Introducing Fiona!

New to Delica Canada? Please introduce yourself and your van!
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TrickyNicky
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Introducing Fiona!

Post by TrickyNicky » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:16 pm

Hello,
So I purchased a 94 L400 LWB from a private owner on the Island at the end of November and I thought I would introduce myself and her now that I've had some time with her.

First off I am having a HUGE love/hate relationship with this van.
On paper it is the best vehicle for my needs. Like many of you I'm an adventurer, I like to load the van with people and gear and escape for a few days at a time, preferably away from civilization.


The Love part - What have I done WITH my Delica:
After purchasing the van in late November, I took off down the coast driving hwy 101 and 1 all the way to San Diego before heading across the desserts to Ottawa for Christmas....and than back again in a much quicker fashion. 15,000 km in the first month of ownership is certainly a record for me. Since than I have taken her on the regular weekend trips to the island or whistler. Last weekend she really came into her own, where she worked flawlessly during the day shuttling 5-6 ppl+ 4 x 7ft+ surfboards plus all associated gear, inside and a massive SUP board on the roof. And than at night we popped the boards out and slept 2 of us comfortably in our own little cabin. I wish I had taken pics of the day and night use, just as a statement of how versatile these vans can be, I was truly amazed!

The Hate Part - What have I done TO my delica:
November:
-Coombs: Replaced most of the front steering (bushings, linkages etc), got a 2-3" lift from custom springs. FYI, I find this lift sways far too much. $2k
-Battery draining when off: Brought to CVI - replaced batteries and 1 yr old alternator, $800 didn't fix the problem.
-Installed battery quick disconnects, I currently have to pop the hood every time I stop for more than an hr
-Built a custom bed to sleep 2 without the need to move surfboards (one shorty, one 7.5' mini-mal), while retaining face-to-face seating (been removed since)

January:
-Replaced fuel filter after driving 500 km in 12 hrs through the night in a NDakota/Montana snow storm. Easy/cheap fix, thought it was going to be the fuel pump.

February:
-Pull out 50+ ft of useless wiring all electrical taped together for previous owners accessories
-Brake pedal goes to the floor sometimes, have my mechanic bleed lines, same thing, replace master cylinder, same, replace front calipers, same. $900


Persisting problems, PLEASE help if you can, I have done some searching on most of these:

Battery drain: FIXED see post 8 or 9!
I have managed to live with this problem but I would love to have it fixed! Battery is currently draining at 4A when the car is turned off. Not 0.04 or 0.4, 4A!!! Previous owner said he had the issue once, replaced alternator and it went away. CVI replaced batteries and alternator a year later, didn't fix it. I have pulled all the regular flat U-shaped fuses in the engine bay and drivers footwell with a multimeter in series, no difference. The problem is not consistent, but is present most of the time, I have left the batteries connected the odd time without it draining overnight, but most of the time it is DEAD FLAT.

Brakes:
Brakes pedal goes blank/flat/mushy/to the floor, sporadically. Lines bled multiple times, master cylinder replaced, front calipers replaced, no leaks found anywhere. I pulled the ABS fuse but have only driven it around the block (literally), it went blank once immediately, didn't the other 4 times. My mechanic says he can get it to go blank everytime he turns a HARD left, still hasn't found the issue though. He's a great (nice) mechanic, but he's not a delica mechanic.

Electrical Issues:
First and foremost the previous owner of my van was an electrical-retard (excuse my lack of political correctness). If you are reading this, I DON'T apologize, you have no business touching anything electrical, just don't do it you're going to kill someone. Everything in my van was fixed with electrical tape, EVERYTHING! I had a 12vdc car adapter plug with two wires (previously soldered), but now electrical taped to the adapter and hanging behind my dash! I have mended the obvious wiring issues but still have a few:
-4 fog lights don't work, I went to check the bulbs and moving the whole light they flicker on an off. Probably a short, something I am going to re-wire.
-reverse lights don't work (new bulbs), read about the sensor/switch on the tranny, going to try and find that. Anyone have a pic? (see post 8)
-sunroof and passenger window occasionally close 1/3 of the way and than re-open, a good push with the hand gets them past the "return" point.
-Auto-lock button has been rarely intermittent lately, especially with the sliding door lock.


So I WANT to love this van, I certainly did on my road trip, and especially this past weekend in Tofino. I know it's 20 years old and I will always be dealing with problems here and there. My issue is I can't seem to get these major problems fixed and I'm tired of paying ppl to NOT fix them! So if there's anywhere you can help, I greatly appreciate it. I am hoping to meet some club members whether it be a meet or weekend excursion!

Cheers,
Nick
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Last edited by TrickyNicky on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thelazygreenfox
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by thelazygreenfox » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:35 pm

TN Welcome to DC and our community, I hope you can sort through your problems.

1-disconnect the fuses, one at a time, for all the problem circuits you stated. If your battery stays up then thats the problem one or two or? It's a process of elimination. Don't forget your live circuit to the radio. Some fuses serve a lot of different circuits so this may not be an easy solution.

2-Have CCA bleed your brakes. The sequence is LR, RF, RR, and LF with the engine running. They know how....

3- "got a 2-3" lift from custom springs. FYI, I find this lift sways far too much." Were the shocks replaced? That's next, lots of discussion on DC right now about shocks.

Come out to the next meet and talk it up with the other owners.
Good Luck
TLWF
I've been a lazy brown, green and white fox. :M Moby Dick isn't lazy anymore but what's a "Dick?" :-D

TrickyNicky
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by TrickyNicky » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:25 pm

Had a chance to work on the van last night,
I achieved one thing for sure, fixed the reverse lights. Problem was a broken wire in the small rubber hose on the drivers side running from the van to the tailgate. Added a small length of wire, and voila, I can probably back down a fsr at night!

This also has made a difference with another problem but I am terrified to say it out loud just yet.

As for brakes, my mechanic did it multiple times in the correct order, not sure if he kept the van on. I'll ask him to do it again with the van on. CCA has been good to me but there not exactly convenient.

Lift wise, CCAs 2-3" lift is custom springs in the back and block spacers in he front. Anything I can do to stiffen up the sway besides shocks? Pretty sure that was done a couple years ago.


Is the next meet planned yet, what about the next expedition,? Would be nice to throw some ideas around, I certainly have some.

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Big-Bird
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by Big-Bird » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:36 pm

Excessive body roll....x2for shocks but you should also look at the sway bar bushings and links. When an IFS is lifted the sway bar is no longer centered in its stock position. When I did the 2.5" IFS lift kit in my Xterra it came with longer links to connect the lower control arms to the sway bar. Without the sway bar that Nissan rolled like mad, with the short OE links the sway bar couldn't do the job fully and it still had too much body roll. Installed longer links and then RS9000 shocks shortly after. Links did help, the HD shocks helped even more. Did the torsion bars only get adjusted via the bolts or were they ”CLOCKED" a few teeth in their grips? Clocking of the T-bars is something my 4x4 tech recommended when he did the xterra lift but I didn't beleive him....we ended up redoing these as he had suggested a year later...the Xterra rode like it was a car after that....weird cuz it rode on 32" tall tires.

Links are cheap but you gotta do some measuring. ...Energy Suspension makes lots of universal parts. Check em out online.

As for the battery drain shut everything off and do an amp/draw test. The radio and clock will always pull a little bit of power but not enough to drain a healthy charged system down overnight....not even after a few weeks!

X2 on the fuse pulling You're not the only one who has had electrical gremlins of late, the mysterious power drain had been asked before.
Yeah I joined the Dark Side because the medical plan is top shelf!

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TardisDeli
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by TardisDeli » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:35 am

Welcome to our Cult! Your 4 amp battery drain is huge! The only thing in my L300 that draws 5 amps when parked is my koolatron 12v cooler (the $75 Cdn Tire 12 v cooler that never cycles off as no thermostat), or my 12 volt kettle (don't buy one, it takes 30 mins to boil 1 litre water). You have a few 12volt outlets in the L400, any chance something is plugged in to the backseat one (or double wired at the base where you cant see it to run a second set of wires), like an electric blanket, or a laptop computer with a cooling fan? for 4 amps I am thinking something that creates heat or cold.

The usual suspects for battery drain are much less amps (less than 1 amp): ie: an ancient Japanese alarm system (under drivers seat) that keeps checking to see if all is Ok; the radio keeping your preset stations in memory; the interior light in the sliding door footwell. Or a remoter starter that keeps starting your van in the middle of the night??

The # 1 cause of delica battery weirdness is battery clamps dirty or NOT tight enough. Get the little metal round brush thingy, scrape clean the battery posts AND THE BATTERY cable clamp, then tighten nice and tight. Check the cables, sometimes a bit of the rubber wiring cover got scraped off with friction (you drove a gizillion kilometres), and causes a short when touching the metal delica frame.

How about if someone wired in something to help with starting in cold weather? Which perhaps was used for 1 to 2 hours of preheating, perhaps on a timer with a remote control (which u ripped out in the 50 feet of wiring you removed): ie a trickle battery charger; or engine block frost heater; or a lower radiator hose coolant preheater (tiny, inline in the lower hose, but they can be 20amp draws); or a magnetic heating pad on the outside of the fuel tank. Thus, without the timer in your 50 feet of wiring, the circuit now works constantly if the outside temp hits a preset temperature?

Was the weather cold on the times your battery was dead in the mornings? I am wondering how many power sources you are using when driving home the night BEFORE the times you can't start. If you had your heater on full blast, and your airconditioner (to defog the windows), and fancy fog lights, and the stereo bass boomboxy thingy, AND your alternator belt is slipping a bit in the rain (check the edges for fraying, cracking, and ensure it cant be turned over more than 45 ish degrees in place), and then an interior light got left on, and then you cycled the glow plugs on/off a few times before starting the engine...

When driving at night, do u ever notice ALL the dashboard indicator lights glowing faintly on and off, on and off, on and off etc. This is the delica talking to you, saying help me, help me, help me etc. It means "I am not charging enough, either my battery clamps are loose/dirty, or my alternator or battery aren't charging properly". I had that, didn't really notice all the dash lights on (just thought wow they seem brighter than usual, I must be tired), but the clue is the lights on that normally are not on ALL at the same time (maybe overheat lights, oil pressure lights, water in fuel lights, etc).

Your battery and alternator will keep needing replacement until the CAUSE is sorted. But be reassured, you have been the best delica mechanics (and very honest): Glen at Coombs, and Butch at CVI. But your intermittent problem is difficult to diagnose.

Usually most of the weird delica wiring issues are solved by Jay (Overlanderjay is his online ID) (former delica driver) in Maple Ridge. But until you can replicate the problem, it is difficult to troubleshoot.

I see Nxcski has arranged a deli-meet april 10, get there early and bring good snacks to bribe us all to give our 2 bits opinions.

Cheers Christine.

PS you mention yr fog lights go on and off, could be a bad switch, that turns itself on or off with weather as the bimetal expands/contracts (or parking downhill vs uphill gravity affecting the switch). Find the fuse for those foggos, just do it yes it s awkward, and pull out. Maybe they are turning on at night, ghosts.
Christine
Of The TardisDeli My TardisDeli travels thru time and space. Our house is nicknamed the TardisDeli Motel, as so many delii owners visit to share delii stories.

Triumph73
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by Triumph73 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:20 pm

I saw something similar at Princess Auto yesterday for around $30, it may help you troubleshoot your battery drain issue. You could do it with a standard multiplier, but you practically have to stand on your head for the fuses below the steering wheel. This would help you quickly narrow down the circuits that are drawing the most current.

http://www.amazon.com/305M-Fuse-Buddy-M ... B000W8FMXU

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patriceboivin
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by patriceboivin » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:06 pm

for the sunroof weirdness, the cable which moves the glass back and forth may be clogged with plastic powder/shredding caused by usage over the years. There are instructions online on how to unclog the mechanism.

I posted this in another thread but see the third entry here:
http://www.mdocuk.co.uk/forums/viewtopi ... c&start=75

TrickyNicky
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by TrickyNicky » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:51 pm

TardisDeli wrote: When driving at night, do u ever notice ALL the dashboard indicator lights glowing faintly on and off, on and off, on and off etc. This is the delica talking to you, saying help me, help me, help me etc. It means "I am not charging enough, either my battery clamps are loose/dirty, or my alternator or battery aren't charging properly". I had that, didn't really notice all the dash lights on (just thought wow they seem brighter than usual, I must be tired), but the clue is the lights on that normally are not on ALL at the same time (maybe overheat lights, oil pressure lights, water in fuel lights, etc).

I see Nxcski has arranged a deli-meet april 10, get there early and bring good snacks to bribe us all to give our 2 bits opinions.

Cheers Christine.
This definitely happened. All the dash lights fading and unfading as I drove along.


Now for the good news. I fixed the battery issue!!!! It was, after all this time, the reverse lights. The wire was broken between the hatch and the roof on the right hand side. It must have just been draining to ground at 4 amps. Reconnecting it with a bit of extra length and I haven't had to turn my battery off since! It is amazing how frustrating a simple problem (with fairly unlivable consequences) can be so frustrating and requires less than 5 minutes to fix.....after months of searching.

This one main issue has brought the enjoyment up so much. Last weekend I went out to blue mountain just to practice some 4x4 driving skills. I managed to get the inclinometer to be buried past 30 degrees, and she ate up everything else I threw at her. Pictures to follow.

As for the april 10th meet, it is already in my calendar. Is this a strict meet or an adventure of sorts? ( I will check the thread myself)

Hope to meet some of you soon. Thanks for any help, even if it hasn't helped me yet, reading about it will probably help me in the future.

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macro
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Re: Introducing Fiona!

Post by macro » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:36 pm

Glad you got it all sorted! They're great once you get all the gremlins worked out. Most of them come with one or two!

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