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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1998 Nissan Frontier king cab 2wd that has 115000 miles. It cranked the other day without any problem. When turned around in driveway and switched off it wouldnt crank again by the switch but you could push it off and would crank fine. After doing that noticed that the instrument cluster wasnt working and after driving awhile the battery would pull down and the truck would cut off. I replaced the starter and the alternator and still having the same problem. When trying to crank with ignition switch it will turn on but will not turn starter or click solenoid. The key is somewhat worn out and you can pull it out when it was running but i dont know if this would have anything to do with it. I would like to know if anybody has had this problem and would know how to fix it or what to do. Thanks Alot
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I did check the battery which is fully charge and the all the connections. I also switched out the relay fuses in the fuse box between the air conditioner and clutch relay underneath hood, and checked fuses under dash. None of them looked to be blown.
 

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Next step:

Measure the battery voltage at the battery terminals. You should see about 12.0 to 12.6 volts.

Turn the headlights on. Battery voltage should not change significantly. If it does you probably have a battery problem. Turn the headlights off.

Measure the battery voltage while trying to start the truck. If the battery voltage does not change significantly (does not drop more than 0.5 volts) you have a starter problem, solenoid problem, or battery cable problem. If the battery voltage drops below about 9.0 to 9.5 volts you have a battery problem, shorted starter motor, or an engine that cannot turn.

If you do not have a voltmeter (you can get inexpensive ones for less than $15.00) you can turn the headlights on. If the headlights dim a lot or go out during starting it's indicating a battery problem, shorted starter motor, or an engine that cannot turn. If the lights do not dim at all or slightly you have a starter problem, solenoid problem, or battery cable problem.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I replaced the starter cable to the starter and checked the volts on the battery when trying to start and without starting. I have a digital volt meter that dont read in tenths on volts but it showed 12 volts when trying to start and when just checking the battery without doing anything. I also had the lights on and they didnt dim at all when trying to start. Like I said before the starter doesnt try to turn or no clicking sound, also there is nothing working on the instrument cluster. When I took the starter off I even jumped it which it turn and the solenoid would make it come out, so im pretty sure it isnt the starter.
 

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Sure sounds like an ignition switch issue to me. Mine went bad in my '98; unfortunately, couldn't track down one in Phoenix area on that Saturday I diagnosed it (mine had internal short), so I just added a toggle switch to turn off power to it, as my issue was different than yours. But yours still sounds like the switch, test it out with a $15 multimeter.
 

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How do I go about checking the switch.
You need a schematic and either a test light or multimeter. The schematics in the generic Frontier service books (like Chiltons) are probably adequate. You need to look at the schematic, try to identify accessible test points, and check for power at the test points with the key in its various positions. With a multimeter you can also measure continuity/resistance.

Steve
 
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