Door locking gremlins and electrical connectors

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by MDarius, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    My doors have started locking themselves. I'm guessing it has something to do with this mess:
    20170127_140745.jpg
    Can anyone recommend best fix these horrible mid-wire splices? Yes, I'm happy to remove the crappy aftermarket alarm, but I don't want a bunch of mangled wires hanging around.

    Also, yes that's kitty litter. The snow from the whole season has melted in there and it's not warm enough dry out. I'm working on that, too.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I can start down the long, painful troubleshooting path, and will tomorrow if I have to, but has anyone else had this happen? If so, can you point me in a direction? Thanks.

    Screenshot_2017-01-27-16-44-29-1.png

    Screenshot_2017-01-27-16-44-50-1.png
     
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  3. gandrimp

    gandrimp

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    When I got done removing mine most of that mess disappeared with it. There was a couple of wires at the key switch that had to have some extra attention but otherwise it was straight forward.
     
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  4. 60wag

    60wag SILVER Star

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    Are the doors locking 30 seconds after you unlock them? It could be a bad door light switch. If the front roof light fails to come on, the system re-locks itself. This is a particularly stupid system as the front doors and rear doors are on separate circuits. I tied the front and rear together on my '96 so if any door is opened, including the hatch, it won't re-lock.
     
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  5. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Yes. That's exactly what's happening. I'll try it!
     
  6. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Are you still tied to a RS3000 alarm under the seat?
    -Asking since humid carpet to the point you are dropping kitty litter means the undercarpet jute is wicking moisture to that area.

    Besides that, is there a functional aftermarket alarm/remote start/central locking piece still there, or have you pulled some components with others left tied to your OE harness?
    -My singular biggest pet peeve is other peoples' work we have to undo, and frankly a chopped harness inderhood or deep in the firewall is a dealbreaker for me where a blown HG or a similar issue isn't, that's how much I hate harness repair.

    Answers to those 2 q's will help you diagnose greatly - that & maybe some intensive time at night pulling carpet corners & using a space heater to dry out the innards to stabilize the moisture arcing between wires. Somehow that really jumps to the forefront with what 'phantom issues' you're dealing with.
     
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  7. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Good call, that was where I was headed too since the RS3000 is now a 20 y.o. timebomb tied to our domelights & door triggers to give it info. Any 20 y.o. alarm / central locker system is bound to have issues.
     
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  8. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Yes on both counts. I think. I know the box under the seat is still active, and I know there's an aftermarket alarm with remote start. It gave me grief last year and I pulled a few wires to silence it and keep it from triggering.

    I have a harness from my 95 that's in good condition, but replacing it would mean removing the dash and maybe the fender if I remember right. It kills me when hacks cut up these expensive harnesses for stuff like this. Especially in my vehicle. Well, it wasn't mine when it happened, but it is now.

    Would you try to repair them or replace them? It's the harness shown in the driver's footwell and at least the harness that runs in the dash and handles the ignition. Who knows what else?
     
  9. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    @MDarius - Per last post yes, I'd try repairing before fully commiting to a replace.

    The only caveat to this is you may battle some issues again once you pull to replace the chopped harness with your new one, but the huge factor in your favor fixing yours now is you can isolate any wiring 'gremlins' to verify all components they are plugged to work - so they should as well in your new harness.

    Basically just isolating variables on your 'learner' harness, then greasing sockets & installing your primo one as your legacy harness - even if you need to use jumper hot leads & ground to other spots to verify it is the door pins or such as good, and it's the bastardized RS3000/aftermarket components that need to go.

    A good start would be to get all the aftermarket components out, so the OE harness with a RS3000 installed works as it should - if it still is relocking door circuit then you know the RS3000 is shot too.

    That said, generally the OE harness to a RS3000 is more reliable than aftermarket stuff that really just need work/operate correctly the few minutes while in a stereo shop, after that any number of things as simple as a jostle of the harness or a ground point getting corrosion can bring down the whole system, esp when a stereo shop uses tapper screws to ground a ring terminal that may ground the entire aftermarket alarm/remote start/starter kill.

    You need to remember any aftermarket stuff is installed by guys making ~$12/hr versus the stock parts that went through at least some reliability testing by Toyota - so the weak link in the chain is the $12/hr install work of parts that as long as they work through you taking delivery of your car, that's where reliability ends if say any chain shop installed the setup.

    ---That very fact is why my best friend who runs the shop of a local car stereo store will only wire the starter kill by express approval of a customer, all of us who know him & the way this stuff fails, he just wires alarms as noisemakers etc. An alarm that has died will leave you stranded, and our whole 'gang of friends' know it based on his anecdotal stories, and he doesn't wire the starter kill on any of our vehicles.---

    His life experience (some ~15 yrs doing this now) is how I have learned - and I just let him do it as he would do his own car, he does all the real wire work whenever I do a new setup over a basic H/U & amp with aftermarket speakers/sub box.
    We learn from him, and what I've written is all based on what I've absorbed from his experience.

    HTH - doing the above myself is what got my Prelude working when it crapped due to a bad alarm I bought in the car. It tripped the alarm on a impact sensor & the starter kill solenoid died, taking the whole car down. It's a '99 with a RF key but no matter what it wouldn't start again until the whole aftermarket alarm was stripped out. Luckily it happened in my yard, so I could work it over in my shop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
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  10. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Thanks @LINUS. I used to build wiring harnesses for military aircraft and missile applications back in my college days. I appreciate a well built and engineered harness. I know these aren't F-16's, but some of us stake our lives on their reliability. When I'm looking at repair I'm considering doing a Western Union splice, soldering it, and using marine grade shrink tubing to seal it against moisture. A butt splice with good connectors may be adequate. I want to do it up right without too much overkill.

    My concern with repair in the truck is finding all the failure points or spots that are weak due to corrosion. I've already replaced one harness in this rig because of corrosion and the harness from my 95 tested good, but it was a matter of removing a few trim pieces and lifting the carpet, so it was a pretty easy decision. It didn't involve removing the dash, or a fender, though.

    I've debate whether there would be value in testing and rebuilding the harnesses outside of the truck then just systematically going through and replacing them. With all the burnt harness reports I've been seeing in engine bay's and jacked up alarm and stereo installs and broken/fried connectors it makes me a little nervous for mine. I wonder if there's a MUD market that would make it worth taking this on. I understand most connectors are available for purchase.
     
  11. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Oh heck, I'm preaching to the choir then (or the senior pastor!) - I'm with you all the way on a well greased harness without any goofy Skotch-locks or such.

    If I was in your boat I'd verify all harness components then swap to your untouched one. Or simply de-pin the bad actor leads & use your virgin one as a donor. My personal opinion there.

    I bet you once all the main harnesses go NLA you may have a market, but for now I believe the engine harness is still available (right?) & floor harnesses are available (have a spare unlocked myself, no desire to sell) - but rear e-locker pigtails are NLA & IIRC the intermediary between the floor & rear pigtail is NLA.

    For us who plan to keep a 80 into the 2020's & beyond, an engine harness on the shelf is just smart money though, I doubt anyone would disagree.

    Give it a couple years & I bet you'll have a demand enough to have a "Wires End" -garage business of your own though.
    As long as @NLXTACY doesn't sue for copyright infringement.;)
     
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  12. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I've not done a lot on cars, but the last one I messed with made me grateful I had a good one to swap in. I'm laying here thinking about the possibilities instead of sleeping.

    I know I want to do a second battery install to power a winch, lights, and extra power for inside accessories.

    I know there are a few things not working right besides these door locks. Heater is hot or cold, no in between. My cig lighter barely puts off enough power to effectively charge a phone right now. I want to upgrade my head unit, add a converter, provide power outlets in the rear... Maybe some other stuff too.

    I know I have some corrosion issues and some brittle connectors. I know harness is discolored in the engine bay in that spot where everyone else's is burning up, so that's a time bomb.

    I think I'm just going to patch this one up for now, just solve the self-locking doors, then design new harnesses based off the EWD and what I'm trying to accomplish. I'll use those plans to test and rebuild the harnesses from my 95, replacing brittle connectors and adding new wiring for accessories right into the harness. I'll blueprint them and keep them with the truck paperwork and my EWD.

    When they're all built for a specific area I'll replace them all at once instead of chasing gremlins. I'll start with the dash and doors, then do engine bay and the second battery, then do the interior.

    When it's all done I'll rebuild or repair the harnesses I pulled from my '97 according to my new blueprint and keep them on the shelf, not that I would likely need them if I just rebuilt them I guess. Think I'll get another 20 years out of this truck? If so, do you think those harnesses will still be on my shelf?

    As far as a business goes, the harness that runs front to back on the DS under the carpet is the one I swapped out. IIRC the dealership wanted something like $1200 for it. I think I could test and repair a used harness for less than that. If I built in goodies, like rear power, all the better. Hmmm...
     
  13. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

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    Wait what? :flipoff2:

    Trademark not copyright ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
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  14. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Today's results, my door lock relay tested all over the place. Increased resistance on some wires, low power, no power. So I replaced it with the known good one from my parts rig. No changes. So I determined it was the rats nest at the end of the harness in the kick panel. I looked at it again and decided to check and see what it would take to just replace it. When I pulled the connectors out of the pillar they were very wet. I'm saying that's my first culprit. The rats nest had been working until now. Wet connectors is the thing that changed. I'm drying it all out and see where it goes from there.
     
  15. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Weather's decent again. I have a plan a and a plan b today. Plan b, my son is working on my donor 95 to pull the main wiring harness so I can just replace this one if undoing the PO's mess becomes too hard.

    I'm almost to plan b.
    There are snipped wires all over the place. 1486240506101515577162.jpg

    And is this thing 100% aftermarket? It's tucked up under the dash by the driver's left knee.
    14862406195701997094135.jpg
     
  16. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Wow! Have you actually looked into what it takes to replace that main wiring harness?? That's now my last resort. I think I'll pull the dash pad off so I can better see what's going on and restore the harness in place. What a mess.
     
  17. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Well, I found my gremlins...I think. Where can I buy one of those halon fire extinguishers?

    20170209_162607.jpg

    20170209_162132.jpg

    20170209_162618.jpg
     
  18. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

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    Yikes
     
  19. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Too close to disaster. The connectors are melted together.
     
  20. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Zoiks! The dealership says I ordered 1 of the last 2 of the BJ1 connectors, male side. New unobtainable. The pins are over $7 each and I need 12 of them. Does anyone have a different source? @beno ?
     
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