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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm hoping someone can help me out here. Recently when I put my FJ into 4W drive hi or lo, the dash indicator light does not come on. Also, the A-Trac light is not coming on either. Has anyone else experienced this? Although, it does seem that the 4WD works, just no indicator lights. At first, this may seem like a minor problem. However, wheeling in sand prior to this happening was no problem. Now when in sand (I'm sure it's in 4WD hi or lo, even though the light is not on), and at a dead stop, when I hit the gas the rpm's shut down and I can't move. Then I have to shift into reverse to get moving. I think somehow the computer is getting tripped up and shutting down the engine now when huge torque is needed, and it has to do with the 4WD light not coming on. Help!

Thanks.
 

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First, obvious probably but start checking fuses.
Second, ATRAC light should not come on in 4HI, only 4LO.
Third, verify its going into 4 wheel drive, have someone help if necessary
Fourth, if in 4 wheel, verify if ATRAC works (in 4LO), find a place for one wheel to lose traction while others are on good traction surface.
Fifth, take to dealer scratching head...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions. I did check to make sure that it goes into four wheel hi-lo, and it does. I had toyota check the connections, I assumed they checked the fuses, but will do that myself at your suggestion. Not sure if the A-Trac actually is working, so I'll try your suggetion on that too. Toyota could not find a problem after hooking up to the computer. The problem started after I had Desert Rat install two PIAA lights on my front bull bar and put in a the Warn front air-locker unit. Took it back to them, and they can't find anything wrong and they are scratching their heads. Now I'm completely at a loss.
 

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Your FJC is going into fail-safe mode due to a failure in one of the on-board systems (ABS, ATRAC, VSC, ETS, etc, etc.). What else have you done to your FJC? ATRAC-HACK? Have you looked at the wiring that was installed? Did they tap into a circuit they shouldn't have? BTW, a dealer WILL be able to detect a failure that sets the fail safe mode, so this doesn't make a lot of sense. Is there anything that you've left out of the story that would help?

FAIL-SAFE MODE: (from the FSM)
When DTCs relating to malfunctions, are set, the ECM enters fail-safe mode. During fail-safe mode, the ECM cuts the current to the throttle actuator off, and the throttle valve is returned to a 6° throttle angle by the return spring. The ECM then adjusts the engine output by controlling the fuel injection (intermittent fuel-cut) and ignition timing, in accordance with the accelerator pedal opening angle, to allow the vehicle to continue at a minimal speed. If the accelerator pedal is depressed firmly and gently, the vehicle can be driven slowly. Fail-safe mode continues until a pass condition is detected, and the ignition switch is then turned OFF.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
FAIL SAFE MODE - That makes perfect sense, thank you. Also, to answer your question, I did have the A-Trac hack, but had it reversed over a month ago by the Toyota dealer. After the reversal, and before the reversal, there were no problems. The problem started after having the recent work done with the added two PIAA lights and the Warn front air locker install. When I realized there was a problem, I took it right to Toyota, asked them to check it out and do the 15k mile service. They did the service, test drove the FJ ,and said they did not have an answer for the indicator lights not working. Furthermore, that I should go back to Desert Rat that did my front locker install, and ask them to take a look at it. I talked to the Toyota mechanic before I left, and his words were, "They did a great job on the install of the front lockers". So I took it back to Desert Rat for them to check it out, and they looked at it and couldn't find anything either. I'm completely frustrated that the Toyota dealer and Desert Rat didn't mention the FAIL SAFE MODE. Now the question is, how do I find out what is causing this to happen. I'm inclined to take it back to Desert Rat and insist that they fix the problem. After all, I paid them about $1500 for the front air locker and installation. I'm not convinced they will spend the time to work on this again. Any other suggestions on what may be causing the fail safe mode? Anyone else experienced this? could it be I'm pulling too many amps from the battery? The front air locker uses amps, the new lights use amps???

Thanks.
 

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Hmm, good questions.....

I would disconnect all associated wiring to the new equipment (lights and on-board air compressor- front locker is air-engaged, right?).Also, check where the taps for power for said equipment was taken. Sometimes, when those crimp-type taps are used they can cut the wire, giving you an open circuit. Then, add only one feature back into the system at a time, check it out then add the next to try and track what may be causing it. Sorry to say, but the people that did your mods may be "mod-smart" but not very knowledgable (is that spelled right?) about electronics and electricity.
 

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Hey look, 1000th post ^

After some minor research, I have determined that you probably live in the SW somewhere. Otherwise, I would have offered to help, sorry.
 

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Is your FJC an AT or MT transmission? If you have an AT, then you have an ADD front differential and there is a switch and wiring on the front diff that locks the axle shafts when you engage 4WD and then sends an electronic signal to the combination meter to illuminate the 4x4 indicator. If you remove your skid plate and look at the front diff is the wiring on the ADD motor connected? Is it damaged at all? Try unplugging it and reconnecting it. The signal that illuminates the 4x4 indicators runs through the ADD circuit, so I would guess that you have a problem in the ADD system. Given you recently had the front 3rd member removed. If you have a MT FJC, then I can't help you. Good luck!
 

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Is your FJC an AT or MT transmission? If you have an AT, then you have an ADD front differential and there is a switch and wiring on the front diff that locks the axle shafts when you engage 4WD and then sends an electronic signal to the combination meter to illuminate the 4x4 indicator. If you remove your skid plate and look at the front diff is the wiring on the ADD motor connected? Is it damaged at all? Try unplugging it and reconnecting it. The signal that illuminates the 4x4 indicators runs through the ADD circuit, so I would guess that you have a problem in the ADD system. Given you recently had the front 3rd member removed. If you have a MT FJC, then I can't help you. Good luck!
I agree that the likelyhood of this being the culprit is pretty high. Bellydoc seems to have a good understanding of how the circuitry is related for the TRAC, which I think is causing the power cut. Maybe due to the vehicle not de-activating the TRAC throttle control (thinking it's still in 2HI) This might be related to the front locker install.
 

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LOL, so his FJ has problems with ADD. He probably wondered why it seemed so hyper.
That would be ADHD, which might be a feature in the 3018 FJC. :)

I agree that the likelyhood of this being the culprit is pretty high. Bellydoc seems to have a good understanding of how the circuitry is related for the TRAC, which I think is causing the power cut. Maybe due to the vehicle not de-activating the TRAC throttle control (thinking it's still in 2HI) This might be related to the front locker install.
While the circuitry for the 4WD, ADD, ATRAC, RR Locker and ABS systems are very simple. There are a multitude of codes and systems that could be causing the ECM to switch into fail-safe mode (otherwise known as Limp Mode). The FSM list a number DTC that should show if a scangauge were connected. The ECM has built in logic that retards timing and cuts fuel in order to allow the vehicle to limp back to a safe location and prevent damage to the vehicle.

Nice call and troubleshooting sbechtold...
Thanks! My money is on the front ADD wiring and something getting fuked up during the locker install. I curious to see what it actually is...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys, for all your insight and suggestions. I just got off the phone with Desert Rat, that did the install on the front lockers, they are going to put in a new battery to see if doing so resolves the issue. If not, they claim they will look at it again. I'm definitely going to print out all the treads you guys send and give it to them to look at. One last thing, I'm going to take it to Toyota one more time and have them redo the diagnostics check again. I'll have to pay for that, but maybe I can get Desert Rat to reimburse me.

I appreciate any other ideas or suggestions you guys come up with.

Thanks (very bummed about my sick FJ)
 

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Thanks guys, for all your insight and suggestions. I just got off the phone with Desert Rat, that did the install on the front lockers, they are going to put in a new battery to see if doing so resolves the issue. If not, they claim they will look at it again. I'm definitely going to print out all the treads you guys send and give it to them to look at. One last thing, I'm going to take it to Toyota one more time and have them redo the diagnostics check again. I'll have to pay for that, but maybe I can get Desert Rat to reimburse me.

I appreciate any other ideas or suggestions you guys come up with.

Thanks (very bummed about my sick FJ)
And?????
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Late update! After Desert Rat agreed to replace my front Actuator for free the first time, last week the same problem occured. Again, it was the front Actuator (eletrical) that was the issue. Apparently, somehow water is getting into the Actuator unit itself, and screws up the entire electrical, lights on dash, etc. According to the Toyota website, I should be able to get the entire front axle under water without issue. However, this seems not to be the case. I'm taking the issue head on with Toyota, because they do not want to cover this damage under warranty. I'd like to hear from anyone else that has had a bad Acutuator.

Thanks.
 

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Late update! After Desert Rat agreed to replace my front Actuator for free the first time, last week the same problem occured. Again, it was the front Actuator (eletrical) that was the issue. Apparently, somehow water is getting into the Actuator unit itself, and screws up the entire electrical, lights on dash, etc. According to the Toyota website, I should be able to get the entire front axle under water without issue. However, this seems not to be the case. I'm taking the issue head on with Toyota, because they do not want to cover this damage under warranty. I'd like to hear from anyone else that has had a bad Acutuator.

Thanks.
ME...I'm picking up my rig in one hour...no atrac computer...no warrenty...Toyota will be seeing me in court...wanna join me???
 

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my vehicle went into safe mode after upgrading to bigger tires. Its probably the ecu trying to learn the change. Does anyone know how I can reset it back to normal.
 

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my vehicle went into safe mode after upgrading to bigger tires. Its probably the ecu trying to learn the change. Does anyone know how I can reset it back to normal.
That's likely a coincidence.
 

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my vehicle went into safe mode after upgrading to bigger tires. Its probably the ecu trying to learn the change. Does anyone know how I can reset it back to normal.
1. Please define 'safe mode': exactly what are you seeing that would lead you to believe that the vehicle is in what Toyota defines as 'safe mode', which is a very specific set of limitations on throttle opening and transmission operation?
2. It's very unlikely that whatever you are seeing is due to an 'ECU learning' issue related to tire diameter. What size tires were previously mounted, and what size are your new 'bigger' tires?
3. Did you perform ANY other modifications (or engine work) concurrent with installation of the larger tires? Suspension mods? Cold air intake?
4. Is the CEL illuminated?
5. If so, did you record the OBD code(s) that triggered the CEL?
6. What year model year FJ is this, and how many miles are on the odometer?
 
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