Charge Light ON 1977 Hilux

Discussion in 'Maintenance/Repair' started by Arpegius, May 12, 2013.

  1. Arpegius

    Arpegius Member

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    1977 Pickup SR5
    Ok before I get started, I would like to make clear that I have searched and researched and perused this topic. Nothing seems to fit my problem. This is the same but different. Similar issue, different execution. Maybe help will come of this.

    Vehicle: 1977 Toyota Pickup SR5. 20R. Bone stock other than Weber 32/36.

    Weeks ago (can't remember when) the CHG light decided to come on sporadically. Truck never died. Drove plenty on it with the light or without the light, didn't make a difference since the battery was being charged just fine. First I replaced the external voltage regulator. Hey, wow! That seemed to fix it. Wait, no. No it didn't. A week later the light came on. Thought maybe a diode or brushes in the alternator were going bad, so I purchase a remanufactured part from Autozone (Duralast part#14153). And this is where it all began.


    Like a big dumb idiot I forgot to remove the negative from the battery before removing my alternator. Pop! Snap! F*ck! Arc ground to field post on alternator and blow my fusible link on the positive terminal of the battery (not sure if any other damages arise from this mistake). Great, now what? So I get some fusible link wire and fix that sommbitch. Ok, at least the truck starts. Now back to what I was doing. Remove the old alternator and while I have it out, I do some cleaning of the engine bay. Little degreaser, little water for rinse (covered all ignitions components and carburetor first). Then I replace the alternator with the Duralast one. Hook up connections and put the key in. Weird, the buzz doesn't sound. Turn the key to ON but not START. Weird again, my oil and brake lights don't come on (which they normally did before I start the engine). Ok...... START. F****cK!!!!!!!!!! The CHG Light is just mocking me now. Staring back at me like a red trapezoidal demon from beyond the physical plain. What now? I check all components, wires, anything. And, nothing. The truck drives just fine. But wait! There's more. I go to put it in reverse, and as I do this the CHG light brightens. When I change out of reverse, the light dims. This must be connected to the reverse lamp. Ok moving on. Turn the fan on. Click. CHG light brightens. Turn off. Click. Light dims. And a weird fizzling sound. Hmmmmmm. Fizzling sound? Yeah that's right. The stupid thing sounds like an alka seltzer, but just for a moment. And not always. Pull Parking brake lever. Same thing, minus the fizzle. Just the light brightens and dims. gyyyyYYYYAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! WHAAAAAT?!?!?! I thought maybe the charge light circuit in the alternator was just bad or never fixed in the remanufactured process. I exchange for a newer one. Same part Duralast #14153. That light. That mother-trucking light is just beaming at me with its stupid ugly redness. I hate this light. I hate it so much. So I've had it with Duralast parts. It's got to be their fault all of this happened. I want mine back. I want my old one back. So I get it back from Autozone and plop it in. Because before the issue was at least somewhat better with my old one, right? Well turn the key to ON..... no buzz, no lights. grrrrr. Turn to START....Vrooom....gyyyyyyyAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! That light is the bane of my existence.


    I must have caused some problem when I arced my alternator. I didn't mess with any wires before that so the grounds were all the same. How could a bad ground arise from all of this when the wires have been the same and in the same shape for all these years. I know this because My father purchased the truck back in 1977 and its stayed in the family. He also has every service record since then. So if anybody can help me, that'd be just wonderful. I'd rather not start tearing things apart if I don't have to. But if indeed it is a bad ground, then I might have to do that very thing. And IF it is a bad ground does anybody know where to isolate the tearing process? If I go searching, do I have to check every confounded wire? Please help all you mini truck owners. You're my only hope.
     
  2. Arpegius

    Arpegius Member

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    I DID IT!!!! I DID IT!!!!!

    So the heater shouldn't have been wired to the charge light. But it is. So I had a weird revelation after I posted this thread. Check the fuses. CHECK ALL THE FUSES!!! Even if it doesn't sound right, the heater fuse was blown. Had a spare 20A fuse. Replaced it. VOILA!!!! everything works again. In fact I don't even think I needed an alternator to begin with. It was the fuse. Sorta kinda not quite burned out. And when I arced the Alt. I must have sent it to its grave for good. Whew.


    Well, thanks to those of you that would have read my thread and helped the situation. On to bigger and better things.
     
  3. YOguyDA

    YOguyDA Addict

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    I'm not completely sure of the '77 has it, but my '86 has an emission control unit that I suspect to be the culprit of my charge light problem.... it stays on with the brake light ALL the time with the key on.

    If you check out a wiring diagram you will see the charge light ties into the control unit box and I figured there is a short somewhere in the box?
     
  4. Arpegius

    Arpegius Member

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    I think '77 is too old for these kinds of things. Perhaps emission control units were added '79.

    I actually figured it out. Something so simple yet so confusing as a heater fuse. Makes little sense to me why it would be a heater fuse, but it cured the problem.

    Thanks for the help though. I'm sure there will be more questions to come in the future.


    So word of advice to all of you who have electrical problems. Check every fuse. Every single one. Even the ones that make no sense. Often times other circuits share a space.
     
  5. first80toyota

    first80toyota Addict

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    Soo.. Sounds like I have this exact problem! Been driving around with the charge light on for a couple months and just gave up on it..

    Did your chg light come one even if you weren't using your heater?
     
  6. nottoshabi

    nottoshabi Enthusiast

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    This is a really old post so I hope some of you guys still remember what you did to make it work.

    My charge light stays on now and the truck dies at red lights. The truck restarts but I have to keep the rpms high other wise the truck stalls. New grounds, good battery had it tested, I have not tested the alternator yet. The trucks runs great for the 3-4 miles then it starts acting up.
     
  7. Pearce

    Pearce Enthusiast

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    He seemed to do a list of things before fixing it with a heater fan fuse change. Your situation sounds different with it dying on you. Alternator or voltage regulator is the best guess for your truck.
     
  8. fred heath

    fred heath Veteran

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    Check the tension on your fan belt, it could be slipping. If not, I second Pearce. Alternator or voltage regulator.
     
  9. jetas

    jetas Grand Toyotaholic

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    Try spinning the alt with a wrench or socket, if it spins and doesnt spin the motor then your belt is loose.
     

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