My 83 won't start consistantly and my recent repairs

Discuss (and cuss) the Nissan LD-series OHC Six diesel engine, popularly available in the US in 1981-83 Datsun/Nissan Maxima Sedans & Wagons.

Moderators: plenzen, glenlloyd, goglio704, Nissan_Ranger

Post Reply
User avatar
Midnightz
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Woodinville, WA

My 83 won't start consistantly and my recent repairs

#1

Post by Midnightz »

I've been trying to figure out my 83 wagon why I am not able to have reliable starts... But I can't :cry:

In September, I started to have two different symptons. One, the engine would turn over, but won't start., second, nothing happens when I turn the key... wouldn't turn over at all. Second of the two would happen, seems, at random.

For the turn over but won't start, after did some searching, I came to the conclusion that the spade connections of the fusable link was the cause. When I bought the wagon, it had a OEM fusable link in the glove box, so I was able to fix that... for now.

And just to make my life more interesting, about a week ago, the engine died on my way home. And it turned out to be clogged filter. I've been using retail B99 since I bought it and new filter since my lesson on filter 101.. Thanks Al! :wink: This was after about 4 or 5 tanks of Biodiesel and I guess it's due for a new filter.

So a new filter in an AM/PM parking lot and a vacuum gauge stuck on wind shield later, I got the wagon home and started to work on my second sympton. I thought the starter solenoid would be the cause so I ordered one for about $26 from rockauto along with acc belts, figuring I would do some maintenance while the car was on the stands.

Well, the AC sheave came off the crank pulley when I took the old AC belt off. I guess a rebuild crank pulley was added to the list... :x

The solenoid R/R was pretty straight forward, thanks to this site (Al), again. When everything was put back together, sans AC belt, the engine fired right up. Although I noticed that it turned over quite a bit faster, almost like a gasser.

This morning, went to garage and turn the key... Nothing, when I turn the key.... :evil:

HELP!
90 Midnight Blue 300ZX NA 2+2 (DD)
83 Maxima Wagon Diesel (parted out-going into 240Z)
73 240Z (LD28 swap project)
08 Mercedes Benz GL320CDI
User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#2

Post by kassim503 »

sounds like a power delivery problem, your clock is turning off when you turn the key.

Making a vid and putting it on youtube is a great idea- my car seems to be running rough right when I start it while going on long trips, sounds like a misfire or something, and it takes a little bit of revving to get things moving nicely, LOL. I actually got the thumbs up from some guys in the dairy queen parking lot today! :D
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5365
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#3

Post by asavage »

Paul, get yourself (or make yourself) a longish clip lead (a length of wire with alligator clips on both ends). Clip one end over the small spade terminal on the starter. Clip the other end off to some handy non-metallic part -- the cruise control vacuum line would do. This is just preparation.

When the car will not crank, slowly and carefully open the hood and unclip the free end of the clip lead and touch it to the positive battery post (not the terminal, the post).

1) No crank? Diagnose the positive battery terminal at the battery, the cable itself (pretty damned rare), the cable's terminal end at the starter, and the starter solenoid. If you repeat the test with the headlights on, and the headlights do not dim when you touch the clip lead to the post, the ground circuit is OK.

2) Starter cranks? Diagnose the circuit between the Ign. switch and the starter. First/easiest is to try to start with the shifter in Neutral. After that, I'd pull the column shroud plastic lower off and check for power coming out of the Ign. switch (see the FSM for the color). If OK, then check the neutral safety switch on the trans, which involves jacking the car way up to get to -- you might visually check the trans harness before you do that. If no power to the Ign. switch . . .

However, this sounds a lot like the dreaded main wire harness splice broken internally problem. Dreaded because if you don't know where to look, it can be very difficult to track down. Fortunately for you, it's happened to me on my '83 Wagon from Yakima and I made sure to document the problem. Carimbo has had his break too.

It is fairly simple if messy to fix. The thread referenced above walks you through it: unbolt the filter assy and relays panel and slice open the harness, until you can locate the broken splice.

Hope this helps.
User avatar
Midnightz
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Woodinville, WA

One thing led to another...

#4

Post by Midnightz »

Yes, of course... Why didn't I think of it! :oops: I did have to repair the main wire harness on the sedan before I sold it.

I spliced the entire main run of the main harness from just behind the battery to just under the #1 glow plug relay to look for a broken junction. Inside that main run, I found a total of four wire junctions. All were corroded but still in good contact.

While I didn't find any broken wires, I did find something else that might have caused my electrical problem:

Image

Water! Fuel! :evil: I always wonder what would happen to that bundle of wires every time I spill diesel as I replace the fuel filter. :shock:

All of the wire were soaked with liquid. Does that mean every time the wires are energized, the "exposed" wire junctions in that section of harness is electrically shorted? Could this explain why LD28 required a larger capacity battery? With the sedan I sold, before I fixed the main harness, the wires were corroded, shorted and burned. I wondered why it didn't break any fuse.

Al noted in this main harness repair that the FSM shown a brown fusable link while his had red. Mine had red also. Could it be that the red has higher rating and it replaced brown fuse because it frequently blown caused by the short due to the moisture?

Well... Dried the wires and started cranking! :lol: Yeah!

But, it wouldn't run... Glow plugs no workie, again. Now, I was thinking: "Now what? It's got a new fusable link and the #1 glow plug relay had a healthy click. What's up with that?"

Lucky me that all the wires are exposed so I traced the wire from GP relay to the GP bus. Found another splice near to the battery and it looked like it was previously DIY repair. Fixed that and wondered: "Why is it that the GP wire went from the battery, all the way to the firewall (where the relay was), back to the front (by the battery), and back to the #6 GP? That's about 10-12 feet of total length when the #6 GP was about 2 feet from the relay!

Got good voltage on the GP bus and engine fired up! All good! Obviously, I couldn't put the wires back under the fuel filter, again. All I had to do was unbolt the brake valve junction and I can route the wires over the filter. Easy!

Funny thing about wearing gloves while working on cars was that you would constantly drop little screws. I dropped one of them when I moved the brake valve junction away from the fender to re-route the wires over:

Image

When I looked for the screw, I found a puddle of clear liquid under the car and thought: "Did that much water came out of the main harness?" Wiped it with a rag and it turned out to be brake fluid. :!:

The brake hard line at the rubber mount had enough rust that it cracked as I wiggled the brake valve junction:

Image

It was a good stopping point... :(
90 Midnight Blue 300ZX NA 2+2 (DD)
83 Maxima Wagon Diesel (parted out-going into 240Z)
73 240Z (LD28 swap project)
08 Mercedes Benz GL320CDI
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5365
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

Re: One thing led to another...

#5

Post by asavage »

Midnightz wrote:All of the wire were soaked with liquid. Does that mean every time the wires are energized, the "exposed" wire junctions in that section of harness is electrically shorted?
Not really. Water (pure, distilled water) is a poor conductor. Add mineras (dirt) and it becomes somewhat better, but it's still fairly high resistance. 12v will not conduct significantly with water and diesel present. Now, start getting in the couple hundred volt range, and now we're talking some current flow. But I would not worry about voltage loss (current flow) via diesel or water in that area.

Water = corrosion, however.
"Why is it that the GP wire went from the battery, all the way to the firewall (where the relay was), back to the front (by the battery), and back to the #6 GP? That's about 10-12 feet of total length when the #6 GP was about 2 feet from the relay!
Then engine has its own harness. That harness (for everything on the engine) routes to the RF corner of the engine, whence it connects to the body's main harness. That's why the power flow is
Battery->Fusible link -> body harness -> GP Relays -> body harness -> Engine harness connector -> GP bus

I bypassed half that in my GP bus mod on the '83 Wagon (last half of the post). If you do this same modification, be sure to maintain the GPC feedback wire (the wire with the inline fuse) or the GPC won't work well.
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.
User avatar
Midnightz
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Woodinville, WA

#6

Post by Midnightz »

You mean I didn't fix the problem in the first place? :?
90 Midnight Blue 300ZX NA 2+2 (DD)
83 Maxima Wagon Diesel (parted out-going into 240Z)
73 240Z (LD28 swap project)
08 Mercedes Benz GL320CDI
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5365
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#7

Post by asavage »

You wiggled a connection that is failing. Is it fixed? For a while . . .

Removing the water and fuel from the harness did not fix a no-start problem, by itself. You will have to look deeper.
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.
User avatar
Midnightz
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Woodinville, WA

#8

Post by Midnightz »

As I posted in another threadthat I had towed the wagon to a shop, actually, The Green Car Company. Thanks to asavage and diesel-man on giving some advice on the cause.

The shop just called and they said it's the glow plugs. :? Would defect GPs cause the car to have poor idle and die?

Anyone here in the Seattle area have experience with The Green Car Company?
90 Midnight Blue 300ZX NA 2+2 (DD)
83 Maxima Wagon Diesel (parted out-going into 240Z)
73 240Z (LD28 swap project)
08 Mercedes Benz GL320CDI
goglio704
Posts: 726
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: East Tennessee

#9

Post by goglio704 »

Glow plugs would only be an issue on cold and warm starts. Once the engine is warmed up, they would not cause bad idle and stalling.
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD
diesel-man
Deceased
Posts: 150
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Elkton, MD

#10

Post by diesel-man »

If the glow plugs "fixed" it, and now it runs fine, and it may have also really had a glow plug problem...It's called fix and charge the customer for the secondary problem, and repair the primary problem, (again) for free.

Either which way, if it runs perfectly, then that's great!! Glad that is behind you.
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5365
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#11

Post by asavage »

Midnightz wrote:The shop just called and they said it's the glow plugs. :? Would defect GPs cause the car to have poor idle and die?
No. At worst: no start. If start, poor cold idle. Would have no effect on hot idle.

The Maxima is far more likely to have failed fusible link connectors or broken GP bus bar than failed GPs.

Wayne, have you seen many (any) failed GPs on the LD28? Nobody here has reported any LD28 GP failures, in over two years. You have the most experience with them, is why I'm asking.
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.
HowlerMonkey
Posts: 130
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: West Palm Beach Florida

#12

Post by HowlerMonkey »

ground point on the battery tray?
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5365
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#13

Post by asavage »

HowlerMonkey wrote:ground point on the battery tray?
Would give odd symptoms but not "cranks-but-won't-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.
User avatar
Midnightz
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Woodinville, WA

#14

Post by Midnightz »

Well, picked up the wagon yesterday around 5:00pm. Talked to the shop a little more and the tech said that GP #5 was "dead" and having faulty GP's were the reasons for the bad start and poor idle. I asked about the engine stalled after about 1/4 mile, the tech suggested that the engine was too cold after GP timer turned off the GP's and faulty GPs didn't get the engine warm enough. They didn't think fuel had any to do with my trouble. All six GP were replace.

I was able to drive away without any hint of trouble. Engine fired up (a little rough for a second then smooth out right away) with the outside temp similar to Monday morning when I was stranded, except the rain. The engine was cold.

It was dark and dinner time so I didn't open the hood and take a closer look at their work. I am a little skeptical about the faulty GP since the symptom and everyone posted suggested fuel or wiring problem.

In any case, I paid money and problem went away...
90 Midnight Blue 300ZX NA 2+2 (DD)
83 Maxima Wagon Diesel (parted out-going into 240Z)
73 240Z (LD28 swap project)
08 Mercedes Benz GL320CDI
83_maxima
Posts: 423
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Denver

#15

Post by 83_maxima »

"The Green Car Co." sounds like a jack of all trades and a master of none. Website indicates a company which is spreading itself way to thin, then to say they can fix "anyhting" sounds a little far-fetched to me.

I'd find yourself a real diesel mechanic that knows what he is doing.

That explanation for your problem is pure b/s. If your car started and drove for 1/4 mile, the engine was warm enough to fire all cylinders, and stay running. It is not just going to quit because the timer shuts off.

You'll be taking it back...

I've had experiences where a car will come into the shop, we will fix "a" problem, but "the" problem re-appears because we hadn't tackled the problem itself.

Keep an eye on it. Sounds like fuel delivery to me as well...
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 0 guests