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Old 11-17-2020, 12:41 PM #1
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Starter Issues after welding frame? Oh boy...

So last weekend I did some much needed repairs on my frame on the passenger rail mainly near the transmission crossmember.

After the repairs were done the old girl started up with a little help from a jump (thanks to the battery being unplugged for long hours-days at a time) and she ran fine.

Started her up probably 3 or 4 times with no real issue. Then the last night the battery was a bit low so I trickle charged it overnight.

The next day, when trying to turn it over, all I get are hard clicks. No attempt at turning over at all.

CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK

So my Dad and I figure starter is shot, as it had been making strange noises up until that point anyways.

I get a new starter and install it.

Same problem.

CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK

So I do some research and think maybe I have a bad ground somewhere (could still be the issue I suppose) and I actually found one that looked sketchy on the frame right below the battery. I take that off and clean up everything and replace that.

Same problem.

CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK

We've tried jumping it and that doesn't change anything either.

I've checked probably a dozen threads on starter issues and mainly see people saying the battery as the culprit, but no one has had my set of symptoms. All the others have been from deep water runs.

So, does anyone have a logical next step for me to take? I don't really want to take it to my mechanic and pay for hours of bad ground searching if it can be mitigated otherwise. I'm very new to all this. But thanks to this 4runner I am learning how to fix nearly everything on a vehicle, for better or worse.

Any and all help is very appreciated. I've looked for hours on the internet with no real true direction to head next. If anything needs clearing up, please ask!

Last edited by payeentbawlur; 11-17-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:08 PM #2
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Sounds like your battery to me. I had a few occasions with the same click click click while trying to start and it was my battery.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:14 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catahoulabulldog View Post
Sounds like your battery to me. I had a few occasions with the same click click click while trying to start and it was my battery.
We charged it up to above 12 volts and it still did the same thing. Which is the only reason why I'm thinking it isn't the battery. BUT it did seem to lose its charge rather quickly too.

I'll hook it up and give it a charge today and see what happens.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:02 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payeentbawlur View Post
We charged it up to above 12 volts and it still did the same thing. Which is the only reason why I'm thinking it isn't the battery. BUT it did seem to lose its charge rather quickly too.



I'll hook it up and give it a charge today and see what happens.
Throw a different one in there, can't hurt. I highly doubt it's related to the welding as it started fine right after. That being said, check all of the fuses too.

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Old 11-17-2020, 03:31 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montijo505 View Post
Throw a different one in there, can't hurt. I highly doubt it's related to the welding as it started fine right after. That being said, check all of the fuses too.

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Yeah, I wasn't sure whether or not it was related, but figured it was worth mentioning in the post. My Dad still thinks the grounds got messed up but I'm not convinced haha.

I'll try another battery when I find one that has the terminals on the correct sides. My Dad's does not unfortunately.

UPDATE: Just tested my battery after charging: 13.89v. Still just hard clicks...
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:52 PM #6
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Could still be the battery.
If you don’t have one to swap in to check, can always take it out and to an auto store/shop and test it, or use something like this:
Amazon.com Page Not Found

May be showing enough volts with a voltmeter, but not enough CA to turn it over.
My sons battery recently died suddenly.
Drove it to a relatives house, got there and it wouldn’t start back up, even after charging and attempting to jump start.
But all the electronics/accessories worked fined, just wouldn’t turn over.
Had the battery tested at Pep Boys, tested bad.
New battery in and it fired right up.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:17 PM #7
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Check the voltage while you are trying to start it. Check voltage at the battery posts and at the terminals.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:59 PM #8
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You need to get a volt meter out but there is some quick checks you can do.

- turn the headlights on and hit the starter, if the lights go out then most likely a battery terminal issue, make sure the mating surfaces shine
- if the lights dim substantially then most likely a weak battery
- if no change then the issue is on the starter side, loose or bad wire but by the sounds of it that is doubtful.

With the meter you need two people, one to work the key. Start at the battery posts and see if the voltage stays above 12v when the key is hit. If good move the negative side meter lead to a good ground and hit the key, if good swap to the positive lead moving it to a big fuse in the under hood fuse box. Keep moving on until you get all the way to the fat wire on the starter which needs to have a solid 12v to ground. I doubt you'll end up needing to go that far. The only time I've ever heard click/click/click in over 35 years of wrenching is when there's a dirty terminal or a bad battery.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:00 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC1978 View Post
Could still be the battery.
If you don’t have one to swap in to check, can always take it out and to an auto store/shop and test it, or use something like this:
Amazon.com Page Not Found


May be showing enough volts with a voltmeter, but not enough CA to turn it over.
My sons battery recently died suddenly.
Drove it to a relatives house, got there and it wouldn’t start back up, even after charging and attempting to jump start.
But all the electronics/accessories worked fined, just wouldn’t turn over.
Had the battery tested at Pep Boys, tested bad.
New battery in and it fired right up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldub View Post
Check the voltage while you are trying to start it. Check voltage at the battery posts and at the terminals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
You need to get a volt meter out but there is some quick checks you can do.

- turn the headlights on and hit the starter, if the lights go out then most likely a battery terminal issue, make sure the mating surfaces shine
- if the lights dim substantially then most likely a weak battery
- if no change then the issue is on the starter side, loose or bad wire but by the sounds of it that is doubtful.

With the meter you need two people, one to work the key. Start at the battery posts and see if the voltage stays above 12v when the key is hit. If good move the negative side meter lead to a good ground and hit the key, if good swap to the positive lead moving it to a big fuse in the under hood fuse box. Keep moving on until you get all the way to the fat wire on the starter which needs to have a solid 12v to ground. I doubt you'll end up needing to go that far. The only time I've ever heard click/click/click in over 35 years of wrenching is when there's a dirty terminal or a bad battery.
Sounds like you're all on the same page. Tomorrow I'll try out the suggestions and see what comes of it.

From your replies it is definitely seeming like the battery is junk. Which I feel silly for even starting a thread over honestly. Hopefully my Dad and I have just been on a goose chase and they battery solves it!

I appreciate each of your replies. This forum has been a godsend for me keeping this thing on the road (223,000) and saving literally thousands of dollars in repairs! Thank you again gentlemen. Hopefully I respond tomorrow with good news haha
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:29 PM #10
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Disconnect your battery while welding.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:37 PM #11
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2nd that on disconnecting the battery while welding on it. I used to weld for a living and the amps and volts a welder puts out is extremely high!
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:04 PM #12
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Quote:
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Disconnect your battery while welding.
Quote:
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2nd that on disconnecting the battery while welding on it. I used to weld for a living and the amps and volts a welder puts out is extremely high!
I had the positive removed. Should I have had both positive and negative wires disconnected?
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:06 PM #13
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Quote:
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I had the positive removed. Should I have had both positive and negative wires disconnected?
Guess I missed that part. Having one terminal removed is fine, no need to remove both.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:14 PM #14
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Quote:
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Guess I missed that part. Having one terminal removed is fine, no need to remove both.
No worries, I never mentioned it in the original post so it was a solid point to bring up! And that is what I thought, but this was my first welding experience and frankly, I'm not all that familiar with electrical knowledge, but am learning by the day. So I do appreciate the insight.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:32 PM #15
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I would try jump starting it again but instead of connecting the negative terminal to the 4runners battery post, connect it to a good solid metal engine part. the issue could be a bad engine ground and if you connect the negative jump lead to the actual engine, this will complete the circuit and the starter will turn.
give that a shot if you haven't already.
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