? Do you have an image?
 
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Carb cooling fan is located on the fender in the engine bay close to the firewall on the drivers side.
 
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My Cruiser is at the shop - otherwise I'd post a pic for you. Find the fan per Seth S's direction and look for the wires coming out of it. There should be a green wire connector right there that you can just separate. Mine was really difficult to get apart. I'm pretty sure when you disconnect that you take the switch that's down near the manifold and the fan motor out of the "engine" circuit..
 
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My Cruiser is at the shop - otherwise I'd post a pic for you. Find the fan per Seth S's direction and look for the wires coming out of it. There should be a green wire connector right there that you can just separate. Mine was really difficult to get apart. I'm pretty sure when you disconnect that you take the switch that's down near the manifold and the fan motor out of the "engine" circuit..

Okay got it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you need that for the fan to know when to shut off after the engine stops running to help cool down the carb?
 
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If you unplug that connector the fan will never run. The way it's actually designed is that a circuit is closed when you turn the ignition OFF and if the switch is hot (closed contacts - I think) the carb cooling fan runs - AND it's on a timer that has it go off in 10 minutes or so. It's worth a try - if you unplug that connector and you still have the problem then you keep looking elsewhere. BUT it's likely something on the "engine" circuit if I had to guess.
 
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If you unplug that connector the fan will never run. The way it's actually designed is that a circuit is closed when you turn the ignition OFF and if the switch is hot (closed contacts - I think) the carb cooling fan runs - AND it's on a timer that has it go off in 10 minutes or so. It's worth a try - if you unplug that connector and you still have the problem then you keep looking elsewhere. BUT it's likely something on the "engine" circuit if I had to guess.

Hello Aaron,

I unplugged the connector (see attached) and and still had the problem.

carb connector.jpg
 
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Bummer! Was hoping I had a silver bullet for you. Did you try replacing the engine fuse? The problem is likely a short somewhere in that circuit - in my mind it has to have something to do with the voltage regulator on the alternator. I'll try to find the wiring diagram for you if you don't have it already. AP
 

Apagee83

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going back to what Seth pointed out. seldom is the alternator the problem, well if genuine OEM or a solid rebuild, if possible, get it bench tested if shop is open during these times you can trust to do so. get them to do a few times since this issue comes and goes. replaced bearings and brushes in mine recently and one brush out of the three was worn to the point of no connection with rotation ring. gained about 1.5 volts in charge output. if alternator checks out, your issue that corrects itself at will, falls back to many points previously mentioned. loose/corroded connections, some sort of resistance restricting current flow, internal frayed/old/burnt wiring etc. performing a voltage drop test with voltmeter throughout the wiring may help diagnose where this demon is located.
 
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I was able to take a more detailed look into the
I wanted to point out that the alternator is a pretty simple device. Not much fails in an alternator. The bearings could fail but you’d have no issue realizing this because the pulley would wobble, or seize, or make a horrible noise. The windings rarely fail unless perhaps the volt reg failed and the alternator over charged and basically cooked itself.

the most common things to wear are either the brushes or the surface the brushes ride on. Your voltage regulator basically sits on the brushes and those brushes in turn ride on the rotating shaft that is connected to the field coils. The brushes allow power from the electrical system to flow from the rotating to non rotating part of the alternator. These brushes wear down over time and the surface they ride on also wears. When the brushes wear too much they start to make intermittent contact and thus stop charging. That’s why sometimes you can wack the case of the alternator with a hammer and it starts charging again....because you cause those brushes to move and make contact. Same idea as wacking a starter that’s not starting.

in the fj60 the charge light on the dash grounds through the voltage regulator and the brushes. So if the charge light is not on then somewhere in that circuit there is a problem. Since sometimes your charge light comes on and sometimes it doesn’t I’m leaning towards alternator issue. But it could also be a bad wire somewhere that’s moving around with vibration and sometimes makes connection and sometimes not.

wiggle test. Start truck. Wiggle wires and see if anything changes. It’s free and easy. Just don’t touch anything that’s moving else you might see the inside of your body.


Hello Seth,

I managed to take a more detailed look into the alternator. I took the cover off and looked inside. See attached images. Do you see anything out of the ordinary?

alt1.jpg


alt9.jpg


alt8.jpg


alt7.jpg


alt6.jpg
 
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I feel like thats a problem right there. Now I'm not an FJ60 voltage regulator expert but I am pretty sure that the cover you are holding in your hand should be bonded to that red piece still attached to your alternator. should look something like this:

1587587527928.png


1587587556613.png
 
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I feel like thats a problem right there. Now I'm not an FJ60 voltage regulator expert but I am pretty sure that the cover you are holding in your hand should be bonded to that red piece still attached to your alternator. should look something like this:

View attachment 2282156

View attachment 2282158

That is very interesting. And if it was bonded to that cover like in your image, it shouldn't have just come off like it did, cause I sure as hell didn't yank it off! Either way, if I didn't need a new alternator, it seems that I do now! Good thing I ordered one!
 
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Yeah. If that cover just popped off it could be the source of your intermittent charging. Get the new alternator in there and let’s see what comes next if anything.
 
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Yeah. If that cover just popped off it could be the source of your intermittent charging. Get the new alternator in there and let’s see what comes next if anything.


Hey Seth,

My new Alternator arrived. I have't had time to switch pulleys, but sorry for another newbie question. Will I need to upgrade any of my wires when switching from a 50 amp Alternator (which I think mine is but I haven't verified) to a 55 amp Alternator? Just want to be absolutely sure. Just dealing with this electrical Gremlin, I just don't want to add another level of complexity to the equation!
 

Spike Strip

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Hey Seth,

My new Alternator arrived. I have't had time to switch pulleys, but sorry for another newbie question. Will I need to upgrade any of my wires when switching from a 50 amp Alternator (which I think mine is but I haven't verified) to a 55 amp Alternator? Just want to be absolutely sure. Just dealing with this electrical Gremlin, I just don't want to add another level of complexity to the equation!

No. Stock Alt is 55 amp
 
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Ok, Its been a while since I had a chance to work on my cruiser. As I mentioned I was in the process of replacing my alternator with the new one. Well, I installed the new Alternator and...................................still have the issue. But now here is the funny part. I would turn the key but not start the engine and I started to hear a clicking noise behind the passenger kick panel. I removed the kick panel and the sound seemed like it was coming from one of two modules. The Seatbelt warning module OR the Charge lamp relay. I'm trying to figure out which one it is because they are right next to each other, but my guess is its the relay cause, well, that's what relays do right? I didn't have a lot of time to sit and diagnose because I'm having some work done on the back yard and had to put the cruiser out on the street which makes it harder to work on. Hopefully I'll be able to confirm if it really was the relay clicking AND figure out if my problem has been this faulty Charge lamp relay/seatbelt warning module, or both, this whole time, by next week when the yard is finished!

Anyways, just wanted to give everyone an update!

Hope everyone is still safe and sound out there!
 

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