88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

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88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:44 am

My car won't start :(

For background, this has been getting worse, to a point that it won't even turn over when I try and jump it, unless there's significant output on the other car's alternator. Example: my WRX can't do it (anymore at least), but my neighbor's huge van can.

While I haven't checked lately, before it could be bump started, but needed a lot of momentum, and there aren't any convenient hills nearby to park it on. If the car is warmed up, in the past it was more prone to starting up without much protest.

Battery is still strong, measured 14.45V on my meter, similar at O'Reilly's.

Scrubbed the terminals with baking soda, helped a while back, but as said it's gotten progressively worse. At this point, the dash clock isn't even on.

Checked the fuses, all look good to go. Last owner had replaced the alternator, spark plugs and wiring to them. Distributor may be new as well.

He had replaced the ignition parts as he was having starting issues even then (~2 years back), and had it on a trickle charger overnight, which he said helped.

He also put an aftermarket stereo in, though as someone who works in that biz I would ordinarily trust him to having installed it properly, but still not ruling that out.

Owner before him had put in a remote lock/unlock, but the buttons are swapped on the fob (ie: lock unlock, unlock locks), which may give clues to the workmanship.

It has a leaky head gasket and oil in the coolant, and while that's another can of worms to be addressed, I don't think it would be related to this starting issue. As said, the dash clock isn't even lit, and no sound comes from the engine when I turn the key.

Any ideas kids?
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby 88gt4DE » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:50 am

Check the engine to body grounds. Measure Ohms with meter from battery to body and engine and lets see if you got something there. The part about him keeping it on a tender makes me wonder if it has a really bad draw sucking down battery power .... :shrug:
Rob
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:02 am

Thanks, copy that, will do as best I can. Off the closest chassis ground by the battery, I still got full voltage, but plenty more to check.

I reckon there might be some link corroding away somewhere in the loom, but finding that gets sticky. Guess lemme dig up a wiring diagram and start poking...

Arguably, all the more reason to do the 3SGTE swap I was planning to do haha, but that's a mighty pricey fix...
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby Awesome-Trac » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:39 am

so no more click noise either from the starter? like underscore said check the grounds! my trac had a simalar problem but it wouldnt start at all due to a puny ground wire connected to the alternator which melted causing a zero start condition at 12am at night! didnt figure it out until 2am in the morning :cry:
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:56 am

I tried about a month ago Daniel, and I had some click then I think, but not even now. Least you got through to the other side!

The worsening is the weird part, and makes me think corrosion, but where oh where :doh:

Tomorrow I might just poke through with my meter's continuity checker and see which lengths of wire are still conducting... It *does* stay on once it starts up though.
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby 88gt4DE » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:15 am

Check the big one on top of the trans first ...
Rob
1988 ST165 - 77K - Project ---> http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=31483&start=240
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby phattyduck » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:13 pm

You should bring this question over to the gen2 Camry section of Toyotanation to get some other input.

Manual or auto trans?

Unplug the small wire at the starter and check for 12V when the key is in the 'START' position.

It can be: bad starter, bad clutch start switch or neutral safety switch, bad ground, etc...

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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:24 pm

@Charlie, Yeah I was thinking about Toyota Nation. This is place is cool and all but they have more minds to inquirer over there. My handle here is same over there, and think I've seen you around there too.

It's a manual. Will check what you sugguest tonight...

EDIT: Toyota Nation post.
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:06 am

Update: oh those pesky decimals!

I checked the car again today, at the battery was at 1.445V, not 14.45V as would be expected. Battery's dead as a doorknob. I checked the pictures I took of my work when I first made the post (useful for stuff like this eh?) and it was the same low voltage.

Really do think it's the remote lock, a bad install or something. Got some digging to do...
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby underscore » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:25 am

if they can't be bothered to swap the lock/unlock wires then the remote install is going to be garbage. Unlpug the brain for that for starters.
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby 88gt4DE » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:58 pm

de_engineered wrote:Update: oh those pesky decimals!

I checked the car again today, at the battery was at 1.445V, not 14.45V as would be expected. Battery's dead as a doorknob. I checked the pictures I took of my work when I first made the post (useful for stuff like this eh?) and it was the same low voltage.

Really do think it's the remote lock, a bad install or something. Got some digging to do...




That changes everything ! Funny how much one decimal position changes things ... LOL
Last edited by 88gt4DE on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob
1988 ST165 - 77K - Project ---> http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=31483&start=240
2000 Toyota Tundra SR5 - 162K - DD - Thanks 97JZA80
2007 Toyota Rav4 - 110K - My girls DD
1999 Honda Civic - 116K - Highway Runner
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:51 pm

88gt4DE wrote:That changes everything ! Funny how much on decimal position changes things ... LOL


Inorite? And I work at a bank, I ought notice these things :doh:

underscore wrote:if they can't be bothered to swap the lock/unlock wires then the remote install is going to be garbage. Unlpug the brain for that for starters.


Getting on it. Tools are my folks so gotta grab them first.


In the interim, I got a new (junkyard) battery and put it in parallel with the existing one - read at 12V and some change. Lights came on, stereo, and I got hear relays going on ignition, but still didn't turn over. I'm gonna tear out the old battery, and see if I can't bump it later, don't have much space to work with though...
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Re: 88 Camry All-Trac Won't Start - Electrical Issues?

Postby de_engineered » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:41 am

Finally got around to properly putting the new battery in (no jumpers to the old one etc). Cleaned and tightened contacts.

I was driving for the first time in months tonight :D

The remote unlock will come out soon just as a safety precaution, but I'll keep an eye on the voltage just in case there's some other parasitic draw somewhere.

Thanks again for all the help!
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