3rd gen 4runner starter proglems

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Mar 27, 2007
I replaced the contacts on my starter last night and it still does not start. There is no clicking sound, it just spins without engaging/starting. I skipped replacing the plunger as I had read that many had just replaced the contacts and that fixed the problem. Is the spinning sound when starting a result of the plunger needing to be replaced. I spent 5 hours on this last night and I am on the fence between buying a new/remanufactured starter or going back in and replacing the plunger, which I cleaned up when doing the contacts. If I go back in and replace the plunger and it still does not work I think I'd have a hissy fit. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. :cheers:
Usually the contacts alone should fix a non-start issue; the plunger is good to replace "while you are in there." What did the copper ring look like when you pulled the plunger? Grooved? Worn?

And I guess at a fundamental level are you sure the new contacts seated properly during the install?

I think you need to go back in there and take another look at that plunger. It'll probably take you half the time this go around....
I'm 99% sure the contacts were installed correctly, but who knows. I've rebuilt 2 starters before this, one on a fj62 and another on fj60. The main reason it took me so long was the damn transmission dipstick tube where the top portion has to be separated from the bottom. The two pieces were fused together and I had to use map gas to burn the inner o-ring out. When I had the starter apart the plunger seemed to be in good working order. I used some sand paper to clean up the copper on it, greased the spring and no starty. I think I've resigned my self to buying a rebuilt one. I think I'll take the one I have apart, check everything, reinstall and see where that gets me, before moving on to the rebuilt one. I'd hate to not be able to rebuild the original as it apparently lasted 203,000 miles approx.

Edit: To answer you question specifically the copper on the plunger was not grooved or warped at all. A bit dirty and discolored. The one contact that is squarish seemed to have very little ware, but the curved contact was noticeably worn.
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