ZCar Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an 88 300zx. A couple days ago, I got out of a store and my z wouldn't start. It didn't even try to start- no engine noise, not even a click. But it had plenty of juice to turn on the headlights or power the windows. After reading some old posts on here, I was leaning heavily on the idea that there's something wrong in the clutch relay or switch that has lost connection. But then, I tried jump starting it from another car and it started right up! On latter attempts, it would start on the third turn of the key (the first and second turns still producing the dreaded silence). My battery is good (I re-charged it). So my father says that it has to be the ground connection and tells me to only link the negative cables to another car and try to jump it. No go. Am I back to a cluch switch problem and it was just coincedence that it would start when jumped? What else should I look into? On the interior of the car, the clutch petal mechanism looks to be in excellent shape, but I haven't gone under the car yet to look at the other side of it. I'm going to go clean up the ground connection and see if I can find the clutch interlock relay. Sorry this is so long; I wanted to give you all the info. Thanks for any ideas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
battery, dash lights

The idiot lights do come on when I try to start.

The battery was a four year old Kmart brand. I probably didn't need to, but I replaced it entirely (I figured it was time, even if it was good); so now I'm still not starting with a brand new battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
security

One more thought- I don't think it's the security system either b/c I tried locking up the car, letting the security system set, and going in through the passenger side before trying to start, so that the driver's side remained locked and set. Also, on the couple times when it would start on the third try, I didn't change anything in terms of doors or seat belt or hatch between the first and third tries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
What about the fusible link? If that's partially shot then it would account for sometimes starting and sometimes not due to other variables. That would also explain why it starts when it's jumped because it bypasses the link. Just a thought because I need to go check mine out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
fusible link

Which is THE fusible link? Is it in the box of four (or five) near the battery? I pulled them out and looked at the terminals and nothing looked fried, do I have to look at them somewhere else? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
The location sounds about right. The fusable link is a big sucker and you would definitely be able to tell if it was completely friend. Partially I'm not sure.

When my fusable link was fried all of the dash lights would come on but the car wouldn't start - does sound very similar to the problem you are having but mine of course would not start period.

The fusable link usually breaks because a large electrical current is sent through the system and the fusable link breaks to try and prevent it from going any further and damaging components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
i may be way off but what about the starter relay? (if it has one.) i was in a competition for automachanics (Ford AAA Test) and one of the problems with the car was the starter relay.

just a thought
zelotic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Yeah fusibile link is in the small box right in front of the battery. It's got 4 different harnesses on it and you should be able to tug on the wires a little bit to see if the wire is inside or burned out. I'm trying to figure out how to tell if it's partially fried because that's where I'm having some problems too is start up. If I get anywhere I'll tell you what my solution was and hope it works for yours too. Also, while I'm on the topic, for anyone that knows, how specific is the fusible link to a z31? Is it a universal part or car specific? Thanks. Good luck viv1414.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
update:

ok, the fusible links all look good; there are four in the little box and three more tucked into the body right next to the battery. I know that not all of them are relevant, but I get continuity through each and the wires going in and out all look to be in good shape, with nothing loose. I found the clutch interlock relay and the security relay in a box further towards the front of the car and they both look good as well.

I guess I'm going under! So the starter relay is just before the starter, correct?

My Dad had me test for voltage on the battery and then watch to see if the volts drop when I try to start it. If they do, that means that the starter is trying to pull power. If they don't, then it's an electrical prob. before the starter. The battery has and kept its 12V. Did I do that right? Is the voltage really what I want to test at the battery?

Thanks to everyone who's given me feedback so far!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
That test *may* tell you that the starter solenoid (located on the starter itself) is drawing some potential.
What I would do is see if there is 12V getting to the thin wire that goes to the starter solenoid when you turn the key to "start". That wire might even be loose on the terminal there and causing the problem.
If you are getting 12V in that wire then you have to assume that the starter solenoid is defective.
To test the starter solenoid, disonnect the thin wire and connect a jumper wire between the battery (+) and the small terminal on the starter solenoid. It should then crank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
viv1414 -

Just for clarification I believe what your Dad is suggesting is that you test the battery as you stated but do so while a buddy is trying to start the car. This way when your buddy tries to start the car you can see if the voltage drops while he is trying to start it because the starter is drawing power from the battery.

Wanted to make sure you weren't just doing a before and after. If I've said this wrong someone please correct me because I'm no expert either!

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
battery test- yeah, I was watching it as I turned the key, just set it up on the hood so I could do it myself

I gave up today and got it to a shop. I'll let you know what they find, but thank you all for the ideas! I don't have too much experience, so at least this gave me a chance to learn a bit more about my car. I've never loved a car like this; I'm not even mad at it for not starting, just anxious to get back on the road. The tow truck driver pulled up and said "What's wrong?...Want to sell it?" (-: My boyfriend doesn't understand...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
won't start-update

Ok, so the shop took two days to find the problem. They finally replaced the "clutch safety switch", I'm assuming that's the relay b/c he said it was the electronic part, not the physical switch under the pedal.

I picked it up this morning, went on errands. It started up fine twice, then didn't. I'm right back where I was over a week ago. So now I have to wait until Monday (I don't like leaving it in the parking lot of a strip mall, but oh well), and I'll have it towed to a place that specifically does auto electrics.

Maybe the relay was blown, but that's the sign of another problem. The link will keep breaking when it reaches its limit until the problem that is pushing it to that limit is fixed.

Should I get a remote starter to get it out there?
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top