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  #1  
Old April 20th, 2011, 10:55 PM
akfisher
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robert hall
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total electric failure

i have been going from one minor electrical gremlin to another ever since i got my 95 D-90. however my most recent episode takes the cake. on my last trip to the shop various lights were going out and they traced it back to corrosion in a rear brake light. they replaced the light as well as the wiring harness. so i drive it home during the day and the next time i take it out it is early AM so i have the head lights on. i get about a mile from my house and am driving down a hill when simultaneously the engine dies, all the lights go out and the radio goes off. i coast to a stop and turning the key does nothing, no clicking , no fuel relay noises, all lights including interior lights and hazard lights dont work either. i check the maxi fuses in the engine compartment and the 30A fuse for the lighting has blown. the ignition and fuel pump fuses are fine. i put in a new fuse and the engine fires right up. i call the shop and they say to bring it back in. a few days later they call me and say they dont have a multimeter that can check a 30A circuit and that i need to come pick up my truck since they cant diagnose it. so here i am with a rig that i dont want to drive anywhere because i dont know when it is going to die on me. it seems odd to me that having the lighting fuse blow would kill the engine electrical but what do i know. the days are long enough here now that i probably wont have to turn on the headlights again until late september but thats not a particularly satisfying solution. i'm trying to find a shop that will try and figure this out but i've already been through three shops here with all my electrical stuff and no one seems to be able to fix things so they stay fixed. anyone got a simple solution to my problem?
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  #2  
Old April 20th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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mark kellgren
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you've clearly got a major short going on. My guess is between the engine fuze bus (maxi fuses) and the cabin fuse panel above the tunnel. probably one of those main leads running between the two, that all the other cabin fuses are supplied by.

it's only 2x 10mm bolts to pull the fuse bus away over the tunnel cover to see if a main line is pinching ground. If that big brown wire coming through the firewall to the fuse panel was making contact with the the metal fuse bus, which is a grounding point itself, then that would blow the maxi fuse, but no effect any fused smaller circuits .

just a thought. good luck.
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  #3  
Old April 21st, 2011, 09:07 AM
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[QUOTE=akfisher;277720] on my last trip to the shop various lights were going out and they traced it back to corrosion in a rear brake light. they replaced the light as well as the wiring harness. QUOTE]

This I don't understand. What "various lights" were going out and what part of the harness did they replace?
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  #4  
Old April 21st, 2011, 12:22 PM
akfisher
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robert hall
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Kevcon,
i have had the truck in shop several times for lights going out, over time ithas been pretty much every light in the truck. this last trip to the shop the drivers side headlight, running lights and brake lights were out as well as the dash board lights. the hazards would only work(passenger side only) if the turn signal was on. the harness they replaced was to the front headlights. when i first picked it up everything worked but that only lasted for the 20 min drive home.
overlander,
thanks for the idea, i will take a look at that this weekend and see if i get lucky.
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  #5  
Old April 21st, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Do you have power to the main fuse bus under the hood? If not, it's a problem from there to the starter and back to the battery. The main positive lead from the battery goes straight to the starter then back to the main fuse bus. After reinstalling a starter in the past I've had the positive lead come off the starer causing total power loss. I'd check for power at the positive side of the starter and work your way to the main bus.
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  #6  
Old April 21st, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Ok. Has your truck had a lot of re-wiring done by a po? If not, I would consider a bad ground or a bad relay or switch.
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  #7  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 02:08 PM
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robert hall
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heres an update to my saga, i'm so depressed i just wanted to vent a little. i talked to several shops in town and finally decided to take my d-90 to a new place in town staffed by former mechanics from the local land rover dealership. they took forever and told me it was because they werent finding anything major so were corresponding with the land rover mothership in the UK for advice. they would get some advice, look at something, get back with LR UK then get another suggestion etc. they did find multiple small issues but nothing major. i finally got the rig back and everthing was in order. so the third time i drove it i went out to eat and when i got back in the dashboard lights were out as well as the turn signal, fuel and temp gauges, running lights, hazard lights, radio, and rear wiper. this has been incredibly frustrating, since i got the truck it has never gone more than a month without some electrical problem cropping up. early on they seemed to be one at a time so i would save them up until i had plenty then take it in to shop. lately it has been one big yard sale of problems at a time. i have been through four local repair shops and no one can find a reason. it seems like most of the miles i have put on this thing since i have owned it have been taking it to the shop and back. i dont dare take it on any trip out of town as the odds of something going wrong are sky high. i am thinking of just selling it but i will take a bath since the electrical history will make the price go way down. i expected higher maintenance on a 15 yo vehicle but not this. driving it over a cliff to collect insurance is looking more reasonable these days.
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  #8  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 03:59 PM
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A million years ago my old '94 had an issue that wound up being the positive battery wire being slightly loose in the fitting that attaches it to the battery terminal. It's an easy check . . .
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  #9  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrooks View Post
A million years ago my old '94 had an issue that wound up being the positive battery wire being slightly loose in the fitting that attaches it to the battery terminal. It's an easy check . . .
That happened to my Alfa once, really an easy check. Check for battery terminal not to be loose and clean the contacts between battery and (both positive and negative) terminals with boiling water. That would take the white muck (I don´t know the word in english) that corrodes the battery terminals out.

Once (a couple of years ago) my Defender´s "electronics" where gone mad also and the problem was the cable harness inside the chassis that had lost its insulation in some parts and rubbed against the chassis wall and made the fuses die. You can see some pictures of what I´m talking about in the following link. I restored the harness and put all the wires inside a corrugated tube through the entire chassis box. Never had a problem since that.

http://www.landroverclub.com.ar/view...00120&start=15

Cheers,
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  #10  
Old September 29th, 2011, 07:49 PM
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ed angel
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Akfisher

If you have not fixed your problems yet i could give you a hand I have all the tools to diagnose your electrical system and own several rovers including a 95 D90. I am allways willing to help out a fellow rover guy these are are very simple rigs as far as Land Rovers go. Ill send you a P.M. with contact info.


Cheers Ed
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  #11  
Old November 28th, 2011, 04:17 PM
akfisher
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robert hall
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OK so the d90 has been at its current shop since october. they found multiple issues with grounds throughout and one bad solder joint in the engine compartment. to their credit they wanted to do one last test drive before giving it back to me and lo and behold it died again. they dug back into it again and now they are telling me that it traces back to a bad circuit board in the main fuse box. apparently you cant just buy a new circuit board by itself but to get a new replacement requires buying an entire new main wiring harness for 1100$. the shop is checking around to see if there are any other options to replace just the circuit board or jumping around the problem area. this is all way past me. does this make sense? any thoughts on other options? anyone got an old fuse box circuit board lying around?
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  #12  
Old November 28th, 2011, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akfisher View Post
OK so the d90 has been at its current shop since october. they found multiple issues with grounds throughout and one bad solder joint in the engine compartment. to their credit they wanted to do one last test drive before giving it back to me and lo and behold it died again. they dug back into it again and now they are telling me that it traces back to a bad circuit board in the main fuse box. apparently you cant just buy a new circuit board by itself but to get a new replacement requires buying an entire new main wiring harness for 1100$. the shop is checking around to see if there are any other options to replace just the circuit board or jumping around the problem area. this is all way past me. does this make sense? any thoughts on other options? anyone got an old fuse box circuit board lying around?
There is no circuit board for the power distribution for a '95 90.

There is a maxi-fuse block on the bulkhead by the brake booster and that is all.
It can be taken apart and cleaned up in most cases.

The only circuit boards in a stock '95 90 are in the EFI computer and the radio.
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  #13  
Old November 28th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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mark kellgren
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If they said circuit board in main fuse panel, then get your D90 back because they don't know what they are doing and are ripping you off! A problem this big is probably sourced down to one major problem and I'm betting it's a bad ground somewhere! If I were there, I could probably figure this out in an afternoon with a curcuit tester and digital multimeter! it's not rocket science.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
If they said circuit board in main fuse panel, then get your D90 back because they don't know what they are doing and are ripping you off! A problem this big is probably sourced down to one major problem and I'm betting it's a bad ground somewhere! If I were there, I could probably figure this out in an afternoon with a curcuit tester and digital multimeter! it's not rocket science.
Bingo!
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  #15  
Old November 28th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Sounds like you may have a fubar wiring harness that is failing in several areas. It also sounds like it may be at the fuse box or fuse boxes. Has the truck seen time in a high corrosion area? The connectors in that year were not the best.
If Ed if offering up help and he is close I think I would take him up on that. It might be a simple fix however.....
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  #16  
Old November 28th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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robert hall
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christ, i should have bought a f&*%^$ng jeep

based on one of the previous suggestions in this thread i did look behind the main fuse box in the passenger compartment and i didnt remember seeing anything that looked like a circuit board but when they told me that i figured what the hell do i know.
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  #17  
Old November 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Sounds like you initially had a simple issue that was fubared by the shop monkeys. I hate dealing with any amount of wiring or electrical troubleshooting. If everything is dieing at once what is the likely hoog the underhood fuseblock is bad? Can it be replaced with an aftermatket fuse block?

I dread having to deal with any of these issues good luck with your adventure please keep us posted.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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christ, i should have bought a f&*%^$ng jeep
No. You just shouldn't let idiots who are used to working on Jeeps touch your truck.

This is a simple issue that could be located in less than an hour.

Check the battery terminals are clean and corrosion free.
Check the ground that goes to the transfer case bolt.
Remove the maxi-fuses from the main power box. Clean the blades on them and clean the terminals on the box they go in and put them back in.
Then check the ignition switch and make sure the back of it is not loose.

A Defender electrical system is dead simple (too simple in some ways) but if anyone who calls themselves a professional mechanic is having trouble with that system I'd hate to see them on a modern car.

When it happens do the parking lights go out as well?

or it is just a crap out of the engine and headlights and such?

In most of the cases of "total elec. failure" here at ECR it usually is the ignition switch about to pop.
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  #19  
Old November 28th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
If they said circuit board in main fuse panel, then get your D90 back because they don't know what they are doing and are ripping you off! A problem this big is probably sourced down to one major problem and I'm betting it's a bad ground somewhere! If I were there, I could probably figure this out in an afternoon with a circuit tester and digital multimeter! it's not rocket science.


Not to add to your pain but I have been here too. Engine cut outs, warning lights coming on and off and flashing too, lights failing etc etc. all intermittent. I replaced the ignition switch where the plastic at the base had broken loose and was about to buy and ecu but no faults showed - only 02 power cut to ECU. Tore ot and replaced all my wiring work but nothing solved. After 9 months I resigned and had it towed to the dealer - where it started right up and he drove it into the shop. Bastard.

Anyway the fix was a thick (welding) ground cable from the batteries to the frame and onto the engine. The connection for the little black ground wire from the instrument panel was cleaned and reseated to the transmission casing. That’s it. It may not be your fix but it was a simple one that i could have done. I was looking for something way more complicated...

In one morning it was fixed. That was two years ago and no electrical problems since.

It may not be your fix but it was a simple one. I was looking for something far more complicated and a defender just aint built that way. In hindsight a serious use of the winch is probably what stressed the stock ground connections.
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  #20  
Old November 28th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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by the way, I had way more electrical issues with my Jeep CJ7 than I ever did with my 110. And Jeep didn't make anything easier to get to for troubleshooting either!

BTW, on that same Jeep, I had all kinds of weird electrical problems and it ended up being the frame to ground cable was shot. I seriously doubt this problem is in your fuse blocks or on your (+) leads anywhere.
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