24V starter for 2B diesel..?? repair or replace?

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82BJ42Fan

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I'll start with Google sucks, nobody apparently fixes starters anymore. I have a 1982 BJ44, 2B diesel, and when I tried to connect the 2 batteries, the post started to melt.. Since I smell nothing burning, it's most likely the starter.. Anyone know where I can buy a starter..? I'm guessing here, maybe there's a box mounted to the starter that's available, didn't crawl underneath yet.. Or, does anyone know a guy who rebuilds these old starters? Had a house fire last year, left my heavy duty bench behind, and all the water from the fire hoses wrecked my tools. No room for them here, so haven't replaced them. Any help greatly appreciated.
 
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82BJ42Fan

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I'll start with Google sucks, nobody apparently fixes starters anymore. I have a 1982 BJ44, 2B diesel, and when I tried to connect the 2 batteries, the post started to melt.. Since I smell nothing burning, it's most likely the starter.. Anyone know where I can buy a starter..? I'm guessing here, maybe there's a box mounted to the starter that's available, didn't crawl underneath yet.. Or, does anyone know a guy who rebuilds these old starters? Had a house fire last year, left my heavy duty bench behind, and all the water from the fire hoses wrecked my tools. No room for them here, so haven't replaced them. Any help greatly appreciated.
So, there is also a slim possibility this is the ignition switch, right..? I really don't want to leave 2 new car batteries hooked up though, too much current, it's bound to hurt the wiring.. Can any of this be tested with just 1 battery hooked up, or even a single 12V lawn mower battery? I suck at electrical stuff, but would at least like a few recommendations for electrical wire chaser..
 
kevin in okinawa

kevin in okinawa

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I'll start with Google sucks, nobody apparently fixes starters anymore. I have a 1982 BJ44, 2B diesel, and when I tried to connect the 2 batteries, the post started to melt.. Since I smell nothing burning, it's most likely the starter.. Anyone know where I can buy a starter..? I'm guessing here, maybe there's a box mounted to the starter that's available, didn't crawl underneath yet.. Or, does anyone know a guy who rebuilds these old starters? Had a house fire last year, left my heavy duty bench behind, and all the water from the fire hoses wrecked my tools. No room for them here, so haven't replaced them. Any help greatly appreciated.
start with Partsouq or megazip
 
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82BJ42Fan

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I can get a starter, but want to be sure I'm not replacing perfectly good parts.. 2 new batteries, alternator diagnostics, new regulator... Granted, my ability to chase electrical problems isn't the greatest, but there's gotta be a few simple things I can try.. A friend suggested disconnecting the starter, but I don't think this rules out a faulty ignition.. When they towed me home, I disconnected both batteries to charge them, but it was freezing out, I had gloves on, it's totally possible I missed the spark from reconnecting the batteries. A week later, I started it up.. I think this rules out a grounded wire, also rules out connecting batteries wrong. Alternator was tested for 40 minutes, so I know that's fine too.. Besides, there's almost nothing in these things, no power windows, power seats, not even a radio or cig lighter yet. Lights, horn, heat, and wipers.. I'd notice if lights stayed on or anything else. I'm an auto body guy with friends who do upholstery, electric isn't my groove, but I did goof around with toys over the years.. What kind of "short" would cause the batteries to spark this bad but not drain the batteries?? Is there anything to rule out besides the starter..?
 
BreckenridgeCruiser

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Okay... Lots going on here...

First: Take a picture of your battery setup. Things should not melt when you hook them up unless something is very wrong. Most likely it is WAY before your starter.

Two: Slow down an tell us how yo got here... Did the truck ever drive? What changed? What did you do?

Three: more pictures. 24 volt stuff is easy if you know what you're looking for (and what to never do). Show us because we will see things you never thought to look at.

Start there and then we can ask the right questions...
 
Nz Nath

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I had a battery post partially melt on me when starting my 13bt. Pretty sure it was caused by the clamp being loose, the heat of the arc causes the lead to melt. Apparently it's more common on 24v than 12v, maybe the higher voltage allows more arcing.

In my case it was a positive terminal, and only part of the post melted. I 'fixed' it by filing the post till I could hammer on a clamp for a negative lead (smaller post). Been fine ever since.

In your case, if it occurred whilst you were connecting the batteries it would suggest something was trying to draw current. If the starter was the culprit, a sticky starter relay would be the cause not the starter itself. Are you sure you didn't leave the ignition on?

I installed a battery isolator, use it all the time when doing maintenance, great peace of mind.
 
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82BJ42Fan

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Okay... Lots going on here...

First: Take a picture of your battery setup. Things should not melt when you hook them up unless something is very wrong. Most likely it is WAY before your starter.

Two: Slow down an tell us how yo got here... Did the truck ever drive? What changed? What did you do?

Three: more pictures. 24 volt stuff is easy if you know what you're looking for (and what to never do). Show us because we will see things you never thought to look at.

Start there and then we can ask the right questions...
OK. Photo tomorrow.. 8 months ago, I thought it ran perfect. I bought it, then had an emergency move after a house fire, so it sat for a while untouched, and there were 2 older batteries, but they appeared to be fin.e. It would start right up even on cold Buffalo morning. I went to run errands, 5 stops in 55 minutes, had heater on, lights, wipers, came out with dinner and didn't start: lights worked. AAA came, I informed them it's 24V, he tried to jump/replaced 1 battery, then towed me. Mechanic said I needed an alternator, and I believed him for a few months, couldn't find one, so brought it to a 85 year old Auto electric guy.. He tested it on ancient machines for 45 minutes, told me it was fine, most likely needed a voltage regulator, which I bought. I put alternator back in, then replaced the old battery with 1that matched the AAA one, and VERIFIED 24V hookup.. A lot of time passed, mechanic had it towed back to my house.. It was fully charged, and started up so I could park where I needed to. I moved it a week later to cut lawn, so if there was a drain, I couldn't do this.. But back to installing new battery. It seemed like a very excessive spark, this is when I verified 24V hookup(- from 1 to + on the other). When I tried, just touching the cable to post fused it in place, I knocked it off, wrapped the cable, and went inside.. So, what I know is there's way too much current/amps/watts, batteries were hooked up for a month while I looked for an alternator, and I moved car(started right up), and under full load with 5 stops, it wouldn't start sixth time.. Lastly, the old battery appears to have score marks on it from this sparking, so it's probably not a new problem, I just didn't know about it until that running those errands.. I can assure you, batteries are hooked up as 24V, not 12V.. When I bought it, the radio and lighter were missing, and the dash seemed pretty dark. Moving during Covid, it wasn't easy to just take it to a shop: there's no cabs or ride shares here. For the 10-20 minute rides I went on, it wasn't a big deal not to have a radio, getting stuff dry after the fire was a priority, and trying to unpack at my "project house".. Car was never near fire. While it seems possible this is a starter, it reminds me of a faulty ignition switch on a riding mower, fusing in 1 position.. I found my hobby test lights, but am not great with electricity.. A slow drain would've left me with a dead battery at some point, car would sit for 1-2 weeks at a time.. So, photos tomorrow. It's snowing here, so I'd like to do more than just disconnect the starter when I get all wrapped up.. Diesels are still pretty new to me too.. These things are built like mini tractor trailer semis. LOL.
 
BreckenridgeCruiser

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Thanks for the in depth history of the issue! Sounds really odd that it should arc like that. You have it connected up right now or disconnected?

I had an arc issue once and it was a bad ground. Only happened when ai tried to start it and it ended up being the ground strap from the starter to the frame. Since yours seems to happen when you hooked it up, it means that you have a short somewhere in the system that is not behind a switch.

I'll hold more thoughts until I see some pictures... Photos of the starter and wiring to and from it would be good... Also a good shot of all the cables coming off the 24v + terminal would be helpful. Lastly, you mentioned the alt being removed an tested. That could be exposed somewhere as it goes directly to the battery from the alt for charging... Make sure that wire is not grounding anywhere...

Hope that helps!
 
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82BJ42Fan

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A bit more history: I bought this with no lighter or radio, and the rear heater doesn't seem to work.. there's a switch right on the rear center console to turn the rear heater on.. and it was cold that day, I did flip it.. Since my lights, wipers, and front heater were all working, this seems like a likely culprit. I'm going to start here, disconnect it and follow those wires if I can. And double check that radio/lighter wires are wrapped and capped. This arcing was too high for tiny wires though, I think anything small would have smoked. If I'm right, and this would have to be a big wire, then the starter ground and/or rear heater seem like much better candidates. And considering that day, heat/lights/wipers and possibly turning on a faulty rear heater, it makes sense that the alternator might be overtaxed, and 5 stops in under an hour with 2 old batteries.. If it was a faulty starter ground, wouldn't it drain batteries when parked?
 
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82BJ42Fan

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I went out to hook up battery, and must've either disturbed a bad wire, or blown fusible link.. Here's photos. Ladder view of engine, battery terminal damage, and back of alternator..
Resized 20211114 114837
Resized 20211114 114919


Resized 20211114 115217
 
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82BJ42Fan

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oops, 1 more photo.. Is my finger pointing at fusible link..? I got a feeling Autozone/NAPA won't have what I need, my BJ44 isn't in their database. Does anyone have a 24V fusible link part# I can try..? I found my test lights and multi meter, if someone can walk me thru troubleshooting, to hopefully get this to a shop I trust, it'd be greatly appreciated.. I know this was running, and batteries weren't draining, so wherever a wire melted, it's OK to drive, just not on a full load(lights/heater/wipers).. Before all of this, a headlight blew.. I assumed it used 12V, so took it to hack of a garage around the corner.. They put a toggle switch on dash.. I think having mechanic I trust replace headlight wires, hopefully find wherever it melted will solve all of this..

Resized 20211114 120752
 
DEADSALT

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the 12 volt toggle on the dash pulling 12volts from one of your batteries is likely the culprit
 
BreckenridgeCruiser

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Fusible links will be right at the high side (24v) POS terminal.

The melted terminal is your ground on the low side... Was this where it was when it melted?

You have a lot of taps on the 24v side... Where are they all running to? One seems to be running to the front. Is that the headlight hack? Not sure how he got 12v... I don't see any wires coming off the low side + or the high side -
 
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82BJ42Fan

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headlight wires are 24V, both batteries, and 100% separated. Green wire with long grey fusible link.. Old, original headlight wiring may have a short.. I was under the impression that if headlight knob stayed off, there was no danger of making it worse. New town after a house fire, still trying to find a good mechanic, and someone to 'undo' and fix the headlights.. 24V is scaring them off. Ground link and wire look in need of replacing, but seems stupid to melt another... I suck at electric, not even going to guess where anything is going. This does have a rear heater that doesn't work, haven't tried following the wires yet. No garage, Wind chill has it about 20* today..

Resized 20211115 123244


Resized 20211115 123416
 
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82BJ42Fan

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The 2nd wire from the right with black connector does not look like a fusible link.. I know it's a long shot, but should that be connected to 1 of the other fusible links..? This is an '82 BJ44... Anyone with an 82 24v diesel, a few photos would be extremely helpful. Even if I get correct replacement fusible link, does me no good unless I can see where what goes..
 

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