UZZ31 Soarer won't crank. Dash lights turn off when cranking. Help please... :(

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EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Hi guys, I have a bit of a problem.

UZZ31 Toyota Soarer from 1991.

Just had timing belt + water pump installed by Australian mobile mechanic company "Lube Mobile".

Worst job ever! DO NOT TRUST THESE CLOWNS WITH YOUR VEHICLE!
Mechanic put water pump gasket on wrong, couldn't work out timing, had to call 3 other guys to help him, then broke a distributor, shorted my starter motor and smoked my battery - now car will not crank.
  • Mechanic had started the car 3 times with timing out of sync and left the fan bracket resting on crank whilst starting it, leading to horrible scraping noises which did not seem to bother him. I had to yell at him to stop.
  • After I installed new ignition parts and started the vehicle a week later, I found water seeping from thermostat housing, water pump, and between engine and transmission.
  • The water pump gasket failure had flooded the intake valley (in between the V of the 2 heads where the starter motor lives), and the coolant had shorted the starter motor - and started seeping out the rear of the valley through the transmission and engine drain hole (at flywheel).
  • The negative battery terminal was also producing smoke for the 10 seconds it was trying to crank when the starter motor was shorted out which may have screwed my battery and be the cause to this non crank issue; The battery reads 12.5v though...
  • Mechanic came back a week later and replaced starter motor with some kind of crap generic unit with the name of "OEX".
  • I am not happy about this. My factory Denso motor was whisked away and I was left with garbage.
  • I do not know what further damage has been done, all I know is the car will not crank now.


Anyway.
Here is the issue I need help with.

Car eventually got started after a new starter motor was installed and we went for a 5 minute test drive to local shop and back.

Upon returning home, turning car off, and turning it back on, it will not crank.
The dash lights short out when key is trying to crank, but come back on when key is released.

I have no alarm or immobilizer.
I've had battery on and off many times with zero issue in the 10 years of ownership.
The battery terminals appear tight like a toiga. I am getting 12.5v.

Can anyone lend me any advice? I do not wish to call another mobile mechanic.

Thanks all, appreciate it.


P.S.

After speaking with rude management in regards to the repeated failures of this mechanic they have said they will refund the initial cost of water pump fitting (around $600), and think that is the end of it. The manager said "we cannot help you anymore" basically, and left the car in a no start condition.

I am still down one denso starter motor and will have to possibly take them to court for the cost of a new mechanic if I have to call another to replace their new generic pos starter motor in the case of this being the cause of the non cranking issue.

The way I see it, in the end they came to my house (for free), spent 20+ hours here screwing around, and destroyed my starter motor, replacing it with a $100 garbage unit.

I calculated their labor costs because of their horrible mechanics mistakes - Around 25 hours at $145 per hour. They have spent $3625 in labour fees attending my vehicle as the mechanic is incompetent. This is why they do not want to do any further work to the vehicle no doubt, and are trying to fob me off with the refund.
 
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blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Dayum... I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but you probably will have to trace all your coolant lines down to the heater core... They may have pried these hoses off and damaged them in the process... If its leaking all over, this would be my best guess, inspect and replace some of these hoses as necessary... you may need to reseal the water pump at the front... Again I'm no expert, but this would be my best guess..

EDIT:
"Upon returning home, turning car off, and turning it back on, it will not crank.
The dash lights short out when key is trying to crank, but come back on when key is released."

OK, I've had some experience with this.... I pulled some stuff off when the battery was still connected then I tried to correct the issue by disconnecting it and putting it aside. After a few hours I continued working on my car and reinstalled the battery, but when I turned the key everything electrical would just turn off. When I turned the key to off everything would come back on for whatever reason, so I tested the battery and it was good to go, but it wouldn't crank. So, I took it off and took it to a local O'Reilly's auto shop in the U.S. and had the battery tested and charged, it was pretty much dead so they recharged it and I reinstalled it and it was turning over perfectly and it was good to go. My suggestion is have the battery recharged or replaced.... My MR2 did something similar, but that ended up being a ground cable that went bad...
 
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EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Hello,

My battery is getting 12.5v when car is off.
The JDM Soarer has a 3D dashboard panel - like a jet or something.
Turns off when key is trying to ignite car, and comes back on when released.

I would lean on a bad Earth or a fried battery after starter motor issue (even through it registers 12.5v!).

Do you happen to have a diagram of V8 Earth points, and power cable routing?

Will try a battery charger for now I guess...


Thanks.
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Yes, I agree that it sounds weird, but it killed 2 of my batteries in 1 sitting with the same conditions.... and both were good, 1 is no older than 6months and the other is about 8 years old and the store stated something along the lines as its the last time it can be charged may or may not work under hot and cold conditions.......
Ok, I was able to research and find 2 earth points... 1 is behind the engine against the firewall, and the other appears to be on the Left hand side while looking inside the car by the strut tower...
bottom pic, #5, couldn't get the instructions to it
opel1586 b.png
top picture, it states where it is..
opel1585b.png
Hope this helps..
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Hi thanks for the reply!

Those are the two Earth points I know of, lol.
They appear fine...

My current logic:
My battery reads 12.5v.
Each cell (6 of them) is 2.1v.
If it had a dead cell, it would register 10v something...
Battery indicator light is green.
- Cannot test it til later in week.
It did start car when new starter was replaced.
After turning car off and trying to restart (with battery at 12.5v) the dash lights cut off, and no crank.

Would it still be battery do you think?

I really need a diagram of the positive battery cable... I feel something is touching where it shouldn't...
I don't have a jack to check underneath right now, and cannot see much from above. Flying blind til weekend.
 
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blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
This was my experience... I was installing a strut brace, so I turned the car on and drove it out of the garage to flip it around and have more access to it rather than pin myself against the door.. So, in a matter of an hour I lifted the car placed jack stands and pulled the nuts and pre-staged the brace... once I placed in its final position it dawned on me that I had to remove the ignitors out of the way, so I disconnected the battery and I removed it out of the way, just in case. Waited about 30 minutes and removed the ignitors and finished installing the brace. I picked up the battery and reinstalled it, ensuring both posts were on tight... I went to turn the car on and flip it back around. I put the key in the ignition and I had power everything and everything seems normal, as soon as I turned it over everything died, electrical wise, it was all gone. Turned the key back to the off position and everything faded back on and everything was good.... Did it again and it was the same issue, so I swapped the battery out with my Tundra's Optima yellow top, 24f, and it started right up. Took the SC battery to the store and had the store recharge it, mind you this is battery #2 in the last year, the first one did the same thing by fading and it checked out good, but then it wouldn't hold a charge so it was swapped out for a new one. So I reinstalled the Tundra battery and it was dead, but the SC battery was good so I had to take it back to the store and get it charged as well.... Both have been good since, no further issues... This is my assumption of your symptoms... if you have a short due to the water intermingling with the starter in your intake manifold, then I'm wrong, and you have a different issue...

EDIT: I do believe your positive cable attaches to your harness terminating at the Alternator with an attachment to your starter...
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Hey BD_TT, thanks for the reply.

I put the key in the ignition and I had power everything and everything seems normal, as soon as I turned it over everything died, electrical wise, it was all gone. Turned the key back to the off position and everything faded back on and everything was good.... Did it again and it was the same issue

Your story sounds like my story...
Battery tests good (12.5v) as I keep saying on the voltimeter, but has not been officially tested with real hardware.
Battery is about 1.5 years old now, and warranty was 12 months...
Was smoking when starter was shorted.

Car did start (roughly) for the test drive though, just refused to crank again after turning it off.

Current battery is N70ZZL from Supercheap Australia - 610cca, $190.
Recommended battery is Century N70ZZL - 720cca I believe, for $300+, unsure if that many CCA's are required as I took the air suspension and factory audio out years ago... Car seems 'ok' with the 610 cca battery...

Thank you for that valuable battery cable info too, exactly what I wanted to hear.
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Oh also, we tried to jump the car with a super battery pack, and another battery but it still didn't crank.
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Mine started right up... now... My Tundra with the big V8 had issues with the starter and it wouldn't crank to save its life, I jumped it once and it started, but after that it just died completely...
Try jumping it with a paperclip, or a wire.. Heres a video to show you how... Very informative, and I've used it to jump start my Celica when it gets too hot for some reason it will just cut out when I try to turn over, so I lose all power and I have to wiggle the terminals to get power back, and I have a wire which I jump start it this way.....
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
If this method gets you started, then it might be the starter relay that needs to be replaced... If not, then the starter might be trash like you stated, but if you can exchange the battery via free99, then at least you can buy yourself another 3 years of battery life...
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
HI again!

Tested battery when attempting to crank and it reaches 12v.
When car is not cranking it is 12.4v.

Does this suggest a bad battery?

- We tried jumping car the other day with the current battery in the car, attached to a jump pack, and also another battery after that.
- Car will not crank.
- Relays click in engine bay when key turned to "on".
- Dash lights turn off and car won't crank when key turned all the way to "ignition".

Thanks for the replies, appreciate it!
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
It may be... I tried jumping it and it wouldn't go, I had to pull my truck and jump it that way.... and it took most of the power from the battery as I stated, it killed that one as well... so it killed 2 in a row. I even juggled both batteries swapping them both over and got nothing..... charging it was the only way to me.. I did get the click as well, but nothing whatsoever, once the key was switched off electronics returned like nothing had happened, so odds are your battery is dead and needs to be recharged, or swapped out.. Free first get it recharged, if its bad and is under warranty then make that exchange then.
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Yes, if you hear action or movement, then you know your starter is getting a signal, and it may be the problem... This is how I figured out my Tundra's V8 starter was gone, I could hear movement, or a click of it trying to kick start but nothing else... If it starts this way, then the relay is the problem.
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
I had an auto elec here today who tested relay in fuse box and found no power at starter.

No starter operation when jumped in relay box thingo.

He claims a wire is off at starter, or starter is likely faulty.

Did not take intake manifold off. "I'm not a mechanic, I'm an auto elec. You have to get it towed to a garage, noone will do this job here in the drive way".

So... Would he be correct then? Would that be the first place to look on this vehicle? No other smoke and mirrors hiding any starting thingos?

The issue he seemed to have is why the negative battery terminal smoked when the old starter stopped working... He said coolant would just cause open circuit, not make negative terminal smoke.

So right now I'm still screwed and without a car, looks like the intake has to come off again and a new starter purchased or wire put back on in best case... Unless there's another test/trick?
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Ok... so starter is done??, no salvage yard near you to look for a spare one?? can help with the process of learning how to remove the intake manifold... and DIY... Youtube can help out too.. don't think its too hard, with the exception of resetting the intake gasket. Plus side, real life experience, and you save yourself a couple thousand while you're at it... Problem would be if it shorted out your ground wire, then that would be something else.
Side note, my friend's Chevy Silverado probably got struck by lightning while in the parking lot and the ground wire melted, he had power, but would't start either, but I don't remember everything, because it was back in 2003.... Hate to have you chasing your tail here... You can try swapping out the ground wire first as it may be a grounding problem triggering a no start.. My 91 MR2 Turbo had somewhat similar issues but once it was turned over it was dead, I had to wiggle the terminals, so I replaced the ground wire and it was good after... so you may try that as well.. did the electrician test your ground??..
 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Hi there, thanks for the reply!

I have no idea what the issue is til a mechanic takes the intake off, but in the meantime will check some youtube vids to see the process.

Lube Mobile took about 20 mins to get intake off, and 20 mins putting it back on.

Might just go get some tools and do it myself in the end. Didn't look too hard when Lube Mobile did it.

What I am wondering is the following...

Is there anything else what so ever that could cause the fuse box starter motor terminal thing to not activate the starter when jumped? The way I understand, Is that it's a direct wire from the starter relay in fuse box to the starter motor itself. When terminals are jumped, it should make the starter move. But it doesn't.

Is there anything that can cut the starter relay out and prevent the jump from supplying power to starter?

When the thing is jumped, nothing happens you see. One side of relay terminal has power via test light.

I have a "30" or "31" ECU in the car, which replaced a "29" ECU, but have had no issues when taking battery off or similar ever before, so do not think it would be an immobilizer issue or so on. Do not have factory alarm or similar either. Do have non working factory remote locking with a button on the key.
 
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blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Hey, sorry for the delay.. no, there is nothing stopping the starter from going once you jump it... in my opinion it points to the starter, from my understanding... once it is replaced you should be good to go... basic tools with extensions should be straight forward..... I'm sure people have posted how to for the ls400 which is the same difference.. here are 2 links that can help you out. Car tunes nz YouTube specializes in the UZ family if engines.. treasure trove there, shows alot.. but other regular people which I've also used helps too.



 

EIL_V8

Member
Messages
31
Great videos, thanks.

I think I might try it myself before paying another mechanic hundreds of dollars... Still not sure; Will make mind up by Monday.

See, told ya it took em 20 minutes or so to take intake off. Every mechanic I've spoken to so far fears the thing, "Gotta take it to a shop, it will take too long, blahblah". Nonsense.

I will post this vid to a few mechanics to 'educate' them and see if I can get a good deal for the job.

Question!

How important is the intake gasket?

Lube mobile removed intake to replace starter - but did not replace gasket.
Manifold will be removed again to check starter - do I need a new gasket?

Car is 30 years old... How important is that gasket? Looked very clean when dissembled the other week...
 

blackdemon_tt

Member
Messages
52
Pretty important from what I know which may be limited, lol... but I do know it is needed to prevent vacuum leaks and create a lean engine condition...

I started DIY after the dealership failed to place the simple splash guard properly, causing me to RIP half the splash guard off on my way to work, plus the $100 oil change bill for a 4cyl.. smog tech denying my MR2 Turbo because it was illegally turbod and AAA crossed my battery terminals while jumping my truck, a $300 bill for diagnostics, among other things... I decided that if I was going to blame someone for shitty work it be myself and free rather than a 4 digit bill and denial of any damage... I watch a video a few times before I jump on it.... take shit loads of pics and ziploc type bags to label and safe keeping...
 
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