82 Cressida Losing Power - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

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post #1 of 12 Old 04-12-2017, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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82 Cressida Losing Power

Hey all, this will be a kinda long post so thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this.
I recently bought an '82 Cressida from my dad's friend whose mother bought it new in '82. It has 88k miles and is in pretty nice shape. The battery was dead since it had been sitting for a couple years but other than that there were no known problems. So I got a new battery, dropped it in, and drove it home. I changed all of the fluids and drove it around a little bit, and put some new tires on as well. Then I decided to give it a real test. Running it for my pizza delivery gig one night.
Everything went great until it got dark and I needed to turn on my headlights. That's when I notice that when the headlights are on my battery is slowly but surely being drained, so I took the car home. The alternator wasn't putting out enough juice (about 11v) so I got a new one from AutoZone and swapped it out after charging my battery back up. I got the same result as before. Whenever I had lights or anything extra on my battery was being drained. I figure maybe I got a defective battery. So I returned the cheap 1 year battery and swapped it out for the 5 year battery, only to get the same result 3 days later. I returned the alternator to Autozone and bought a rebuilt Bosch alternator and installed that. Same thing. I drove the car for a couple of hours a few days ago and the battery gradually died even without lights or anything extra on. Radio off, lights off, fan off. Everything non essential off. I also notice a sharp drop on the dash voltmeter whenever I use anything that uses additional battery power, like roll down a window or turn the dome light on.
I haven't charged the battery back up from when I drove it last and the car will currently not even crank, though the dash lights do come on, etc. I replaced the battery terminals with new ones since they were the original ones and I don't think it made a difference. If I go out to the car right now with my multimeter the battery tests at 11.7-11.9 volts with the car off. When I turn the key to ON without trying to actually crank the car that voltage drops down to about 6-7v and then comes back up to about 9-10. When I turn the key to off it will creep back up to around 12, like I said usually about 11.7 or so. I tried jump starting the car with my girlfriend's car and it wouldn't crank. So basically I'm on my second battery, and third alternator if you count the one that was originally in the car, which in retrospect may not have even been bad, and I'm still having the same problem.
Do I have a short in the electrical system somewhere? It's about the only thing that makes sense at this point. I did a visual check for broken fuses and couldn't find any. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-12-2017, 06:53 AM
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Hi

You could have a short, It's not equipped with the optional trip computer system is it? There may be a slight drain with the power windows or door.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-12-2017, 03:00 PM
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What is the voltage with the engine running? Especially if you rev the engine up a bit.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm about to charge up the battery and see if I can get it started. I'll let you know.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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So today I charged up my battery and started the car. It started up right away with no problems. The battery tested at 12.8 volts initially with the car on. I had a helper rev the engine up to about 2000 rpm with the headlights on and it dropped to about 12.6. I let the car run at idle for about 15 minutes and the lowest I ever saw it go was 12.3 with 12.6v being the average.
Edit: And no, as far as I know it's not equipped with an optional trip computer. As far as gadgets and stuff goes it's pretty basic.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Update in case anyone is reading. Tried to drive the car for a bit tonight and a trip to Walmart and back completely killed the battery (died in my driveway). Im wondering if I have a bad ground. Any thoughts?
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-14-2017, 12:21 PM
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I would suspect a bad ground or something. Given the age, could be a bunch of gunk and dirt on the ground points. Had a user in the Camry forums on his ES300 which refused to charge the battery while running due to a disconnected ground
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Anybody know if this particular model year has a separate voltage regulator or if it's built into the alternator?
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 01:25 AM
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Alternator is self contained regulator is built in.

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-06-2017, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgriff85 View Post
So today I charged up my battery and started the car. It started up right away with no problems. The battery tested at 12.8 volts initially with the car on. I had a helper rev the engine up to about 2000 rpm with the headlights on and it dropped to about 12.6. I let the car run at idle for about 15 minutes and the lowest I ever saw it go was 12.3 with 12.6v being the average.
Edit: And no, as far as I know it's not equipped with an optional trip computer. As far as gadgets and stuff goes it's pretty basic.
Is the charge light coming on on the dash? With those readings, either the alternator isn't charging or it isn't getting to the battery. Check to see if the voltage at the alternator output terminal is over 14 volts. If it is, you have a wiring problem between the alt. and the battery. Could be + or ground side. Check B+ to A+ and B- to A-, both should be close to 0v. If not, find and fix the problem. If Alt. voltage is same as Bat. voltage then the alt. isn't charging and you may have a wiring issue in the power supply to the Alt. The connector on the alternator should have battery voltage at one wire and around 11 volts at the other with key on not running. Could be a ground wire in there as well, can't remember. Good luck.

Last edited by puddleglum2; 05-06-2017 at 01:13 AM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-10-2017, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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I finally caved and took it to a shop. One of the wires in the wiring harness was bad, and the mechanic went ahead and replaced the alternator belts as well and will let me know in the morning if she's all fixed up.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-18-2017, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd update. My car now charges with the best of them. The alternator wiring harness was the culprit.
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