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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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Ack, forgot about the hood release. Looks like you got it though. Undo those two screws, pull it out far enough to get access to the cable, then slide the cable housing out the side to give you room to disconnect the cable end.

The lower dash vent just pulls off the dash connection at the end of the corrugated hose. You should leave the 'nozzle' end attached to the lower dash piece - hopefully that didn't get damaged - it is one of the best features of the Camry!

Ok, now the real challenge starts... diagnosing over the internet. (that's what I mean - the lower dash panel is ridiculously difficult as lower dash panels go, but it is just a procedure to follow).

Ok, start by checking ALL fuses you can find. If you have a multimeter with a continuity function, even better - the beep will tell you each one is good (use the fuse puller in the lid of the engine bay fuse block to pull each fuse to check visually or with a multimeter). There are also 3 fusible links on the battery to check - don't pull them out, just check them from the top visually (the center one is bolted in place, and you are likely to break the others if you try to remove them)

The next thing is to check for engine error codes. Follow the instructions here:


Yes, its for Toyota trucks, but the same system applies ("later" model with two digit codes). If you just get quick constant flashes, the ECU thinks everything is fine. The diagnostic box is attached to the strut tower on the driver's side of the engine bay (right behind the airbox). A medium/large paper clip will work as the jumper. I leave one stuck in the diagnostic port bracket all the time in case I need it...

I'm assuming the mechanic neighbor did the 'pull a spark plug wire and hold it to the engine' trick to check for spark? If so, that's reasonable to assume the ignition system is ok. That rules out a lot of mechanical and electrical issues.

Next thing next... Has anyone done anything in the engine bay recently? (especially around the airbox...) Can you take a picture of your engine bay so we can make sure nothing has been messed with?

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #22
You were right about the coin slot Charlie, it does come out. I couldn't get it out though. Had to get the whole panel using 3 screwdrivers for leverage. I have power to the 7.5a ign fuse now and the CEL comes on now but it won't turn over like before this repair cranks but won't start. Guess it's a fuel issue. I still have no power from fuse slot for the 10a engine/idle fuse in box.
 

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Nick stuck a screwdriver all the way down a plug wire while I cranked engine. He said plenty of spark.

A little history before I accidentally pulled out white/red stripe wire. We were jumping starter with a bare 2 ended thick steel wire by pulling out the electrical connector on solenoid? and sticking one end of wire in the electrical connector and the other end to a large bolt located on the starter motor? to the right of the elect. connector if your standing in front of engine looking down.
We were doing this because the starter wouldn't turn over-no crank-when car was hot. Previous to jumpstarting it this way, when it was hot and wouldn't start for me, I would just lift the hood and just wait for about an hour for it to cool down, then it would start. Live outside city so any trip to town is 60-80 miles round trip.

Scott (my son) said car was stalling in addition to the starter problem last time it was towed. He did the usual starter jumping when it stalled, guess it didn't work. That's when Nick towed it home, he said "no spark".
Then I started messing with it (I had already found out about the Alt80 fuse at battery terminal and replaced it previous to all of this). I realized there was no CEL so I started sticking my hand up in fuse box and the Whie/red wire must have still been connected at this time but loose bec if I barely touched it the CEL would come on and the car would start. Really disappointed that the CEL is on now but won't start:( Sorry this is so long but it's a long story:) Also, when I was trying to find out about the CEL I read one of your posts I think about disconnecting the MAD so I did but no CEL lit up and reconnected it. There's also a kinda thick black wire with a bare break in it spanning from battery area to alternator area (very hot area) that I don't know function. I will get pictures of engine bay. Thanks so much for your help and support. Nick nxt door has a lot on his plate with 4 children and self-owned bus, try not to bother him.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
By the way, can you give me the formal mechanics name for the "White Wire with Red Stripe" so I don't keep having to type that lol. Also, why does everyone say the Guage fuse turns on CEL when obviously this 7.5a IGN fuse turned it back on? Or these 2 fuses work in tandem to turn on CEL.
 

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Yeah ignore that thing. It'll come out with the dash. You won't see the bolt through that blank switch next to the coin slot, it's behind the coin slot like in my previous pics. Just pull the whole thing out, it's easier now since you have that blank switch panel removed. It's held in place by 4 little notches, 2 on each side (see new pics) Once you get that last bolt, the dash will still be connected to the vent hose just under the steering column. I normally just put the whole dash aside without removing the hose. Charlie mentioned about removing electrical connections, there is none in my car (different model from yours) I also have a picture of my white / white / white-red bundle. The white-red wire together with the 2 white wires it shared the connector with seems to supply power to the ignition switch.
Thanks for this "You won't see the bolt through that blank switch next to the coin slot, it's behind the coin slot like in my previous pics. " and telling me about notches, helped me figure out where to put the 3 screwdrivers to leverage that panel out. My hands are not strong and I could not get that #!! $ coin slot out for the life of me:)
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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8,568 Posts
Nick stuck a screwdriver all the way down a plug wire while I cranked engine. He said plenty of spark.

A little history before I accidentally pulled out white/red stripe wire. We were jumping starter with a bare 2 ended thick steel wire by pulling out the electrical connector on solenoid? and sticking one end of wire in the electrical connector and the other end to a large bolt located on the starter motor? to the right of the elect. connector if your standing in front of engine looking down.
We were doing this because the starter wouldn't turn over-no crank-when car was hot. Previous to jumpstarting it this way, when it was hot and wouldn't start for me, I would just lift the hood and just wait for about an hour for it to cool down, then it would start. Live outside city so any trip to town is 60-80 miles round trip.

Scott (my son) said car was stalling in addition to the starter problem last time it was towed. He did the usual starter jumping when it stalled, guess it didn't work. That's when Nick towed it home, he said "no spark".
Then I started messing with it (I had already found out about the Alt80 fuse at battery terminal and replaced it previous to all of this). I realized there was no CEL so I started sticking my hand up in fuse box and the Whie/red wire must have still been connected at this time but loose bec if I barely touched it the CEL would come on and the car would start. Really disappointed that the CEL is on now but won't start:( Sorry this is so long but it's a long story:) Also, when I was trying to find out about the CEL I read one of your posts I think about disconnecting the MAD so I did but no CEL lit up and reconnected it. There's also a kinda thick black wire with a bare break in it spanning from battery area to alternator area (very hot area) that I don't know function. I will get pictures of engine bay. Thanks so much for your help and support. Nick nxt door has a lot on his plate with 4 children and self-owned bus, try not to bother him.
Ok... jumping the starter like that means the power getting to the solenoid is weak. That can be fixed by adding an extra relay to basically do the 'jump' trick for you every time. Link here: Starter relay Also, the OEM starter or Denso replacement starters are the only reliable options. Either one can easily be rebuilt with new contacts and plunger for a very low price and should last 500k+ miles that way (150-200k miles per set of contacts/plunger). That can be handled after the running issue is fixed...

If the wire was coming loose, that would explain the stalling. The starter would still spin the engine and it wouldn't have spark or fuel.... and depending on age/experience, he might not know to look for the check engine light.

But now on to the MAF sensor... (more technically and AFM, not a MAF - it is a vane air flow meter, not a mass airflow sensor). Did you happen to remove the two screws on the top of it while trying to unplug it? If so, there is a good chance you broke internal components - one of which is a switch that keeps the fuel pump on while the engine is running. It can be repaired if you have a little guts and some soldering skills. Generally though, that would still allow the engine to start, it would just die after 3-5 seconds. You can test this with a jumper between the Fp and B+ terminals in the diagnostic connector in the engine bay. This bypasses the fuel pump relay and should make the fuel pump be on constantly whenever the key is in the "on" position.

If the black wire is bolted to some metal part of the engine, it is just a ground. If it is bolted to the alternator output terminal, it is critical and sounds like there could be some other shenanigans in your engine bay going on...

By the way, can you give me the formal mechanics name for the "White Wire with Red Stripe" so I don't keep having to type that lol. Also, why does everyone say the Guage fuse turns on CEL when obviously this 7.5a IGN fuse turned it back on? Or these 2 fuses work in tandem to turn on CEL.
White-Red wire would be the normal way to describe it. First color is the main color, second color is the stripe color. That wire does a whole lot more than just power the 7.5A ignition fuse (which then controls the engine main relay that powers the fans). It is also the main power for the ignition system, fuel injectors, EFI main relay trigger (powers the fuel pump and ECU) and probably a few other things. It fully explains why your check engine light wasn't working when that wire was pulled out of the connector.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited by Moderator)
Thanks so much, so tired and hurt in places didn't know I had. I have new info(it started w b+ and FP-yippee!!!) and pics, will post tomorrow, going to bed. I've attached pic of black wire going across engine, it goes into 2 wiring bunches on either side. Can't see where goes to but my multimeter is broke. I can't check status of battery and alternator. This wire worries me. Can you tell me how
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n either side.
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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8,568 Posts
Post pics of where it goes the best you can. That doesn't look like any factory wire I know of...

-Charlie
 

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Charlie Re:

Thanks Soooooo Much Charlie---(((big Huggs)))--The B+ to FP caused it to [email protected]@@@ (tried it bef but didn't work and forgot that I had taken fuel cap off). It was music to my ears, so grateful and teared up cause it's such a hardship way out here w no car.

Sorry All, had/have some things to take care of and trying to test the status of Toy through test drives.

No, didn't remove 2 screws on MAD bec instruc's specifically said to remove right metal band around connector and not the screws.

Ran the Toyota to the store and it blew the guage fuse. Put another one in and waiting to see if it will blow.

Took it for another test drive and didn't have to jump start for about 70 miles, then it was so hot, had to let cool down a little then jump starter.

By the way, does the Guage fuse cause the Temperature guage and Fuel guage to operate and just give bulb power to the CEL(7.5a ign fuse powered)?(I'm trying to understand specific Start Up Flowchart, and the components and wires be I can't read the electrical diagrams. They seem needlessly intricate. I want to pick your brain later Charlie if you don't mind about exactly when efi 15a fuse, EFI Main Relay and in particular Engine Main Relay get their power and where from and their functions. It would help tremendously.

Ok, so she's running and seems to be running better than before, smoother. My transmission jerks from time to time trying to catch up with has peddle:) Here's some pics of engine and fuse panel. By the way, is there a Starter Relay for this car (cause there's a relay in the Starter Relay slot in the Fuse box that I took out to check EFI relay under hood. 1990 Camry DX 2.0l? 4cyl). Thanks ever so much to All for help and support, couldn't have done it without you.Ya'll are solid 😊💪💪💪💪💪💪💪

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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8,568 Posts
No, didn't remove 2 screws on MAD bec instruc's specifically said to remove right metal band around connector and not the screws.

Ran the Toyota to the store and it blew the guage fuse. Put another one in and waiting to see if it will blow.

Took it for another test drive and didn't have to jump start for about 70 miles, then it was so hot, had to let cool down a little then jump starter.

By the way, does the Guage fuse cause the Temperature guage and Fuel guage to operate and just give bulb power to the CEL(7.5a ign fuse powered)?(I'm trying to understand specific Start Up Flowchart, and the components and wires be I can't read the electrical diagrams. They seem needlessly intricate. I want to pick your brain later Charlie if you don't mind about exactly when efi 15a fuse, EFI Main Relay and in particular Engine Main Relay get their power and where from and their functions. It would help tremendously.

Ok, so she's running and seems to be running better than before, smoother. My transmission jerks from time to time trying to catch up with has peddle:) Here's some pics of engine and fuse panel. By the way, is there a Starter Relay for this car (cause there's a relay in the Starter Relay slot in the Fuse box that I took out to check EFI relay under hood. 1990 Camry DX 2.0l? 4cyl).
Glad to hear you removed the AFM plug correctly. From the close-up pic, it does look like the plug may not be correctly/fully inserted. Make sure the wire clip is in its normal seat (unplugged AFM), then plug in the connector for the satisfying click. If that doesn't fix the fuel pump power issue, I might suspect the "Circuit Opening Relay" (should be called a fuel pump relay - that is all it powers). It is located right next to the ECU, accessed from the passenger footwell, behind/below the radio. You should be able to peel back the carpet up there and see the ECU and a relay attached to it on a bracket. That relay powers the fuel pump when either the starter is engaged (the STA signal) or the AFM flap is open (Fc connection). You can also see how putting jumper between Fp and B+ bypasses this relay. If the relay is working but the AFM switch isn't, the engine should still start and run for 1-3 seconds on the built-up fuel pressure before turning off.

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If you have access to another Toyota of similar years, it might be worth swapping in a known-good Circuit Opening Relay for testing purposes. New ones are expensive ($50+) but a used one should be reliable (I haven't heard of any/many failing, but that's what your symptoms point to).

On to the gauge fuse... that is connected to a TON of stuff and most of the gauge cluster functions are powered by it. Hopefully that is a secondary issue at the moment.

Now on to that wire across the engine. It looks like it is the connector for the AC compressor clutch. Does the car have working AC? Oddly, it looks like the wire that would normally go to the compressor is what is going across the exhaust. Make sure that is protected from touching anything (grounding out). Check more closely where it goes on the end that is closer to the battery - I'm curious where it goes.

The starter relay location in the passenger footwell is only used on manual transmission Camrys, so shouldn't be populated on your car (well, it just won't do anything). The starter relay I mentioned in a previous post is an ADDITIONAL relay that you would be adding in the engine bay to help the starter solenoid get sufficient voltage. It is not a factory part (though is the style wiring that future Toyotas did use, with a starter relay in the engine bay with shorter wiring paths).

-Charlie
 

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Hi,
"On to the gauge fuse... that is connected to a TON of stuff and most of the gauge cluster functions are powered by it. Hopefully that is a secondary issue at the moment."

This is a primary problem at this point, guage fuse blows on every trip CAUSING no temperature or gas guage readings:(
 

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Still having to jump start the starter. Guage fuse was not blowing bed this repair every day. The A.C. used to work but I don't use it bec be it blows fuses before. The 10a a.c. fuse is empty.
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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This is a primary problem at this point, guage fuse blows on every trip CAUSING no temperature or gas guage readings:(
Does the car start now without Fp and B+ jumpered? That jumper isn't a good long term solution - it won't be reliable and should only be used for diagnostic purposes... Let's get that fixed first.

The next thing to figure out is that random wire across the exhaust. I think that might lead to clues as to why the gauge and/or AC fuse is blowing.

Along the way, it should be possible to get the starter to work reliably if you have a little skill with wiring. I used a kit meant for wiring in fog lights (just the wiring, no lights) to get all the parts needed to add an extra starter relay.

-Charlie
 
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