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I HATE AMATEUR WIRING


kro10000
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First of all I want to apologize for the length of this post, I am seemingly unable to shorten my stories

 

Today my buddy decided to buy an 88 Toyota Landcruiser (after my repeated attempts to convince him to buy an XJ) Of course, I'm his mechanic buddy so I came along for the ride. Body and interior are clean, the truck doesnt start though so I start to diagnose.

 

Owner happens to be another friend of mine, and he believes the reason it won't fire was a bad starter. But after we got a charge on the battery I turned the key and it cranked fine, but no fire... so starter was fine. Found a bad ignition fuse :???: but I replaced it and it fired up, and ran like crap. After pulling a plug and discovering that they were HORRIBLY fouled (the worst ive ever seen, mix of oil, ash, and rust), I replaced them all and the thing fired and ran like a top. Drove the thing back to my buddies apartment, and thats where the fun begins.

 

So on the interior I started to discover things that didnt work, no functioning gauges (except speedo), no radio, no interior lights, no door locks and a couple exposed wires hanging out of the dash. On the outside we had more electrical woes, no brake/tail/marker lights, no high beams, one headlight was very dim.

 

First order of business was to check/replace the other fuses... Found three bad ones(not counting ignition), now I have working guages, but nothing else, one circut has a short and immediately pops fuses.

 

IMy largest concern at this point was to get all exterior lights functioning, so the FJ could be drivable. The brake light bulbs looked good, but I replaced them anyways. When I went to do them, I pulled out the whole assembly and found the first issue... There were about ten of those little blue connectors that splice a single wire into another wire... and about five different cut and exposed wires just laying behind it, hooked up to a trailer logic module. Following further, I found more blue connectors and exposed wires on the other side, and the trailer harness next to the hitch was duct taped to the hitch... Great. So I fixed all the wiring (removed all trailer harness) but still get no power. So I venture back into the interior, double check fuses, all good. Then start tearing apart the dash hoping to find the source for the random exposed wires... Effing wires were everywhere, bundles of wiring all zip tied into place, random fuseholders, home stereo cables, etc.

 

This all leads me to my discovery, at some point the previous owner, had installed (poorly) an aftermarket radio. And amp... And when he sold it he hacked all of it out and stuck the factory radio in to fill the gap.

 

Do to the excessive length of this post I'm not going to even begin on what happened in the engine compartment. (It was horrible)

 

Pretty much the end of this story is that I am now exhausted, at home. And have yet to get those lights to work. Oh yeah and the alternator isnt charging (Surprise!). He only paid $500 for the truck, so I guess it isnt bad, I'm just the guy stuck rewiring everything.

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I had the same problem on my MJ. Not to the extent that your friend has but it was somewhat annoying. The PO put in a new radio and quite honestly, had no idea how he got it to work. He had wires running from the fuse box up to the radio, he hacked the crap out of the harness and tried splicing in wires for god knows what. He had aftermarket fog lights on the bumper and had wires running into the cab that went to a switch that he drilled into the lower dash. None of that worked because there was no power coming to the switch.

 

He also tried putting in a third brake light. Good idea, but all he did was run one single wire to the brake switch. It looked like he tried putting in a bed light too by drilling a hole in the back of the cab, but again, wires went to nowhere. He tried putting in new interior lights, too. He put in the most gaudy piece of crap for a light that I have ever seen. This, like the rest of his awesome wiring, didn't work. He actually tried running a ground wire to the inside of the cab vents. :huh???: Last time I checked grounding to plastic doesn't work.

 

It looked like the guy just did a bunch of half-assed projects and never finished any of them. He had absolutely no clue what the heck he was doing. The topping on this sundae is the fact that when he spliced wires together he used masking tape. He's lucky the truck didn't burn down.

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:mad: I got one for you. No dash light, no tail light, no interior light. at first look bad fuses. change fuses. But they all pop just as soon as you replace them. so pulled dash and start tracing wires. find cheap speaker wire spliced in for some burnt wires. :ack: when I say burnt I mean burnt to were there is only frayed and corroded copper strands. all the plastic wire covering is gone. come to find out some one had taken a ground wire and tryed to splice it into the light switch. :shake: so when they turned the head lights on it tosted the ground wires. and melted all the other wires in the main under dash wire bundle. :wall:

 

:dunno: why the Jeep not a burnt out shell I do not know.

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The TJ I'm working on had similar issues. From a half-way installed remote start to lousy stereo wiring to the downright dangerous offroad light wiring. The ground was exposed wire just wrapped around a bolt head and the power wire came directly into the cab. To turn the lights on, he said just twist those two bare wires together......

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I'm in the same boat. When I got mine, it looked like the PO had thrown half the JC Whitney catalog in it at some point - radio, CB, an aftermarket temp/oil/tach cluster, and 3 different 12v power oultets in the cab - then all of it pulled out before he ditched it, with wires left hanging bare. To top it off, the clutch cylinder had been leaking onto the back of the fuse panel for years without ever being cleaned or fixed. My electrical is pretty much toast. I've done some quick fixes to keep everything working and drivable. But a major re-wiring project is on my to-do list. Rather than try and keep the factory fuse panel going, I want to pull off the dash and wire in a whole new panel, in a more accessible and protected place. I'll probably sacrifice the glove compartment to do it - I never use it anyways.

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