Dashlights on startup and low voltmeter (1 Viewer)

BlueCruiser84

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Recently, my 80 upon cold (sitting overnight) starts has been intermittently showing these dashlights and the voltmeter has been reading right in the center of the gauge. The lights and gauge stay for between 15 seconds and a minute and then go out and the gauge reads normal.

I haven't done anything recently that would affect electrical components. Is this a sign of a failing alternator or voltage regulator? or something else? The "brake" light was on because the e-brake was on.

Yes I searched for christmas tree, dashlights, etc.


 
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hmm, i get those lights. not upon startup, but:

1) when motoring along and then 'maxing' out the windows up/down (like pulling extra current once the window has stopped moving)
2) on a longer road trip, even using the turn signal would make those show up.
3) and when my seat was stuck (white 'cap' was missing) trying to move the seat would make it show

a higher but more consistant draw, ie: hi-beams + aux lights, doesn't do it. it's a peak current thing (but the turn signals shouldn't be drawing that much...). my battery is a big diehard platinum and the terminals are tight. I had the starter replaced recently and asked the shop to confirm my main starter/engine-to-frame ground was secure.

so, my item 2, made it seem worse after the car got going for a while (even at highway speed with the alt spinning), vs. your cold-startup-situation. but i'm interested in seeing the responses you get.
 

BlueCruiser84

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Sounds like alternator is starting to go down south.

Aawww, sheeyut.

x2 on the alternator. More than likely all it'll need is new brushes which are cheap.:)
Sounding better... is it a brush kit or rebuild kit that I can score from NAPA or should I go OEM.

Also, maybe this is relevant; I hadn't thought about it before. My power steering reservoir had been seriously puking fluid out of the lid for quite a while and it was going right into the alternator. THEN, after refilling it one morning I left the lid off and reeaalllyyy coated it good (but leaving the cap off fixed that annoying whine from all the air it was pulling in the suction port:rolleyes:). I believe the lights started around this time? Could the inner workings be dirty and need a cleaning or should I just go ahead with the brushes?

Thanks fellers.
 
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Loose or slipping belts (PS fluid), or, an alternator full of PS fluid?? IDK. Let us know how it turns out.
 
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I have also had similar happen when my starter contacts were sticking closed, and the starter was still engaged while the motor was running. You may not actually notice/hear the starter once the engine is running if you are not listening for it.
 
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Toyota sells an OEM brush kit for around $20. I'd pull the alternator out first and have it tested before doing anything else. Hopefully the bath in PS fluid didn't damage it.:)
 

BlueCruiser84

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Just an update, not that it will help anyone. The dashlights quit coming on. I think it was due to the power steering reservoir and leaky radiator hose puking various fluids into the alternator. I fixed those and cleaned things up and the lights have not come on since:hmm:
 
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another 80 owner's update.

i didn't think it was general electrical (in that the aux lights + highbeams + main lights, when all on at the same time drawing over 25 amps, would not cause the dash-lights like above to come on, whereas things as simple as using the blinkers/turn signals and their fraction of that amperage would cause the dash lights to light as pictured above including a low power warning light by the voltmeter) - so i wasn't thinking it was the alternator or battery and grounds which I have checked.

I had my rig at IPOR for other things and described the situation and they looked at it. they narrowed it down to the "fusable / fusible (?) links" basically the PO or PPO had a "non-standard" replacement method - it's been like this since i owned it. and figured it was in the engine bay, the symptoms were worse when the engine was warm/on a long drive. sure enough.

so, long story short, anything back at the dash was on that link - whereas my main and aux light harnesses (slees) were all home runs, as is my 4ga fused link to the center console's aux 12V - and none of those have issues.

let me know if you want a pic of the replacement (and previous) wires.
 

BlueCruiser84

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I would actually like a picture. It seems the PO of my rig burnt the fusible link and then cut off the harness side clip that the fusible link clips into and spliced a wire in place of the burnt link. I would love a picture of what it is supposed to look like.
 
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If you are going to pull it out to clean it or have it tested why not replace the brushes?
 

BlueCruiser84

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I will if I ever pull it out to clean it. It has been running fine with no lights since my previous post (two posts ago) so I left it alone.

Hakalugi did remind that my fusible link is messed up and that I needed to see a picture.
 

CycloSteve

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Am I missing something, or is the act of permanently changing the Fusible Links to plain wire asking for something else to blow in your electrical system? Mr. T must have them there for a good reason (ie protection right at the battery). Changing out to being just plain wires is normally considered a "temporary" fix, no?

Personally I would rather have a link go pop, instead of my wiring loom go up in flames. Yes, I carry a spare set of Fusible Links in the rig.

:cheers:

Steve
 
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no idea, i thought they led to the actual part with the fuses. what was taken out didn't have fuses. I'll follow the path down and see where they lead.
 
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hakalugi said:
no idea, i thought they led to the actual part with the fuses. what was taken out didn't have fuses. I'll follow the path down and see where they lead.
The actual original "wires" were fusible links AFAIK. They look like regular wire, but are not.
 

BlueCruiser84

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Hakalugi,

A fusible link is a wire that acts like a fuse; there is no actual fuse. Typically they are supposed to heat up and burn through if there is a prolonged period of high amperage. On the other hand a fuse will pop the second its amperage is exceeded.

Replacing a fusible link with standard wire, which I can't really tell from your pictures if you did or not, is not recommended unless you then stick a fuse in there that is rated for the appropriate amperage.

Can I buy the male connector (ECU side on my 93) for the fusible link? or does that only come with the harness? or if does someone happen to have a take off from a parts truck they want to sell?
 

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