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Thread: Can't sell it, IT WON"T START!!!

  1. #1
    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Default Can't sell it, IT WON"T START!!!

    Well I was going to put the Z up for sale but now I can't. It has been running very well with multiple stops and turning it off. Today it ran great all day except the left turn signal quit working (bulbs are all good), got home and went to move it and no start, no lights, no fuel pump no nothing except the dome light which goes on and off, if I hit the Hazard switch the dome blinks with the blinker of the hazard. Nothing else works. Battery checked and is above 12V, fusible links check fine, no blown fuses. What the hell is going on? Maybe its rebelling for wanting to sell her!
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

  2. #2
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Corroded battery cable(s). Clean the connections between the lugs and the posts?

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Nope they're clean.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Registered User darom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr45 View Post
    Nope they're clean.
    I have a 76, if I remember correctly the turn signal wiring all goes through the hazard switch. I took mine apart and cleaned it. It was corroded. That fixed my driver's side signal. Give it a shot.

    Regards!
    - 1976 280Z
    - 1967 Camaro RS

  5. #5
    Barn Find Daily Driver Captain_Zeros's Avatar
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    If it's only one side of the signal, that points to the turn signal switch on the column, when you have a corroded hazard switch it eats all your turn signals both sides front & back. However, a hit & miss turn signal switch shouldn't have anything to do with losing all of your wiring at once, and I'm pretty sure the dome light has nothing to do with the turn signal wiring (or more accurately, SHOULDN'T). If you've lost everything at once and the battery still has current my hunch wants to say there is either a big short to ground (but that should be blowing fuses, fusable links, or lighting something on fire) or a faulty ground (either not making good contact or there is voltage at the ground. If you put 12 volts to both sides of a lightbulb there is 0 volts difference between each side and no current will flow, ta da no lights)

    Are you comfortable with a multimeter? Check for voltage between chassis ground & various systems, see if you can find where the fault is. Alternatively disconnect the battery and check resistance (ohms) between things that should be attached (eg there should be close to no resistance between the negative battery cable's battery terminal & chassis ground, they're two ends of the same wire so to speak).

    If you're not comfortable with a multimeter (many people aren't!) then I'd suggest getting somebody who is to lay eyes on the car.

    Edit: How did you confirm fuses and fusable links are fine? It's possible for fuses to fail and still pass a visual checkout, for instance if they blow close to one of the ends or blow halfway, it's not real common but it has got plenty of people in the past.
    Last edited by Captain_Zeros; 07-17-2013 at 08:40 PM.
    1973 240Z w/ roundtop carbs, 280zx e12-80 distributor, 280zx alternator, late model Altima junkyard electric fans. 115 Blue Metallic & white side stripes.

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    You need to start systematically troubleshooting your electrical circuits. Start by verifying ur ignition switch works. Use a meter or test light. If that's okay. Power runs through ur taco. Make sure the plug and connections are good. If all checks good then the car should atleast turn over.

    If u don't wanna check ur ignition switch at the switch u can verify accessory power at the accessory fuse. The start circuit unfortunately u will need to test at the switch.

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    At this point the hazard switch has nothing to do with a no crank or accessory power issue.

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    I've checked the fuse panel and the fusible links with a multimeter. The fuse panel shows 0 volts, the fusible links read same as the battery voltage, checking both sides of the link. There is no juice getting to the fuse box.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    Check ur connection at the amp meter. Power goes through that.

  10. #10
    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    Key must be in the on position.

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    Also there is a plug at the firewalls make sure the pins are in good shape.

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    Sorry I. Keep posting. But there is also a fuseable think close to the fuse panel. In that area.

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    HLS30A 17574 djwarner's Avatar
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    There are two large spade style connectors coming from the fuse box in the wire bundle on the left side of the passenger foot well. I found significant corrosion in these connectors and was surprised they actually still conducted. The wires are white and white with a red stripe and provide power to the fuse panel.
    1971 240Z HLS30A 17574 L24-021025

  14. #14
    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    OK, went out this AM and just for grins put my charger on the battery. The charger showed a full charge, but now the lights work, and the starter solenoid clicked like mad when turned to start, just like a dead battery would do when charging. I checked all my ground connections and they were all making good contact (not with a meter), so now I'm really puzzled could it really be the battery even when it shows good voltage, its about 2 years old? Could it be the alternator suddenly gone bad, I've noticed the gauge kinds flickering on the + side, but yesterday was steady right in the middle?
    Last edited by mjr45; 07-18-2013 at 07:30 AM.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

  15. #15
    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Try another battery charger.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Barn Find Daily Driver Captain_Zeros's Avatar
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    Your battery might be at the end of it's lifespan. It might have voltage, but be lacking the amperage to actually power anything. My guess is it might be a combination of some sketchy corroded connections & a battery that can't flow the needed current.

    Or a bad battery charger.
    1973 240Z w/ roundtop carbs, 280zx e12-80 distributor, 280zx alternator, late model Altima junkyard electric fans. 115 Blue Metallic & white side stripes.

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    I had the charger hooked up for about 2 hours and still no joy, the starter solenoid clicks and lights work with the charger in place but stone cold dead without it. I know the charger is good because its been trickle charging my deep cycle battery's for 2 days and brought the charge up on them. I think you're right Captain, it has voltage but no amps, which matbe why it'll run the dome lamp and nothing else.
    Last edited by mjr45; 07-18-2013 at 10:35 AM.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    If your lights came back and the the starter got back up to click level, I would go back to Post #2. Check the connection between the wire end and the clamp also, odds are you have aftermarket clamps on corroded wire ends.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    bad battery

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hr369 View Post
    bad battery
    Could you try and jump start it?
    I mean use jumper cables and another battery.
    Last edited by siteunseen; 07-19-2013 at 02:00 AM.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User 71Nissan240Z's Avatar
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    Put a meter on the battery and try to start. I bet she drops below 10v. Get a new battery

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    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    I've had batteries in the past that have showed good voltage but lacked any meaningful amperage. I believe it has to do with broken plates at the terminal post. With a broken plate there is no way for the current to make its way through the battery. Since there is no path to ground a charger that has starting capability may not remedy the problem.
    Last edited by Gary in NJ; 07-19-2013 at 07:19 AM.
    Gary
    Guardian of HLS30-91415
    Previous Owner of a 10/70 240Z ('83-'85)

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, I spoke to my son who does electrical stuff on aircraft and according to him, battery's can show good volts but as soon as a load is applied the voltage drops way down, which would cause whats happening, and that when on the charger, it probably doesn't put out enough amps to turn the starter. So I'll be buying a new battery and will let everyone know what happens. I hate electrical crap!
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    HLS30A 17574 djwarner's Avatar
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    Batteries, like every other part of an electrical circuit has internal resistance. When current flow through a resistor, a voltage drop occurs according to Ohm's Law, Voltage = Current x Resistance.

    With no current flow, there is no voltage drop. Once you apply a load, current flows and voltage at the terminals drops. As you increase current, say by adding the load of a starter, the internal voltage drop can increase dramatically.

    In Florida, batteries typically last 24-36 months due to heat and your failure mode is typical. How do we get around this? We buy the best battery that WalMart carries, and when they fail, get a free replacement under warranty. The replacement battery comes with a new warranty.
    Last edited by djwarner; 07-19-2013 at 08:30 AM.
    1971 240Z HLS30A 17574 L24-021025

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    I second DJ's comments. I had a '98 Honda Accord that started and ran just fine until one day it would not. The battery was putting out 12.6V and the car would start with the charger on it but would not without it. Battery was 3 years old and had lived through 2 very hot TX summer's. It was a good battery with a good warranty so I got $50 back to put towards a new one. Car started fine until the day I sold it. AMPS are the muscle of a battery and electrical current in general.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    There are some diagnostics you could do to separate battery from connections. Put a voltmeter on the battery posts, not the ends of the cables but the posts themselves, then turn the key to Start. If it's a bad connection, you'll get the click and the lights dimming but very little voltage drop because very little current is flowing. If you get a big voltage drop directly from the posts, then you have a bad battery or a very high load (low resistance or partial short) somewhere else. Could be the starter, for example.

    You can also measure resistance from the post to the connector (wire end) and from one connector to another. It should be essentially zero. Any resistance will heat up when current flows, expand and get more resistive.

    A couple of really simple things you can do before you spend more money.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Zed, I'm not getting anything with the key in the start or on position, no lights, no solenoid click. I also tried using a jumper wire from the + post to the exiciter post for the solenoid/starter and got absolutely nothing, not even a spark, but the battery reads 12+volts.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    You said in Post #14 that you charged the battery, the lights came on, and the starter was clicking like mad.

    You can still do the voltage drop test at the battery posts. If you aren't even getting a glimmer from a light, then the voltage should drop to about zero when you turn the key, if you have a bad battery that won't push amps.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Zed thanks for the advice because now I feel like a complete idiot. I checked the cables by looking at voltage between + and - cables and it was 5. something, took the cables off and really cleaned them and the posts which didn't show any corrosion put them back on and viola' started right up and all is good, now I've just got to fix the left turn signal which I'm pretty sure is in the column switch, not an electrical issue. Thanks again. One of these days I'll learn to start with the simple stuff first and not chase zebra's and then look at the simple things.
    Last edited by mjr45; 07-19-2013 at 12:42 PM.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
    Corroded battery cable(s). Clean the connections between the lugs and the posts?
    Haha!!! Nailed it!! First reply!!

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Squirt that turn signal switch with some electrical cleaning spray, it worked for me. The car hadn't made a turn in quite a few years.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Yep Captain, you got me.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

  33. #33
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr45 View Post
    Yep Captain, you got me.
    Haha! It's fresh in my mind because I too underestimated the value in clean battery terminals myself in the recent past.

    The tricky part for me was that the oxide that had built up on the posts and lugs was a very hard, dark grey non-conductive coating. I had "cleaned" the terminals on several occasions, but was still having issues. The corrosion was "lead colored" and very difficult to see.

    It wasn't the soft fluffy white stuff you usually find.

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    It was the same on mine, no "corrosion" to speak of, no white powdery stuff, they looked clean, but after taking some 40 grit paper them it was covered with this lead colored powder. Oh well live and learn, now to fix that damn turn signal for about the 4th time.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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