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MDH33
10-12-2013, 12:48 PM
hoping someone can guide me on this one. :confused:

85 FJ60. Dual batteries with a National Luna (NL) solenoid. I noticed last night that the batteries are reading low on the in-cab NL voltage meter and that the dash voltage meter is only reading 8-9 Volts with the engine running. I connected a volt meter directly to the starting battery and it is reading about 12.3V and there doesn't seem to be any change with RPM increase. the dash voltage meter shows slight fluctuation when I turn headlights, fan, etc on. I pulled the alternator and took it to NAPA and it tested fine. Fuses looked fine too. Stumped. Not sure where to look next? I am going to try to disconnect the second battery and solenoid to eliminate that from the system and see what happens. Anything else I should be looking at?

Crash
10-12-2013, 12:58 PM
With the engine running, check voltage at the back of the alternator, Martin. Should see 13V or better at idle with 14V+ at engine speed above 1200 rpm.

gr8fulabe
10-12-2013, 01:05 PM
Check the fusible links at the battery/harness. The connection s can get old & crusty and affect charging. I just fixed one of mine!
HTH
Abe

MDH33
10-12-2013, 01:08 PM
With the engine running, check voltage at the back of the alternator, Martin. Should see 13V or better at idle with 14V+ at engine speed above 1200 rpm.

Thanks Steve. On the back of the alternator, there is a plug and a 10mm stud/nut. Do I test it off that stud (+) and ground from the battery? Electrically challenged I be. :o

MDH33
10-12-2013, 01:09 PM
Check the fusible links at the battery/harness. The connection s can get old & crusty and affect charging. I just fixed one of mine!
HTH
Abe

Thanks Abe, I'll check those too.

Crash
10-12-2013, 01:12 PM
Thanks Steve. On the back of the alternator, there is a plug and a 10mm stud/nut. Do I test it off that stud (+) and ground from the battery? Electrically challenged I be. :o

The little stud and a good ground anywhere. The fusible links check is also a good idea, as mentioned, as they do fail and you can't really see any problem.

MDH33
10-12-2013, 02:44 PM
I disconnected the second battery and solenoid and no change. Still reading 8-9V on the dash voltmeter, 12V at the battery.

Should the wire to the stud on the alternator be disconnected to test? With it connected, I'm getting 12V with the engine running. Not sure how to test the fusible link, but they look solid and terminals clean. Stalls when I disconnect it.

Crash
10-12-2013, 02:57 PM
I disconnected the second battery and solenoid and no change. Still reading 8-9V on the dash voltmeter, 12V at the battery.

Should the wire to the stud on the alternator be disconnected to test? With it connected, I'm getting 12V with the engine running. Not sure how to test the fusible link.

Yes, the wire should be connected to test the alt output. It's the charge wire to the battery. I have to disagree with NAPA's findings that the alt is good. I say the alt is bad and the cause of your problem. If a fusible link is available from Toyota, it would be good maintenance procedure to replace it as they are (were, the last time I bought one for the 62) very inexpensive.

MDH33
10-12-2013, 03:07 PM
Yes, the wire should be connected to test the alt output. It's the charge wire to the battery. I have to disagree with NAPA's findings that the alt is good. I say the alt is bad and the cause of your problem. If a fusible link is available from Toyota, it would be good maintenance procedure to replace it as they are (were, the last time I bought one for the 62) very inexpensive.

Thanks for the info Steve.

So, if I connect the voltmeter to the alternator, I should be seeing it at 13V + and fluctuating as I change RPMs, correct?


Edit: I tested it again and had Kim rev it up and there was definitely no change on the V meter. Ay chance it could be something other than alternator?

New Toyota alternator is $100+, so I would hate to replace it without being sure it's the culprit. :o.

Crash
10-12-2013, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the info Steve.

So, if I connect the voltmeter to the alternator, I should be seeing it at 13V + and fluctuating as I change RPMs, correct?


Edit: I tested it again and had Kim rev it up and there was definitely no change on the V meter. Ay chance it could be something other than alternator?

New Toyota alternator is $100+, so I would hate to replace it without being sure it's the culprit. :o.

If it were me, the alternator would be replaced, with OEM, and I'd feel good about it. Your batteries will thank you.

MDH33
10-12-2013, 03:56 PM
If it were me, the alternator would be replaced, with OEM, and I'd feel good about it. Your batteries will thank you.

Alternator ordered from Toyota. Fusible link was $70 bucks, ouch!

Crash
10-12-2013, 06:34 PM
Martin, your price for fusible links prompted me to check onlinetoyotaparts.com prices for other parts and I see my advice on alt replacement may not be all that accurate. Going from personal experience of my 62 doesn't translate to your 60's electrical needs. I should have realized something was different when you quoted a price of $100 for an alt, as the 62's is near twice that amount. Your system uses an external voltage regulator while the 62's is internal. It could well be that your truck's regulator is the culprit and not the alternator so I apologize for not knowing fully whereof I speak. Further testing with FJ60 FSM directions is advised!!

Crash
10-12-2013, 06:54 PM
http://tinyurl.com/mmcq7uy
This is a link to a downloadable 60 Series FSM, if needed, with the charging system included.

MDH33
10-12-2013, 11:44 PM
Thanks Steve. I have an FSM and I looked it over briefly and was thinking I might be in over my head trying to do some of those tests as I don't have all the needed equipment, but we'll see. If it turns out to be the regulator, I can always cancel the alternator order. Might pull it and take a trip down to D and D Auto Electric in Wheat Ridge and see what he says.

:thumb:

akingf5371
10-14-2013, 11:32 AM
Martin, your price for fusible links prompted me to check onlinetoyotaparts.com prices for other parts and I see my advice on alt replacement may not be all that accurate. Going from personal experience of my 62 doesn't translate to your 60's electrical needs. I should have realized something was different when you quoted a price of $100 for an alt, as the 62's is near twice that amount. Your system uses an external voltage regulator while the 62's is internal. It could well be that your truck's regulator is the culprit and not the alternator so I apologize for not knowing fully whereof I speak. Further testing with FJ60 FSM directions is advised!!

Crash, you've got me curious. When you say internal vs external I think of the 40s with the VR on the firewall. The 60s (and my 40) have the VR on the alternator itself. Is that what you are saying is internal?

Thanks Steve. I have an FSM and I looked it over briefly and was thinking I might be in over my head trying to do some of those tests as I don't have all the needed equipment, but we'll see. If it turns out to be the regulator, I can always cancel the alternator order. Might pull it and take a trip down to D and D Auto Electric in Wheat Ridge and see what he says.

:thumb:

Did you order the alt with the VR? It is closer to $200 with a new VR and new alt. This thread might help. http://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/716215-vr-position-fj60-alternators.html

Good luck!

MDH33
10-14-2013, 12:47 PM
Did you order the alt with the VR? It is closer to $200 with a new VR and new alt. This thread might help. http://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/716215-vr-position-fj60-alternators.html

Good luck!

I called Derrick at Stevinson (where I ordered the Alt) and he said that it comes with the VR. Price was $106.00. Supposed to come in tomorrow so we'll see. This is also a Reman unit, so maybe the $200 you're quoting is for new OEM?

Crash
10-14-2013, 01:35 PM
Crash, you've got me curious. When you say internal vs external I think of the 40s with the VR on the firewall. The 60s (and my 40) have the VR on the alternator itself. Is that what you are saying is internal?



Did you order the alt with the VR? It is closer to $200 with a new VR and new alt. This thread might help. http://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/716215-vr-position-fj60-alternators.html

Good luck!

http://tinyurl.com/l6a84a9 This is a diagram from Stevinson's online parts website showing the alt and the internal voltage regulator for an FJ62. A similar diagram for an FJ60 can be see at the same site and the VR does mount externally on the alternator.

akingf5371
10-14-2013, 02:13 PM
I called Derrick at Stevinson (where I ordered the Alt) and he said that it comes with the VR. Price was $106.00. Supposed to come in tomorrow so we'll see. This is also a Reman unit, so maybe the $200 you're quoting is for new OEM?

You're right, I was looking at my total price not taking the core charge into consideration.

http://tinyurl.com/l6a84a9 This is a diagram from Stevinson's online parts website showing the alt and the internal voltage regulator for an FJ62. A similar diagram for an FJ60 can be see at the same site and the VR does mount externally on the alternator.
Crash, I see what you're saying. I guess it is just a vernacular preference. When you say external I just think of the firewall mounted VRs not the ones that are external on the alt itself. Good call.

MDH33
10-15-2013, 07:59 PM
So, update on this...

Stevinson F'd up and told me that this reman unit came with the regulator. It came in today and sure enough, no regulator... Wasting my time. The regulator is an additional $60... Not in stock and won't be in until Thursday... So, another trip down the hill this week. :banghead:

CardinalFJ60
10-15-2013, 08:07 PM
I can't recommend Walter at Vanatta's in Boulder enough. Had one in stock and IIRC no where near that price. Robbie recommended this guy to me and he's great. (I know it's a haul to Boulder...but might be worth it.)

Also, be sure it's 'clocked' the right way, for some reason everytime I've gotten an alt, the VR is clocked toward the valve cover, not toward the PS fender.

Crash
10-15-2013, 10:15 PM
So, update on this...

Stevinson F'd up and told me that this reman unit came with the regulator. It came in today and sure enough, no regulator... Wasting my time. The regulator is an additional $60... Not in stock and won't be in until Thursday... So, another trip down the hill this week. :banghead:

$60?? Stevinson's online price for the 84-87 Cruiser external voltage regulator shows to be $177. WTF????
Sorry this has turned into a bit of a cluster for you Martin. If it helps you any, both of the 60's batts can be charged and you can drive around for a week without any help from your alt if need be. Then again, I've probably already said too much.

MDH33
10-15-2013, 10:35 PM
$60?? Stevinson's online price for the 84-87 Cruiser external voltage regulator shows to be $177. WTF????
Sorry this has turned into a bit of a cluster for you Martin. If it helps you any, both of the 60's batts can be charged and you can drive around for a week without any help from your alt if need be. Then again, I've probably already said too much.

$177 for the alternator, regulator and core deposit is what I guess? Not sure what's going on down there.

The 60 starts right up and runs fine, but the batteries are going down slowly. Just need to keep them topped off on the charger until I get this figured out. I h8 electrical problems. :hill:

Rzeppa
10-16-2013, 12:25 AM
hoping someone can guide me on this one. :confused:

85 FJ60. Dual batteries with a National Luna (NL) solenoid. I noticed last night that the batteries are reading low on the in-cab NL voltage meter and that the dash voltage meter is only reading 8-9 Volts with the engine running. I connected a volt meter directly to the starting battery and it is reading about 12.3V and there doesn't seem to be any change with RPM increase. the dash voltage meter shows slight fluctuation when I turn headlights, fan, etc on. I pulled the alternator and took it to NAPA and it tested fine. Fuses looked fine too. Stumped. Not sure where to look next? I am going to try to disconnect the second battery and solenoid to eliminate that from the system and see what happens. Anything else I should be looking at?

Just saw this thread.

Martin, do a sanity check. If your dash voltmeter reads 8-9 volts but the battery reads 12.3 V, what do you think?

There is a discrepancy.

Find the source of the discrepancy before spending money on parts you may not need!

The rig starts and runs fine you wrote. What does that tell you?

Maybe the problem is with the instrumentation and not the charging system?

Automotive electrical stuff 101:

Q: Is my stuff working?

A: Isolate battery, charging, connections, and loads.

Q: Does the battery hold a charge? Test it by measuring it at modest load like with headlights on at two different points in time like 24 hours apart with nothing happening (no drains, no charges).

Q: Does my battery take a charge? Test it by measuring the amperage it takes when it is low (<12.5 volts) and is accepting a charge from a charger. If it is many (5-30) amps at 13.8-14.2 volts it is probably taking that charge.

Q: Does my alternator (and regulator) work okay? Test by measuring voltage at the battery terminals with engine off, and then with engine running. Off should be around 12.5 volts, on should be around 13-14 volts. It shouldn't change a lot with RPMs unless it is low and is taking a big a$$ charge. But only 12.3 volts with the engine running suggests that it isn't getting any charge. It should be at least 12.8 volts or so out of the regulator. What did you observe when NAPA tested the alternator (which on a 60 has the internal regulator)? It should have been a solid 13 plus volts under a substantial load. If so, then the problem is NOT with the alternator or it's internal regulator.

Q: Are my connections okay? My battery tests good at around 12.5 volts with engine off, and my alternator and regulator seem to be fine with a reading of around 13.8 volts at the battery with the engine running. But when I turn the engine over it really struggles. Test by taking a jumper cable and jumping between the battery positive post and the starter terminal. Also check the negative side by taking a jumper cable and jumping from the battery negative post and a good ground like an unrusted spot on the frame. Obviously (or not?) don't overlook loose or corroded connections.

A super-easy test for bad connections is this:

Turn the headlights on. Then turn the engine over. If the lights go dim, you have good connections and a weak battery or (much more rarely bad starter). If the lights do not go dim but the engine struggles to turn over, it is simply bad connections.

Q: Do I have excessive (or parasitic) loads? Excessive loads tend to open fuses and fusible links. A fusible link is simply a big fuse. A parasitic load (one that drains the battery when things are supposedly turned off) is easy to test for, just disconnect one battery cable and measure the current with everything turned off (including the engine of course). The clock on your radio should take no more than a couple milliamps. Anything more than a couple tens of milliamps is worth checking into. Tracking down is simply a matter of unplugging fuses until the current draw goes away, and now your parasitic circuit is identified.

A lot of this stuff isn't directly related to Martin's observations, but may help some folks.

I put my money on a bad connection. I have seen fusible links simply corrode as apposed to blowing. They are simply a small wire gauge inside thick insulation. I have just bought fusible link wire from the parts store and spliced it in when I have had this happen.

Oh, easy test for bad fusible link. Just measure the voltage at each end. If it is more than zero when current should be flowing, then you've isolated the fault.

MDH33
10-20-2013, 07:06 PM
Thanks for that thorough response Jeff. :thumb:


I was having a tough time with the diagnostics but it ended up being the fault of my voltage meter, which had a low battery. Once I figured that out, I was getting more logical read-outs.

Here's where things stand. I tested the regulator and it was bad according to the FSM. I replaced it and things seemed to be working. However, the voltage seems to be dropping intermittently while driving. The in cab voltmeters: dash, National Luna, and my Yaesu Ham seem to read 13.6, but randomly will drop down to 12.6. When it goes below 13.1, the National Luna shuts off and doesn't reset until I stop, shut the vehicle off and restart (which is what it is designed to do).

Any ideas what would cause the voltage to suddenly drop like that? Could the alternator be working part time?

Regarding the connections, they all seem tight and clean and all battery cable and clamps are new.

I have the new alternator to try as well, but darkness and heavy snow have put the lid on wrenching for the night.

Rzeppa
10-20-2013, 11:40 PM
Any ideas what would cause the voltage to suddenly drop like that? Could the alternator be working part time?

Brushes making intermittent contact could cause that symptom - experienced that with a 1977 F150 I used to have. While a new alternator would fix that so would a new set of $2 brushes. Still, (possibly intermittent) bad connection is my armchair diagnosis.

MDH33
10-21-2013, 07:01 AM
Brushes making intermittent contact could cause that symptom - experienced that with a 1977 F150 I used to have. While a new alternator would fix that so would a new set of $2 brushes. Still, (possibly intermittent) bad connection is my armchair diagnosis.

Thanks Jeff. On the fusible link, is the best way to test it to just do continuity tests on the 3 wires? If that checks out, I will toss in the new alternator tonight and see if the intermittent charging stops. If not, it would likely be a problem in the harness?

CardinalFJ60
10-21-2013, 07:45 AM
Are your batteries' grounded together? Like a big ol' cable from one negative post to the other? I say that because I had some similar things going on with my truck...verrry similar. I double checked the wiring diagram that came with my dual battery setup (kinda cheapo) - everything wired as specified. Looking at other wiring diagrams, most had the batteries tied together with a ground. Once I did that, things are back to normal.

Rzeppa
10-21-2013, 11:34 PM
Thanks Jeff. On the fusible link, is the best way to test it to just do continuity tests on the 3 wires? If that checks out, I will toss in the new alternator tonight and see if the intermittent charging stops. If not, it would likely be a problem in the harness?

Answer to the first question is, yes. It is like a fuse. Either open or not. Like any electrical connection in older rigs it could be suspect as not open but high impedance, but that would be down the list. New alt (on a 60) will rule in or out both brush issues and regulator issues. Yes, if the first two don't make any difference, then certainly harness/connections.

MDH33
10-23-2013, 09:21 PM
New regulator and alternator fixed it. Now getting the full 14.2V from the alternator and no more intermittent drop. The charge is staying up and keeping the National Luna from turning off. Both batteries seem happy. :)

SteveH
10-24-2013, 09:59 AM
Thanks for posting the fix - and glad it's fixed.

Rzeppa
10-25-2013, 10:30 PM
Good data point!