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89 toyota pick up stall/start issue

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89 yota pickup beast
New User

Sep 10, 2021, 3:29 PM

Post #1 of 2 (150 views)
89 toyota pick up stall/start issue Sign In

I have one of the most tricked out old Toyotas (in my opinion) and its been rock solid, hasn't broke down in 25 years....until recently. It will randomly shut off out of nowhere, and randomly just not start. Impossible to diagnose bc its so intermittent and i checked all the normal stuff.

one time it will die when im crusing at 55 on the hwy, next time it will die when im redlining it on the trails. When it shuts off it never starts right away, but always eventually starts back up. sometimes 2 minutes later, sometimes not til an hour later. it cranks but the engine doesnt turn over. same deal with when i go to start it after being off and it wont start, i just keep trying every few minutes and then its good.

this issues will happen multiple times in a day, and then not happen for months, its been maybe a year. it feels like its happening more frequently now tho. and no sometimes when it does start, it will runs super rough for 10 seconds sounded like its dying idling very low, when i try to gas it to get the rpm up it does not respond. sometime it stalls after 10-15 seconds, sometimes it starts running fine and has no further issues on the drive.

one time i was able to pull the coil wire off the ignitor and held it close to try to start to check for spark after it wouldnt start...there was NO SPARK. so i replaced the coil and ignitor thinking i found and fixed the problem. but no, it still happens.

I have 2 new batteries in parallel with voltmeters. i replaced the fuel pump with a year or 2. the coil and ignitor are brand new.

it sounds like a spark or electrical issue when it shuts off or wont start, but is there anything further upstream from the coil/ignitor to causes the issue?

but when it runs rough and acts like its stalling out it sounds like a fuel issue. im super stuck on this problem bc its so intermittent and i can never have it in a shop when its acting up.

my dad is a 50 veteran mechanic and im an engineer, we been able to figure out everything else o this bad boy. this is my 1st time on a forum, hoping a veteran out there has dealt with this problem, thanks!!

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 10, 2021, 3:42 PM

Post #2 of 2 (148 views)
Re: 89 toyota pick up stall/start issue Sign In

  All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

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