Clunky 1FZFE startup

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pawnthatdude

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In the past couple months for PM I replaced my starter, spark plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor, seal, and o-ring, and set my timing to ~5 degrees. All of it was OEM. In the past week, ~1/4th of my starts have been clunky, sort of sounds like the starter is cutting out momentarily while cranking. The other 3/4 of the time, it cranks and starts like normal. Once it's running, it always runs fine. Seems to happen cold or hot. All the spark/ignition wires seem tight and the battery connections seem good.

I got one bad start on video:

What should I look at next to narrow it down?
 
bhsdriller

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How old is the battery. Does it seem like it does it after it's been sitting for a prolonged time?
 
pawnthatdude

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The battery is less than 3 years old. I've been able to make it happen after driving for a while and warm.
 
BILT4ME

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Check all your battery connections as well as the battery cable at the starter.

You may actually have a bad cable, especially after yanking it around changing the starter.

Also check the battery for load test.
 
pawnthatdude

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Alright, I replaced my battery terminals, cleaned the battery posts and all cable ends. On the starter side, I cleaned the cable end and replaced the nut with a fresh one. But the problem persists. So I am getting a warranty Denso starter. It's only about 1/6 starts or so, and it doesn't actually prevent the truck from starting, but it definitely doesn't sound good.

One thing I did notice is a small amount of powdery corrosion on the negative battery post, which I have never seen before on my AGM batteries. But I also haven't been driving much and it might have accumulated just sitting around.
 
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PZLCruiser

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Had the same issue last year. Was a bad temp sensor on my rig. Computer thinks the truck is still hot or something when starting so its in like a lean setting when first starting it.
 
mudgudgeon

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The way the dash lights come back on, I'd say it's an electrical issue.

Either bad connection from battery, bad contactors in the starter motor solenoid, bad ignition wire connection at the starter, bad cell in the battery, or maybe bad connection/contact at the ignition switch.

Corrosion on battery terminal usual means you have acid leaking out of the battery casing
 
pawnthatdude

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Had the same issue last year. Was a bad temp sensor on my rig. Computer thinks the truck is still hot or something when starting so its in like a lean setting when first starting it.
Very interesting. My exhaust on startup has a definitive rich smell, always has. Where was the sensor?
 
PZLCruiser

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Very interesting. My exhaust on startup has a definitive rich smell, always has. Where was the sensor?
I dont have a diagram handy but its on the front drivers side of the cylinder head. Cheep amd quick fix. Worth a try. Accessible with a small wrench.
 
pawnthatdude

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I dont have a diagram handy but its on the front drivers side of the cylinder head. Cheep amd quick fix. Worth a try. Accessible with a small wrench.

Thanks. Ordered.

A couple times, this problem has prevented the Cruiser from starting for a few minutes if it cuts out right before it would normally fire up. It's like the engine is mildly flooded: it cranks and cranks (without cutting out), but doesn't start. If I let it sit for a minute it will start up fine. Maybe it is running super rich at crank. But I don't understand why the starter would cut out like this because of the fuel/air mix.
 
PZLCruiser

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Thanks. Ordered.

A couple times, this problem has prevented the Cruiser from starting for a few minutes if it cuts out right before it would normally fire up. It's like the engine is mildly flooded: it cranks and cranks (without cutting out), but doesn't start. If I let it sit for a minute it will start up fine. Maybe it is running super rich at crank. But I don't understand why the starter would cut out like this because of the fuel/air mix.
Worth a try. A ground cable kit might be a good idea too. Theres a guy on here that makes a nice kit. Good grounds make everything happy.
 

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davidp14

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I once wasted $200 and an entire weekend chasing a no start on my son's subaru. It turned out to be a $6 ground wire. It looked fine, when I cut it open it was badly corroded. The subaru was only 16 years old so imagine what out fzj wires look like.
 
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Pericles

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I second the cable kit rec. Even if it doesn't turn out to be the issue, it's a good upgrade on a 25+ year old rig.
 
Shoredreamer

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@pawnthatdude I had this same issue for almost a year. It started this Summer in Utah and I finally seemed to have fix it.

I had literally the exact same issue as you. A rough start, maybe 1 in every 10 starts. No condition really mattered just that it was intermittent enough to annoy me and wasn’t a good feeling being on a trip remote. I also did have a CEL come on a couple times. It was a Code 51 which pointed to Starter and Dizzy. I went thru a decent amount of buying and swapping starter, ignition coil, inspecting grounds, testing the dizzy circuit and dizzy with no real improvement. Anyway, finally my problem revealed itself with my X2 Power AGM start battery lacking to start my truck. The battery has been in my truck for only 2 years as a stand alone duty of starting the truck. I took it in for warranty at Batteries Plus where they said it checked out fine so couldn’t get it replaced. I wasn’t having that answer so I ditched the X2 and bought a Duracell Ultra AGM (Deka) ($200 48 mo warranty) and my starting problem has yet to come up and seems to be the issue.

Maybe try a new battery and see what happens. I had trouble finding the same issue I had until your thread. Best of luck!
 
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pawnthatdude

pawnthatdude

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@pawnthatdude I had this same issue for almost a year. It started this Summer in Utah and I finally seemed to have fix it.

I had literally the exact same issue as you. A rough start, maybe 1 in every 10 starts. No condition really mattered just that it was intermittent enough to annoy me and wasn’t a good feeling being on a trip remote. I also did have a CEL come on a couple times. It was a Code 51 which pointed to Starter and Dizzy. I went thru a decent amount of buying and swapping starter, ignition coil, inspecting grounds, testing the dizzy circuit and dizzy with no real improvement. Anyway, finally my problem revealed itself with my X2 Power AGM start battery lacking to start my truck. The battery has been in my truck for only 2 years as a stand alone duty of starting the truck. I took it in for warranty at Batteries Plus where they said it checked out fine so couldn’t get it replaced. I wasn’t having that answer so I ditched the X2 and bought a Duracell Ultra AGM (Deka) ($200 48 mo warranty) and my starting problem has yet to come up and seems to be the issue.

Maybe try a new battery and see what happens. I had trouble finding the same issue I had until your thread. Best of luck!

I have dual Duracell AGM batteries from Batteries Plus, so I will try swapping the aux battery to the starting battery position. If that's the problem I'd love to prove it to them for the warranty but I doubt it like you said.
 
Shoredreamer

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I have dual Duracell AGM batteries from Batteries Plus, so I will try swapping the aux battery to the starting battery position. If that's the problem I'd love to prove it to them for the warranty but I doubt it like you said.
Do you have any CEL with this problem?
 
80t0ylc

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The way the dash lights come back on, I'd say it's an electrical issue.

Either bad connection from battery, bad contactors in the starter motor solenoid, bad ignition wire connection at the starter, bad cell in the battery, or maybe bad connection/contact at the ignition switch.

Corrosion on battery terminal usual means you have acid leaking out of the battery casing
^ Got to agree. Dash lights flashing plus sound of OP's starter sounds weak compared to my '94. If new or different battery doesn't fix, got to be bad cable/wire/lug or something electrical.
Edit: Don't need to replace battery, just jump it from a running rig (even though it starts on it's own, this will confirm weak batt)
 
pawnthatdude

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Worth a quick test. Running FJ62 jumped to the 80 battery. Did 30+ starts on the 80. It definitely cranks faster. But on four of those starts, the starter cut out. The cut outs were really short but noticable.

Here's a jumped normal start followed by a bad start:

PXL 20211221 233041368
 
80t0ylc

80t0ylc

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Worth a quick test. Running FJ62 jumped to the 80 battery. Did 30+ starts on the 80. It definitely cranks faster. But on four of those starts, the starter cut out. The cut outs were really short but noticable.

Here's a jumped normal start followed by a bad start:

View attachment 2871461

Yep, damn! Well at least you know part of the problem. The lights flash at the same time it cuts out which tells us that it's a short or a bad connection, in the starting circuitry. could be a bad cable or component. Being that you only notice it when grinding the starter, which is a heavy draw (close to maximum for what that circuit is designed for), it will eventually fail completely. And continued testing is rough on all components. That's a tough call. There's already been some good suggestions about old cables, so you might start checking and replacing the cables if there's any doubt with 'em.
 

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