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electrical short


dat260

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Hi Guys,

My car would not start after running a few hours, I hear that click sound from the starter. I changed the starter solenoid switch, I replaced the alt recently I check all the lights sockets and fixed the wires that looked frail ect. I used the multimeter to check voltage and everything is ok, its charging while running, the battery holds charge while engine off.

But I still experience the sudden lack of electrical power to start the engine, Iam always boosting or push start. Once the car starts all light work and everything is bright.

Now, the other day while I was checking for other possible loose wire I tried to start the car and I heard the clicking sound again but I thought I saw a puff of smoke coming from the distributor area. Could that be were the electrical drain comes from? I don't want to buy anymore parts that probably did not cause the clicking sound and sudden voltage drain. Any advice?

Thanks,

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Do one test first. When you have the "click" no start condition, remove the small spade wire connector (BY wire) at the starter that is your key "start" +12 signal, and connect the spade terminal on the starter to the battery + terminal with a different wire. (make sure you are in neutral!!!). If the starter cranks strongly again, you have narrowed the problem to one of two common places that affect the ability of this connection to supply sufficient current to the solenoid to engage it. (And you know the starter solenoid is fine)

1. The key switch in the Start position is not able to supply enough current to the starter terminal due to a bad key switch.

2. The spade terminal on the end of the BY wire at the starter is not well connected to its wire. Cut it off and replace it after thoroughly cleaning the bare wire you will strip, to add the new 1/4 spade terminal to it. Solder this terminal to the wire if at all possible or make a very good crimp and insulate with heat shrink either way.

Let us know what happens.

PS. I f you haven't already done, thoroughly clean the heavy battery wires and their connections at either end, att the battery, at the starter and where the negative line is grounded (starter mounting bolt?).

If the battery cable terminal ends are poorly connected to their wires, replace the cables.

Edited by zKars
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Do one test first. When you have the "click" no start condition, remove the small spade wire connector (BY wire) at the starter that is your key "start" +12 signal, and connect the spade terminal on the starter to the battery + terminal with a different wire. (make sure you are in neutral!!!). If the starter cranks strongly again, you have narrowed the problem to one of two common places that affect the ability of this connection to supply sufficient current to the solenoid to engage it. (And you know the starter solenoid is fine)

1. The key switch in the Start position is not able to supply enough current to the starter terminal due to a bad key switch.

2. The spade terminal on the end of the BY wire at the starter is not well connected to its wire. Cut it off and replace it after thoroughly cleaning the bare wire you will strip, to add the new 1/4 spade terminal to it. Solder this terminal to the wire if at all possible or make a very good crimp and insulate with heat shrink either way.

Let us know what happens.

PS. I f you haven't already done, thoroughly clean the heavy battery wires and their connections at either end, att the battery, at the starter and where the negative line is grounded (starter mounting bolt?).

If the battery cable terminal ends are poorly connected to their wires, replace the cables.

hi,

thank you for the reply. There are three wires with spade connectors connected at the solenoid. One come out of the starter body and connects to the solenoid and the other from the solenoid, both are connected to the same pole on the solenoid. On the positive side there is the fat cable that goes to the + battery terminal and two small ones from the car harness both on the same pole except one, it has its own place on the solenoid. Which one is the key start wire?

thank again,

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Black yellow coming from the harness. No idea why you would have three wires there. There is a single 1/4" male spade terminal on the starter. The black /yellow wire from the harness should be the only thing attached to it. If there's more, then some one has added something... Pictures might help.

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Black yellow coming from the harness. No idea why you would have three wires there. There is a single 1/4" male spade terminal on the starter. The black /yellow wire from the harness should be the only thing attached to it. If there's more, then some one has added something... Pictures might help.

ok, I figured out which wire. I used a hand held remote starter instead of a wire like you said, is that ok? With the remote the engine turn pretty good. Therefore I will apply step two of your explanation and clean the spade connector and take from there. Will let you know.

thank you very much,

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I've read that the 260Z's tend to have a problem passing enough current through to the solenoid to get it to do its job. The fix is to install a relay to drive the starter solenoid. If your remote starter does the job, but the regular starting circuit doesn't, you might have that problem.

Search around the internet for "260Z starter relay" and you'll find more information.

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I've read that the 260Z's tend to have a problem passing enough current through to the solenoid to get it to do its job. The fix is to install a relay to drive the starter solenoid. If your remote starter does the job, but the regular starting circuit doesn't, you might have that problem.

Search around the internet for "260Z starter relay" and you'll find more information.

Hi guys,

Iam done for the night now. Iam suspecting a defective battery or the ignition switch like you said. The battery is two years old, when connected to the volt metter it reads 12.3v when engine off and 12.7 to 13.0v when engine running. When I try to start the car with the key the voltage drops to 5.5v to 7.0v and it does not start. Also tomorrow I will clean the spade connector, its covered in green mould, and take it from there. Right now I put the battery on a charger and will leave it on for 24hrs.

I will look up this relay fix, thks Zed Head.

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hey guys,

Iam sitting here thinking about my problem. I saw the relay kit on ebay and I was wondering about the factory installed starter relay. If I install that relay from ebay do I have to disconnect the starter relay? Could it be that the factory installed relay is defective?

Datsun 240Z Z 280z 510 620 Starter Relay Upgrade Kit | eBay

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hey guys,

Iam sitting here thinking about my problem. I saw the relay kit on ebay and I was wondering about the factory installed starter relay. If I install that relay from ebay do I have to disconnect the starter relay? Could it be that the factory installed relay is defective?

Datsun 240Z Z 280z 510 620 Starter Relay Upgrade Kit | eBay

What do you mean by the "factory installed relay"? The starter solenoid?

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What do you mean by the "factory installed relay"? The starter solenoid?

I have a few relays on the passenger side, inside the car. I know the starter has one the wipers has one, the horn and others. They are factory installed. So since I might install an aftermarket relay for my starting problem I was not sure if having two relays for the same function is a good idea.

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I've read that the 260Z's tend to have a problem passing enough current through to the solenoid to get it to do its job. .

Hmm, I recently had the EXACT same problem with a 280ZX. Intermittent, one out of 10 cranks. If I shorted from the + post to the solenoid with a screwdriver it would hit and crank.

I wired in a failsafe switch to crank it. I tried it the next time the keyswitch only produced a click and it blew a 15 amp fuse. At that point I replaced the starter.

Some sort of failure mode in these starters causing excessive solenoid draw... which is a great way to ruin ignition switches.

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The battery is two years old, when connected to the volt metter it reads 12.3v when engine off ... the voltage drops to 5.5v to 7.0v and .

A battery at 12.3 is 50% discharged. And it should not drop below 9V when cranking. YOu most likely need a new battery.

A fully charged battery is 12.6 or above with the engine not running. 12.1V is 90% discharged.

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When I try to start the car with the key the voltage drops to 5.5v to 7.0v and it does not start.

As Wade says, and you suspected. Not enough cranking amperage left to keep the voltage up. Batteries wear out eventually after so many charge-discharge cycles. Any good auto parts store can test it for you to be sure.

And there are no factory issue starter relays. The power to the starter solenoid comes directly through the ignition switch. There are other relays but they aren't for the starter.

There are other things on the solenoid power wire that could be causing a drawdown. If your battery tests okay, you might get the wiring diagram out and find those other things, like the seat belt buzzer timer, for example.

Edited by Zed Head
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update;

I check the battery after being on the charger for almost 48hrs, put the volt meter to it and got 12.6v. tried to start with key but not enough juice to turn engine. Also, I used the remote starter and same result. I will get a new battery tomorrow and a starter relay and hopefully everything will be fine.

Thank you everybody for your input.

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I have a few relays on the passenger side, inside the car. I know the starter has one the wipers has one, the horn and others. They are factory installed. So since I might install an aftermarket relay for my starting problem I was not sure if having two relays for the same function is a good idea.

You "know" the starter has a relay inside the car? If it does, it's not stock.

The starter solenoid is the SOLE relay in the stock starting system. I added a $5 relay to trigger the solenoid directly from the battery (using the ignition switch to trigger the relay coil) and haven't had issues since.

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You "know" the starter has a relay inside the car? If it does, it's not stock.

The starter solenoid is the SOLE relay in the stock starting system. I added a $5 relay to trigger the solenoid directly from the battery (using the ignition switch to trigger the relay coil) and haven't had issues since.

I was assuming, but apparently there is not a relay for the starter. I just ordered a starter relay and waiting for it. Also I was told that my electric fuel pump (which I removed 20yrs ago) has a relay that is always on and causes also battery drain. I'am going to unplug it put the battery back on charge and take it from there.

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