Car really hard to start?

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.

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RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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Car really hard to start?

#1

Post by RacnJsn95 » 11 years ago

First let me tell you the back story: a few of the glow plugs were burnt out, and it was hard to start the car, but it still started. From starting the car with the burnt out plugs, I overworked the old starter and it quit working... Let the car sit for about a month...

The weekend before last, I replaced the starter, and all 6 glow plugs. It was extremely hard to start, cranked, spit, sputtered, but would not start. My Dad sprayed some WD40 in the intake while I tried to start it, and it started, and ran exactly like it had in the past. Every night I would plug it in, it would start fine in the morning, but when I would go to leave work I would have the same problem...

I thought it had to be a fuel issue, because I let it sit for too long. I had never changed the fuel filter, and the PO had attempted running bio-fuel in the car, so I thought it would be a good time to change it... Changed the filter yesterday, had some gunk in the bottom of the filter, put on new filter, primed stuff... Still hard to start. Bled the injector lines also.

Once it does start, it runs on all 6 cylinders, doesn't start out on 3or 4 like when the glow plugs were burnt out, so that leads me to believe the new glow plugs are ok?

The only thing I put back different when I changed the glow plugs was the 2 + wires that run to the GP rail... When I took the rail off, both of the wires were on GP #5 together. I figured that the rail would "heat" better (more evenly), if I separated the wires. Now one wire is on GP #5, and the other is on GP #3... That shouldn't matter, right?

I dont really know what else to do... The GP relay seems to be working, clunking, etc. All glow plugs have power going to them, both + wires have power when the GP relay is on. Even if you manually trigger the GP relay by bridging the posts, it doesn't seem to want to start...

Thoughts?
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

rlaggren
Posts: 541
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Location: San Francisco

#2

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

Starts w/WD40 = engine is fine.
Doesn't start itself = start system bad (start system is mostly the GP's).

Sounds like a GP problem.
- The controller worked b4 and you didn't mention trashing it, so let's say it's fine (I assume you hear the CLUNK when the GP relay cuts out?).
- The plugs won't work if they don't get power, so...
- They won't get power if the buss is shorted to ground
- or... if they don't each have a good connection to the buss.
- or... if the wires from the GP relay don't make a good connection,
- or... if the other end of the wires at the GP relay aren't connected well

I think there's a fuse-link in the circuit, and if that's bad you won't get any voltage at all at the buss. Somebody else has to speak about that. And come to think of it, I believe if you use the "Search" button you can find several articles where this problem is discussed in some detail..

Putting the wires on different plugs shouldn't matter ... IF the buss is good and IF you made a good connection at each wire... And IF the buss makes a good connection to each GP. And IF the buss is not shorted to the head or something - resistance from the buss to ground s/b 1/6 of the resistance of one plug.

First check should be to see if the wires are really connected properly (might as well check BOTH ENDS!). Then use a DVM and see what happens during the GP cycle at different points on the buss. S/B 9 or 10 volts IIRC. One or both of the wires (I forget) is used for the "primary" GP power and one is used for after glow cycles IIRC. You can also get a seat of pants feel for the GPs by feeling the plug during the cycle - you should be able to burn yourself if you touch the plug real quick.. <g> Use the ohm meter to check the resistance from the buss to ground - zero is bad; 1/2 ohm might be right, but I really don't recall the exact values. Make sure you have sharp test leads and that THEY are making a good connection when you do any testing. Do reality checks once in a while - check the battery voltage to make sure the meter is set on the right range and the test leads are OK; short the leads to make sure the ohm functioin is working, etc.

Best luck.. Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

Carimbo
Posts: 459
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Re: Car really hard to start?

#3

Post by Carimbo » 11 years ago

RacnJsn95 wrote:I figured that the rail would "heat" better (more evenly), if I separated the wires.
If you are talking about the GP bus bar, it does not heat the precups to aid starting. Its job is to reliably supply electricity (+) to the GPs which DO heat the precups. As rlaggren stated above, if the buss bar is corroded, broken, grounded or otherwise not making good electrical connection to either the GPs (all) or the supply voltage wires, you may have hard start issues.

A non-contact (IR) thermometer would be safer than possibly burning your fingers trying to see if the GPs are getting hot.

RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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#4

Post by RacnJsn95 » 11 years ago

I tested the ends of the glow plugs with a volt meter, and they all have power when the GP relay is on. The Bus rail looked a little corroded to me, so I cleaned it with a wire wheel all the places where it contacts the plugs, and the wires hook to it. I 'll test the resistance of the bus to ground tomorrow.

I bought a new GP relay #1, and coolant tempsensor because I couldn't think of anything else I could do. Was planning on putting them in this weekend... I really need to get this thing running again, asap. :(
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

Dr. Jones
Posts: 125
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Location: Raleigh NC

#5

Post by Dr. Jones » 11 years ago

I having such a horrible time with starters, I'm getting ready to do some preventive maintenance in the hopes of making my starters last a bit longer.

So, I have been thinking about this some lately, in addition to the things said above I am thinking of checking/cleaning the injector nozzles in the hopes of getting the fuel to atomize more effectively. Does anyone have any experience with doing this and have you seen an improvement in starting performance?

Another thing that I just remember is that someone used to make copper bus bars, If you search it will be in a long thread about "starter problems".
Which will increase the amount of current reaching the gp by lowering the resistance in the material, I=V/R, if its been awhile since you seen that jewel (as I know it has for me) its current=voltage/resistance. I think Al actually has one he would be wiling to try and locate if someone were interested. I personally think I'm going to raid the wife's jewelry box and string me together a fancy gold one.

Best of Luck and I let you know what I find out,

Joe
'82 Maxima Sedan x2
'92 Saab 9000 Griffin Edition Wrecked
'80 Ford E100(twisted tranny) SCRAPPED

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

#6

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

> plugs getting power

So during the normal start cycle (only lasts about 8-10 seconds), you measured greater than (say) 9 volts? I ask the details because a primary cycle pulls lot of amps and if there is a bad connection, it could supply adequet power for the after glow or a test run, but might drop the voltage to (say) 6volts during an actual cold start cycle; this might not be enough for the plugs to work effectively.

> grounded

I doubt you'd getting much of any voltage reading of the buss were grounded but it's always good to double check.

Oh, and what were the new GP's you installed? (brand, part#)


Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
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Location: Oracle, AZ

Hard Starting

#7

Post by dieseldorf » 11 years ago

For a successful cold start on a diesel engine you need to fulfill only three demands:
1) Cold start device working (glow plugs)
2) Fuel injection (no air in the fuel line and correct IP timing)
3) Enough compression (valve clearance, piston rings, cranking speed)

For example, if you do not have enough cranking speed due to weak battery or worn out starter, there will be difficulties with starting the engine in cold weather.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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#8

Post by RacnJsn95 » 11 years ago

When I checked the voltage at the glow plugs it was ~10-10.5v iirc.

The new plugs are Champion CH60 I think? It's gotta be some kind of heating issue. If I plug it in overnight, it starts fine, but I dont wanna keep plugging it in and run up the power bill.
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

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83_maxima
Posts: 423
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Location: Denver

#9

Post by 83_maxima » 11 years ago

That should tell you something right there. If it starts when plugged in, the glow system is not working properly.

Either your plugs are not glowing long/hot enough, or they are not glowing with the primary relay.

You need to verify the system as working component by component. Start at the "front" and work back.

I had a very similar problem when I got my first wagon. The PO was using ether and had wired in a manual glow button and was holding it for almost a minute on the coldest mornings to get it to start and if it was not plugged in on the coldest of mornings and the button not held, it would not start.

They had wired the ENTIRE glow system to run through the dropping resistor (like it does for after glow). I removed the button from the equation and found that The plugs were not glowing long enough or hot enough with the glow timer. The button needed to be held so long for it to start that it was heating up all the components in the system.

I had to go through the entire system, verifying the components as good or bad. I re-wired the PO's work-around, re-instated the factory system (primary glow, after glow done through the timer) and now it works great.

The answer didn't slap me in the face, or jump up and down on the hood. It took some time and research (though this site and the FSM) to find what I needed to know and how to get it back to normal.

If you do not have a factory manual, this is your heads up - get one or sell the car. You cannot own one of these cars and not have the FACTORY MANUAL. It is too important and too valuable when troubleshooting problems like these. It is like stabbing blindly in the dark without one.

plenzen
Posts: 867
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Location: Cochrane Alberta Canada

#10

Post by plenzen » 11 years ago

Just as a thought here. Are the glow plugs that are presently in it the right voltage?. If they are 12V rated they will most likely not get hot enough. I have the same glow system on my SD25 and the plugs are rated at 9.5 /10V IIRC. They are designed a bit differently for the "Quick Glow and After Glow" systems, and have some internal differences from the regular 12V ones. There is a post on glow plugs someplace that Al went into great detail about and I will try and find it and post it here. That may be a starting point (no pun intended) and perhaps you have already checked this. :roll:

Paul
Retired Pauly
Problem with being retired is that you never get a day off.
1987 D21-J SD25 KC
KJLGD21FN

rlaggren
Posts: 541
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Location: San Francisco

#11

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

Al's post is the place to start. Somebody who has more forum practice than me can pretty up the link.

http://nissandiesel.dyndns.org/viewtopi ... glow+plugs

I think the specs on the Champion plugs are different from the OEM GP's. I'll try to find where I saw them. Seems I recall the Champions needed to glow longer. That may have been why I paid for NGK's... something like that but I don't recall.

I'll see if I can find the data tomorrow. Bed time.


Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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asavage
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#12

Post by asavage » 11 years ago

With 10+ volts at the GP bus, you won't need to replace the GP relay.

What you describe sounds a lot like a couple of LD28s I've had that had the IP timing way off. Have you changed the IP belt, or had the IP loose recently?

If the GP system has new GPs and enough juice to them, and a good battery, the LD28 is a very easy engine to start.
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.

RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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#13

Post by RacnJsn95 » 11 years ago

I haven't messed with the IP belt since I got the car running after the first ordeal when I got the car. Ran like a champ until most of the old glow plugs burnt out.

If the bus rail has power, and the GPs are new, I don't see a reason it won't start.

I have the factory manual... Unfortunately, I dont have time to chase this problem around, and I've put the car up for sale.

It's a shame, it's pretty much in pristine condition, and everything works, but I need $, and I'm tired of chasing my tail.
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

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asavage
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Re: Car really hard to start?

#14

Post by asavage » 11 years ago

RacnJsn95 wrote:. . . a few of the glow plugs were burnt out, and it was hard to start the car, but it still started. From starting the car with the burnt out plugs, I overworked the old starter and it quit working... Let the car sit for about a month...

The weekend before last, I replaced the starter, and all 6 glow plugs. It was extremely hard to start, cranked, spit, sputtered, but would not start.
Re-reading this, and given the testing you've done, I'd have to condemn the CH60 GPs. Maybe they're just not a good interchange.

Your symptom did start when you changed them (and the starter). According to my cross reference, they're supposedly 11v items, so you should be able to glow them a good, long time without damage.

Feeling lucky? Try rigging a doorbell switch (a remote starter test switch?) or use a friend. Use a jumper wire on the GP Main Relay light green wire.

Image

Jumper from that lead to the battery + . Use a paperclip on the end of your jumper, to backprobe the bullet connector. Leave disconnected at the battery end for now.

With your friend behind the wheel, turn key ON, listen for the relay to drop out (about eight seconds), then connect your jumper to the battery for an add'l six seconds, disconnect and tell friend to crank.

If it fires up better, swap out the GPs for NGKs or Nissans or something.
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.

RacnJsn95
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Location: Central Point, OR
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#15

Post by RacnJsn95 » 11 years ago

Ok... Let me as you this.... Looking at that picture, wouldn't you accomplish the same thing by bridging the two posts on the relay with a screw driver?

If so, I've already done this, and it doesn't seem to help at all.

If it doesn't do the same thing, I'll have to try it with that wire.
82 Maxima Diesel, Auto 164k
77 620 k/c 4x4, 4spd, L20b (wishes it was an LD20)

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