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Starter/wiring issues. Please help!

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1976 Datsun 620


Truck had trouble starting a couple days ago. I turned the key and nothing happened at all. But the lights and all electrical still worked fine. Battery had juice. Tried to start it again and it started up fine. Got to where I was going and back, no problems.

Go to start it today. Same problem. I check the fuses, everythings fine. Still has lights and power. Just nothing at all happens when I turn the key to start it. Silence.

So I take the starter off and down to the parts store. They test it and say its bad. I get a new one. Put it on. Re attach all wires and make sure everything is legit. Go to start it. Starter is working but the engine just won't get going. So I give it a second and try to start it again. Kicks over a couple times and then - all electricity is gone. No lights, nothin at all. I check the fuses, still good. Fusible link is fine. Ground and power to the starter are both a clean and tight connection.

But now there's no power at all whatsoever. It's behaving like the battery has been disconnected. But it is connected and everything is where it should be. I triple checked and now I'm stumped. And without a means of transportation.

Anybody know what I did and how I can fix it?

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Clean the battery posts and connectors on the cables and tighten them. Don't forget the negative cable where it bolts to the head. The positive cable bolts to the starter solenoid and I know you took it off but clean it as well


The starter you took to the store may have been fine and they will say no to sell you a new one. To test if your starter is working or not, place in neutral with e brake on and touch a screwdriver from the big starter terminal with the battery cable on it, to the one with the small Black with Yellow stripe wire on it. If the starter is fine it will engage and crank the motor every time.

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Mike I tried the screwdriver thing and there was a small spark but nothing happened. Does that mean the starter is toast?



Here's one of the starter.



And here's another. If anything looks wrong or stupid, please let me know. I've done everything I know and nothing is working.



Just for you ggzilla, here's a shot of the battery.

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Do a voltage drop test in each battery cable. You need a voltmeter, ideally a auto ranging digital one. Hold the positive volt lead on the center of the positive battery post. Hold the negative voltmeter lead on the battery cable connection on the starter. Crank the engine, read the voltage. Ideally, it will be less than .200 volts, .500 is OK.

If it is more, your cable is not as good as it could be, or not as clean as you say.

You can also do the same test on the negative battery cable, neg volt meter cable on neg battery post, positive volt lead on frame of starter. Same voltage limits.


These tests test the whole cable. You can pinpoint the bad connection, if you need to.

Let's say you measured 2.00 volts in the positive cable. Put the positive test lead on the positive battery post. Put the negative test lead on the clamp that holds the positive cable. If you see voltage higher than .200 just between the battery post, and the cable clamp, your connection is not clean enough.



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