FZJ80 Clicking Behind Steering Wheel (1 Viewer)

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While out night wheeling I noticed when sitting in drive with all my aux lights on there is a clicking behind the key/steering wheel area. Sounds like a relay turning on an off erratically. Nothing I can see is turning on or off. Seems to be related to a particular voltage. Turn the a/c blower on and it stops or rev the engine a touch and it stops. If you have the lights on at idle in drive however it will just sit there erratically clicking that relay like it barely has enough voltage to stay engaged. You can feel the thunk of the relay a little in the cover around the turn/wiper levers, but mostly in the key/ignition. Putting your hand on the key you can feel the thunk/click pretty pronounced. What relays could be doing this? Seems maybe the coil is getting weak in one?
 
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While out night wheeling I noticed when sitting in drive with all my aux lights on there is a clicking behind the key/steering wheel area. Sounds like a relay turning on an off erratically. Nothing I can see is turning on or off. Seems to be related to a particular voltage. Turn the a/c blower on and it stops or rev the engine a touch and it stops. If you have the lights on at idle in drive however it will just sit there erratically clicking that relay like it barely has enough voltage to stay engaged. You can feel the thunk of the relay a little in the cover around the turn/wiper levers, but mostly in the key/ignition. Putting your hand on the key you can feel the thunk/click pretty pronounced. What relays could be doing this? Seems maybe the coil is getting weak in one?
Your are getting a low voltage from your alternator.

I have a UltraGauge so I monitor my voltage. Occasionally if I'm sitting at a stop light with my turn signal on, I'll start to feel the clicking and vibration through the steering wheel. I'll check.and the alternator will be charging at 12.0 volts or less.

Either your belts are loose or worn or your alternator is on its way out or all 3.

I have an O'Reilly reman POS in mine, so I don't expect much. So I see it a few times each year doing this behavior.
Mine is primarily a DD so it gets road miles.
 
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Your are getting a low voltage from your alternator.

I have a UltraGauge so I monitor my voltage. Occasionally if I'm sitting at a stop light with my turn signal on, I'll start to feel the clicking and vibration through the steering wheel. I'll check.and the alternator will be charging at 12.0 volts or less.

Either your belts are loose or worn or your alternator is on its way out or all 3.

I have an O'Reilly reman POS in mine, so I don't expect much. So I see it a few times each year doing this behavior.
Mine is primarily a DD so it gets road miles.
Ya low voltage at idle makes sense as to the issue. Any idea what relay is kicking out in the dash? I’ll have to monitor voltage next time to see what it’s dropping to.
 
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I had the same problem. I took the column apart and cleaned everything up. It hasn’t clicked since.

 
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Ya low voltage at idle makes sense as to the issue. Any idea what relay is kicking out in the dash? I’ll have to monitor voltage next time to see what it’s dropping to.
Not sure what relay it is, but mine makes the exact same noise as shown in the other thread, particularly when I have the turn signal on.

As I have read through this thread, I am reading many things and thinking about some current behavior on my truck.
1) I occasionally get the clicking under the dash.
2) My radio used to cut out every time I put it in reverse.
3) When I'm driving at night with all my lights on and I trigger the window switch UP when the window is already UP, my headlights get BRIGHTER, not dimmer.
4) My window motors are slow AF.
5) I have occasional stumbling at idle.

I think everything is pointing to incomplete grounding on my truck. I know the PO had the head gasket replaced and they "forgot" to reinstall a number of things under the hood (idler pulley for the alt belts, spark plug wire loom covers, alternator adjustment bracket) so maybe they forgot the ground cables as well.

Plus, I've had it for 10 years now and another 129K miles, so I think I need to address these things. Maybe I'll just randomly add a few ground cables here and there......
 
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Did some monitoring with my OBD tool. Looks like when wheeling with the headlights on high and the aux lights on the voltage can drop down to ~11.5v at the OBD port. Threw a multi meter on the batt and it was 11.8V when the OBD was 11.4V.
This is when crawling so engine speed <1200.

Even when revving to 2k the voltage stays around 12.5v. With lights off it jumps to ~14V.

I know these are 80A alternators. Does that sounds right for ~20-25A of additional lights added? I could see it being low at low engine speed, but at 2k it should be making power. I haven’t seen an alternator get weak before, just ones that fail. Debating on if I should look at a replacement or an upgrade. Either way sounds like that’s the relay click. Much lower than I expected on system voltage.
 
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Well wanted to establish the issue before throwing a new alt or upgraded one at it. Here is the current draw / capability at various RPMs. Certainly seems like the stock one just doesn't make enough juice down low and barely enough at full output if you have the high beams and heater on as well. Note this is with the heater on high. Values to the left of the red line indicate points where the alternator can't keep up.

1653265790775.png
 

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