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Starter Issues with my '85 720


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I bought this truck recently and have been trying to fix the problems since. This is my first vehicle and it might be obvious that it is my first time working on them. I have an '85 nissan 720 King Cab that I bought a couple months ago. The car started up decent at first and progressively became worse.  I replaced the starter to have the same thing happen, good starts for a a week or two before the starter just wouldn't even catch the flywheel anymore.  Let me reiterate that I am really new to wrenching around in cars.  So last week I dropped my transmission and replaced my flywheel. The flywheel had suffered a little bit of wear so it wasn't a lost cause. I put the truck back together and it started up very nicely the first try. The second and third start where a little more rough so I decided to not start it anymore. I took the starter back out and took it to NAPA to get some advice. Most people there were very unhelpful, but one kid seemed to know a little more and suggested I get an idea of what kind of model parts are in my truck to see what has changed from the stock parts.  My motor says Nissan Z on the side of it with an intake side number listed as BPR6ES. The flywheel I replaced the old one with looked identical and the part number is 88146 from NAPA. My transmission has a casting number of ZL71B and is 26" long. I couldn't get to the model number of the transmission. The starter that NAPA sold me is labeled 244-6133 (12V, 0.8kW). I can clearly see on the starter that it has not been fully engaged with the flywheel and seems to be catching the corners of the teeth.  I'm pretty lost right now in what kind of starter can properly engage my flywheel or what kind of parts I need to replace to have a working vehicle.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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When starting is there a clicking or chattering sound when it won't start?


I would clean the battery terminals and cable ends to them. Take a good look at the negative cable where it grounds onto the intake. Make sure it is secure and a clean surface to make good contact. Your battery is only 12 volts so it doesn't take much to drop the voltage down and this is rough on a starter.

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                  I hate to tell you this, but the rebuilt crap they sell at auto parts stores is basically worthless, if you can find an OEM starter off a 720 in the wrecking yard, that would be the best avenue to take, I have had the same issue for a long time, and it is the rebuilt starters I have and was buying, I don't buy them anymore, and when I finally get tired of this POS, I will put on the aftermarket gear reduction starter I bought used.

My starter doesn't engage the flywheel 4 out of 5 times I hit the key after it has been driven(warmed up), and I have went to extremes to try and supply it with clean power also, I was changing that starter out every few months for a while, what's annoying is that it starts by jumping the posts with a screw driver almost every time.

My issues have nothing to do with the flywheel, and if yours was starting without sounding funny, then it's likely crap parts(starters), when the starter gear does not engage the flywheel correctly, it has a binding sound(sounds funny), and I have never had that actually happen on a Datsun/Nissan before, only on a big block chevy that needs shims for the starter to engage properly.

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I can only echo the above statement from personal experience over the last 30 years.....  FORGET rebuilt aftermarket parts. 


Get an original, even if it's used.  It's better, hands down.


You want to make your truck unreliable, go aftermarket.  My 720 is my daily driver after 28 years NEVER stopped on me, always starts and always gets me home.

The only time I EVER had problems with it was using non original parts.  (Yes, things do wear out and need replacing)

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I believe in the EI dizzy, and the IR alternator. That Datsun IS a car and that the almighty Nissan made them. I believe in gear reduction starters for colder climates and high output oil pumps. That setting valve lash hot is better than cold, and that a good mechanic does not need to use RTV. That a good used junkyard part is superior to a reconditioned one and I believe in the merits of a hot start relay and re torquing head bolts at every tune up. I believe that a higher output alternator trumps a stock one and that dash light dimmer switches were installed by Nissan as an in joke by the engineers. I have faith that when a Datsun quits on the side of the road that almost anyone can check for spark and fuel and that having found one and fixing the other it will start and get you home.

This is what I do believe in.......................
from the book of Mike ('07) quoted with permission

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