300Tdi intermittent start issue - starter or main chassis ground? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old October 10th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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300Tdi intermittent start issue - starter or main chassis ground?

So, recently noticed a slight starting "delay" on my 300Tdi (i.e. once in awhile after glow plug light went off, I'd fire it up and there would be a split-second delay before it turned over). It was very slight.

Then was leaving a friends' house this evening and went to fire it up - nothing. No click from the starter/etc. Tried it a couple times back to back before it actually fired up. Got it home, shut it off and started it up 3-4 times before it had the same issue again.

My automotive repair skills tell me "starter", but is there anything else I should check first? Like maybe replace the main chassis ground? I've been thinking of doing that anyhow, since where it comes out of the battery box and attaches to the chassis it's been looking a little "green".

Ps - battery should be fine, though I plan to double-check that as well.
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  #2  
Old October 10th, 2011, 07:54 PM
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I recently had this same issue. turned out to be a loose nut securing the main red+ wire to the starter. double check connections. that will probably the issue. chassis to block ground and then main pos lead to starter from batt box.

after that, relay
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  #3  
Old October 10th, 2011, 10:43 PM
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Thanks Mark...going to hit napa and replace my main chassis ground...it was looking suspect so figured couldn't hurt to replace.

I checked the leads to starter...all looked good. If the main chassis ground doesn't do it I'll check the relay first before replacing starter.
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  #4  
Old October 10th, 2011, 10:51 PM
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If it is bnot a connection it could be the solenoid. If it wont start hit the starter with something to dislodge the plunger.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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I'd start by avoiding that friend.

Before you go to NAPA and spend money in parts you don't need, check a few things first.

I'm no mechanic... and like you, I over think/do things... this is what I'd probably do...

Get your trusty multimeter and check voltages.

First at the battery, then at the solenoid (the battery side). Don't use the battery (-) negative post to close the circuit. If your chassis ground is bad you'll have an open circuit and there will be no voltage reading.

The "green" stuff is corrosion, buy battery terminal cleaner and clean it. (Disconnect the battery first and wear PPE).

Once you have confirmed the voltages are within range. Get a trusty helper and check the voltage at the solenoid on the starter side. Disconnect the starter connection and have the trusty helper turn the key. If you have no voltage the problem is at the solenoid.
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  #6  
Old October 11th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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Pedro, you will be my multi-meter...I don't have one .

Main chassis ground needs to be replaced anyhow, fine at the terminals but where it attaches to the chassis (before it hits the block) was starting to corrode/split strands. So going to tackle that and then start tracing (with your help, of course).
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  #7  
Old October 11th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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Could be ignition slot is worn(whatever the thing is called that you put your key into). I had to replace mine due to the vehicle cutting out randomly and not starting sometimes. The key was in contact when put in the slot, everything would turn on like normal, glow plugs and gauges, then once you went to turn it to start everything would cut out (about 5% of the time). Tried tracking it down like you are until it started doing it while driving then it was obvious as the thing would spring to life the moment you wiggled the key. Parts are probably as old as mine were (assuming this is in your '83).
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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
Pedro, you will be my multi-meter...I don't have one .

Main chassis ground needs to be replaced anyhow, fine at the terminals but where it attaches to the chassis (before it hits the block) was starting to corrode/split strands. So going to tackle that and then start tracing (with your help, of course).
No problem... You can borrow one from me.

For some reason, I had a feeling you were going to say this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
Could be ignition slot is worn(whatever the thing is called that you put your key into). I had to replace mine due to the vehicle cutting out randomly and not starting sometimes. The key was in contact when put in the slot, everything would turn on like normal, glow plugs and gauges, then once you went to turn it to start everything would cut out (about 5% of the time). Tried tracking it down like you are until it started doing it while driving then it was obvious as the thing would spring to life the moment you wiggled the key. Parts are probably as old as mine were (assuming this is in your '83).
Jason, this is very good advice. I'll guess that I have to check this too.
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  #9  
Old October 11th, 2011, 08:31 AM
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K.I.S.S. do a Voltage drop test on the suspect leads/wires, remove clean and re-secure all connections, verify resistance.
the less voltage the higher resistance thus prone to failure due to heat stresss caused by amperage and poor atachment.
this is more prevalent on diesel engines where due to the nature of their compression ratio they create and enourmous load on the starting circuit.
if you had and open circuit as metro engineer suggested (LOL) then your system would be shut down as the required energy bridge would be non existant.
(geez I wonder how the electric train stays running next thing you know he will telling us of flat tires on the train) .....lol....
seriusly bud clean all connections, both ground and power very important on a diesel.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Bad ground is a big deal with a starter. I'd go that route first.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
Bad ground is a big deal with a starter. I'd go that route first.
And may be worth noting that we did a little wading last weekend
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
Bad ground is a big deal with a starter. I'd go that route first.
exactly, but I tried to explain it to the guys in a technical term.
danr should have gone with the laymans straight to the point term....lol....
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrc.swb View Post
I'd start by avoiding that friend.

Before you go to NAPA and spend money in parts you don't need, check a few things first.

I'm no mechanic... and like you, I over think/do things... this is what I'd probably do...

Get your trusty multimeter and check voltages.

First at the battery, then at the solenoid (the battery side). Don't use the battery (-) negative post to close the circuit. If your chassis ground is bad you'll have an open circuit and there will be no voltage reading.

The "green" stuff is corrosion, buy battery terminal cleaner and clean it. (Disconnect the battery first and wear PPE).

Once you have confirmed the voltages are within range. Get a trusty helper and check the voltage at the solenoid on the starter side. Disconnect the starter connection and have the trusty helper turn the key. If you have no voltage the problem is at the solenoid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
Bad ground is a big deal with a starter. I'd go that route first.
X2

That's what I was trying to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlosz View Post
exactly, but I tried to explain it to the guys in a technical term.
danr should have gone with the laymans straight to the point term....lol....
You and me both...
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  #14  
Old October 11th, 2011, 07:25 PM
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I had this exact problem with mine... if it is more likely to happen when it's warm, then I highly suggest you take a look at the 8 or 10 pin multi-connector that is on the left side of the engine compartment (when looking from front of the truck) near the bulkhead. It has many important circuits in it including the fuel solenoid on the injector pump. Mine would heat up and then get intermittent contact. But it was the *exact* same symptoms you are describing.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navydevildoc View Post
I had this exact problem with mine... if it is more likely to happen when it's warm, then I highly suggest you take a look at the 8 or 10 pin multi-connector that is on the left side of the engine compartment (when looking from front of the truck) near the bulkhead. It has many important circuits in it including the fuel solenoid on the injector pump. Mine would heat up and then get intermittent contact. But it was the *exact* same symptoms you are describing.
Neill:

What did you do to rectify? Clean the contact, or did you have to replace it?

Installing a new chassis main ground tomorrow, curious to see if that "fixes" things or if the next steps need to be taken.
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  #16  
Old October 14th, 2011, 10:23 PM
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Finally installed the main/chassis/block ground (essentially the new negative from the battery) with a new 2gauge lead from NAPA. Started up fine about 6 times in a row. Taking it out tomorrow. If all goes well, possibly may have rectified it. If it acts up again when warm, may take Neill's advice and scout the multi-connector.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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You can't over do it with ground straps-running a new or second one from the engine to the chassis is a stellar idea when you have problems. Unfortunately bad grounds are bad for starters and winch motors and while they may workwith poor grounds they fail earlier.
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Old October 15th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
And may be worth noting that we did a little wading last weekend
+1 what Doug said about ground connections, but my 200TDI starter showed the same symptoms after doing a bit of wading.
It would take several "clicks" before it turned over. It turned out to be the soleniod (which is part of the starter). I suppose I could have tried to check/clean the connections in the solenoid, but R/R of a deisel start is a PIA, so why not just replace it with a new one and save yourself the hassle of doing it twice.

As it has been explained to me (and it makes sense) diesels are notoriously hard on starter motors. THey take a lot of abuse (which is further evidenced by the collosal mass....and cost of these units). I replaced mine at a cost of +/-$490 from RN plus another $100 in labor, but it was definately worth it. It would suck to be stuck deep in the woods or at the beach with the dreaded "click", or nothing when you turn the key.

Of course, like Doug said, check all earth connections first and hopefully that solves it, but when you mentioned wading I suspect it could be a bit mroe complicated.

I kept my old starter motor/solenoid. Partly because I'm a hoarder, but mostly because it probably can be salvaged and used as a spare in a pinch. Before you drop five hundo buying a new starter, you're welcome to mine if you pay for shipping an whatever it costs for UPS to box it properly. You may be able to clean the solenoid contacts and have a cheap fix if cash is tight.
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  #19  
Old October 15th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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Diesels are indeed hard on starters, that's why diesels have heavier duty starters. As mentioned, one of the biggest, the biggest IMO, downfalls of starters regardless of engine type is undersized cables and/or bad connections causing volt drop.
300Tdi starters can draw upwards of 600amps in cold weather and people report a 400amp draw in the summer.
To keep volt drop within allowable limits for cold weather starting means at minimum 1 gauge cables (about .34v drop). 1/0 if you want to keep it down around .26.
I also run the starter ground to the same connection point as the battery ground.

For me it's worth spending a little more up front for properly sized cables (with quality crimped and sealed lugs) to keep from having to spend a lot more later for a starter.
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  #20  
Old October 15th, 2011, 09:25 AM
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Could not agree more with the good ground and heavy cables with the age of the Rovers around the cables may be way off the original specs and that may be have been for a petrol. On two of my larger diesels (Detroit and Perkins) you can only crank for 15 seconds then it kicks you out. I think John Deere allows 30 seconds to bleed the fuel system then allow the starter to cool for two minutes. If a Deere tech sees you crank for more than two spins you get a very black look.
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