1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

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RoyInVegas
Regular Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:19 pm
Location: Las Vegas NV
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1987 LWB diesel P'up

1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

Postby RoyInVegas » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:52 pm

I live in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas. The atmosphere is extremely dry and the summer temperatures can reach 130 in the sun. When I first moved here, in 2001, the winters were so cold that black ice often formed in the streets. Recently the winters have been largely warm. Both then and now, this climate is radically different that conditions at my former home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, where I had no problems starting the engine.

Current mileage is 195,753.

The engine won't start on cold days. I have to put a bathroom space heater under the hood before the thing will crank over.

GLOW PLUG HISTORY:

18 November 2005 - 142,398 miles - installed new glow plugs

10 April 2009 - 157,054 miles - J&S Diesel (Las Vegas) 2 plugs $11.86 each (Total cost of $255.52 for two plugs plus labor!)

9 December 2010 - 169,662 miles - 4 plugs from Isuzu/Mazda, $14.86 each (In other words, only 12,617 miles and 20 months of service before new plugs were needed. May have been that J&S should have replaced all four, not just two.)

10 December 2016 - 191,582 miles - 4 plugs from Pep Boys, $13.99 each (21,920 miles on the Isuzu/Mazda plugs)

10 December 2016 - still hard starting!

20 December 2016 - corrected the glow plug wiring and "starts and runs like a champ!"

16 November 2019 - 195,753 miles - 4 plugs from eBay, $8.59 each (free shipping plus $2.83 tax for all four) PURCHASED BUT NOT INSTALLED AS OF 19 NOVEMBER 2019.

The no-start on cold mornings has persisted for about six months. In other words, less than 4,171 miles and about three years on the Pep Boys plugs of 2015, and it still won't start on cold mornings!

I'm going to keep on this until I solve it. If I can, I'll report back with the results.

Good luck to all of us!

Roy

dorf
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Posts: 387
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:03 pm
Location: N. Central Arkansas 81 LUV 4x4

Re: 1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

Postby dorf » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:54 pm

You need to verify that the fuel system will hold pressure.

Easiest bwsy is to install a pressure gage ..after the filter assembly...in the line goigto the injector pump

That requires some way to lift fuel into the filter...from the tank...and bleed off the air,.....get a positive reading on the fuel gage...it will start....if the fuel solenoid opens

I believe I mentioned before you can temporarily install a marine engine two stroke pump up rubber valve .pump...before the fuel filter .

With allot of luck you can pump it up to get a hard bulb....the n bleed off air as required

Good luck......

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JoeIsuzu
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Posts: 20639
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:11 am
Location: Germantown (next to Elvistown), TN
Isuzu vehicle(s): Original owner, '83 LS Diesel, 5-spd, 2wd, Long Bed, restoration in progress!

Re: 1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

Postby JoeIsuzu » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:42 pm

Roy,

I split your post and replies out of the topic that they were in, because you have your own starting issue.

Hope that didn't confuse anybody. Please carry on. ;)

Jack

RoyInVegas
Regular Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:19 pm
Location: Las Vegas NV
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1987 LWB diesel P'up

Re: 1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

Postby RoyInVegas » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:01 pm

Sometimes I feel like The Ancient Mariner, and my disreputable little Isuzu diesel P'up is an albatross that's been strapped around my neck ... particularly when it gets cranky on cold days and refuses to start without a space heater under the hood.

I've even considered selling it and getting a car.

But then I pause and reflect:

If I have a car, there'll be the constant headache of replacing spark plugs, getting the thing smogged annually (the Isuzu is grandfathered and doesn't require annual certification), and so forth.

Also, if I have a car, what'll I do if I come across that rare armoire at a garage sale or massive dining table in a second-hand thrift shop? What if I want to bring home new gas range or new stainless dishwasher? (These serendipitous events - and more - have actually happened, and the Isuzu, like a loyal donkey, has trundled such stuff home without complaint.)

Yet, if I buy another small pickup, where will I find one with a 4 x 8 bed? Or with the long life of diesel technology? Or with a 5-speed tranny?

So there we are, the Isuzu P'up and I, stuck with each other, despite my little truck's idiosyncrasies.

My question now is this:

Have any of you guys had experience with glow plugs that have a life span of only 4,200 miles over three years?

I'm going to double-check the wiring, though I don't see how it could have become defective of its own volition.

I'd really appreciate hearing from someone who has had similar problems, and specifically what was done to solve them.

Thanks . . .

Roy

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Paul
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: Central Calif Coast

Re: 1987 Diesel turns over but won't start

Postby Paul » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:37 am

I put some new plugs in my truck about 25 years ago and they are still good. So, I think their life is excellent as long as the control circuit is working right.

One thing that likely will shorten their life is if they continue to glow when starting a hot engine. This can happen if the 'hot start sensor' is bad or if the wire to it is broken. This sensor is located in the thermostat housing and has a yellow wire with bullet connectors.

You can check this with an ohm meter when the engine is hot. The yellow wire should be grounded when hot and open when cold.

Also, if they continue to function when the engine is hot you should see the yellow glow lamp staying on just as it does for a cold engine.

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