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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently took out my 91 Tracker after several years, but it has been having this issue even back then when it was a daily driver.

When there is a high electrical load (such as headlights and blower on high), the power to the radio will drop out, and the alternator will stop charging. Reduce electrical load and radio will come back and begin charging again. Confirmed with voltmeter on battery. Anyone else had this happen?

First thing I am going to do is the passenger fender fuse box. I already had to replace the connectors on the large fuse. But even with an impact screwdriver I couldn’t get the screws out to inspect the other connectors. I’m not touching it untilI got some time off for thanksgiving, as I still need to get to work and my Jeep is in the shop. In preparation, does anyone know what kind of connectors go on the smaller 3 fuses? Just heavy push on spade terminals or something else?

I’ve got the kick fix stuff on an old computer from a decade ago. Going to test all connections for charging and see if anything stands out.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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Welcome to the FORUM. There are lots of electrical experts here -- NOT me -- that will help you out.

First, tell us more about your rig and its history -- and the history of this problem.

I assume you have already checked out the alternator functioning??? Is all the electrical original OEM?

Do you have a OEM repair manual? They are at the top of this FORUM.

Schematics might help. Try Suzuki

Again, WELCOME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I used to be on here, but after 2 password recovery attempts with no reply, I just re-registered.

Rig is all stock mechanically and electrically. Aside from the radio which is a low output Clarion tape deck, no amps or subs. The vehicle has always started and run consistently. The charging issue started in 2015 when I drove it daily, so it’s not from sitting. But I didn’t fix it since I knew at the time I wasn’t gonna be driving it very much. I’ve confirmed the charging status during the various situations with a multimeter. Battery is a year old, works good, from my Jeep.

I do have a FSM somewhere. I also have the kick fix files from a long time ago. Been looking through those and found a charging test list. Hopefully the forecast is right and the weather will improve after Thanksgiving, and I’ll be able to take my other car for parts. My other 4x4 is in the shop still. Plowable snow almost never comes until December so I got blindsided here. So I won’t start something I can’t finish on the spot.

I was wondering what connectors are on the bottom of that fender fuse box, since getting it out is going to be a challenge. The mains were corroded and broken recently, I replaced those with welding cable ends. If I mess with the box and the others break, I could replace them if I already have them on hand. I know the box corrosion is a common thing so I hoped someone would know what they used.

And if someone has seen this kind of charging issue before, it would narrow things down faster. I’ve had charging issues on other cars, but it was either all or nothing, it didn’t depend on how much accessories I was using.

I should add that I’ve got limited experience on “foreign” brands. Been working on cars for 30 years, but 95% of my experience is on similar era GM and Jeep.

If nobody else has had this issue, I’ll figure it out in time. Just hoping to get a jump on things. Right now I keep a jump starter on me just in case.
 

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Regarding the fusible link, I believe you have to unbolt the box itself in order to get to the screws that hold the fuses in. Some info and photo here:
Don’t forget to disconnect the battery before doing this.

With regard to the issue with the electrical load issue, if you remove the fuse under the dash, to the radio, does the alternator still stop charging when you turn the lights and blower on?? Just for your info, in case you don’t have it, the fusible link circuits for your car:
Schematic Rectangle Map Font Parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the diagram. I’ll check the radio fuse after I get home tonight.

The 60A fusible link bolts into the box thru heavy ring terminals on the wire ends. I did those a month ago. The wire ends were corroded and broken, so I cut them off and installed new ring terminals. I just bent the bracket down to reach the bolts, since the screws are seized.

Gonna take some work to get the box out to access the terminals for the 3 other fusible links. I’m pretty sure those fusible links just pull out.

What I am wondering, is for those 3 smaller fusible links, how do the wires connect to the bottom of the box? Are they push-on terminals? Ring terminals? Something else? If I can get some idea, I’ll grab some here from work before going home.
 

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The other fuses connect through a bus similar to your home electric service circuit breaker box. Your fuse box is probably corroded. You'll have to remove it to access the bus connections.
 

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Some photos of a mid 90s Tracker fender fuse box:
Circuit component Electrical wiring Electronic engineering Cable Gas
Automotive tire Electrical wiring Gas Electronic engineering Auto part
Electrical wiring Automotive tire Cable Gas Electrical supply
Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive tire Finger
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perfect! That’s what I wanted to know. So the 3 white wires are essentially large push-on spade type terminals. I’ll get some before coming home tomorrow, in case my existing wire ends are corroded and ready to break.

Also good to know about how close the two 60A wires get to the metal surround. Never saw that before. I’ll put some extra heat shrink on the ring terminals I replaced with welding cable ends. Once they start salting the roads, don’t need any salty snow shorting that out.

Didn’t get to work on it last weekend. Saturday was hard driving wind and snow. Spent Sunday digging out. After tomorrow I’m off for a week and a half.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got the fusible link box done today. Had to cut off one screw then could get the other one out.

Surprisingly, the other 3 terminals weren’t bad. Someone had been in there before and replaced them and packed them with grease. I cleaned them up anyway and the box too.

The charging hasn’t changed. The battery light comes on with ignition but not when the charging seems to quit. Solid connection from alternator to battery.

It’s charging, but I think it’s weak and can’t keep up. Like maybe a diode burned and charging at 1/3 output, which is what, 16A for this vehicle? Running with no headlights or blower, the battery voltage will slowly creep up to 14.5. Takes several minutes from a cold start. Turn on the headlights and/or blower and voltage will start dropping fast. Turn them off and the voltage creeps back up to 14.5 within 30 seconds. Also I notice a little bump in idle speed when voltage gets to 14.45. Radio didn’t go off this time, but battery was well charged too. I think the radio is just a symptom of low voltage.

I took off the alternator belt and it’s a little noisy. So I got a new alternator coming. Should be here Tuesday.
 

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Hopefully the new alternator will solve your issue. It would be interesting, since you have the old alternator off the car, to get it load tested, to confirm that this is where the issue lies…..
 
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