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Nothing electrical works in 81 Datsun 210


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have new battery, starter, alternator distributor cap, wires plugs.  Car will start with battery charged but won't hold the charge starts running rough and will just die if foot is not on the gas peddle.  Nothing electrical works now, headlights, brake lights, blinkers, wipers, ac-heater nada.  With battery charged it will start up but will slowly lose voltage on the voltmeter.  Then eventually die.  Tried everything and can't pin point where the problem is located.  All new fuses but nothing electrical works even with a full charged battery with the ignition in the on position.  I'm at a standstill and don't want to pay a handful to a tech when it could be something fairly simple.  I've had this car for three years and ran like a dream until now.  I read a lot of post from people on this site and finally joined knowing someone knows what the problem is.  Hope I explained enough and hope to get this fixed as soon as possible......Thanks people!

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Get a $5 test light. Half the fuse box has 12 volts at all time. The other half 12 volts with the ignition ON. See if this is so.



Headlights, brake, marker and tail, license plate, interior, clock, horn are all available without the key on and should work. Check the fusible link connected to the battery positive post.


Clean and tighten the battery posts and cables.

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have new battery ...


With battery charged it will start up but will slowly lose voltage on the voltmeter. Then eventually die.

Sounds like a defective new battery. Even if the alternator is not working, it should run 1/2 hour on a charged battery.

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I replaced the fusible link the leads to the positive terminal on the battery and now the power works.  But when I turned the key to start the car nothing happens.  I manually checked the starter and it works fine.  Nothing cranks over when I turn the key.  Any advice, this is starting to become a real pain....Thanks guys

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I'll have to assume this is a 3 speed automatic transmission, then? The switch is on the passenger side of the transmission at the end of the shift linkage. It combines the PARK/NEUTRAL safety interlock and the reverse lights.




Chances are there will be a relay between the interlock switch and the starter. Probably on the passenger side inner fender. The switch tells the relay when to be on.



IF.... you have a standard transmission there may be a clutch interlock switch that prevents accidental starts in gear with the clutch engaged. Try starting with the clutch pedal down. ggzilla would know more about this.

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To start an automatic Datsun B310 ("210"):

1. Place shifter in P or N

2. Press and hold brake pedal

3. Twist key to S


If it only starts when you jiggle the shifter, then it needs adjustment


If it only starts if you jiggle the key, then the ignition switch (not the key lock) needs replacement.

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ggzilla, tried what you said, but still nothing.  Absolutely nothing happens when I turn the key to start the car.  all the electrical is working. This is what it would do if you tried to start it in one of the gears.  I'll keep trying ggzilla

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Yes, it might be that. But you are going about this the hard way. Troubleshooting is easiest when you gather info, and tackle the easiest/most likely causes first. For instance, not buying new battery, starter, alternator distributor cap, wires plugs in an attempt to see if that fixes a starting problem.

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