Troubleshooting a no start situation

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goners
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Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:52 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been reading up on the possible causes and fixes and I'm unfortunately stumped at the moment. Here's some background: Both my battery and alternator gave up the ghost recently. I'm not sure which caused the other to fail yet but was hoping to bring it to an auto electrician or buy a multimeter and try finding any drains myself as described in a post I read on this board a few weeks ago. In any case, I have a new battery, new alternator and just put in a new fuel filter. The glow plugs are new within the last 3 years and the starter was replaced within the last 3 years as well.

Here's how the problems started. Last year, my alternator went and I had to replace it and the battery. I had to have the truck towed to a shop and was new in town so didn't know where to go. Anyway, chose a shop and the mechanic did the work. He replaced my battery terminals and cleaned up some wires as well. Ever sine then, the truck acted a little funny intermittently. Sometimes the dash lights would flash in a pattern and then it would stop and maybe not happen again for weeks. Also he forgot to put the fan guard back on and I thought my truck was blowing up when I got it home with the terrible noises that were coming from the hood! So I brought it back and asked what was up. He couldn't find anything, put some rubber spacers over the battery terminals and told me to come back another time. I decided at that point that I didn't really want to deal with him anymore. So I checked with a friend to find any drains on the battery. Couldn't find any! Truck worked out well for a year. No problems until I was driving back to NY from Richmond VA and the lights started to go dim. I ended up in New Jersey with no battery power at all. I ended up limping the truck home in the daylight and then it sat for a couple months while I saved up to fix with issue.

Fast forward to the last couple of weeks! I brought the alternator to an auto electrician to be rebuilt and installed it and a brand new battery and drove the truck to work for the first time since the winter began. All seemed okay. Then I drove the truck to work the next day, added some coolant and oil at lunch and then the problem began when I went to go home. I turned the key and it was steady turning or cranking but nothing whatsoever. I remember when I had a glow plug issue there would at least be attempts of the engine trying to turn over, like a rumble here and there. This time, it's just steady cranking and no signs of it catching.

So I started researching. I read a lot about others having issues that were fixed with bypassing the clutch switch. But I remember reading that it's silence or just clicks when you turn the key? Anyway, based on what I was reading it sounded like maybe the engine wasn't getting any fuel delivered, so I changed the fuel filter and filled the new filter with half diesel 911 and half new diesel. That didn't do it. Next, I looked as best I could to find any loose connections or fuses that might be bad but I didn't find anything. I'm also not sure I'm looking in the right places. I don't have a lot of experience working on cars but I feel like I've learned a lot from trying to work on the truck with the help of reading everyone's posts, so thank you!

The other thing I did out of desperation to start the truck was to use a very quick spray of starter fluid after it had been sitting in a parking lot for a couple days. I know that's not great for the engine and won't make a habit of it but I had to get it out of there before I got a boot or towed. I was also able to start it back up after stopping for 20 minutes while the engine was still warm. Though it's a bummer to have to use the starter fluid, I thought it at least told me something? It made me feel like maybe it wasn't a fuel delivery problem. The weather has been pretty mild here in NY. Some days, like today it was around 50 degrees but still no start.

Anyway, I just started a full time job working at a furniture and machine shop, so I could really use the truck to get to and from work. I've been bumming rides for a while now. Any help would be greatly appreciated and if I don't know where to look or start, I apologize in advance if I ask a lot of questions. I have a service manual so I'll try to follow along.
Justin Catania
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Hudson Valley, NY

1981 Diesel 4x4 Luv

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Paul
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby Paul » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:03 am

If it runs OK after starting with starter fluid, chances are that your glow system is not working. Mine will not fire at all in cold weather without glow. And, I'm in Calif.

Paul
'84 P'UP 2 wd diesel, 5 spd with 0.78 fifth gear and differential back to 3.73.

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puttputtinpup
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby puttputtinpup » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:08 am

If I had some good pictures of under the hood of any diesel Pup, I could draw arrows to glow connections that are common culprits.

But for starters, there's a small flat aluminum box mounted near the rt headlight. That's called the drop down resistor for the glow system. It's connector gets corroded and loose. Clean it up the best you can and pinch the female end shut a bit if you can so it'll make a better connection on the spade end.
Also, a blue wire near the battery. It's connectors should be cleaned and tightened up too. That's the fusible link. If it is burned in two. That's the problem.
One other connector at the firewall halfway between the head and the wiper motor. Several wires in that. Pull apart and clean up.

There are other possibilities too, but these are a few most common areas. If they guy changed your battery cable connectors, the + has a few smaller wires coming off it too. Be sure those aren't loose
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goners
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:15 pm

Thank you Paul and puttputtinpup for responding. I just bought a multimeter today to check to see if the glow plugs are working correctly and I checked out as many connections as I could this weekend. I'm going to do another round of checks tomorrow and let you know how it goes!
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1981 Diesel 4x4 Luv

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puttputtinpup
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby puttputtinpup » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:05 pm

Remember, a corroded connection may in fact show some voltage and continuity but under a load, it may fail
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robgt22
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby robgt22 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:55 pm

Check the one wire thermoswitch on the thermostat housing. It grounds when engine is warm but if it went wrong the controller will think the engine is warm.
Honda passport/Isuzu rodeo 95 with a c223 in it. Running 7psi of boost with a gt1749, straightpiped. Expecting an intercooler and more boost.

goners
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:08 pm

robgt22 wrote:Check the one wire thermoswitch on the thermostat housing. It grounds when engine is warm but if it went wrong the controller will think the engine is warm.


Okay, so I've been troubleshooting this in between snow storms here in NY and I still can't quite get the glow plugs to receive any voltage. I have been going through and cleaning connections on relay's etc. I did manage to hear a click next to the cluster of relays in the photo (this is right behind the battery) when I turn the key to the "on" position. There's a slight spike in voltage but then nothing. Is this a good indication that it is the thermostat housing like robgt22 said? The one wire thermo switch (which i believe is right in front of the valve cover?) seems okay? I'm not sure what to look for in terms of it being compromised. It seems like it's epoxied on there or some sort of build a seal connection. Should I remove it and reconnect? If so, what kind of connection is below?

Thank you everyone for your responses. The help is much appreciated.
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unnamed-1.jpg
Under the hood
unnamed.jpg
Detail where I hear the clicking noise.
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puttputtinpup
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby puttputtinpup » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:29 pm

Right in front of the battery there's a connector w two wires in it. Goes to an alum box behind the headlight. Clean that connector good. Right there close off the battery is a short single wire w plastic connector on each end. Fuse link. Clean both ends real good. At firewall, clean square connector sits underneath all that vacuum lines to rt of wiper motor. Several wires in that connection. I know this is somewhat of a repeat post, but making sure you covered it all. Still looks dirty at the small connector at firewall
Currently P'up-less, but keeping my eyes open for a good deal
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robgt22
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby robgt22 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:42 am

goners wrote:
robgt22 wrote:Check the one wire thermoswitch on the thermostat housing. It grounds when engine is warm but if it went wrong the controller will think the engine is warm.


Okay, so I've been troubleshooting this in between snow storms here in NY and I still can't quite get the glow plugs to receive any voltage. I have been going through and cleaning connections on relay's etc. I did manage to hear a click next to the cluster of relays in the photo (this is right behind the battery) when I turn the key to the "on" position. There's a slight spike in voltage but then nothing. Is this a good indication that it is the thermostat housing like robgt22 said? The one wire thermo switch (which i believe is right in front of the valve cover?) seems okay? I'm not sure what to look for in terms of it being compromised. It seems like it's epoxied on there or some sort of build a seal connection. Should I remove it and reconnect? If so, what kind of connection is below?

Thank you everyone for your responses. The help is much appreciated.


Just try to disconect it, and turn the key to the on position, if it works then the thermo switch is internaly broken.
Honda passport/Isuzu rodeo 95 with a c223 in it. Running 7psi of boost with a gt1749, straightpiped. Expecting an intercooler and more boost.

goners
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Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Beacon, NY
Isuzu vehicle(s): 81 2.2L Diesel Chevy Luv 4x4 with C223 turbo added

Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:54 pm

So I disconnected the thermoswitch. No change. Then I went through another round of cleaning all the connections and took out the two glow plug relays to try to test them. They both tested positive for continuity. Should I test them hooked up to a better next or does this confirm they're okay?

Then right as I was about to give up for the night I came across a severed wire on the two wire thermoswitch! I included a photo of it. Could these be the problem? I'm going to work on reconnecting it. I also notice the connection that leads to the metal box on the passenger side behind headlight looked like it was almost melted? I included a photo of that as well.

Thanks!
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IMG_0976.JPG
IMG_0974.JPG
Justin Catania
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1981 Diesel 4x4 Luv

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puttputtinpup
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby puttputtinpup » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:18 am

The connector at the alum metal box was one crucial place I recommended be cleaned. The 2 wire sensor I believe if for the fast idle. Then again, I may have that wrong.
Currently P'up-less, but keeping my eyes open for a good deal
Click this link for misc. diesel technical bulletins & other info

robgt22
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby robgt22 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:48 am

puttputtinpup wrote:The connector at the alum metal box was one crucial place I recommended be cleaned. The 2 wire sensor I believe if for the fast idle. Then again, I may have that wrong.


Yup the two wire thermoswitch has nothing to do with the qos.
Honda passport/Isuzu rodeo 95 with a c223 in it. Running 7psi of boost with a gt1749, straightpiped. Expecting an intercooler and more boost.

goners
Regular Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Beacon, NY
Isuzu vehicle(s): 81 2.2L Diesel Chevy Luv 4x4 with C223 turbo added

Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:01 am

puttputtinpup wrote:The connector at the alum metal box was one crucial place I recommended be cleaned. The 2 wire sensor I believe if for the fast idle. Then again, I may have that wrong.


Right, I cleaned the connection real well but noticed that the plastic piece looked damaged or slightly melted.
Justin Catania
Printmaker/Artist
Hudson Valley, NY

1981 Diesel 4x4 Luv

goners
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Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Beacon, NY
Isuzu vehicle(s): 81 2.2L Diesel Chevy Luv 4x4 with C223 turbo added

Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby goners » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:53 pm

GOT IT RUNNING! Not sure where the problem was exactly, but I went out and got some dielectric grease and some contact cleaner and went to town again on cleaning everything and now it's starting right up. Thanks everyone for the advice! I'm so happy to not have to bring it in to a shop.
Justin Catania
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Hudson Valley, NY

1981 Diesel 4x4 Luv

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puttputtinpup
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Re: Troubleshooting a no start situation

Postby puttputtinpup » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:59 pm

Yay! Trust me, you now know more about the glow system than any of your shops would ever know
Currently P'up-less, but keeping my eyes open for a good deal
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