How to Turn Engine Manually?

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

Moderators: plenzen, goglio704, glenlloyd, Nissan_Ranger

Post Reply
User avatar
vicmason
Posts: 19
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Kenmore, WA

How to Turn Engine Manually?

#1

Post by vicmason » 12 years ago

I have a 1983 Maxima sedan. The starter motor was grinding on some startups, and a mechanic told me I would need one soon. Then, one morning when I tried to start up all I got was a whirring noise. So I bought a reman. starter motor, and was intending to replace the old one. However, my ex-husband, who is a mechanic, talked with me long-distance on the phone and said that it sounded to him like I'm missing a few teeth on the flywheel which is why the starter motor is not engaging. He said I could test out this theory by manually turning the engine (to turn the flywheel) and then try to start it again. I need some help in knowing how to do this. I looked down into the engine compartment and there are so many belts and pulleys and nuts, I don't know which is the crankshaft bolt. Are there any engine diagrams or photos online that would help me identify the crankshaft bolt and how to turn it?
Victoria Mason
Kenmore, WA
************
1983 Nissan Maxima diesel (SOLD 2/19/10)
1982 Mazda B2200 diesel (for sale)
1986 Ford F250 turbodiesel (for sale)
1971 VW Squareback gasser (for sale)
1996 VW Passat TDI wagon
1952 GMC bookmobile gasser

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#2

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

I turn my engine using a adjustbale wrench on the powersteering pump pulley, its higher up in the engine bay and a whole lot eaiser to get at. If you dont have a surface for a adj wrench to grab onto at the end of the pulley (fully round), slap a vice grip on it.

The crankshaft pulley nut is a huge nut in the center of the lowermost pulley, it should have 3 slots for belts. Unsure of the size, but I do know its pretty large

You can check for broken teeth by making sure the starter dosent work (whirring) and pull the starter and look at the flywheel, and you'll visibly see the broken teeth. Id do this method because I personally like to see the culprit at work.

You ex husband sounds right, it definitley sounds like missing teeth.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
vicmason
Posts: 19
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Kenmore, WA

Turning Engine Manually / Starter Motor

#3

Post by vicmason » 12 years ago

Thanks, Kassim -- turning the steering pulley nut worked! To turn the engine anyway. It didn't help my underlying problem, however. I turned that pulley several times, then tried starting the engine again but I still just got the "whirring" sound. I repeated this procedure several times but no luck. So, I guess I need to R&R the starter motor after all. If anyone else has a different idea, please weigh in!
Victoria Mason
Kenmore, WA
************
1983 Nissan Maxima diesel (SOLD 2/19/10)
1982 Mazda B2200 diesel (for sale)
1986 Ford F250 turbodiesel (for sale)
1971 VW Squareback gasser (for sale)
1996 VW Passat TDI wagon
1952 GMC bookmobile gasser

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#4

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Unless, your flywheel is in such bad shape that it is missing less than half its gears, its a busted starter, but there is no way sombody can chip all of those teeth off.

Try to get a gear reduction starter, if funds permit, they use less power to start the vehicle, and since it is a diesel you do want that extra torque from the starter, it may help with cold starting.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

bcdivad
Posts: 36
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Western NY

#5

Post by bcdivad » 12 years ago

If it's not making a NASTY grinding sound it just might be the starter drive,
I had to replace mine awhile ago. If you get the starter out try turning the drive. If it turns freely, it's the drive..

User avatar
vicmason
Posts: 19
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Kenmore, WA

Starter Motor

#6

Post by vicmason » 12 years ago

Well, I got as far as getting the electrical leads to the starter disconnected. I got stuck when it came to turning the two bolts that attach the starter motor. They won't budge, even with PB sprayed on them! Evidently I don't have the hand strength or the proper tools (pneumatic?) to loosen them. It seems like it should be a simple thing -- I'm frustrated.
Victoria Mason
Kenmore, WA
************
1983 Nissan Maxima diesel (SOLD 2/19/10)
1982 Mazda B2200 diesel (for sale)
1986 Ford F250 turbodiesel (for sale)
1971 VW Squareback gasser (for sale)
1996 VW Passat TDI wagon
1952 GMC bookmobile gasser

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#7

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Try putting a wrench on the end and banging it with a hammer. If you think your not going to break the bolt, stick a piece of piping on the end of a ratchet- that aughta do it.

When I did mine they came out decently nicely, but im unsure about how salty your roads get in the winter. I wash the underhood+ wheel wells and undercarraige when I wash the car during the winter to prevent stuff like the ugly corrosion on unpainted surfaces and sheet metal rusting. (which to my dismay, my car rusted bad over this winter, which means this summer should be a TLC session on the body)
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

Carimbo
Posts: 459
Joined: 14 years ago

#8

Post by Carimbo » 12 years ago

Having replaced the starter on my '82 diesel several times, I can tell you the bolts are 14mm. Access to the upper one is tight, 3/8" ratchet/socket will not fit, don't see how impact wrench would help there.

You need a good 14mm boxend wrench, otherwise you will round off the bolt head. There is not a lot of room to get good leverage, maybe you could encourage a stronger-armed friend to help crack that bolt free?

Lower bolt has much better access, easier to get enough leverage; get the front of the car up on stable jackstands and get it from underneath.
kassim503 wrote:If you think your not going to break the bolt, stick a piece of piping on the end of a ratchet- that aughta do it.
Good way to break the ratchet mechanism. And visegrip on the end of the PS pulley? Kassim you ought to know better.

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#9

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Carimbo wrote: Good way to break the ratchet mechanism. And visegrip on the end of the PS pulley? Kassim you ought to know better.
hmm, sounds like something id do :)
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5347
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#10

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

I use the alternator's nut to turn the engine. It is either 7/8" or 15/16", I can never remember and my notes are not here. Access to the alternator nut is good. However, what will generally happen when you try to turn the alternator nut is that the belt will slip. I lean over the driver's fender, position the wrench on the nut, and while pulling it toward me with one hand, I push on the alternator belt a bit with the other hand. Doesn't matter where you push on the belt, but on the slack side is generically best (though I don't recall if there is good access to the slack side (bottom) if you're pulling). You do not need to move the crankshaft much for this test. But watch the "other" belt when you are turning the alternator and make sure the crankshaft is turning with your efforts. Done properly, you pull on the wrench and the fan and other belts all turn too. If you can get to fan to move 2", that's plenty for this test. That is, the fan moving due to you turning the alternator's nut which pulls it's belt which turns the crank which moves the fan belt etc etc.

Your ex gave good advice: this is the same procedure that I follow to test for two or three bad teeth on the flywheel or flex plate. But the noise that the vehicle makes when you have bad flywheel teeth cannot be mistaken for a "whirr".

It is more likely that the starter's one-way clutch ("bendix", "starter drive" are alternate terms) has died. In this scenario, the starter's solenoid does move the bendix (the starter's part that has the small gear on it) to mesh with the flywheel, and the solenoid does turn on power to the starter motor, and the motor does spin, but the clutch under the small gear does not transmit the rotation from the motor to the small gear. Whirr.

A good thread, with lots of pics of the starter, is this one.

1982 FSM, page EL-16, is the starter's exploded view. The part labeled "clutch assy." is likely the failed part. You probably won't be attempting to replace just that part though: it's not really a "beginner DIY" kind of thing.

Carimbo has given you good advice on starter removal. I will add that you need to be certain that you've disconnected the negative battery cable before going any further. You cannot believe how fast a car can become "totalled" by an electrical short -- I am not kidding.

One nice thing about the LD engines is that the starter can be replaced without having to get under the car. This is very uncommon today.

The bellhousing-to-starter bolts are supposed to be quite tight. It may be that you will have to borrow a friend to obtain enough oomph to break them loose, and later to retighten them adequately.

Replacement rebuilt starters are available (including used ones: PM me if you are interested in a used, tested starter). I am not aware of a non-gear-reduction starter for the LD28.

Finally, please note that Carimbo went through a couple of "rebuilt" starters to get one that would work for more than a little while. Perhaps he can find where he posted on this, or summarize here.

HTH
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#11

Post by rlaggren » 12 years ago

I used a 1/2" drive 1-1/8" socket on the crank nut; the ratchet fit behind the fan (talk nicely and wiggle it a little) from the bottom w/out moving anything; it cleared everything for a good free turn. I'm afraid I don't recall if I had an adapter or extension (1-1/4") or which ratchet I was using - it may have been a 3/8" ratchet w/a "x1/2" adapter.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5347
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#12

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

I don't believe that you can turn the crank nut from the bottom without first removing the plastic splash shield (six No. 3 phillips head screws). The alternator nut method can be accomplished from up-top. Hard part is belt tensioning whilst moving the wrench though.

User avatar
vicmason
Posts: 19
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Kenmore, WA

Starter Motor Replaced

#13

Post by vicmason » 12 years ago

Thanks, everyone, for the helpful responses. I ended up having someone come out to help me R&R the starter. He used a box-end wrench with a ratchet in it to loosen those bolts. Then, after we had the starter out we checked all the flywheel teeth and they looked fine. So, we put on the reman.unit and the car started up right away. There still seems to be some sort of noise at the end of the starting cycle, but my friend could not hear it. I have a two-year warranty on the unit, so hopefully it will last. Anyway, I found that the easiest way for me to manually turn the engine was by turning the power steering pump pulley. That belt was tight enough to turn the whole kit and kaboodle, unlike the alternator belt which was too loose without tightening it first to turn everything. Hurrah for the NissanDiesel Forum!
Victoria Mason
Kenmore, WA
************
1983 Nissan Maxima diesel (SOLD 2/19/10)
1982 Mazda B2200 diesel (for sale)
1986 Ford F250 turbodiesel (for sale)
1971 VW Squareback gasser (for sale)
1996 VW Passat TDI wagon
1952 GMC bookmobile gasser

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#14

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Congratulations!

If you hear a little bit of what sounds like a high rpm spool down it may be because you are holding the starter down after the engine has started and its just the bendix slowing down to a stop. Or just after normal cranking and the starter is spooling down.

I know some people that ride their starter really bad, and you can hear the spooling down audibly from inside the car.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5347
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#15

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

Or, the gear reduction unit may be worn.

Vic, don't turn in your old starter as a core! Keep it for a few weeks until you're certain the reman unit is going to keep working.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 1 guest