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Various Toyotas
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Found this on the Rock Auto newsletter:
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
Repair Mistakes & Blunders

I have a 1984 Ford F250 that has been through several owners and needed a lot of things fixed. The turn signals did not work, so I decided to replace the turn signal switch. I crawled under the dash with the driver's door open to discover years of “rewiring.” I found all the wires I needed, and with my voltage tester I found a "hot" 12V wire hanging down that I used to power the new turn signal switch.
After installing the switch, I tested all the signals, checked the taillights and front indicator lights and they all worked great. I hopped in the truck to test drive and noticed nothing worked. I got out with the turn signal lever in the “right turn” mode and saw the front and rear turn signal bulbs were now working. I jumped in, closed the door, and no turn signal again.
After some head-scratching and research, I discovered my “hot" wire was connected to the door switch; the circuit that at one time operated the interior cab light. So every time I would open the door, the switch would receive power and the turn signals would work. Closing the door would turn the power off to the switch.
Next up – fix the speedometer.
Steven in Idaho
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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This is why I put an emphasis on looking at an electrical wiring diagram even if finding one from the 80s is very hard. Otherwise doing some sort of wiring harness swap would probably be easier.
 

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Various Toyotas
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Discussion Starter #4

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Token Aussie
1998 AE102, 2018 ZRE182
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Wife had a similar problem with her AE82 Twincam (4AGE).

Car cut out one day and wouldn't start, leaving her stuck by the side of the road, so of course I had to play white knight and come rescue her. Seeing as how she isn't the best at diagnosing over the phone (I asked if it could start and she said it would crank but not start), which meant I spent the entire drive there working out in my head how to check spark/fuel etc only to find out when I got there that she thought cranking was just turning the key....so my ideas went out the window and I had to start afresh (she then said "is it the alternator?" because we had alternator problems before and it became the default cause of anything even remotely related to the engine or electrics, even if it would have no link whatsoever like blown headlights).

So, first things first, I got her to pop the bonnet and try and start it so I could hear if the starter was clicking, only for the damn thing to kick over straight away and purr like a kitten......ok, problem solved, I closed the bonnet and the damn thing cut out immediately. Tried to start again, no dice. Figuring there might be something lose (like a battery terminal or ground) I popped the bonnet again and started wiggling things, everything seemed tight so I got her to start again, and lo and behold it started up perfectly fine again. A bit perplexed, I started wiggling a few more things to see if it was only whilst the engine was running, and got the shock of my life (literally) when I grazed the coil lead. Turns out the previous owner had replaced the lead with one that didn't have the elbow on the plug, so it was pointing straight up at the bonnet and had rubbed through the sheath, thus grounding the coil to the chassis through the bonnet. This was confirmed by gently lowering the bonnet whilst the engine was running, once you shut the bonnet completely it would ground out but if you left it popped ever so slightly (still engaged on the catch) then it would be fine, so we drove home very carefully avoiding all sudden movements, pot holes and speed bumps lest it short out again in the middle of traffic. New coil lead (with elbow) and she was good as new.
 
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