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Cruiser newbie w/elec problem - Help!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by ST 96 FZJ80, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. ST 96 FZJ80

    ST 96 FZJ80

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    Been lurking this board since bought my used 96 in Jan. - that's long enough that I know to use the search button. Many thanks for all who contribute - I now know enough to make me dangerous with Prev maint.
    Here's my problem: My alternator light comes on intermittently for short periods of time. Usually turning on/off some switch will trigger the light to come on/go off (i.e. rear heater, hazards, blinkers, sunroof, windows, shifting transm, etc). However, there is no pattern or consistency to what makes it come on.
    When it is on, sometimes everything electrical goes dead (radio, climate, instrument cluster) - much like what would happen when starting the engine (causes tranny to not shift into OD). At other times, the alt light is on, and everything else is fine - all electricals working. Other weird things happening are: 1) turning key to start infrequently takes a few seconds for starter to engage (happened maybe 3 times) 2) New today is engine will crank, but not start (no elec/ignition?) Funny thing is I took out my key flipped it over and it started just fine (coincidence?)
    I tried taking it to dealer while it was acting up, and of course the light went off. They did test it and said alternator is OK. Service rep's speculated alternator was on it's way out or "tumblers" (?) associated with key/ignition system.

    Do I have a short or is alternator dying? If it's a short, any suggestions on how to isolate it?

    ST
     
  2. hpantier

    hpantier

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    This sounds like a similar problem that i had in a 97 honda civic last year. It was a culmination of things and took a while to figure out, but the long and short of it was the altrinator went kind of bad (it still worked sometimes) and that caused the battery to blow a few cells - the problem was only fixed when we rebuilt the alternator AND replaced the battery.

    The flipping of the key - i have no idea on that.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    was anybody ever murdered in your truck?
    you know, with the resultant ethereal characters and such :D

    welcome to the active / dark side of the forum!
    E
     
  4. ST 96 FZJ80

    ST 96 FZJ80

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    [quote author=e9999 link=board=2;threadid=13349;start=msg123480#msg123480 date=1079652579]
    was anybody ever murdered in your truck?
    you know, with the resultant ethereal characters and such :D

    welcome to the active / dark side of the forum!
    E


    [/quote]

    Funny the previous owner didn't disclose anything, but it sure feels as if it's haunted & I'm starting to feel screwed as far as finding problem and fixing it.
    ST
     
  5. Pitbull

    Pitbull

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    Have your battery checked. These things act real strange when the battery starts to go.
     
  6. Riley

    Riley

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    Welcome and :cheers: ST, that's a long time to lurk. :beer:

    I can't add much except a few ideas to consider:

    The ideas of battery and alternator sound pretty resonable. Also I've read about the key switch going faulty (can't remember the specifics).

    Consider that you might have to start replacing stuff. How old is the battery ?

    If it's old then might as well replace it, or at least have it tested and maybe bounce it around during the test.

    Also is the alternator the orginal? likely.. after replacing the battery try the alternator?

    The ignition switch would be last on my list and since it's likely expensive and not really a PM item I would research that one carefully before replacing it.

    I'm only suggesting the above because at least with the battery it's more or less a PM item.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out.

    Riley
     
  7. 100 TD

    100 TD

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    Have you checked the brush length, spring pressure and slip rings on your alternator? These are very real causes of intermittent alternator problems as they wear, also the regulator is sometimes built into the brush holder assembly, sometime you can get a crook solder joint there and cause probs. Hope this helps!