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Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:44 pm
by Mr. Flibble
So, a couple of weeks ago I left my Deli off the trickle charger as it does not get much exercise. Batteries totally dead.

I charge it up... and... van won't start.

Hook it up to my 200 AMP car charger, and.... won't start.

I just put in two brand new 690 CCa batteries in the Deli and... won't start...

Yes, I hooked it up to the big charger again - though it is now on the trickle charger to ensure that the two new batteries are in good shape.

When I try to start it, the glowplugs "click" and all the lights come on just fine. (Much better now with new batteries too). However, the engine completely refuses to turn over. That is, I never hear the starter engage.

So, I suspect that either the starter is bad, or the sensor that tells the starter system that it is ok to start (because the transmission is is the wrong gear) is bad.

All of that is no doubt due to the bad short I have had in the back tailgate that has caused numerous systems to go haywire. For example, a couple months back, my spedometer stopped working - and I know that is direct linked into the transmission. (I know that it is due to a bad ground wire break in the tailgate hitch where it bends when the back hatch opens).


Where should I start?

Bad starter? Bad Transmission start sensor? I don't even know what part that is... Any ideas?

1995 Delica L400 Royal Exceed

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:46 am
by poochike
Start with the ignition fuse located on one of the positive battery terminals. I think it's an 30amp fuse and you'll need to loosen the screws to pull it out. There will also be you're alternator and glow plug fuse in there which will be 100/80amp.

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:30 pm
by Mr. Flibble
Those fuses were ok.

Looks like I have to start looking at the sensor on the transmission.

Though, I suppose I can hot wire the starter to see if it tries to turn over.

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:48 pm
by Mr. Flibble
This thing is still a brick.

Anyone know where I can order a Royal Exceed Gear Position Sensor for a 1995 L400?

I cannot find these online - I can't even find the part number.

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:32 pm
by DeliTan2
Hey Mr. Flibble;

You don't say whether the solenoid "clicks" in your description.

Any luck hot wiring the solenoid? Can you confirm the battery wire has power right to the solenoid connection? It should always be hot.
I wouldn't short the 2 big connections on the solenoid (sparks) but would short from the fat battery wire to the little connector on the solenoid after removing the little wire and the fat wire's insulator. That little wire may have a button on the connector to push, to release it. Hard to see and reach down there...
I have a starter out of the van if you need pix. Keep your tie out of the fan when trying this (as if you didn't know).
Oh, never mind, I see by your avatar you wear a bowtie...

Good luck.

My van has a similar, but likely different non starting issue. I get good sounding solenoid "click" but 2 different starters won't turn the engine. I'm planning on pulling the rad and putting a bar on the crankshaft. If someone has a better idea, I would love to hear it.

BTW, looking at the crankshaft nut/bolt once the rad is out, which way does the engine turn? Clockwise or counter clockwise?


Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:04 pm
by Mr. Flibble
Hey DeliTan2!

No, the solenoid does not click at all. Turning the key just does "nothing" Though, the dash lights and everything darken in preparation to start the vehicle, but the solenoid never engages.

I can get my multimeter out and validate that the battery wire is hot - have not tried that yet.

I don't actually know which way the 4M40 turns now that I think about it...

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:28 pm
by DeliTan2

When you have negotiated through the jungle to the solenoid connections and confirmed 12V at the end of the fat cable, also short from that cable to the little connector. I bet the the starter will turn the engine. No key required.
That will tell you where you DON'T have to look for the problem...

AND you will know which way the engine turns (if you look).

I'm gonna start pulling my rad tomorrow (if it isn't raining)


Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 1:47 pm
by DeliTan2
Mr. Flibble started this thread, but the title is also indicative to my issue, so I am hijacking. I hope this will also help him...

I needed a starter replacement because I clearly had unreliable solenoid issues.
Got a rebuilt starter installed in Vancouver (where the van died). It sounded different, but started the van fine. Drove home to the interior where a few days later turning the key didn't turn the engine. I incorrectly assumed the rebuilt starter was defective and called on the supplier, who sent me a used starter.
Replacing an L400 starter is a pain in the butt, and once I completed it; no change. Turning the key makes the solenoid click but no motor noise from the starter. I bench tested the now removed rebuilt starter and it functions as expected for a good starter.

I then suspected the 4M40 engine was seized, so I pulled the fan to get at the crankshaft (no need to pull the rad). Turned the engine (clockwise) and felt compression type resistance.

Next I cleaned and confirmed battery + to starter (solenoid) connection, and battery - to ground (bell housing) connections. I disconnected the solenoid trigger wire and touched the connection point to battery + via a temporary wire. Same solenoid click but no starter motor turning.

My understanding is the ring gear where the starter is connected on "Start", is connected to the crankshaft (?) So since I can turn the crankshaft pulley, the ring gear should be free to turn. Now, when 2 different starters are inspired to turn, but won't, something must be jammed. N'est-ce pas?

Any ideas are welcome...


Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 4:38 pm
by lrp374
Hi John:
I had something like this happen to me with another diesel. I would get a click but no action @ the starter. The starter was replaced. It worked a few times then quit. I got a replacement and it wouldn't work out of the box. We checked voltage it all seemed okay, batteries were also okay. As a last resort we disconnected the plus on the battery and ran a jumper cable directly to the starter. Started first time. I cut the cable open and the battery connection, inside the connector was totally corroded. You could always measure voltage but it quickly went to zero if you tried to draw any current. May be worth a try.

Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 8:29 am
by DeliTan2
Thank you for the suggestion. Sounds like a very similar situation (that I hadn't considered).

All of the connections "look" clean and have been wire brushed and dialectric greased, but I know what you are saying...

I will make up a new cable and report...

Thanx again


Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:21 am
by DeliTan2
Yesterday I removed the + wire to the solenoid and connected an open lead so I could connect, via jumper cables, to a freshly charged external battery. The battery ground was jumpered to the engine lifting lug.
Tried to make the best jumper cable connections I could.
I got the usual click from the solenoid but still no starter motor noise. Significant current was being drawn; didn't try for more than a few seconds...

It still "seems" to be that the starter motor is jammed from turning. I don't know how that could be. As previously stated, after the original starter was replaced, the rebuilt sounded different, but functioned for a while then only clicked, the used replacement only clicks.


Deli won't start - Starter not engaging...

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:40 pm
by lrp374
You have an interesting problem John. I think you said that if you try the starter out of the vehicle it works fine. I think you've eliminated the cable problem. It almost seems you have a problem between the starter and the flywheel. I'm lost as to what it could be. Can you fit a hand crank !!