Very Strange Issue - 3rd Gen Diesel Surf 1KZ-TE Hard to Start When Warm/after running (1 Viewer)

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NB. Originally posted in the Hilux Surf/4Runner forum but moved here based on suggestion

Hi everyone,

I am a long time reader of the forums and finally decided to come to you, the experts with a problem that has plagued me for well over a year now.

I have a 2000 Hilux Surf 1KZ-TE diesel (KZN185), roughly 240,000km on the block

I rebuilt the engine about 3 years ago after some head gasket issues.
The rebuild consisted of new pistons, resleeved block, new bearings, new gaskets, new turbo, new valve seals, new rings, refurbishing the diesel pump etc.

Immediately after the rebuild, the vehicle would start fine, but over time, I have developed a hard-start issue when the vehicle is warm. The vehicle starts perfectly when cold, and turns over quickly once it is not warm. As a matter of fact, i parked the vehicle for a month recently and it started right away after 2 seconds of cranking when cold.

You can see the attached video to hear the problem.




Essentially, once the vehicle is up to running temperature, it becomes a lot harder to start. The engine turns over much more slowly. This is worsened if I have been doing any driving which leads to heat soak such as heavy traffic or offroad type driving, and the vehicle often will have to sit off for over 30 mins before it turns over quickly enough to start.

The battery voltage reads fine during this time and voltage drop appears normal during starting (ie. power is being sent to the starter).

The vehicle has no check engine light on and runs fine once started.

I have taken multiple steps to try to solve this problem:
  1. I have upgraded to the largest possible battery that will fit (900cca),
  2. added extra ground straps,
  3. rebuilt the starter (twice just to be sure),
  4. had an electrician check through the power cable going to the starter for any loose connections,
  5. Tried getting a boost using 1gauge jumper cables from another vehicle while it is cranking slowly to see if some extra current would help, but it made no difference
The only solution usually, is just to wait about 15-45 mins and then try starting

This issue has been a nuisance for some time, but if it happens at the wrong place and the wrong time, it can possibly become a safety issue.

Does anyone have any ideas for what I can tackle next?

Thanks
 
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hi
ground straps to engine and frame and body?
positive cable to starter is good?

Thanks for the reply simon

Electrician went through all of the above and changed all the ground straps and said that the positive cable to the starter is good.

Would there by anything else worth checking at this stage?

Thanks
 
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Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue and the attached video?

Thanks
 
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I would get a voltage test at the starter when its hot to see how much its getting. I would also try a bump start on a hill when hot to see if it starts.
I know the starter has been rebuilt, but it just sounds like a bad starter or one that is not getting enough current.
Might be time to try another auto electrician
 
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I would get a voltage test at the starter when its hot to see how much its getting. I would also try a bump start on a hill when hot to see if it starts.
I know the starter has been rebuilt, but it just sounds like a bad starter or one that is not getting enough current.
Might be time to try another auto electrician

Thanks for the reply Rosco.
Unfortunately, my surf is Auto, so a bump start isn't possible.

I will try to get the voltage tested at the starter, but wouldn't testing current (Amps) (cold vs hot) be a more effective way or tell me more?
 
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I wouldn't take anything for granted. Start over with the simple stuff. Dont just look at your contacts, clean them and use dielectric grease. Treat the problem as if it were the first time your addressing it. I'd be tempted to swap out for a different starter. I've had problems that mystified me for hours all the while I was staring right at it.

You could get it nice and hot and pull your glow plugs and rotate the engine by hand to see if for some reason there is a lot of resistance. I'd have a hard time believing it's a mechanical issue though. Good to rule it out still.
 
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I wouldn't take anything for granted. Start over with the simple stuff. Dont just look at your contacts, clean them and use dielectric grease. Treat the problem as if it were the first time your addressing it. I'd be tempted to swap out for a different starter. I've had problems that mystified me for hours all the while I was staring right at it.

You could get it nice and hot and pull your glow plugs and rotate the engine by hand to see if for some reason there is a lot of resistance. I'd have a hard time believing it's a mechanical issue though. Good to rule it out still.

Excellent advice.

I will try to get my hands on a starter from another 1KZ (if it is possible to borrow such a thing from a friend) and see if this gets me anywhere, but unfortunately this may take some time.

While I work through the various electrical possibilities, do any of you know of any mechanical issues which could lead to my problem?

Thanks
 
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If it were enough of a mechanical issue to cause it not to start I'd venture it would be enough of an issue to destroy it. They fact that it runs fine at temp but is hard starting is what reinforces the electrical side of it being the problem. So in the past when I was lazy I'd often just add an extra hot and ground cable to my truck as opposed to replace the existing one. Might try that as cables can sometimes corrode under the insulation but look fine. Now adding two extra cables is super easy in the grand scheme of things. Heat soaking of the starter and cables is a weird issue which I strongly suspect is playing a part in your troubles.
 
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If it were enough of a mechanical issue to cause it not to start I'd venture it would be enough of an issue to destroy it. They fact that it runs fine at temp but is hard starting is what reinforces the electrical side of it being the problem. So in the past when I was lazy I'd often just add an extra hot and ground cable to my truck as opposed to replace the existing one. Might try that as cables can sometimes corrode under the insulation but look fine. Now adding two extra cables is super easy in the grand scheme of things. Heat soaking of the starter and cables is a weird issue which I strongly suspect is playing a part in your troubles.

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for the quick and easy suggestion.

I guess i should focus on
  1. Starter itself
  2. Voltage drop testing (again)
  3. Add even more grounds (why not!)
 
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One question....do you live in a hot climate? 😜

Haha, a fairly hot climate (Jamaica) but nothing extreme.


All of the above. Hot starter motors are notoriously weak

Going to see what else i can find out
On that note, is the starter anywhere near the exhaust on that engine? Maybe you're missing a heat shield and the starter is getting hot as you drive, resulting in a no-start until it cools down?

Well, the starter is located on the opposite side of the motor from the exhaust manifold and turbo etc, but I am unsure if it came with any specific heat shield that has subsequently been removed. I have researched this, and read mixed reviews of adding an aftermarket shield to a starter, as some persons claim it may actually keep heat IN as opposed to just keeping it out
 
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Just to update you guys on how this is going.

I had recently done some work on the vehicle and a (new) electirican claims that the starter ground was loose, which he cleaned up and tightened.

I only got the Surf back ast night, but I should get a good opportunity this weekend to get the engine heat soaked before trying to start to test if it made any difference.

Will keep you posted
 
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Just came back to confirm that the issue is definitely solved. I took the Surf way way way up in the mountains with a near continuous 1000m climb using low range and was able to shut it off and start back without a problem at the top.

Thanks again for all the help
 

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