Won't turn over

I have a 82 Suzuki Samurai Hardtop with a Datsen 1200 engine. I live in an area with very bumpy dirt/rock roads that beat cars up! I replaced the starter three weeks ago and it started up perfect with just a slight turn of the key. After it sat for a week, I tried to start her up and she cranks and cranks, but won’t turn over. I am wondering if the horrible roads have jarred something loose or if all the dust has created a problem in my carburator. Maybe the distributor/cam head? I have looked at all the connections (batery,ignition coil,starter,distributor, and every other slpiced wire I can find) Any sugestions what I can try to get her going? There aren’t really any mechanics here in the jungle, but I can usually get parts sent to me. I can email photos to anyone who might find that helpful. thanks

“she cranks and cranks, but won’t turn over”.

You mean the starter engages the flywheel and turns the engine over BUT the engine will not fire?

The next time you try to start it and it will not fire up, spray a little starting fluid in the air intake WHILE cranking the engine over. (Obviously this will bring a helper into the picture)

If it fires up then quits, you likely will have a fuel supply fault. Perhaps a dirty fuel filter or bad fuel pump.

Is the air filter clean?

Is there lots of spark?

The air filter appears clean…and it is only a few months old…The fuel filer is spliced into the fuel line…I can replace it easily here…I will get some starter fluid and give that a try. I there is plenty of fuel (1/2 full) in the little window on the front of the carbutator…and in the fuel filter. The gas here is suspect though…often dirty or watery…I try to buy “super” when available.
thanks, kathryn

If starter fluid is difficult to obtain, you can also try just pouring a little bit of gasoline straight down the carburetor. Starting fluid is easier, safer and more reliable though.

There appears to be lots of spark…the air filter seems clean…I sprayed in some starter fluid while cranking and no go. The flywheel is turning the engine over, but it won’t fire!
I took the plug wires off the distributor cap and the center connection to the ignition coil is chaulky looking and the cable plug connector looked dirty too…like corrosion…i tried cleaning off the plug end corrosion with some super fine sandpaper, and lightly sanded the cam head and distributor cap flint thingys…still nothing different…
Can anyone think of something else I should check?

A new distributor cap (and rotor), and a spark plug wire seem to be in order. You could use a screwdriver to dig the deposits out of the wire socket. A knife would clean the end of the coil wire.

“There appears to be lots of spark”.

Have you pulled a plug out, left it connected to the plug wire and grounded the plug against the block and cranked the engine over to make certain there is spark?

If there is no spark there you’ll have to trouble shoot backwards to the coil.

You sprayed starting fluid in without any positive result so that tells us you likely do not have a fuel supply fault.

You CAN hear the fuel pump priming the system when you turn the key to the RUN position?

Just thought of something else.

I wonder if it’s possible you have an activated security (anti-theft) system not allowing the engine to fire up?

I wouldn’t recommend throwing parts at this until a good diagnosis has been made.

Do I need a special tool to pull the spark plug? it looks like it screws in? I am so new to all this, but keep learning more and more each day. There is definately no anti theft device…ha ha ha! I can hear the fuel pump priming…I think…
I will figue out how to get the plug out and check that next. Thanks.
I can’t get the dist. cap and rotor for a few days anyway. simpre algo!

Yes, the spark plugs screw in, or out, in your case.

Ok. I pulled a plug…got NO spark…back to thinking it’s the dist. cap & rotor or the ignition coil. I had a mechanic replace the ignition coil last year. It lasted 1 month max. and BLEW UP! what a mess! I went to the gas station that has some parts, bought another one…a cheap Japanese model and it worked w/out blowing up. At least so far. parts are had to get here…and there are not alot of 80’s datsun 1200 engines around. I think that they (local mechanics) put on whatever they can find, and if it runs…yippee!

How do I tell if it’s the ign. coil or the distributor? and…will just replacing the cap and rotor do it, or how do I know if it’s the guts inside the distributor? anyone have any other suggestions? I need to her her running! help!

Could we have a tech or two chime in with a positive answer here please?

The lady needs to know what and how to test specific electrical components.

Very limited resources.

I replaced the ignition coil…because the part was available…still did not fire a plug…I am still waiting on the distributor cap and rotor…

As I said before the roads are rock and dirt…lots of dust and axel breaking potholes and rocks. Could something be jarred loose? what should I check?

I’d appreciate any help I can get!
thanks, kathryn