ETS Drift Ute – Down but not out

Whats the latest? Well since the Hilux had issues at the Geelong Revival Festival I have been racking my brain to find the issue. Its been one of those hard to diagnose problems that eventually turned itself from a intermittent problem to a permanent one. Last night my friend Greeny came over and we finally found it, I have to start loading the car into the trailer for its trip up to Sydney to set sail for NZ on Monday so it came just in the nick of time. I cant thank Greeny enough for his well thought out simple process behind finding the problem.


In the beginning I was positive there was an issue either in the ECU or in the plug, this was because I was able to get the ECU to power through playing around with the angle of the plug, then when the plug was inserted correctly it would fire up until the vibration would cut power to the ECU and it would shut down. Somehow between all this messing around and fault finding I decided to pull the ECU board out of its casing. When powered up and plugged in it a small part inside (electrical something) was getting hot, this meant there was a short in the system so we had to start from the beginning.

I removed everything that the ECU loom was connected to but the power and earth, switched it on and everything seemed fine, no overheating and it was holding power. So one by one I reconnected the sensors, injectors and coils. It wasn’t until I plugged in the Cam position sensor that Greeny gave me a yell from the cabin. With a wiggle on the wire it would shut down the ECU. So I pulled everything out to inspect it. Oddly there was no stripped wire or signs of visible damage, on the bench we couldn’t fault it but on the car it was definitely the issue.

I removed the crank trigger sensor off the PS13 and wired it up onto the mount of the Hilux, this time running the wire through the welsh plug hole so there will be no metallic contact. It worked and ran like a dream straight away. That feeling was amazing, ever since the Geelong Revival I have been so frustrated with it, this niggling issue was driving me crazy and it wasn’t until it went from an intermittent fault to a constant fault that I could find it.

Moral of the story, don’t give up on electrical faults, they will be there, if you keep poking around you will find them and they will mostly be an issue that wont be visible, don’t blame the operating systems like your ECU or your PDM because rarely are they ever at fault.

1 Comment
  1. Nigel,

    Congratulations on finding, and fixing, your problem. I know the feeling of chasing down an annoying electrical issue. It may take forever, but it feels great when it is fixed. We all hope to see the Ute running tip-top at the next event! Good luck Nigel, keep up the good work.

    -Nick Pullin


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