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1996 Tracker strange electrical issue
yea the blower test.
keep in mind if the ignition switch is failing
The brake lamps will work. , and head lamps work if not DRL, DLR love to fail if fitted, So i hedge on DLR, (run to the border.?)
hazards work ignition switch bad.
the hazards make the 2 blinkers flash in the cluster, this tell me the fender fuse and power is ok if car dies.
and the horn. this working also tells me box 1 fender is hot.
lots and lots of ways to tell what is good or not.

what matters most is a list of things good. (key on, and off)
at death. all things that sill work not just radio.
The radio works key on, only, so what works key off, car dead? this tells volumes of info to helpers.

the cab fuse 11 to 14 are hot all them time. of those things go dead, the fender box is next. in all cases.
do you have 5 pound key ring? a sure way to wreck a good ignition switch if ever there was..
You all are Rock Stars! After digesting these replies, I believe I will qualify for an Associates degree in auto electrical troubleshooting!

I had several ah-ha moments reading through here and my troubleshooting will be much more effective next time it acts up, and I'm pretty sure I can field repair it next time.

To answer a couple questions and ask a couple:

This is a 4wd, manual, with DRL, no A/C.

I will re-read these posts again, but is the consensus to go ahead and defeat the DRLs?

Also, not sure i understood the link to blower motor, but mine operates at high only (no blow in first two positions) and seems to be falling apart. Saw a post about a "wire tie" repair and will give that a shot, but not sure it will make my low and medium speeds work.

I will need to hunt down the battery ground at fire wall. I must have missed that one (it looked like it went to alternator, but the ground and positive are bundled, so i may have got on the wrong track.) I did find the ground to the starter and it is tight. May remove, clean, and reinstall just in case. Same with positive to fender fuse block and alterator.

My old Fluke is now permanently located in the glove box and I've added a long ground lead with clamp. As not to jinx myself, i've left my tow bar attached.

Armed with my new education, I will be focued on the main power paths and will look for voltage drops with headlights on.

Can't thank you guys enough and will keep you posted!
DRL, , is optional in USA. and the module that runs it love to burn up. and hard find , so when it does, many folks defeat it, my kill dRL page covers that.
see 96 here::::: http://www.fixkick.com/power-elect/DRL/Index.html

your blower resistor is burned up. and works on high, the high mode the resistor is bypassed.
see resistor block, the glove box comes out easy, and so does that air cooled resistor block, (my 96 was burned up too)

so if car dies on this car (on DLR cars) see if fan blower is dead,
If I knew all things that were dead and not dead, the cause is super more obvious (the fuse box wiring diagram shows this)

[Image: 3_03_08_18_6_34_21.jpeg]
top things dead.
cluster dead. gauges, and all idiot lamps. dead.
parking lamps dead, 1st click, or DLR dead,
Blower in dash dead on high.
brake lamps (2 man test) the brakes on this car work with keys in hand. key off. as do parking lamps.
there are 4 main power paths in this, see fender fuse box for that reason.
as you can see hot all the time feeds, are huge clue as to what is wrong.
even the horn is huge clue.
next time it fails, jiggle the key? if the switch is failing, this act wakes it up.
hazards dead. (they work key off) and a huge clue factor.
stop brake dead? at anytime key on or off.
this group dead shows power is gone in MAIN. (box fuse fender)

all the wires are in section 8a here,
No failures to far. One more question, can someone give me better directions to that DRL resistor on a '96. Going to bypass but having a little trouble finding the little bugger. Is it in behind the washer reservoir or am I not getting warm?
(08-09-2018, 09:28 AM)samhoustonkurt Wrote: No failures to far. One more question, can someone give me better directions to that DRL resistor on a '96. Going to bypass but having a little trouble finding the little bugger. Is it in behind the washer reservoir or am I not getting warm?

page 3 here ,discloses this grand secret. see that fender liner in black plastic, its just above there, right front, not under the hood.

and here

in 1997 the resistor is now gone forever.
So I'm looking up in the wheel well? Or do I need to take the plastic liner out? Is there a way to intercept the wires under the hood?
Never mind, found it, and found wires that I'll try to track back to a better intercept point tomorrow (and that's a big resistor!). By this time tomorrow, there will be a dash switch to return control to the the pilot (me.)
yes, big and in strange place.
having a switch is cool idea. so it can be drivers choice.

good luck to you !

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