FZJ80 starting issue, no turnover or cranking

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Joined
Jul 24, 2006
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508
Location
Fairfax, VA
took my 95 on a road trip through an east coast winter storm over the weekend. truck drove perfectly during the 200+ mile round trip, until i stopped for gas a couple miles from home. after emptying my wallet for 20 gals of 87 octane, turning the key over resulted in nothing but the cluster and radio turning on. i thought maybe i'd left it in gear, as my daily driver is a manual trans and since toyota lets me remove the key in drive i sometimes goof. nope, shifter in P. so tried again...nothing. i remembered hearing about the park/neutral position switch, so i ran the shifter through all gears and back to P again. the starter still refused to crank over. ok, i'm starting to get pissed. i'm tired, hungry, and just want to skip straight to step #6 at the restaurant next door where i'm supposed to meet my wife in 5 minutes. ran the shifter through all gears again and back to P, turned the key, and it fired right up with the usual number of 3-5 cranks. ok, wtf.

i wasn't able to capture anything else. i don't think i heard the starter "click" but i wasn't listening for it either. but it acted just like i'd left the car in D or R so i'm thinking there was no click. i also didn't think to capture what cluster lights were on or off with the key in the start position. this is the 1st time its happened, and i don't want it to happen again in a less ideal area.

poured through many threads on this subject yesterday and here's what i put together as possible culprits and repairs. could use some advice on which order to tackle them in or which to avoid as wastes of time and/or money.

1. starter contacts. i appear to have the original starter, 28100-66060 according to the toyota tag as installed, without the -84 number meaning its not a reman. at 228k, i can't confirm the contacts have ever been replaced. this appears something i can tackle on my garage floor w/ a basic set of tools for ~$60 from @NLXTACY. or should i just skip to a new starter? dealer or denso from rock auto? does the OE starter come w/ everything i need, including the solenoid (they have their own part numbers)?

2. ignition switch. a new OE switch is ~$100, which should refresh the contacts and wiring which see a good amount of current. however others install a relay or external solenoid to provide the oe starter/solenoid with more volts/amps for ~$30 like the Painless hot shot kit. or HuddExpo @LC4LIFE has his turnkey kit which serves the same purpose and adds an ignition kill switch for $150.

3. park/neutral position switch. appears some have had issues w/ the switch itself, or the two wires in the connector on the trans. i recently had to remove one of the trans switches to free it up in order to get the CDL to lock, but didn't touch the PNPS or that connector. the trans was replaced last year by land cruiser heaven, so i trust they would have caught a crusty connector.

other related items:
fusible link is new
battery is new
battery terminals are new
all positive and negative battery cables and ground cables are new and tight. thanks @Fourrunner
tvss security system is "disabled" but on my list to fully remove

one likely unrelated detail is in the last 20-30 miles i thought i heard a low grumbling noise coming from under the shifter console, varying w/ speed. but hard to make out over wind and road noise. first thing i'm going to check is the t-case fluid level as my speedo sensor was leaking. i fixed that but could be a tad low. or maybe a driveshaft needs some love.

another likely unrelated detail but thought i'd mention while i'm getting some views, was 3-4 seconds of hissing when i removed the gas cap. i'd just driven 100 miles and the low fuel light just started illuminating as i pulled up to the pump. with all the vacuum canister posts, i'm wondering whether that amount of pressure is normal under those conditions? usually i get a 1sec hiss. i don't know the conditions on which the tank/canister vents when working 100%.
 
That's a lot but i would suspect #3 since it seems that is were you were playing around when it' started functioning again.

Hissing...charcoal canister replacement time...couple of options and cheap. Search vc120 to find the thread and all the options. Easy job 10 min job
 
easiest way to rule out the neutral/park switch is to test for +12v at the starter solenoid during cranking, if voltage is present you have either a bad solenoid or bad ground
 
took my 95 on a road trip through an east coast winter storm over the weekend. truck drove perfectly during the 200+ mile round trip, until i stopped for gas a couple miles from home. after emptying my wallet for 20 gals of 87 octane, turning the key over resulted in nothing but the cluster and radio turning on. i thought maybe i'd left it in gear, as my daily driver is a manual trans and since toyota lets me remove the key in drive i sometimes goof. nope, shifter in P. so tried again...nothing. i remembered hearing about the park/neutral position switch, so i ran the shifter through all gears and back to P again. the starter still refused to crank over. ok, i'm starting to get pissed. i'm tired, hungry, and just want to skip straight to step #6 at the restaurant next door where i'm supposed to meet my wife in 5 minutes. ran the shifter through all gears again and back to P, turned the key, and it fired right up with the usual number of 3-5 cranks. ok, wtf.

i wasn't able to capture anything else. i don't think i heard the starter "click" but i wasn't listening for it either. but it acted just like i'd left the car in D or R so i'm thinking there was no click. i also didn't think to capture what cluster lights were on or off with the key in the start position. this is the 1st time its happened, and i don't want it to happen again in a less ideal area.

poured through many threads on this subject yesterday and here's what i put together as possible culprits and repairs. could use some advice on which order to tackle them in or which to avoid as wastes of time and/or money.

1. starter contacts. i appear to have the original starter, 28100-66060 according to the toyota tag as installed, without the -84 number meaning its not a reman. at 228k, i can't confirm the contacts have ever been replaced. this appears something i can tackle on my garage floor w/ a basic set of tools for ~$60 from @NLXTACY. or should i just skip to a new starter? dealer or denso from rock auto? does the OE starter come w/ everything i need, including the solenoid (they have their own part numbers)?

2. ignition switch. a new OE switch is ~$100, which should refresh the contacts and wiring which see a good amount of current. however others install a relay or external solenoid to provide the oe starter/solenoid with more volts/amps for ~$30 like the Painless hot shot kit. or HuddExpo @LC4LIFE has his turnkey kit which serves the same purpose and adds an ignition kill switch for $150.

3. park/neutral position switch. appears some have had issues w/ the switch itself, or the two wires in the connector on the trans. i recently had to remove one of the trans switches to free it up in order to get the CDL to lock, but didn't touch the PNPS or that connector. the trans was replaced last year by land cruiser heaven, so i trust they would have caught a crusty connector.

other related items:
fusible link is new
battery is new
battery terminals are new
all positive and negative battery cables and ground cables are new and tight. thanks @Fourrunner
tvss security system is "disabled" but on my list to fully remove

one likely unrelated detail is in the last 20-30 miles i thought i heard a low grumbling noise coming from under the shifter console, varying w/ speed. but hard to make out over wind and road noise. first thing i'm going to check is the t-case fluid level as my speedo sensor was leaking. i fixed that but could be a tad low. or maybe a driveshaft needs some love.

another likely unrelated detail but thought i'd mention while i'm getting some views, was 3-4 seconds of hissing when i removed the gas cap. i'd just driven 100 miles and the low fuel light just started illuminating as i pulled up to the pump. with all the vacuum canister posts, i'm wondering whether that amount of pressure is normal under those conditions? usually i get a 1sec hiss. i don't know the conditions on which the tank/canister vents when working 100%.




please consider Erin and I if you diagnose a bad starter :)


kindly matt




DSCN9777.png
 
That's a lot but i would suspect #3 since it seems that is were you were playing around when it' started functioning again.

Hissing...charcoal canister replacement time...couple of options and cheap. Search vc120 to find the thread and all the options. Easy job 10 min job
i cycled the ignition 6-8 times and ran the shifter through all positions 2 times. so i played with a number of things in my rage. not convinced its the PNPS alone just yet.

all my cars of the same era have hissed when opening the cap. but yea, i was going to go the VC120 route a few months ago but they were out of stock....of course
Classic symptoms of failing starter contacts.
that's what i'm leaning towards as the main culprit.
easiest way to rule out the neutral/park switch is to test for +12v at the starter solenoid during cranking, if voltage is present you have either a bad solenoid or bad ground
agreed. but as this has only happened once, i'm not sure this test will show anything while things are "working". guess i'll put my DMM in the glovebox and wait for the next time
 
I usually add a small bulb to such intermittent problematic circuits so that when they act up its quick and easy to diagnose, because when it acts and by the time you are ready to diagnose, the problem heals itself :rofl:
 
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i cycled the ignition 6-8 times and ran the shifter through all positions 2 times. so i played with a number of things in my rage. not convinced its the PNPS alone just yet.

all my cars of the same era have hissed when opening the cap. but yea, i was going to go the VC120 route a few months ago but they were out of stock....of course

that's what i'm leaning towards as the main culprit.

agreed. but as this has only happened once, i'm not sure this test will show anything while things are "working". guess i'll put my DMM in the glovebox and wait for the next time
Do you have the RS3000 alarm system still installed?
 
Do you have the RS3000 alarm system still installed?
not RS3000 but TVSS. and yes, but disabled on the dip switch. i've been waiting for the weather to improve before i tear apart the dash again to remove it completely, as i think it is malfunctioning and causing issues w/ the auto lights function. the key fob i have doesn't work anyways and the pairing function isn't operating as documented.
 
question for the experts on the "click" of the solenoid. should i be able to hear it from inside the cabin? and how to distinguish it from the relays in the drivers kick panel? normally its masked by the starter itself, but if the starter doesn't spin, the solenoid clicking or not clicking should be audible? on all my vehicles i've never had a starter problem before.
 
question for the experts on the "click" of the solenoid. should i be able to hear it from inside the cabin? and how to distinguish it from the relays in the drivers kick panel? normally its masked by the starter itself, but if the starter doesn't spin, the solenoid clicking or not clicking should be audible? on all my vehicles i've never had a starter problem before.
The starter solenoid should pull in with a good solid "thunk" and you can definitely hear it from the driver's seat.

The motor side of the starter is connected directly to the battery positive terminal.
The logic for the starter circuit is: FL AM1/Fuse AM1/ignition switch/neutral start switch/starter solenoid.

Nothing else effects that circuit.
 
The starter solenoid should pull in with a good solid "thunk" and you can definitely hear it from the driver's seat.

The motor side of the starter is connected directly to the battery positive terminal.
The logic for the starter circuit is: FL AM1/Fuse AM1/ignition switch/neutral start switch/starter solenoid.

Nothing else effects that circuit.
so a way to test this "thunk" is disconnect the battery to starter cable, and turn the key? i'm curious what it sounds like now.

i wish the various alarms had associated wiring schematics. or if there is one for the TVSS i've never found it.
 
so a way to test this "thunk" is disconnect the battery to starter cable, and turn the key? i'm curious what it sounds like now.
That works. I can't tell you how many times I forgot to reconnect that cable to the positive battery terminal. You'll know the "thunk" when you hear it.
 
i have the starter contacts and plunger parts on order

and a AC Delco 215-153 charcoal canister

hope to get both installed in the next couple weeks. haven't driven the 80 other than a couple times since the issue cropped up, but it started just fine.
 
Parts showed up a few weeks ago and finally got a Saturday morning to pull the starter. i haven't been driving the 80 as much, but it has been acting up more and more, always on a hot restart. after 1 to 10 ignition cycles, the truck always turned over without having to touch the shifter.

initially i pulled a bellhousing bolt instead of the rear starter bolt...and was cursing at why the starter was seemingly stuck to the bellhousing. oops

the parts i removed didn't look too bad. but upon putting the new parts in, i discovered the paper gasket was missing from the old parts. i assembled the new parts per the FSM....including the paper gasket.

PXL_20220502_200856997.jpg


so far, no failures to turn over. still need to remove the "factory" TVSS security/keyless system. already have upgraded battery cables and fusible links.
 
the parts i removed didn't look too bad.

I agree that they don't look that bad but one contact looks significantly more worn. That indicates both contacts were not installed properly aligned. The top, larger contact in your picture shows that it had very little contact patch with the plunger. It should be across the radius like the other.
 
@ppc I have the same suspicion regarding the alignment. I tried my best to push down on both contacts while tightening the terminals, so hopefully the new contacts wear evenly.

But that only accounts for the contacts being flat or in the same plane, not off center like mine appeared to be. Right?
 
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Wait, what?
I can leave the truck in gear, ignition off, and remove the key. You can't?

I daily a manual trans, so I've left my 80 in R or D on many occasions. Moment of panic reach time I get back in and the truck won't start.
 

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