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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, newbie here from the Philippines. I have a 1992 Japanese sw20 3sge (I'm not really sure of the year for we don't have VINs stamped).
Last night 3 warning lights came on all at the same time. (I learned about these lights upon reading posts here on MR2OC)
the engine compartment fan, the catalytic converter overheating and the battery discharge. Since it was dark and raining, i decided to just keep on driving for i was already near home. As i parked, water temp was still normal but battery gauge was down half way. Turned engine off then tried to restart, it was turning over but won't start so i got my charger thinking to add more juice and charged the battery. 2 hours later later still the same, lots of power on the starter but won't start.
Any inputs would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Yup 3 lights of death, but it could be the voltage sensing wire as well, went through I thought 3 defective alts but turned out was just the wire.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #4
This indicates the alternator has failed.

The year of the car can be identified with the chassis number found in the frunk. No need for a VIN number. www.toyodiy.com can tell you. It should be SW20-0000000. Input your numbers where the zeros are.

Hello GDII,
Greetings from the Philippines!
Thanks, with your help, my baby now has an identification. Although she used to be a RHD in Japan, she's now converted to a LHD for we are not allowed to drive RHDs here. 063410199.. is this her complete VIN? I can't seem to get it to expand...
Market
Japan
Year
10/1991
Make
TOYOTA
Model
MR2
Frame
SW20

Vehicle characteristics
GRADE:G:G, G LIMITED TYPE
DESTINATION:JPN:JAPAN
BODY:CP:COUPE
ENGINE:3SGE:2000CC 16-VALVE DOHC EFI
TRANSMISSION:MTM:MANUAL TRANSMISSION
GEAR SHIFT TYPE:5F:MTM, 5-SPEED FLOOR SHIFT
COLOR CODE:202
TRIM CODE:

Search Results
VIN*Model codeFromToFrame Characteristics
063410199..SW20-ACMQF12/1989 -07/1999SW20GJPNCP3SGEMTM5F
Click here to continue
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #5
Yup 3 lights of death, but it could be the voltage sensing wire as well, went through I thought 3 defective alts but turned out was just the wire.
Hello orangemica,
Thanks for the reply. I learned a new term today about MR2s, 3 Lights of Death😆.
Knew about the "Hose from Hell" and "Hose from Hell on Earth" but I think I don't have that problem having an NA (3sge).
Are you pertaining to the Black and Yellow wire? I've been reading about this notorious wire on other posts but haven't started work on my car, still gathering more info before I dig in.
If so, what would you suggest to do with the wire?
 

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Sorry GDIl, forgot to ask, my busted alternator is also the reason for it not starting?
If your battery is not charged due to running it low because it was not being charged by the alternator or alternator system failing, then yes.

Even if you haven't fixed the problem, the car should still start and run if you have a freshly charged battery. Only for a short time but a failed charging system will not stop a car running.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #8
If your battery is not charged due to running it low because it was not being charged by the alternator or alternator system failing, then yes.

Even if you haven't fixed the problem, the car should still start and run if you have a freshly charged battery. Only for a short time but a failed charging system will not stop a car running.
I see, I guess theres another problem, maybe an ignition fuse blown because its cranking really well but won't fire up and when ignition is switched to on position, she has only the door open and oil pressure lights on, all the others are off which wasn't the case before.
Thanks, appreciate your reply.
 

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I see, I guess theres another problem, maybe an ignition fuse blown because its cranking really well but won't fire up and when ignition is switched to on position, she has only the door open and oil pressure lights on, all the others are off which wasn't the case before.
Thanks, appreciate your reply.
That does sound like there are other issues. Having no CEL (Check Engine Light) with the key in the ON position points towards at least the 15Amp EFI fuse in the engine bay fuse box. No power to the ECU means no CEL with engine off. But if you are only getting the oil light then there is more fuses or a main fuse such as the 40A AM2 fuse in the front fuse box.

The starter system is completely separate to the engine running system.
 

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Hello GDII,
Greetings from the Philippines!
Thanks, with your help, my baby now has an identification. Although she used to be a RHD in Japan, she's now converted to a LHD for we are not allowed to drive RHDs here. 063410199.. is this her complete VIN? I can't seem to get it to expand...
Market
Japan
Year
10/1991
Make
TOYOTA
Model
MR2
Frame
SW20

Vehicle characteristics
GRADE:G:G, G LIMITED TYPE
DESTINATION:JPN:JAPAN
BODY:CP:COUPE
ENGINE:3SGE:2000CC 16-VALVE DOHC EFI
TRANSMISSION:MTM:MANUAL TRANSMISSION
GEAR SHIFT TYPE:5F:MTM, 5-SPEED FLOOR SHIFT
COLOR CODE:202
TRIM CODE:

Search Results
VIN*Model codeFromToFrame Characteristics
063410199..SW20-ACMQF12/1989 -07/1999SW20GJPNCP3SGEMTM5F
Click here to continue
JDM cars never really had a VIN as such. They were built in Japan for Japan so they just had a chassis number. I've never been able to get that number to expand, I'm sure someone with some better database accessing skills can but I don' think it will help you, I've found all the info I need just on the chassis number alone. I take it your number is around 57000?

Interesting that you have to have LHD cars there. Must make it hard to buy cars that never had a LHD version.

Tip, when quoting make sure that your typed text is below the [/QUOTE] tag. I missed a few as your reply was inside the quoted text. I hope this helps.

Your car is almost the same as mine except a hardtop and now LHD. Mine is an AJMQF, June 1990 G-Limited T-Top.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #11
Hi GDII,

Yes, all cars sold here new and used are LHD, I think its illegal to drive a RHD. Yep, my chassis is 57073.
I like your car... I'm envious of T-Tops but my bigger setback is not having power windows specially on the right where its so hard to reach the riser when I'm alone.

Am I right to say yours is NA also? I've been wondering if 3sge has the Hose from Hell or not. Also are they non-interference engines? Had my car since 2013, has 66+ thousand kilometers and I haven't changed my cam belt, I bet previous Japanese owner didn't change it at 42+ thousand kilometers (when I got it).

Just got back from my car, all 3 fuses in the relay box in the engine compartment are ok but I got no spark in my spark plug when I pulled one out and cranked. Hopefully my mech will come over this weekend to check it out and I can discuss with him your ideas for he does know Toyota but mine is the only MR2 he has touched.
Thanks again.
 

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Hi GDII,

Yes, all cars sold here new and used are LHD, I think its illegal to drive a RHD. Yep, my chassis is 57073.
I like your car... I'm envious of T-Tops but my bigger setback is not having power windows specially on the right where its so hard to reach the riser when I'm alone.

Am I right to say yours is NA also? I've been wondering if 3sge has the Hose from Hell or not. Also are they non-interference engines? Had my car since 2013, has 66+ thousand kilometers and I haven't changed my cam belt, I bet previous Japanese owner didn't change it at 42+ thousand kilometers (when I got it).

Just got back from my car, all 3 fuses in the relay box in the engine compartment are ok but I got no spark in my spark plug when I pulled one out and cranked. Hopefully my mech will come over this weekend to check it out and I can discuss with him your ideas for he does know Toyota but mine is the only MR2 he has touched.
Thanks again.
So you don't have power windows or they just don't work? If you have manual windows yours is a G model. Does it have manual steering too?

Yes mine is NA with the GEN2 3SGE. Version 1 of the 3SGE like yours, in 92 they made some changes to the GEN2 3SGE but nothing major.

That's very low KMs. I think, the distance vs the age of the belt is more of a problem but these are non interference engines so if it snaps you won't destroy your engine.

I'd say a bigger fuse in the front is out of you are not getting spark and no CEL.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #13
I don't have power windows, my mech and I have tried to install one even just the right side but he says the riser location is too low that a salvaged motor and mechanism from other Toyotas won't work, won't open and close all the way. I will have to find an MR2 mechanism he says, unfortunately no one junks MR2s here.
My power steering we just installed years ago from I think old Corolla parts.

Another thing I noticed when we looking for whats making rattle sounds at the rear, we put the car on a lifter and we can't find the axle carrier and bearing like in the other posts and pictures I saw, which they say is the culprit most of the time. I have this irritating rattle when driving on not so smooth concrete roads, but on asphalt its heaven...

The Philippines has 7k+ islands, if we want to go for really long drives, we have to drive to a port and ride a ferry with the car to the next island :) hence the low mileage, unless its a daily driver. I've always wondered how its like to drive there in beautiful Australia where its possible to drive around a whole continent...wow.

I will check them fuses, first the 40A AM2 fuse in the front fuse box you told me.
Thanks.
Oh I forgot, do we have the Hose from Hell or only for 3sgte?
 

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No HFH or carrier bearing on the NA. Your problem sounds electrical and should be easy to solve. I’d look at the ground cables as lights indicate multiple failures. If alternator dead car will still run on full battery.

jim
 

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I don't have power windows, my mech and I have tried to install one even just the right side but he says the riser location is too low that a salvaged motor and mechanism from other Toyotas won't work, won't open and close all the way. I will have to find an MR2 mechanism he says, unfortunately no one junks MR2s here.
My power steering we just installed years ago from I think old Corolla parts.

Another thing I noticed when we looking for whats making rattle sounds at the rear, we put the car on a lifter and we can't find the axle carrier and bearing like in the other posts and pictures I saw, which they say is the culprit most of the time. I have this irritating rattle when driving on not so smooth concrete roads, but on asphalt its heaven...

The Philippines has 7k+ islands, if we want to go for really long drives, we have to drive to a port and ride a ferry with the car to the next island :) hence the low mileage, unless its a daily driver. I've always wondered how its like to drive there in beautiful Australia where its possible to drive around a whole continent...wow.

I will check them fuses, first the 40A AM2 fuse in the front fuse box you told me.
Thanks.
Oh I forgot, do we have the Hose from Hell or only for 3sgte?
So manual windows means it's a G rather than a G-LIMITED like mine. Does it have a rear spoiler? The lightest lowest spec SW20 Japan offered.

You should be able to import power window parts from Japan but you are probably better off getting some USA parts being LHD.

Interesting that you fitted power steering from Corolla parts. Do you have the electric pump or somehow using the hydro pump on the engine?

The NA cars do not have the axle carrier being. They have a short left side axle and a long right side axles where the turbo powered cars have the carrier bearing with the equal length outside axles.

You might be looking at suspension ball joints, swaybar bushes or end links.

Yeah that makes things a bit harder to get around. I'm in New Zealand, not quite Australia. But we do have some great long driving roads even though we have 2 main islands that can restrict travel a small amount.

On the hose from hell, the NA has 2 hoses that do go to the oil cooler but they are well protected by a heat shield and do not get as hot because there is no turbo. I've not seen these fail on the 3SGE. So they do not have the name of HFH and HFHOE. I've had to replace my coolant bypass pipes which these hoses are connected to, not ideal doing it in the car but you don't have to worry about these, a 3SGTE problem only.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #16
No HFH or carrier bearing on the NA. Your problem sounds electrical and should be easy to solve. I’d look at the ground cables as lights indicate multiple failures. If alternator dead car will still run on full battery.

jim
Hi Jim,
Thanks a lot for your inputs, will discuss them all with my mechanic so he will have pointers, my car is the only mr2 he works on.
Cheers,
Vic
 

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Hi Jim,
Thanks a lot for your inputs, will discuss them all with my mechanic so he will have pointers, my car is the only mr2 he works on.
Cheers,
Vic
Check the main ground cable from chassis to top of transmission on left hand side. This one seems to cause most of the issues. Don’t just look at it but remove bolts , clean and reinstall with anti sieze compound.

Good luck and keep us posted on progress. Pics are always helpful as often we can spot potential problem areas especially if aftermarket equipment added (alarm, stereo, etc).

jim
 

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... I’d look at the ground cables as lights indicate multiple failures...
Those three lights were intentionally wired to come on together. The philosophy was that every light should have a test mode at startup, and so every light that did not have an intrinsic test mode was wired to the charge light with a diode so that it would come on before the engine is started. Hence, when the alternator actually fails, they all light up like a christmas tree.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Discussion Starter #19
Check the main ground cable from chassis to top of transmission on left hand side. This one seems to cause most of the issues. Don’t just look at it but remove bolts , clean and reinstall with anti sieze compound.

Good luck and keep us posted on progress. Pics are always helpful as often we can spot potential problem areas especially if aftermarket equipment added (alarm, stereo, etc).

jim
Great, we will do that on the ground wire this weekend, will ask mech to try the relays also. I checked all the fuses in the engine compartment and frunk, surprisingly they are all ok.
Thanks again Jim.
 

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1992 MR2 SW20 NA
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Those three lights were intentionally wired to come on together. The philosophy was that every light should have a test mode at startup, and so every light that did not have an intrinsic test mode was wired to the charge light with a diode so that it would come on before the engine is started. Hence, when the alternator actually fails, they all light up like a christmas tree.
Hi rmeller,
That kinda sounds technical but I somehow get the idea, thanks. One thing though, when you say like Christmas tree, you mean blinking? My 3 lights stayed on until I got home. When I tried to restart my batt was still strong and cranking but engine won't fire up and all dash lights gone except oil warning and door open.
 
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