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  #21  
Old 01-31-2008, 01:56 PM
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Red_Chili Red_Chili is offline
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FWIW, I got mine at JC Whitney back in the day. Then Roger started sourcing them. Rather buy from Roger.
(TLCA minitruck tech editor, BTW. Shameless plug).
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2008, 02:50 PM
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Okay, For sure WILL DO. I'll look into that harness later tonight.

I'm actually starting to look forward to this more now, as I read more, and understand more about wiring, I'm getting excited to be rid of all the annoying "quirks" i've been putting up with.

I will definitely need the wiring book, as this fuel sensor is a total mystery.

As for the old part, you bet. There are days when I'm really proud to drive around in my cool old truck, and other days, usually in the garage, where I'm less than impressed, to say the least.
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:36 PM
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Just ordered my 4crawler harness. While it won't solve all my problems, a lot of reading, and the opinions here convinced me it was a good buy. For 45 bucks, I can't really go wrong.

Now, can anyone help with the Mobi Arc conversion?

I read about it on the 4x4wire write up that Bill provided, but the site in the write up does not seem to give me a good link to the kit.

The reason I like this idea, is that my alternator is fairly new, about a year and a half old. Its from Toyota, so it was expensive, and I'd rather not have to try and make a ford unit work. I feel like I could kill a couple of birds here. Get more output, check (and replace if necessary) my voltage regulator, and give the alternator a good refurbishing. This should, in theory, help me deal with my power draw, from the accessories, as well as my "dimming" problem when the brakes are pushed.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:48 AM
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Just give Mobi-Arc a call.
I would have to say, that going with a GM alternator is not a bad option either, IIRC, 135 amps or so. I've not done it. Some of the aftermarket alternators are way pricier than either of these options .

But you may be treating a symptom rather than the cause. Your dimming problem should not be happening with your stock setup.

Think of electricity like plumbing, only with electrons instead of water molecules. You have a source (battery, alternator running through voltage regulator), which is like a certain amount of pressure. The wires are like pipes - spring a leak (short to ground) and you will lose pressure (voltage). Try to run too much volume (current) through too small a pipe (wire gauge), or a partially clogged pipe (ohmic connection, another name for a corroded connection or switch), or a leaky pipe (partial ground faults), and you will have plenty of pressure at the source (voltage), but will flow only a little water (current).

A multimeter on the battery will tell you if your problem is low voltage, or simply not being able to flow sufficient current (as in the case of bad battery cables when trying to start, for instance). Got good voltage at the batt? Now try measuring voltage at the light. It will likely be much lower than the battery. That means you are losing voltage in-between, most likely through a bad connection but possibly a corroded connection with a partial ground fault, perhaps.

Make sense?

Bad grounds are a typical source of problems, as are corroded connections. And let's not forget a PO using 22 gauge wire all over the place.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:58 AM
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Lots of good advice there. I will work on that next.

With the GM alternator, the concern i have is making it fit and work. I'm concerned that it won't be a "plug and play" type set up, and while I'm okay with that, electrical is usually one of those things that they don't let you take back at the auto parts stores. And I'd rather not replace something that isn't totally broken. For the money, I'm not really losing much by going with the mobi arc setup.

Back to the issues.

Essentially, I have a number of problems. The dimming one is weird. The idle problem seems to be this fuel switch not kicking on when I let off the gas.

I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but the dim is somewhat of a "flash". Essentially, when i step on the brakes, the lights momentarily dim, or possibly shut off, but then come back on again, too fast to tell for sure. Now, the light is also somewhat dimmer when on the brake pedal.

I noticed another issue yesterday, one that hasn't cropped up for a year or more now. Essentially, when on the brake, the right turn signal comes on, like a light, not a flasher, when stepping on the brake. Essentially, a solid light in my turn signal. It did it for a few miles, then a couple of bumps, and no more. I'm guessing I have a short somewhere for sure.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:07 AM
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That, and possibly a bad connection with your accessory wire to the battery. Have someone monitor the battery voltage while all this is going on. Chances are, it will remain mostly stable. Now check it at the fuse box. I'll bet you see the drop in voltage. That means somewhere between the two points, you have an ohmic connection.

Don't discount junkyards as sources for decent alternators. How good are you with precision assembly? Dremels? I dove in because I had spare parts. I also used a few junk alternators to rob parts from. I also am an old model railroader.

I have seen guys who were definitely not electrical whiz kids do the GM alternator swap. Alternators work like this: you have an exciter circuit (think, electromagnet; this causes lines of magnetic flux to cross stator wires as the rotor turns, which generates electricity. This is why you need current to make current BTW, and why you should NEVER TEST A TOYOTA ALTERNATOR BY REMOVING THE BATTERY). You have the voltage regulator that floats an exciter current to the rotor, more or less, to meet demand and maintain a voltage. The VR also has a diode board in our case to rectify the generated AC into DC. Then you have the charge current output, and power and ground of course.

Not a lot to it. Alternator brushes (and the corresponding rings on the rotor), bearings, and diodes fail over time. Sometimes the VR too, but that is on the same board with the diodes. I have used junkyard parts successfully for all these except the inexpensive brushes.
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  #27  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:55 AM
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I replaced my alternator when I did the engine last year. My old one had noisy bearings and wasn't 100% anymore (probably the regulator). I considered the GM route and thought about the MR2 alternator, too. Ultimately I stuck with the 60A stock...no winch, one battery, one pair of Hella 500 fog lights and just a basic radio, essentially nothing much in the way of load. It works for me since I didn't want to screw with figuring out how to mount something different. Since you have easy access to machine tools and a welder, I would consider doing the GM swap if I was you. It's a pretty common modification and you're not forging new ground.
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  #28  
Old 02-06-2008, 10:46 AM
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Got the 4crawler harness last night. Looks great.
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2008, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
Got the 4crawler harness last night. Looks great.
Crap...now you are motivating me to fix my bird's nest of wiring.
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  #30  
Old 02-07-2008, 08:04 AM
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LOL, well, the process is slow. I'm finding that working out a wiring diagram is the hardest part.
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