4WS works, doesn't work - Mazda MX-6 Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-16-10, 14:54 Thread Starter

 
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4WS works, doesn't work

4WS comes on, goes off...very intermittent.

I'm assuming that my control unit is on the fritz? It probably needs a reset. Is this as easy as pulling the connectors and reseating them?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-17-10, 15:24

 
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VERIFY that the fluid level sensor is not throwing the code. Could be a failing stepper motor, or a bunk timer unit. I have any and all parts necessary to fix it if you need them.

I will check for your parking brake cables tonight, forgot last night.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-17-10, 16:55 Thread Starter

 
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How do you verify that?

The stepper motor makes no noises, etc. But what does happen is that when it activates, the PS hoses pulsate to life.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-10, 9:46

 
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by the fluid fill there are wires going to it. I am not sure if it is normally open or normally closed. But i am pretty sure i just spliced the two wires together to fix it. Guess that means it is normally closed for the right operation.

It sounds more like a stepper motor issue.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-10, 10:54
 
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The #1 culprit is the Timer Box and the failure of its ECU. It will get hot and shut off, then sometimes return. I've even had mine pulse on/off while driving. Sometimes pulling the fuse under the hood will reset it's pea-brain, but it won't last.

One of these days, I'll have to fashion a bypass. The only purpose of the timer box is to delay system shut off in the event of an engine stall or an accident that may suddenly remove power from the system before the car comes to a complete stop. It's not inherently dangerous, the steering just gets a little heavier and you have to give it a little more input when it fails in a turn. Like @ 70 on a freeway transition; been there, drove that.

The timer is all 12v inputs and outputs. The voltage doesn't drop to 5v until it passes through the 4WS ECU input lead. It's the smaller and ligher of the two 4WS black boxes under the front seats.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-10, 12:52 Thread Starter

 
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Thanks...I'll have to do that.

The last box I had, the safety shut off didn't work LOL

I put in a new box and everything seemed to be working fine. But I'm having moments of where the 4WS isn't on and it's not working. Then I will here the relay click, the light comes on, the relay clicks off, then the light goes off, relay on then the 4WS works again. It's a continuose cycle. I have a spare ECU I believe. I will have to swap and see if that does the trick

Jphillips, let me know when you want me to paypal you for those items

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-10, 14:05
 
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Timer box, especially if you can hear it.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-10, 22:40

 
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still trying to sell Zach my timer unit. New In Box timer unit....$200 from dealer. $75 from jphillips. I have sooo many 4ws parts. and i haven't owned or driven one in years. lol.

remember folks at home....the timer unit is 19/20 problems with the 4ws system.


Zach, have you given the timer box a dedicated voltage line to verify it is not a stupid wire to the timer box? Maybe a bad connection in the box. I have a used unit or three lying around too, i could toss you for verification.

I haven't even checked for parking brake cables yet. Give me another day or two please. gl

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-20-10, 0:58 Thread Starter

 
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I'm going to have to do some diagnostics when I have a day or two. It's my DD right now with the coupe shelved.

I'll get to it soon enough...have to worry about swapping out the autotragic first

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-10, 13:16
 
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I remember when those damn timer boxes were $50 a piece..
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-25-10, 9:59
 
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Potentially stupid question: How hard is it to replicate the function the timer box does with a self-designed and built cricuit?

'88 Mazda 626 2.0i-16 4ws
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-25-10, 11:05 Thread Starter

 
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I want to find the schmatics of the relay box...I can probably fix them.

Another odd issue...sometimes the light doesn't come on full strength...sometimes it's dimly light??

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-10, 19:20
 
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The wiring diagrams give you everything BUT the internal stuff of the IP chip, but it's all 12 volts and grounds.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-1-10, 12:30 Thread Starter

 
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I think I may have found my issue with my original relay/timer box...

I took it apart and cleaned the contacts on the magnetic switch relay and I noticed several (read almost all) of the solder joints to be cracked, or starting to crack. So I re-soldered all of them, sprayed the connections down with Cremolin. I'm going to install it and see if this helps. If not, next case is cap replacement, but they all looked good.

I can probably start fixing them for people if they would like once this works

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-2-10, 11:36
 
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That's actually a very plausible explanation for the timer box being such a common problem...

'88 Mazda 626 2.0i-16 4ws
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