Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Intermittent Dead Van

  1. #1
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    89
    Rep Power
    1

    Intermittent Dead Van

    All,

    So last night we went out to eat with another couple, who specifically requested we take the Van Wagon (nice change from, "what is that!?" or "this is what you drive regularly, seriously?!"). The other couple live on a very very wash-boardy gravel road. We drive out to their house and park the van. Pick them up and drive to the restaurant fine. After we are finished we go out to drive home. Van is totally dead; no interior lights, no dash lights, no headlights, no nothing, just like the battery is totally dead. So I check the battery connections (battery is new), fiddle around (meanwhile people are getting in and out of the van, opening/closing doors, etc).......all of a sudden we have power. Van fires right up and we drive home. Clock had to be reset, all presets for the stereo are gone. We drive straight back to my house. Park the van and start talking about what might have happened. Lost power again, dead. Then the passenger gets out and shuts his door......we have power again! Fiddle around checking things, dead again. Booooooo! We jump into the Tercel 4WD and I hang my head while driving them home. I am left thinking that something must have rattled loose on that wash board road.

    So this morning I read through the fusible link thread and checked everything. Checked the fuses behind the passenger seat, made sure they were all tight. Checked for any loose grounds, check the battery terminals. Checked FL 1.25B and FL 0.5G, all seemed fine. Went to start the van, totally fine, no problems. I am totally stumped. Is there anything else I should inspect? I remember that some of the fuses behind the passenger seat *may* have been a bit loose, but nothing obvious. Maybe it was just that?? My father, who is an original '83 Van Wagon owner, is flying in for Thanksgiving and I would like nothing more than to pick him in the van. However, the airport is over an hour away and I am really hesitant now.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    89
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Intermittent Dead Van

    An update:

    So drove it around all day yesterday, no problems. All day it has been good, but then it happened again this evening. No dash lights, no nothing......dead. Open and shut the door, power comes on......then dead.

    So I opened up the battery compartment, and literally just brushed by (very lightly touched) the positive connection to the battery and power is restored.....all good. I thought maybe I jostled the wire to the 0.5G fusible link but can't be certain, a guess at best. So I drove it home and inspected everything again.....all good. Tried moving every connection to see if I could get it to go dead and couldn't. So I made sure all of the connections to the battery were nice and tight. Now I am stuck thinking what would be the loose wire or source of failure.

    - If it is the 0.5G link, then according to the Fusible Link Thread I would be having "Christmas lights". When it went dead, there wasn't a single dash light on. So can I rule this out?
    - If it was the FL 1.25B link, would it seem to flicker on and off with vibrations? I also remember reading that if this fails then the charge battery light comes on. Again no dash lights. I have inspected this twice and to me (albeit a rookie) it looks fine. Can this be ruled out?
    - What about the 2.0L fusible link? I have not yet taken off the gray sleeve to inspect it, but I have moved it back and forth with no ill affects. I also read that this link rarely fails. If it did, does everything go dead with no lights whatsoever like I have described? Isn't this just a length of plain wire?
    - I guess it could have been a loose connection to the battery post. I have tightened that down snug, so if it happens again I think I can rule this out.

    Any clarification? Guidance? Ridicule? Thoughts?

    I'll continue to keep you guys posted. I welcome any and all suggestions. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    1989 4x4 5 speed dlx 1987 4x4 5 speed cargo 1987 4x4 5 speed LE 1987 2wd 5 speed cargo conversion 1989 2wd auto cargo parts van
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    abq, nm
    Posts
    289
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Intermittent Dead Van

    fusible links look like plain wire, but are...fusible links. theyre designed to blow like a fuse, but more slowly. i suspect your issue are in the fusible links at the positive battery connection and the one in the black box forward of the battery box...your gonna have to do more than just wiggle it...make sure your battery ground connections are clean and tight too..

  4. #4
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1990 Hiace Super Custom 4WD diesel
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    222
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Intermittent Dead Van

    i think my door switches contributed to my draining problem.
    mostly they wouldnt turn on unless jiggled or flashed on when driving.
    replaced the 2 questionable and that issue has stopped.

    recently cleaned ALL grounds which fixed other issues.

  5. #5
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    89
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Intermittent Dead Van

    Well, the Van has been totally fine. That washboardy road mustíve loosened the positive battery connection just enough. Gotta love it when it ends up being something simple.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •