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Very Strange Issue - 3rd Gen Diesel Surf 1KZ Hard to Start When Warm (slow crank)

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  • Very Strange Issue - 3rd Gen Diesel Surf 1KZ Hard to Start When Warm (slow crank)

    Hi everyone,

    I am a long time reader of the forums and finally decided to come to you, the experts with a problem that has plagued me for well over a year now.

    I have a 2000 Hilux Surf 1KZ-TE diesel (KZN185), roughly 240,000km on the block

    I rebuilt the engine about 3 years ago after some head gasket issues.
    The rebuild consisted of new pistons, resleeved block, new bearings, new gaskets, new turbo, new valve seals, new rings, refurbishing the diesel pump etc.

    Immediately after the rebuild, the vehicle would start fine, but over time, I have developed a hard-start issue when the vehicle is warm. The vehicle starts perfectly when cold, and turns over quickly once it is not warm. As a matter of fact, i parked the vehicle for a month recently and it started right away after 2 seconds of cranking when cold.

    You can see the attached video to hear the problem.


    Essentially, once the vehicle is up to running temperature, it becomes a lot harder to start. The engine turns over much more slowly. This is worsened if I have been doing any driving which leads to heat soak such as heavy traffic or offroad type driving, and the vehicle often will have to sit off for over 30 mins before it turns over quickly enough to start.

    The battery voltage reads fine during this time and voltage drop appears normal during starting (ie. power is being sent to the starter).

    The vehicle has no check engine light on and runs fine once started.

    I have taken multiple steps to try to solve this problem:
    1. I have upgraded to the largest possible battery that will fit (900cca),
    2. added extra ground straps,
    3. rebuilt the starter (twice just to be sure),
    4. had an electrician check through the power cable going to the starter for any loose connections,
    5. Tried getting a boost using 1gauge jumper cables from another vehicle while it is cranking slowly to see if some extra current would help, but it made no difference

    The only solution usually, is just to wait about 15-45 mins and then try starting

    This issue has been a nuisance for some time, but if it happens at the wrong place and the wrong time, it can possibly become a safety issue.

    Does anyone have any ideas for what I can tackle next?


  • #2
    HI all. Any opinions on this issue?



    • #3
      Problem solved. The ground wire on the starter housing wasn't quite flush despite appearing to be. Took it off, cleaned up and put it back on and now it is good to go