My '84 Land Cruiser wont start, I turn the key and all power shuts off

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Jun 19, 2011
Vancouver, WA
Hello everyone. My name is Zac and I am new to this forum and new to owning a Land Cruiser. I am hoping someone out there can help.
So I picked up a 1984 Land Cruiser from an aquaintance and when I got it he told me the battery was not charging. No big deal I thought, just change out the alernator, right? Boy, was I wrong.
I changed out the alternator and it still did not charge. When the Cruiser is not running I have 12.8 volts at the battery. When it was running I get 12.5 volts. I inspect the fusible links and they are not great, but I do get 12.8 volts through them, so I dont worry too much about that.
So I check voltage at the alternator while running and I was getting right around 14 volts, but not getting it back at the battery. I have a couple of buddies who are good mechanics, I talked to them and they said to run a wire from the positive post of the battery to the alternator. So I make a wire, diconnect the existing wire that runs from the battery to the alternator, start up my Cruiser, and then temporarily hook up a wire that runs from the positive battery post to the alternator. Guess what, it worked. The battery was charging! My volt gauge was reading above 12 volts and everything was awesome. :)
Then I turned off the Cruiser and made a permanent connection from the battery to the alternator. At this point I am totally stoked and cant wait to get this going. I hook it up and turn the key. I get nothing. Actually I get less than nothing, all the power shuts off and the only thing that works is my emergency brake dash light. So I disconnect the positive post and it resets every thing. Weird, huh? :frown:
Now I am completely baffled. I start checking everything and figure out that the white wire on the fusible link is shot, no power through that leg. I talk to a couple of guys, I make my own fuusible links and now the Cruiser is still doing the same thing. :bang:
This is the sequence of attempted starting, I turn the key, hear a loud click, I get a spark at the positive battery connection, and then I lose all power to everything except the brake light and the headlight buzzer. I pull the positive battery connection and it resets the power. If you have read to this point and have any advice I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Zac
A good place to start troubleshooting would be to check the grounds, clean the battery terminals, and make sure the fusible links you make are working. Check if there are any aftermarket accessories that have hacked into the wiring harness, alarm, car phone, etc.
+1 Matt's recommendation regarding grounds.

plus check your cables. could be bad - not letting your alt power to batt to charge.

I'd go back to the stock fusible link if you can. don't bypass unless you have a high output alt that the FL can't handle.

chase your wires - scrub, clean, inspect. find suspect cable - replace. I went with marine tinned heavy gauge cables (0 or 00 iirc - WAY overkill...) several years back and love them (now that they are in - installing is a PITA since heavy and not very flexible).

Also - someone here is a vendor making nice cable kits - SLCFJ62 maybe? I'll do a quick search and add that info if you are on the hunt for good replacement cables.

Clean your battery connections and ground point for the battery before you chase anything else.


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