Everybody knows these Toyota's don't need any upkeep and are 100% reliable for a lifetime and will never need any preventive maintenance right?
Odds are that's how at least one of your trucks previous owners thought.
If you're running around with headlights that are extremely dim, your fan blower is turning slow, it's getting harder to start, or simply won't crank anymore there's usually a fairly easy fix. Most of the time it's because you have a loose connection, corroded connection, or a bad wire in the system. That's a sign that your truck has been a little neglected.
Obviously it's important that you have clean and corrosion free connections on the batteries positive and negative terminals but alot of people forget that you also need clean corrosion free connections on the alternator and all of your ground wires. To help you locate all of the standard ground wires on a 22RE I've added a link to iamsuperbleeder's write up below. If you find that some of your ground wires are broken or missing you should replace them before the others start smoking from the extra load they will encounter. The stock wires on these trucks are pretty small to begin with and with age they will carry less current so all of the stock wires should be in place to help with the load.
If you have to make new ones don't install thinner wires than what the factory equipped the truck with, if anything go thicker. For battery cables thicker would be 4, 2, 1, 0, 00 awg and for body grounds that would be 8 awg.
For trouble free longevity I strongly recommend Tinned Copper Marine Grade Ring Style Wire Terminals and adhesive lined heat shrink for stuff like this
22re ground wire locations - the guide!!!
The first thing you need to know is that a quick visual inspection doesn't cut it!
Just because you don't see any corrosion from the top when you look at an electrical connection doesn't mean there isn't corrosion going on between the connector and the surface it's connected or mounted to. What you need to do is one by one disassemble the connection and use a brass or fine wire brush on both the connector and the area it connects to until it's clean and shiny again. That could mean a bolt, metal frame, fender, connector, battery terminal, or a battery cable end.
Before you bolt it back together you might want to rethink that because You're not done!
After you've brushed the surfaces clean it's important to keep those surfaces corrosion free and applying Dielectric Grease to both the connector and the surface it connects to will help keep it that way. Dielectric grease is available at all automotive stores and most hardware stores. I've used so much of it over the years I won't even consider purchasing the small tube anymore. The 3oz tube is where it's at!
There's a couple more grounds that can make a big difference
but you need to remove the drivers side kick panel to get to them.
With the kick panel off look under the dash between the fuse box and the door opening. One has two wires, white with black, to twin connectors. The other is just above, two brown to one connector. Give them the same treatment you gave the other wires.
I cleaned these grounds and had a stronger heater blower, brighter dash lights and the engine seems to run a little smoother, when you know what they're for (mentioned below) you'll understand why.
If you have weird performance issues you might want to try what Shady Cadence recommends
Originally Posted by Shady Cadence
There's two ground connectors under the dash between the fuse box and the door opening, above the kick panel. One has two wires, white with black, to twin connectors. The other is just above, two brown to one connector.
Replace these connectors!
Don't look at them, or clean them. Cut them off, crimp new ones on, try the truck.
The white with black wires are for your heater, a/c, dash illumination, aaand....the fuel pump. The brown ones are for the combination meter (ecu driven) and I can't remember what else.
Originally Posted by Shady Cadence
cut the ground connector off and replace it with a new one. The sneaky issue is the contact goes lousy INSIDE the crimp, the connector itself looks clean.
I'm the one pushing the ground issue since replacing that ONE, LITTLE CONNECTOR flat-out ELIMINATED a brutally hard sub-zero start, a long cranking time during any start, lack of power, any resemblance of fuel economy and a noisy ign signal so bad it tripped the rev limiter function before 2000 rpm on my 94 3.0 4runner.
It's freaking amazing. Takes 5 minutes and costs 35 cents.
If you've done all that and you still have problems it's time to get out a multimeter and do some Voltage Drop testing to help you pinpoint just what the problem is. You could have a wire that's either broken, internally corroded, or in fact have a bad starter or alternator. At least if you've already checked the wires and know both the wire and it's connection is good you won't be throwing your money away on a starter when it was a wire the whole time.
You might want to test voltage with a voltmeter but that only tells part of the story.
What you really need to do are Voltage Drop tests.
Unlike a regular voltage test when performing a voltage Drop test BOTH test leads are connected to only one side of the circuit. That is, if you want to test the NEG side both leads have to be connected to the NEG circuit.
Also, it doesn't matter if your gauge gives you a negative or positive reading, you're still going to get the numbers you need and that's the lost voltage.
The noted acceptable loss on the NEG side is .200V but I like to see much less.
The noted acceptable loss for the POS side is up to .5V but remember, HAVING LOWER READINGS ON BOTH SIDES IS DESIRABLE.
Rather than explain how to do it here's a couple video's that explain it in detail and the second one shows real results.
This test demonstrates why I mentioned it's important to clean the terminals rather than just eyeballing them.
Notice everything looks clean in this test but the "clean" connection was still the problem.
If you're using a battery terminal like the picture below that uses a small clamp to smash down on bare wire you should think of it as a temporary fix. Ideally you don't want any part of bare wire exposed to the elements or corrosion will eventually start and it can get inside the wires insulation hiding inside there causing a voltage drop. Either replace the battery terminal with one that has the cable permanently attached or purchase marine battery terminals and get cables to match.
You don't want these battery terminals.
Battery won't charge? How do you test the alternator?
Thinking about disconnecting the battery for a couple of seconds while the engine is running to see if the alternator is good, DONT!
Originally Posted by RJR
A "couple of seconds" is lifetime (literally) when it comes to blowing up electronics. Usually an overvoltage surge will take out unprotected transistors and IC's in a matter of milli-seconds - much faster than a human can react. There is no "safe" time for an overvoltage event.
That being said, the auto manufacturers recognize that voltage regulators fail, and are pretty good about building protection into the ECU's and other more expensive electronic parts. Your aftermarket stereo, maybe, maybe not.
Make sure you're running your heater, headlights, stereo and other accessories when performing the alternator tests below.