Overdrive light not working, trans not shifting OUT of O/D (3 Viewers)

Joined
Nov 22, 2005
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208
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Minnesota
Updated: see second post below dated 1-11-2015. The O/D button is burned up.

Hello, my '94 '80 has a peculiar issue in which it won't shift OUT of overdrive if I push the button on the shifter. The trans shifts through all gears just fine, up and down, and shifts into O/D just fine on the free way, but I can't make it downshift to 3rd by pushing the button (no matter my speed). Furthermore, I don't see the "OD Off" light anywhere on the dash cluster when pushing the button (not sure if the bulb is out or missing, but I'm not sure where it should even be). I don't recall seeing the OD OFF when I turn the ignition key to see the other dash lights. The trans will downshift just fine on its own if I slow down enough, and it always starts out in 1st properly from a dead stop.

If I step on the gas hard enough while already in 4th, the trans will downshift from 4th to 3rd. it's just the button that doesn't seem to do anything (and the light apparently not working). To further clarify, this is NOT the issue in which it refuses to shift IN to overdrive.
 
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Joined
Nov 22, 2005
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Minnesota
Time to bring this thread back (been a few months).

In trying to diagnose an ABS issue with code 43 (deceleration sensor located under the shifter trim), I realized the O/D wiring was burned up, literally, to the extent it's not hooked up to anything. In just looking around the shifter assembly for the sake of looking, I saw a bare wire coming out the bottom of the shifter stalk that looked like some sort of ground wire (that of the likes I've never seen on a toyota). In wondering if this was a ground wire for the O/D button, I pulled the shifter knob off (two tiny screws), watching the bright blue sheathing pull out of the sticker stalk and see it melted and bubbled. The bare wire I saw earlier used to be a "real" wire with a coating on it, but it was burned all the way to bare metal. There were charred bits of old wire coating on the floor between the seats (I originally thought these were ashes, and well, they kinda were).

The new problem is:

1) I need a new shifter handle and O/D button:
2) I don't know where the blue sheathing is supposed to go, e.g. where it plugs into.

Based on wiring diagrams, I see that the O/D button wiring (2 wires) ultimately go back to the Transmission Computer behind the driver's side kick panel. But the O/D button's blue sheathing is either burned off, or was cut off, right at the bottom of the shifter stick (so you can't actually see the blue sheathing if it were still installed). I can see a few melted pieces of blue sheathing a few inches away where the wiring used to run, but beyond that, I have no idea where I should have found a plug for this wire. I did the obvious, and checked through all the wiring under the center console, but I don't see anything. Any ideas?
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
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Minnesota
Update #2. I was able to solder new wiring to the O/D button (after verifying the button still works using an ohm meter). The button is hooked up now, but it still won't shift out of overdrive at cruising speed. It will downshift properly when coming to a stop, I just can't manually force O/D on or off with the button. O/D just stays on all the time. My O/D light does not come on, on the dash either. Not sure if that's related or just a burned out bulb. Perhaps whatever burned the wire up made it back to the trans computer and messed up the O/D shifting?
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
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Southern California
What was your final outcome? My 97 FZJ shifts fine as described on yours but my O/D button does nothing. No light comes on when the button is in the OD off position nor does it down shift when the OD is switched to the off position. Any help would be appreciated.
 

SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
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you have an open circuit. You are trying to 'close' it by hitting the button but somewhere there is a break. Since you have ruled out the button (my first thought) and the related wiring I would lean toward it being connector related. Pull apart, clean and reconnect connectors on the transmission. Let me know if that changes the outcome.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
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Location
Southern California
you have an open circuit. You are trying to 'close' it by hitting the button but somewhere there is a break. Since you have ruled out the button (my first thought) and the related wiring I would lean toward it being connector related. Pull apart, clean and reconnect connectors on the transmission. Let me know if that changes the outcome.
Will do this weekend. Thanks.
 

mingles

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Titusville, New Jersey
What was your final outcome? My 97 FZJ shifts fine as described on yours but my O/D button does nothing. No light comes on when the button is in the OD off position nor does it down shift when the OD is switched to the off position. Any help would be appreciated.

Have you actually ruled out the OD on/off switch? My 97 LX had the same issue and all it took was repeated soaking/cycling of the switch with electrical contact cleaner. Went from never working, to occasionally working, to working as it should now. In my case 18 years of non-use just gummed up the switch.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
42
Location
Southern California
Have you actually ruled out the OD on/off switch? My 97 LX had the same issue and all it took was repeated soaking/cycling of the switch with electrical contact cleaner. Went from never working, to occasionally working, to working as it should now. In my case 18 years of non-use just gummed up the switch.
Will try that as well. Thanks
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
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24,774
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Chandler, AZ
It's a ground circuit, simple to test. The wire going to the switch should be ground, when the switch is off, the output wire (to the ECU/light) should be open, when the switch is pressed should be ground. Grab your meter or test light and and see if that is true?
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
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Location
southern california
I know this is an old thread, but I am having the same problem. I have a 1993 1 ton, 3VZe, column shift. The OD off light never comes on. does anyone here have a factory electrical manual for this era truck? the OD works, just can't turn it off to climb or descend grades. I have a page from a FSM, not sure if it's the right one or not. but from looking at it, it appears that a burned out bulb will render the OD main switch inop. any thoughts?
gM2eoZf.jpg
 
Joined
May 20, 2009
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2,033
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Canby Oregon
neither, it's a 1 ton cab and chassis under a motorhome. I came here because this was the only forum post on the internet that talked about the OD OFF light and switch not working

Well wrong forum this is for Toyota land cruisers from 90-97, for your motorhome look in motor home forums you'll get nothing here
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
54
Location
Raleigh, NC
Bringing this back to a '94 FJ80...

Back story:

So my OD button was janky and the car would stay in a low gear all the time. I would try pushing the button once, twice, ten times and no light lit up on dash and the car would not find that hwy gear. Until, I found that if I held the button in with my finger, the car would bump up a gear and RPMs would drop as expected. Ok- great it, kind of works. Whenever I released it, the car would bump back down gear and RPMs would jump- this would be around 50ish mph.

So the button would not stay depressed- it would push in and then come back all the way out. I'm not sure if they all did that or if this one was broken. SO I ended up buying a new button from LCparts- it came today looking fresh.

I pulled the center console and gear selector plate and found that my old button had broken a side tab and it essentially fell apart on removal. Oh well I thought, I have a new one...threaded the wires back to the connection and put it all back together (like a dummy an didn't test it first- because I became excited).

So I fire up the LC and do some quick button mashing tests...this button TOO doesn't confirm with a depressed click...it comes all the way back out.

I thought nothing of it and maybe that is the way the button behaves, so I hit the hwy. I noticed the as I got to 70mph, the car was in the OD hwy gear- woohoo! BUT, pushing the button would drop it down but when I released, back up to the hwy gear. I tested both hwy speeds and city street speeds, no joy cried- also no 'OD Off' light on the dash (No 'D' for drive on the dash either, but that's a different whine)...I can't win!

Some questions:

1) Do all OD buttons return to start when pressing them? Or are they supposed to behave like a clicker pen and *~click click~* in and *click click~* out?
2) Are there any speed limits that the car will disable the OD button? I've read some contradicting posts here and want to see if maybe the OD light won't turn on over 50 or something
3) Maybe I reversed my wires (again dumb for not testing before I sealed it all up!)? I'll test a swap tomorrow.

I'm just trying to educate myself on this new to me LC.

Thanks!
 

ppc

M Go Blue
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Aug 18, 2003
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Nashville, TN
Sounds like you have two defective switches. The OD on/off button on the shifter in 94 models has two physical positions, button out versus button in is about 1/4 inch difference.

Also the transmission will not shift in OD until the engine starts to come up to normal temp. In the summertime that won't take very long provided the temp sensor(s) are functioning properly.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
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Location
Graham, NC
Old thread, but just passing along my experience. My OD button was not working turned out to be a bad pin in the connector in the driver side kick panel.
 

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