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HDJ81V Help !

vsjabbal

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Greetings,

I am new to this community and just fulfilled my childhood dream of having a project car. 80 series Diesel LC (JDM).

I grew up in Kenya, East Africa where the road conditions are not that great. The ideal car to have is an AWD Subaru (Safari Rally culture) and Toyotas/Nissans as they were readily available and of course extremely reliable.

Current residence is in Texas (Dallas area).

I purchased 2 LCs from the auction in Japan through Japan Car Direct and recently took delivery in Freeport, TX. Pics are attached below.

There is a click with no crank issue with the grey one. This started after I connected a spare battery with opposite polarity on the terminals.

Things I've tried:
- Inspected and replaced all blown fuses (ignition one blew and one other in the box inside on the driver side that I can't recall exactly).
- Replaced both batteries with a fully charged set (from working truck) and also swapped the starter relay and still no luck.
- Tried swapping the HEAD fuse from the Green truck and there is still no crank. Green one took the other HEAD fuse and worked just fine.

All I hear is a click upon turning the key on ignition.

I don't have much experience working on cars and wanted this to be my first DIY project.
I've found a manual for the HD-T model and tried using the diagnostics for no start from there (Batteries, fusible links, starter relay).

Someone told me the fusible link might be shot, from what I understand it has 3 nodes (a,b,c). (a) goes into a connection point. (b) goes into another connection point labelled "BATTERY B+", (c) Goes into the fuse box under the hood and has power because the horn, headlights etc work.

I'm assuming this being a 24V start, its not getting the juice from the secondary battery and that is what is causing the click. I'm not sure if I should go ahead with trying to replace the fusible link? what would be the steps to do that without damaging existing components. Found some youtube videos but nothing exact to what I'm seeing under the hood.

The source of the click is unknown to me (been trying to diagnose it myself and its hard to listen while trying to turn the key inside cabin), it could be the starter or another relay that I still have to discover.

Any help diagnosing and fixing this would be greatly appreciated !
Thank you
Vince Jabbal

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Firewout

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Hi Vince, welcome to the club.
I've had the same problem with my cruiser.
Turned out to be the battery connections being dirty and thus giving a bad connection etc. A good cleanup and all was fine again.
The 'connection point' in the picture is the 12-24v switchover relay. These are super reliable. Chances are very small that this is the problem.
I would first look at the batteries. Hook on a volt meter on each battery so you can see it when you try to start and watch the voltage when you crank. If it drops to near zero, charge the battery. If faulty, have them tested and eventually replace them.
My second guess are the contacts in the starter motor. Remove the starter motor. Not a difficult job. You need a 19mm and a 17mm spanner (if I remember correctly). Remove the rear cover of the motor and check the 2 big contacts. They can burn in quite badly. At this stage you can easily check if the motor spins ok when gou hook it up to 24v from 2 batteries.
Good luck!
Wout
 

StarCruiser

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Hi Vince and welcome to this most friendly forum.
As Wout has said, the 12/24 v relay is unlikely.
if it was low batteries you would get a rattling machine gun effect of multiple clicks so it’s not likely batteries. These run in parallel during running and only switch over to series during starting.
Prime suspect as Wout has said is the starter contacts. These do suffer from burning and there are extended contact kits to easily replace them. Easy diagnosis is to disconnect the small wire to the solenoid on the starter motor. This can be done from underneath. Once done, try to start and see if you get the same click. Turning this on its head, if you connect a test wire to the terminal on the solenoid and touch it to the right hand battery (from drivers view) you will either get a hefty click or a click and the starter operate. Be prepared for the engine to turn over in case. If it doesn’t turn it’s almost certainly the contacts and as Wout says, it’s not difficult to remove. There’s a few threads on here about replacing the contacts which are cheap and readily available. Three screws hold the back of the solenoid on.
Here I come to my word of caution. When refitting those 3 screws, clean them well and put a few drops of low strength loctite on the threads. You’ll thank me for doing it.
With the starter on the bench it’s not much work to carefully strip it and give it a clean. There’s probably not much more to do but check brushes aren’t worn down (haha) and the commutator isn’t damaged. Both will probably look like new given the little use these things get.
Post up some pics as you go.
best
Rich.
 

clivehorridge

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I’ll second StarCruiser’s suggestion that it’s the starter solenoid contacts (mounted on the starter). I’ve recently had to replace mine after only 460k kms. :icon-rolleyes:

I don’t have part numbers, but you can buy a kit, it comes with everything you need...
 
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vsjabbal

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Thank you @StarCruiser & @clivehorridge. I was able to have a friend help me out today.

Here's what I did:
- Measured voltage on 12-24v switchover relay before and after crank. Got 12V (11.9ish) and (11.9ish) before ignition turn. After turn, E showed ~18V + It was really cold, I can re-measure that (PS pic)
- Went down to the starter from under the car and pulled the plastic housing (broke it accidentally, can I glue it back on?) to inspect the solenoid connection (PS pic below)
- Bought a starter cable (hyperlink here <- 4ft in length one) to hotwire the starter from the positive terminal on the left battery
- Question here, should I be connecting it to the switchover relay to hotwire the starter for more volts and safety ?
 

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vsjabbal

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Im a noob, so excuse the questions if they're super obvious and the baby steps :)
I also didn't have a 17mm or 19mm spanner so will get that tomorrow most likely
 

StarCruiser

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Vince, sorry, it looks like I wasn’t clear. You don’t need a big cable, just a small piece of wire, I think 18 gauge or the like.
you don’t need to be doing anything with the changeover relay or any big cables so put the cover back on. Also refit the plastic cover to the heavy cable on the starter once this is sorted with silicone or the like.
The connection I am talking about is a thin wire about 1/8” diameter and I think it’s white from memory that pushes on to a contact I think on top of the solenoid. That’s the wire you are aiming for. It’s a feel around job to find it.
 

Iwan

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11.9 volts sounds a very low voltage.. I think that you need at least 12.6 volts to get it to crank. 18 volts isn't enough to turn the starter motor.

Have you tried different batteries? Missed that you changed the batteries! (edit)

Lovelly cruisers you have.. :thumbup:
 
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vsjabbal

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@iwan_t24 Thanks for the reply !

@StarCruiser I didn't see your reply in time on NOT messing with the big cable that connects to the bottom of the starter motor.

Heres what I did:
- Disconnect the big cable on the starter motor and tried to crank. Got the same single click noise.
- Hotwired the starter motor with the positive terminal and tried to start. Heard a high frequency low battery kind of starting noise but engine didn't turn.
- Hotwired the starter motor with the switching relay on the E terminal after connecting Jump starters on each Battery (single click no engine turn)

After reading your post, obviously this probably did more damage than any good :fearscream:

- Went under the Green truck to get some pics of the starter solenoid connection but its too tight to stick a phone camera in there
Its a maze down there, not sure if what I'm pointing at is the solenoid connection or a different part altogether
 

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vsjabbal

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Vince, sorry, it looks like I wasn’t clear. You don’t need a big cable, just a small piece of wire, I think 18 gauge or the like.
you don’t need to be doing anything with the changeover relay or any big cables so put the cover back on. Also refit the plastic cover to the heavy cable on the starter once this is sorted with silicone or the like.
The connection I am talking about is a thin wire about 1/8” diameter and I think it’s white from memory that pushes on to a contact I think on top of the solenoid. That’s the wire you are aiming for. It’s a feel around job to find it.

Tested fuses inside car near driver side - ok
Tested starter relay - ok
Tested fuses under dash near changeover relay - ok
Tested continuity in terminal link - ok
Tested starter relay - ok

Buying new batteries tomorrow
 

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vsjabbal

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This is what I've been using to jump each battery
 

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vsjabbal

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It was the gauge fuse that was blown. Its cranking now :sob::sob::sob:

All the dash lights are on now, Timing belt, turbo, Oil Temp, Fuel water gauge light, handbrake light

Do I need to pull that alternator out and inspect it?
 

Firewout

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Check the connector on the rear of the alternator first for dirt or corrosion. Use some contact spray.
Check the wiring loom for any obvious spots where the loom is chafing against metal and shorts something out. A fuse doesn't blow without a reason.
I don't know the right way to check out the alternator but I'm sure @StarCruiser can shed some light on that.
Anyway, I had the same christmas tree in my dash once and that was solved with a new alternator.
 

vsjabbal

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@Firewout
The connection behind the alternator looked ok, it was brittle and pieces from the edges of the clip broke when I tugged it.

I got the alternator mounting bolts out but its just pivoting in its place and not coming out.

Also it has its own tensioner too? The belts were not loose after all the bolts came off.


This guy makes it seem so easy ^^

Excuse the video quality but the alternator got stuck in the bracket and really had to pry it out, also the connection from the harness is shown
 

vsjabbal

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Inspected the alternator, took the back cover off, looks burnt almost
 

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Firewout

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One of the connections looks burnt. This means a bad contact which causes sparking. This could be one of the reasons for the xmas tree in your dash. Fix connector and plug.
 

vsjabbal

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Got the alternator rebuilt from a local shop for $100. Christmas lights are gone. Learned a lot in the last 2 days :)
 

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