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New member introduction with question...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Thunder, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Jul 8, 2008 at 2:42 PM
    #1
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    bpu's
    Hello people,
    i just found this forum and already have a question for ya'll (i'll try to keep this short). :)

    First, let me say i'm a born and raised Toyota nut, but don't have much experience with the truck genre (i have 16 years behind the wheel of MR2's, but only 4 years with my daily driver Tacoma).

    Here's my situation,
    ...i put in an aftermarket stereo and promptly had the rheostat/light dimmer burn out. After searching around online i've found folks saying this is typical, but i can't imagine why it would be.

    So two questions,
    ~Is this a truly 'normal' occurance with an aftermarket deck on my model truck?
    ~Are there interchangeable rheostats for my truck? (i'm having no luck at all locating the part after many many calls to junk yards)

    My info:
    1998 (gen 1, right?) 2wd, 5 speed Tacoma with barely over 60,000 miles on the clock.

    Anyway, thanks for reading.
    i'm looking forward to you gurus dropping some knowledge on me! :D
     
  2. Jul 8, 2008 at 3:11 PM
    #2
    neontrail

    neontrail ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈

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    welcome to the forum...:D
     
  3. Jul 8, 2008 at 3:54 PM
    #3
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    welcome to tw!!
     
  4. Jul 8, 2008 at 4:17 PM
    #4
    missileman125fw

    missileman125fw Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TacomaWorld. Why don't ya post some pictures of your Tacoma if ya get a chance.
    Somebody will chime in soon to answer your questions!:)
     
  5. Jul 8, 2008 at 4:23 PM
    #5
    Toy4Life

    Toy4Life 668: The Neighbor of the Beast

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    Welcome to TW! Sorry, no answers for the stereo q's, I'm still running stock.
     
  6. Jul 9, 2008 at 7:43 AM
    #6
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    bpu's
    Thanks for all the 'welcomes' people. :D
    i've been checking out some pics of a few member tacos on here, and umm, how do i put this...not sure my rig is nearly as much to look at. lol
    Not a bad idea i guess, i'll see what i can do... ;)
     
  7. Jul 9, 2008 at 7:51 AM
    #7
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    I'm not really familiar with the 1st gens but I'll take a shot...

    How do you know it went out?
    Are your dash lights on?
    Did your old head unit dim with the dash lights?
    Did you tape up all unused wires? You might have a dimmer wire in your Tacoma.
    Have you checked all the fuses?
    If all these don't help, and you have a dimmer wire connected to your head unit, disconnect it and see if that fixes it.
    maybe there is a dimmer wire attached to the headunit. I think it is normally orange, but double check that.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2008 at 9:33 AM
    #8
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    Funny smell & whisps of smoke was the first hint. Then the knob/dial thingie melted over the metal nub of the rheostat.
    When i pulled the rheostat i found it the harness on the back fused together and with distorted wire insulation.
    No, they've not worked since.
    The old unit was OEM, and didn't work at all from the time of purchase, but looked unmollested (i.e. was never swapped with an aftermarket deck), so i'd guess it functioned normally.
    Yes, taped the unused wires, and soldered the connecting wires.
    You're right, it's probable. But i wasn't interested in figuring out which one it was...i kept it simple, only hooked up power, ground, and speakers.
    Yes, they're all fine.
    That was one of my big questions for a mechanic/tech > "how could the rheostat short out enough to darn near start a fire without blowing a fuse?"
    The stereo is completely removed. Now i just want things to go back to normal. lol

    Good questions, feel free to keep 'em coming. :D
     
  9. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:01 AM
    #9
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    bpu's
    Btw, here's a copy/paste from another forum that i found while searching my issue in case it helps...

    Re: 1998 Tacoma dash light and stereo
    Figured out what it was searching various Toyota fourms and it's seems to be a common problem when installing an aftermarket stereo. The dash light dimmer switch ([SIZE=-1]rheostat)[/SIZE]burned up for some reason. I swapped it with one from a 2001 tacoma and it works fine. Now to find one for less than the 130.00 Toyota wants.
     
  10. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:03 AM
    #10
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    So it sounds like it really did go out. It sounds like a fuse should have blown before it went out though. I bet if you replace the rheostat without figuring the cause, it will probably do it again.

    When you say you taped all unused connections. I'm assuming (but have to ask) that they were taped separately from each other.

    Also, you might want to check the fuse for protects the rheostat and make sure it is correctly sized.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM
    #11
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    bpu's
    Sorry for my ignorance, but is it correct that Gen 1 covers 1995-2004?

    Anyone have an idea if the dash dimmer/rheostat is the same for all ten of these years?

    Did the interior change at some point during production of the Gen 1's?

    It's sadly funny that Taco owners are taking such good care of their trucks. Even with my ride being 10+ years old i have yet to find even one being parted out anywhere...
     
  12. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    #12
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    Technically the 2005+ is around the fifth gen. There are a bunch of differences between the pre-2005 Tacomas and I don't know any of them. Sorry.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:21 AM
    #13
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    Agreed.
    The answer i got from the electrical tech was that multiple circuits, including the rheostat, run through a single fuse. Therefore, the fuse has a higher tolerance to accommodate these circuits and the short wasn't enough to trip the fuse.

    Agreed.
    With the likelihood that the rheostat would short again (and the difficulty i'm having locating a replacement) i completely removed the aftermarket deck and ordered an OEM replacement so that i won't have to deal with this again...well, that's my theory at least. lol

    You assume correctly...i left no exposed wire and taped them seperately.

    Good point.
    It wasn't clear to me which fuse handles this circuit, so i checked every single fuse, and they're all stock/correctly rated.

    It's great to hear a like-minded person on here...we're approaching the issue in a similar way. lol
    Thank you!
     
  14. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM
    #14
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    Ha! Man, things just got more confusing. lol
    i'll call up Toyota and see if the rheostat part# shows for other Taco years...at least that would give me a broader search and better chance of success.

    So, do any of you guys know of a good place to score some Taco parts?
    i've searched local junk yards, e-bay, craigslist, every google-internet site i can find...even posted up 'parts wanted' listings and haven't found a single parted out '98. :(
     
  15. Jul 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM
    #15
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    That's BS. A fuse should never be sized like that.

    I'd bypass the rheostat and just have full brightness.

    You need to check if your radio and dash lights are on the same fuse. That might have been why your old head unit didn't work. A lot of aftermarket head units have fuses built into them. I don't know about OEM units though.
     
  16. Jul 9, 2008 at 1:23 PM
    #16
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    Good idea for sure, i hadn't thought of that.
    i'd still like to have a rheostat filling the hole where the burnt out one went, and may as well make it work correctly while i'm at it.
    ...not to mention i'd be a little scared to attempt a ghetto rig bypass...with my luck the whole truck would go up in flames. lol

    Well, the story with the original head unit is that it worked during the test drive, and quit on me before i even got home. Figures, right? Anyway, it didn't blow a fuse at that time...just died on me, still powered up, just wouldn't put out any sound...
     
  17. Jul 9, 2008 at 1:27 PM
    #17
    Thunder

    Thunder [OP] Member

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    bpu's
    Btw, in case it helps someone else that has this issue, or gives anyone ideas on where to help me dig up a part... :help:

    On my lunch break i called Toyota and got the following info:
    Part# 84119-04010
    Good for '98-2000 Tacos without a tach.

    i've got my fingers crossed! :rolleyes:
    Where to you guys look for used parts...?

    And thanks again for all the feedback and such! :wave:
     
  18. Jul 9, 2008 at 1:28 PM
    #18
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    sounds like a short. Good luck.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM
    #19
    lsocoee

    lsocoee My hair is all natural Moderator

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    there are many dealers that have discount websites. www.trdparts4u.com is one popular one. Call them up and tell them you couldn't find that part on their website and you want a price.
     
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