88 FJ62 Slam the door and it starts?? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
For about the last month or so my 88 FJ62 has had an intermittent starting issue. One moment it will turn over on the first crank and drive just fine. And then next time try to turn it on it will crank and crank and crank, but no turn over.

It seems to be completely random. It doesn't matter if I just drove it. Or if it's been sitting a few days. If it's hot or cold out.

It happened again yesterday. Got in. Turned the key. Crank, crank, crank, but no start. So I thought - why not try the old "hit the thing" trick and just see what happens. Well sure enough it worked. I slammed the door shut. Turned the key. Crank and it's on, just like that.

Then it turned on just fine this morning first thing. Later in the day I went to turn it on again, and nothing. So again, I slammed the door then cranked - and it's on.

Another thing I noticed is that when it just cranks and cranks and cranks but won't turn over - the check engine light does not flash on at all. But when I slam the door and then turn they key, the engine light does flash on as it starts (as it does normally).

Don't really want to keep slamming the door to get her running. I'm wondering if it might just be a loose cable somewhere?
 

2mbb

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Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,078
Location
WC, CA
Yes, those are two different diagnosis.

The contacts in the solenoid address a problem where, when you turn the key to start, you hear a soft "click" but the starter never spins or turns the motor over. I don't think this is the problem you are having. It sound like the starter is rotating the engine but the engine is not starting to run on its own.

The loose ground could apply to your condition or the condition I describe above. If the starter never spins you would need to trace the heavy electrical cable from the battery to the starter and check all the connections as well as the grounding strap connections and the battery post connections. Even if they look "clean" you should disconnect and clean the connectors and reassemble.

If the starter is rotating the engine properly but the engine is not starting, then you need to determine what is wrong. For the engine to run, it need fuel, air and spark. Because it corrects itself when you slam the door this suggests it might be a poor ground or connection associated with the ignition system. You can check your ground at the igniter, "engine" fuses, etc. Probably using the wiring diagram is your best bet.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Starter is rotating the engine but the engine is not starting. At least not when I don't slam the door. Which has worked every single time. Haven't had it not start on me since. Definitely seems like a poor ground. Is the wiring diagram in the FSM? I need to get one ASAP either way. Best bet to buy one or are the PDF versions out there sufficient?
 
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
87
Location
Birmingham, AL
Look at your grounds, as noted. Since slamming the door causes it to wake up/ work, look at the stuff near that door. Also- my old car experiences tell me that just the battery connection itself can cause chaos. The corrosion from the neg battery cable can eat up the end of that cable, back into the cable itself, and sometimes you can't see it. Next time you get out, buy one of those $5 battery post/ terminal cleaner tools and scrub it down and reconnect. I just cured a intermittent start problem with my Ranger by buying a new terminal and just clamping it on- the old one wasn't making a good connection because someone (me? Some tech? Dunno.) overtightened it and bent it, and it wasn't clamping on well. Easy, easy fix and cheeeeeeap. Also just follow that negative battery cable and find places where it branches/terminates into the body/ engine bay under a screw. Could be rust there has messed up a ground, or it could just be a screw that needs tightening up.

Post pics of stuff as you go through if you want more detail- it really does sound like something easy.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
1,115
Which door are you slamming? Is yours right or left hand drive? Fuse panel is near your left knee on left hand drive models. So is the relay block, but under the dash. Tons of diagrams and factory manuals on here. Crank, no start is either ignition or fuel if you still have factory fuel injection. If the ecm isn't getting proper juice or ground, you won't get either fuel or spark. Grounds everywhere, one back of head to firewall, one starter to frame, battery to fender and to motor mount. Several grounds under dash. ECM is behind glovebox liner, be gentle it's just old rotten cardboard.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Which door are you slamming? Is yours right or left hand drive? Fuse panel is near your left knee on left hand drive models. So is the relay block, but under the dash. Tons of diagrams and factory manuals on here. Crank, no start is either ignition or fuel if you still have factory fuel injection. If the ecm isn't getting proper juice or ground, you won't get either fuel or spark. Grounds everywhere, one back of head to firewall, one starter to frame, battery to fender and to motor mount. Several grounds under dash. ECM is behind glovebox liner, be gentle it's just old rotten cardboard.

Good call on the fuse panel. The ignition fuse was ever so slightly loose. Got it secured. Has cranked and started every time since in the last hour. I'll give it a couple of days of driving to see if this was in fact the issue. But looks likely that it was.
 

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