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Old 12-17-2017, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1987 Samurai won’t start. Electrical issues

My hunting buddy used my Zuk and it died on him suddenly. I towed it home. With a new battery installed it would make a clunk sound by the starter and then all the electrical would shut down. I have to disconnect the battery and all would work good except when you turn the ignition it would do the same thing...clunk and total power loss. Almost 100% original samurai motor and parts. No modifications made...yet. It does have a clickity starter thing already installed
So here is what I have done.
New battery
New starter and selenoid
New alternator
New ignition coil
New ignition lock and cylinder
New battery cables
All fuses under the dash are good. Fuse link appears good and good wire. I have tried to replace everything possible and still no luck. I have removed the ground wire and replaced off battery. I have tried to start with and without the clickity bypass. I continue to get all power to all systems...lights, turn signals, dash lights, but when it turn the ignition it clicks or clunks and shuts down all the power. Have to discount the battery and it will reboot and everything works then it shuts down again.
I have turned the Motor manually with the alternator and belts. So the motor is not frozen. I feel like there is a short somewhere that knocks out the system when I turn the ignition. The same thing happens when I try to arc the selenoid with a screwdriver. Total power loss. HELP ME!!!
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you used a MM, or have you been guessing?

First, verify the the engine will rotate manually(not seized), then

Start at the battery and perform a power drop on start circuit under load..

... Philip
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is your first LOW TECH test..

Key in pocket,
Remove (+) cable from battery,
Connect a jumper cable from Bat (+) post to the main starter post,
Jumper from starter (+) post to (S) terminal on starter..

Starter should crank and engine turn over.. this verifies the starter and engine..

... Philip
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have done that. The engine rotates and is not seized. I have jumped directly to the starter. This morning I removed the starter and tested it out of the vehicle. Hooked up all the connections. Still just a clunk and everything is dead.. even did the same with my old starter...something is shorting out.
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure how you are describing jumper cable. Take + cable off battery and connect my jumper cables where?
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Old 12-17-2017, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obetoss View Post
So here is what I have done.
New battery
New starter and selenoid
New alternator
New ignition coil
New ignition lock and cylinder
New battery cables
All fuses under the dash are good. Fuse link appears good and good wire. I have tried to replace everything possible and still no luck. I have removed the ground wire and replaced off battery. I have tried to start with and without the clickity bypass. I continue to get all power to all systems...lights, turn signals, dash lights, but when it turn the ignition it clicks or clunks and shuts down all the power.

Total power loss. HELP ME!!!
It sounds like bad connections at the terminals and grounding points.
What happens ... the battery will power up most systems that do not require huge amounts of current/power.
But, when asked for more power, the terminals and connections will produce high resistance under load.
It can sometimes produce a sound like a click
It is actually an arc.

Anyway, you just need to clean all terminals on the battery (as well as other parts).
This means the connectors to the battery terminals as well as the terminals to the cable.
Corrosion can make weird effects on the electrical system

Then clean grounding points. Battery negative terminal and grounding strap to chassis.
Clean the bolt and the chassis.
Then do same with the grounding strap on the engine and chassis.
Then clean the terminals on the starter and the cable going to the starter.
Both cables. The heavy one and the one from ignition.

Some people do the big four up grade
And replace the terminals and cables to ...
With 2 or 4 gauge wire, heavy duty terminals
1. Battery pos to starter
2. Battery pos to alternator
3. Battery negative to chassis
4. Engine ground to chassis

Good luck
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Last edited by avisitor; 12-17-2017 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obetoss View Post
I have done that. The engine rotates and is not seized. I have jumped directly to the starter. This morning I removed the starter and tested it out of the vehicle. Hooked up all the connections. Still just a clunk and everything is dead.. even did the same with my old starter...something is shorting out.
But did you follow my steps, they isolate the starter circuit while in the vehicle..

If you choose not to do the steps, advise and I will back off..

... Philip
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obetoss View Post
.something is shorting out.
You do not have a SHORT, you have a high resistance connection.. (OPEN)

May be guessing but have 45yrs as a Mechanical/Electrical Engineer Investigator..

BTW: avisitor has given you the long version..

... Philip
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obetoss View Post
...something is shorting out.
I want you to understand something - not all electrical faults are "shorts" - a "short" is a specific fault, and a short in the starter circuit that prevents the engine from turning over will typically result in lots of sparks and heat - you're going to know exactly where that short is, because you're going to see it.

Based on the list of symptoms in your original post, you have either a bad battery or a bad connection, most likely at either the battery terminals, or the battery cables.

Yes, I read your post - you've replaced them all - my diagnosis is based on the symptoms you report, and that's where the symptoms are pointing.

Battery negative cable should run from the battery negative to the bellhousing and also to the body/frame, battery positive cable should run from the battery positive to the starter solenoid, and also to the fusible link and fuse panel.

What's happening to you is when the high amperage draw of the starter hits, the battery is either failing - or - there is excessive voltage drop across the bad connection/cable.
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When it turn the ignition key to first setting all lights come on. The second setting it hear an arc but not sure where as I am inside the vehicle turning the key, then turn the key furtherto start it does it’s click or clunk and then all the power goes flat.
I have new heavy battery cables running to the starter. I have not done anything to the fuse link other than disconnect, inspect and reconnect. I am a not a mechanic but can usually figure most of this stuff out.
I have tried to jump the starter although not sure what aquanaut means about + to s terminal on starter.
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