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720 Z24 No Crank, No Start

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Hello all,


After getting the truck towed home, I replaced the starter, gas tank, fuel filter, and the battery is less than a year old.


I turn to ON, and I hear the buzzing of the fuel pump, and accessories work (done light, headlights, blower motor). Clutch in, brake in, key to START..... nothing. I let go of the key and it resets back to ON... click!


The kid I bought it from it from said it ran fine up until the point the starter went (5-6 months ago), so I don't think the engines seizes up, but tomorrow I'll try to turn the crank by hand to see if there is movement. Besides that my only other idea would be that when I installed the starter, the teeth did not line up with the flywheel, so the starter is James up... but the starter went on so easily that I doubt it. Literally took me 15 minute. 


Any other ideas?




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Are you talking about taking a wire and connecting it from the positive terminal of the battery to one of the terminals on the starter solenoid? If so, which solenoid terminal should I connect it to (post with wire to starter, post that connects to battery, or the connector post up top)? What guage wire should I use for this? Also, if it does crank when I do this, does it mean that I may need a new ignition switch or that the wire going from the switch to the solenoid are possibly broken?


Sorry for the laundry list of questions, and don't feel like you have to answer every one of them. 

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Check that the Black/White (if automatic) or Black/Red (if manual) start signal wire to the starter is on firmly first.



Have out of gear.

Ignition off.

Pull the start signal wire off the starter.


Use a piece of metal to touch both the lug with the battery cable on it and the smaller terminal. Expect some sparks and possibly the starter to engage loudly.


I expect that nothing will happen and the solenoid is bad. It's more likely that the starter that was put in is a piece of crap, rather than the power from the ignition switch should suddenly stop working. Replacement starters these days are garbage, many are 'bad in the box'.





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As Mike said take a screwdriver and and cross these two terminals, truck out of gear and e-brake on. This should activate the starter, if not then you start checking wiring connections from the starter to the ignition switch. It’s possible that your not getting enough signal from the ignition switch and if not there’s a mod for that. Check your starter first. 


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Thanks for the advice guys!


I'm going to try the screwdriver method today.


If the starter does work using a screw driver to jump it, does this mean that I need to do the "hot start relay" like in this post?


Or should I first follow the ignition wire from the solenoid to the ignition switch to check for breaks?

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UPDATE: So I tried jumping the starter with a long screw driver.


I heard the starter motor spinning, but honestly it didn't sound happy, and I didn't hear the engine cranking at all. 


Tomorrow I'm going to pull off the starter and see if the flywheel teeth may be dull and slipping. I also tried the screwdriver method off of the original starter and it looked like it still worked, so if the flywheel looks salvageable, I may just throw the original starter on and screwdriver it again to see if it cranks

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Mike, I think you may be the god of all datsuns. I tested the old starter and it still worked flawlessly, so I took the new one out and threw the old one in, cleaned the connector for the ignition with brake cleaner and after 10 or so tries....


She started!!


It also started first try, 5 times in a row!!!!!!!


Made my day since I brought the truck non-running. Now, I don't believe that the issue resolved itself just by cleaning the connector, and I still think it's possible that the ignition is sending too weak of a current to the starter post. 


So, do you recommend that I do the hot start relay mod, or could the voltage regulator be going out?



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Also, when I took the new starter off, I took a picture of the flywheel. Guess what? This brand new NAPA starter "guaranteed to fit" this 720 stripped just a bit from the ends of the teeth on the flywheel. I can post the pic if anyone is curious 

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 All wheels have some tooth wear so unless you took a picture before and after it's probably normal.


Why did you buy another starter? what was the old one (the one you just put back on)  not doing?



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I bought it from a 17 year old who assumed the starter was the reason it stopped cranking, and I took him for his word on it. 


I bought about 10 parts all at once and the starter from NAPA for less than $45 arrived first, so I installed it first. The gas tank on the truck was rusted out on the inside and only held 3 gallons before pouring back out of the inlet tube, so I had to wait 3 weeks on a used gas tank. Finished the gas tank yesterday, threw a gallon in there and was curious if it would crank. 


You told me that part store starters come bad out of the box, so I cleaned up the connections, threw the old one back on after testing it, and it worked.




Is there a rebuild kit for these starters, or is it essentially just taking it apart and cleaning it?

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LOL, never ASSume.


I would assume that the dealer starters are a hell of a lot more than that. NAPA must mark them up some so $30-$35 minus shipping from China or Mexico or w/e they 'rebuild' them. Doesn't leave much for new bearings and brushes. If 'remanufactured' not much for new inferior quality solenoid or armature parts. I've always said that a used junk yard starter is better than a remanufactured one. I had 12 starters once, from junk yard deals, I never throw them away. 

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Going to a pull-a-part in a couple of weeks for some interior bits, so I might as well steal a starter or two.


I'm going to throw another question down here in this post, but if you think I should make a new topic, just let me know and ill try to remove it or something.


So when it starts, it idles pretty damn high. There's no tach, but just by sound I'm guessing between 3-3.5k, which seems high even for a cold start. I haven't let it warm up completely yet because 1) there's only a gallon of gas in the tank, and 2) I feel like letting it idle at 3.5k could potentially cause damage. 


So, do you recommend tracking down possible vacuum leaks before adjusting the idle screw? Or should I start messing the the screws on the carb so it can warm up and drop the idle first?


I have an aftermarket tach I'm going to set up in a day or two so ill report back when I know exactly where it's idling at. It's the first time I've heard the engine running in person so it may be idling fine and I'm just used to how newer engines sound.

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