3b wont start

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Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Threads
12
Messages
47
Location
Melbourne, Australia
New owner of a 1981 bj42 with a 3b. Ive had it for about a week and it was going well. Had a fuel issue but that has been resolved.
Everything was going fine until this morning when i went out to start it and it wouldnt glow. I.e the little orange wire never turned orange. Then it wouldnt start. I turned the key and there was just a rapid clicking. Sounded like a solenoid clicked quite fast. But the engine didnt turn over or anything like that.
I had to drive my other car to work. So i will have a bit more of a look at it when i get home but does anybody have any ideas of what the problem could be?
As i said im a new 40 owner so i dont know very much so if its a simple issur please excuse my ignorance.
Thanks
Luke
 
Check the battery voltage, it sounds like you are not getting enough juice to activate the solenoid.
 
At least if your getting rapid clicking the battery isn't totally dead.
 
Agree with the above... Battery is the first thing to check..

The battery may have been weak to start with or maybe there is a "parasitic draw".

You need a meter that'll show you the voltage output of your battery under load.

Here's an old tool I use for that:
BatteryTest.jpg


And I'd never be without a battery charger at home. (If you find your battery is flat, you'll need to charge to charge it and monitor how it holds its charge.)

:beer:
 
Agree with the above... Battery is the first thing to check..

The battery may have been weak to start with or maybe there is a "parasitic draw".

You need a meter that'll show you the voltage output of your battery under load.

Here's an old tool I use for that:
View attachment 1291832

And I'd never be without a battery charger at home. (If you find your battery is flat, you'll need to charge to charge it and monitor how it holds its charge.)

:beer:

Tom, that's a very unique voltmeter, I haven't been able to find one like it online.
 
Tom, that's a very unique voltmeter, I haven't been able to find one like it online.

It's just old Mike ..... (Like me and just about everything I like to surround myself with...)

:beer:
 
Haha my multimeter is definitely not that cool. So i got it started last night with a jump. Took it out for a half an hour drive. Came back this morning and again it eas dead. Ill charge up the battery today and then check the alternator. If thats all good i guess the next step is to find the draw.
 
I did notice that my in dash ?amp gauge? Was just on zero but i kinda put that down to a faulty gauge rather than the alternator. My mistake, i should have checked that out sooner
 
It's just old Mike ..... (Like me and just about everything I like to surround myself with...)

:beer:

Oldies but a goodies Tom, I like those old instruments as they were reliable, they don't make them like that any more, now days everything is disposable crap.
 
I did notice that my in dash ?amp gauge? Was just on zero but i kinda put that down to a faulty gauge rather than the alternator. My mistake, i should have checked that out sooner

The ammeters on our late-model 40-series are really pretty useless. I've found my needle seldom moves no matter what the circumstances.

So one of the few upgrades I'd recommend would be to install a voltmeter. (Most aspects of the 40-series don't need any improvement IMO.)

This one gives me real "peace of mind" when I'm driving late at night in mid-winter while planning to camp the night somewhere remote (as I'll be doing again early next week).

Voltmeter1.jpg


When I see it staying around 13V ... even with the heater fan blowing hard .... I can rest assured that my battery will be able to restart me in the morning when the whole vehicle has cooled to sub-zero temperatures. (Well ... There's always a first time for this theory to go wrong .. so I hope it doesn't decide to go wrong on this coming trip.)

:beer:

EDIT: If you need to replace your battery, it's best to get the biggest one that'll fit in there.

I even enlarged my holder/clamp so as to fit this one:
BatteryExide86A.jpg


More CCA = more peace-of-mind
 
Haha my multimeter is definitely not that cool. So i got it started last night with a jump. Took it out for a half an hour drive. Came back this morning and again it eas dead. Ill charge up the battery today and then check the alternator. If thats all good i guess the next step is to find the draw.

Aside from the battery not holding a charge you might also check the alternator and regulator. While the engine is running disconnect the battery, the engine should continue to run, if not it's the alternator.
 
The voltmeter is a great idea. Ill definitely do that once ive got this issue resolved.

Aside from the battery not holding a charge you might also check the alternator and regulator. While the engine is running disconnect the battery, the engine should continue to run, if not it's the alternator.

Oh ok. So thats a good test even for a diesel. I was under the impression a diesel would run even without a battery and alternator. Im learning things every day :)
 
The voltmeter is a great idea. Ill definitely do that once ive got this issue resolved.



Oh ok. So thats a good test even for a diesel. I was under the impression a diesel would run even without a battery and alternator. Im learning things every day :)

No not for a diesel sorry. I got distracted with some honey dos:princess:!
 
I finished work for today. Checked the battery which had been on charge all day. And it was at 13.41 volts. Seems a little low to me. Off charge it was at 12.9 volts. But it was dropping. So im out for dinner and im gonna let it settle to see how it goes. Im trying to work out if its my battery or the alternator. Once i get home ill start it up (if it can) and measure the voltage off the alternator.
 
I finished work for today. Checked the battery which had been on charge all day. And it was at 13.41 volts. Seems a little low to me. Off charge it was at 12.9 volts. But it was dropping. So im out for dinner and im gonna let it settle to see how it goes. Im trying to work out if its my battery or the alternator. Once i get home ill start it up (if it can) and measure the voltage off the alternator.

Unfortunately the terminal voltage by itself isn't a good guide on the state of a battery.. (Those figures don't raise any alarm bells for me and could represent a perfectly good battery I reckon.)

That tool I use imposes a "high current draw-off" and simultaneously measures the voltage. By doing this it ensures the voltage reading gives a decent indication of the battery condition.

But if you don't have such a tool don't worry. There are other ways to see if your battery is OK or not.

We can assume your leads, starter solenoid and starter itself are OK because presumably your engine cranked well when you had that other vehicle "jumper you".

So..
  1. If your recharged & reinstalled battery (with cleaned terminals & clamps) only sluggishly cranks - then the battery can be confirmed as a throw-away
  2. Alternatively if fails to hold it's charge when your vehicle is left parked for a few days (provided there is no parasitic draw) then again it is a throw-away.
As for "parasitic draw" - In general, no current at all should be drawn off the battery while the key (and all other switches) are in the off position. You can check for this when reinstalling your charged battery. (The last clamp shouldn't spark when you reconnect it, for instance.)

My starter and starter solenoid have always been 100% reliable and I put this down to never stuffing around with substandard batteries and poor charging systems. (I suspect repeated unsuccessful/low-voltage cranking imposes rapid wear on these components.)

If a battery is outside it's warranty (or more than 2 years old) and gives me any trouble at all - I replace it despite the expense.

But of course you need to know if your charging there is working properly.

You have a multimeter so just record your battery voltage immediately you place it back in your vehicle (after its been on your plug-in charger and allowed to settle for hour) and then again once your engine has started (assuming you can indeed start it) and running at above-idle revvs.. You want to see a significant increase in voltage of course to confirm your charging system is working.

Good luck.

:beer:
 
Last edited:
So last night i came home and the battery was at 12.4v. I glowed it once. Tried to start and it wouldnt crank over. The battery is now at 11.6v. Ill jump start it now so i can test the alternator.
 
Is there a date-sticker on the battery to tell how old it is?

Sounds like it's done its dash anyway.

But as I've said - If you're going to replace it, don't just automatically get the same one/type and don't skimp or you'll regret doing so..

:beer:
 
Nah theres no date on the battery. Thats kinda what id figured. It needs a new battery. Now its just trying to work out if it died because of age or whether the charging system had something to do with it
 
This is a timely thread as I'm having almost the exact same issue with my BJ73. Here's my post in the 70-Series Section below.

I'm getting my batteries off the charger this morning and hopefully re-install them tonight and see what happens. The curve ball for me is I'm working with 24V.

If I'm hijacking please let me know and I'll retreat.

Well, it appears I may have my first problem with the 73. I recently returned from about 18 days of being out of town and went to start the 73 up and no joy. I drove it the day before I left just to make sure everything was good to go and didn't have any issues.

When I attempt to start it nothing happens with the exception of some of what I assume are the relays clicking back and forth. Can you tell I'm not a master mechanic?? Other than that, the motor doesn't turn over at all.

I took the batteries out and I'm having them tested/charged on a stand-alone charger we have at work. So far I think they are looking ok. Showing 27.6 volts together right now.

I'm starting to think it may be more of an issue with the starter or maybe the relays because I have had an intermittent issue in the past. Probably 2 or 3 times over the course of the last 3 months there has been a time when I went to start the truck and after it started it sounded like the starter was still spinning very rapidly, very similar sounding to a jet turbine is the best way to describe it. Once after I immediately turned the truck off it continued to spin and "diesel" (not sure if that is the right term) or run the engine for several seconds.

I'm going to reinstall the batteries tonight and give it one more go. If it doesn't work I'm probably going to have it towed to the local mechanic. That is no small feat in itself as the truck is at the bottom of my 10-15* downslope drive and has to get through a very narrow gate at the top. If it appears unsafe to extract the truck I may try to remove the starter myself assuming the starter is the issue.

I have searched and read a few threads on similar issues and seems the consensus is to rebuild the starter if that is the issue or replace relays. Anything else I should be looking at?
 

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