FZJ80 starting woes

Hulk

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I'm trying to figure out why my FZJ80 is having intermittent starting issues. Right now it won't start at all. This has been going on a few months. A few times, I could get it to start by wiggling on the loom beneath the battery box (driver side), but that no longer seems to help.

When I turn the key, I get a faint click and nothing else.
  • AGM battery is new within the last 6 months.
  • Starter is only a couple of years old. Bought new from Stevinson Toyota.
  • Just replaced the fusible link
After replacing the fusible link, I tested the battery and it was only at 11.8v. I have my charger on it now and it's showing <50% charge, so it was definitely low. So maybe I have an alternator issue?

Any suggestions you all can make for what to test or replace would be appreciated!
 

Romer

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this is what I was telling you about at Moab
 

Romer

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also look at post 54 on for another suggestion originally posted by Jeff Zettl
 

RayRay27

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I'm trying to figure out why my FZJ80 is having intermittent starting issues. Right now it won't start at all. This has been going on a few months. A few times, I could get it to start by wiggling on the loom beneath the battery box (driver side), but that no longer seems to help.

When I turn the key, I get a faint click and nothing else.
  • AGM battery is new within the last 6 months.
  • Starter is only a couple of years old. Bought new from Stevinson Toyota.
  • Just replaced the fusible link
After replacing the fusible link, I tested the battery and it was only at 11.8v. I have my charger on it now and it's showing <50% charge, so it was definitely low. So maybe I have an alternator issue?

Any suggestions you all can make for what to test or replace would be appreciated!

I have been going through the exact same issue(s). I have to keep the truck on charger constantly. I have replaced the battery cables, fusible link, starter, alternator and also have a newish AGM battery. It's driving me insane 😫 at this point cause I can't track it down. Been thinking it's my factory alarm but not sure.
 

Lefty

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I was dealing with a similar issue. There’d be a click, then nothing. I went down a few different rabbit holes trying to figure it out, including paying someone to replace the cables. Nothing worked. Finally, I just tightened the shit out of the positive terminal and that solved it. Turned out there was just enough of a gap between the terminal and the post to cause an arc/short when I tried starting it. Hasn’t been an issue since (knock on wood).
 

Rzeppa

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Sounds like an intermittent open from the having to wiggle the loom observation. If you think there's an issue with power delivery to the starter motor, connect your multimeter to the battery terminals while you have someone try to crank and observe the voltage. If the voltage drops a lot, then it is the battery. If the voltage doesn't, then it isn't the battery, the battery power isn't making it to the starter motor. Changing the measuring point of the multimeter from the battery posts to the terminals can tell you if it is a problem with the connection between the posts and the terminals. Wiggling the loom suggests to me that it is an issue with power delivery to the solenoid and not the starter motor itself.

You didn't mention, but have you tried jumping from another vehicle?
 

Pz10420

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I have been going through the exact same issue(s). I have to keep the truck on charger constantly. I have replaced the battery cables, fusible link, starter, alternator and also have a newish AGM battery. It's driving me insane 😫 at this point cause I can't track it down. Been thinking it's my factory alarm but not sure.
I would definitely pull the factory alarm. I did mine a few months ago, its pretty simple and there is a pretty good write up out there on Mud I think.
 

60wag

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Maybe just defeat the starter interlock so you don't lose the keyless door locks.
 

Hulk

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Sounds like an intermittent open from the having to wiggle the loom observation. If you think there's an issue with power delivery to the starter motor, connect your multimeter to the battery terminals while you have someone try to crank and observe the voltage. If the voltage drops a lot, then it is the battery. If the voltage doesn't, then it isn't the battery, the battery power isn't making it to the starter motor. Changing the measuring point of the multimeter from the battery posts to the terminals can tell you if it is a problem with the connection between the posts and the terminals. Wiggling the loom suggests to me that it is an issue with power delivery to the solenoid and not the starter motor itself.

You didn't mention, but have you tried jumping from another vehicle?
Thanks, Jeff. I have tried jump starting and it didn't help. I appreciate your suggestion(s) and everyone else's suggestions — need to get crackin' on this so I can drive my 80 again.
 

Inukshuk

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You hear faint "click", so the solenoid in the starter may or may not be getting enough juice. 100% of the juice to the solenoid flows through teh ignition switch. Throwing this in the mix

As I posted to MUD:

New ignition switch (84450-60180 - EDIT - for my 1993. Apparently 8445060270 is correct for 1996) in December 2020 and zero hot start problems since (over a few Moab area trips and Death Valley). Before would always start cold. When hot might start or take 5-15 turns. (Prior problem was with good battery, good starter, good newer battery cables, fusible link, and grounds.)​
I considered this relay mod, but figure if the original ignition switch lasted 335,000 miles, I'd replace that before adding this relay fix. That said, this relay fix is a great alternative and this thread and Ignition switch replacement procedure. - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/ignition-switch-replacement-procedure.841286/ were very helpful.​


Also:
What is voltage when running? That will tell you about alternator.
Battery cable to starter can corrode enough internally to lower voltage.
 
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Rzeppa

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Good point Daniel. I'll add this to the mix: I once had a Chevy van that got to where it wouldn't start. Root cause was the strands in the battery cable just behind the terminal (under the insulation where you couldn't see it) had corroded to where the cable was more of a resistor than a conductor. The diagnostic clue was that the headlights would dim to almost nothing if the headlights were turned on while (attempting to) crank. The power to the rest of the van, including starter solenoid (through the ignition switch), headlights, etc. all came from the auxiliary wire that was coming from the same spot behind the battery terminal.
 

AimCOTaco

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Yep, sure seems like a bad cable, lug, or connection. In Moab we'd get it to start after disturbing the wiring and I assume the low battery is just from sitting but not directly related. I'd be tempted to run a new or temp cable from the battery + to the starter to eliminate cable/lug rot as a root cause. If it persists from there I'd pull, open and check the starter (but whacking on the solenoid did not seem to be a reliable fix when we tried that so I'd start with the cables which seemed to have more impact).
 

Corbet

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My money is on the starter bad regardless of its age. But do what Jeff said first.
 

Hulk

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this is what I was telling you about at Moab

Ken, thanks for pointing me in this direction. I've confirmed this isn't the problem. The 2 big wires are intact and in good shape.

IMG_1902.jpeg
 

MonPetiteShoe

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If you want to troubleshoot the starter, or want to throw a new one on, I've got one I could part with. I don't have the part #, but I can snag it for you. It came from the PO and it's been sitting in storage ever since. Denso FWIW.
 

dan1554

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Starter button controlled relay on a direct wire between the battery and starter did the trick for me. I know, I know, it's cheating!
 

Inukshuk

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Starter button controlled relay on a direct wire between the battery and starter did the trick for me. I know, I know, it's cheating!
Sounds like the ignition switch bypass I posted about.
 

coax

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I have been going through the exact same issue(s). I have to keep the truck on charger constantly. I have replaced the battery cables, fusible link, starter, alternator and also have a newish AGM battery. It's driving me insane 😫 at this point cause I can't track it down. Been thinking it's my factory alarm but not sure.
Not to derail the thread but does your key ring light stay on when you close the door? I think I had the cabin relay go out a while back and its pricey...so I just yanked the bulb out of that ring. kept it from dying if i didn't drive it often.
 

RayRay27

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Not sure I'll have to check?
 

cbmontgo

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Sure sounds like a bad starter to me.

My wife’s 100 Series OEM new starter only lasted two years. It was not fun to replace it again last year. Certainly not what I expected from Toyota, but I guess a bad batch comes through now and then.
 
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