Intermittent Start Issue... stumped (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Location
Eastern NC/Atlanta
Hi all!

Searched and searched but couldn't find this same issue exactly, ran through emergency checklist procedures twice, throwing up the white flag before I have to take it to a shop and pay someone to figure it out, but it's my DD, and I can't keep going without a truck at really inopportune times.

Truck is a '91, 186K, 3-FE.

Problem: Has an intermittent starting issue. Doesn't like to start when the truck is hot/warm (driven within the last 4-5 hours). Sometimes I get a crank and no start (plenty of juice to crank though-fast, not a slow crank), sometimes I get the starter to "click and hold"- like it wants to crank but doesn't spin/engage. And when it's "cold" (hasn't been driven for hours- like an 8H work shift, or overnight) it usually starts right up without issue.

Things that I've replaced or are new within the last 2 months trying to track this down:
Starter- Toyota OEM remanufactured
Positive battery cable to starter (4ga)
Fusible links- Toyota OEM
Fuses- 15A EFI, 7.5A Ignition and 15A ECU-IG
Swapped EFI Relay with Power Main Relay (powers windows/sunroof) at drivers kick panel- same relay, and my windows worked fine both ways, and no change either way with starting issue.

Battery is less than a year old.

I've verified spark during "no start but cranking" times.

Verified grounds to less than 1 ohm.

I have not checked fuel during these times-I'm usually alone and don't want to dump fuel all over a warm/hot engine, but is there a cut out on the starting if there is no fuel- like when the starter won't engage?

Compression seems fine when it starts, so that leads me to believe it's not a compression issue?


If anyone can chime in, I'm all ears and ready to trouble shoot. Parked it in the garage so I've got easy access/light/space/tools.

-Thanks in advance!

Hurley
 

morganism

SunkCostFallacy
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
805
Location
Verde Valley, AZ
does it have an EGR valve? They can get plugged with carbon easily. I'm a fj60 guy, but on 4Runner, i take some extra vac hose, start it up and warm, then put that hose on the top fitting of the EGR, and suck repeatedly while tapping side just below tophat of valve. You can usually hear rocks rattle down pipe, just before it stalls.

I just got mine to start, by loosening the two starter bolts, and allowing the pinion to spin up, and it gets it off the worn spot on the ring gear on my manual.

Is your rear window going down slow? there is a short problem with 4runners on the connections back there, and it is high draw.

Do you have a in engine fuse box (horizontal)? in many 4runners, the main voltage connection to the bottom of the box gets metal fatigue and fails. Be carefull checking it, it can snap off easily, but if you replace with lower gauge, a lot of intermittent stuff goes away.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
455
Starting when cold but not when hot is frequently indicative of worn distributor cap and rotor
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Location
Eastern NC/Atlanta
Thanks @Landseer, I'll give them a look, but would that cause the starter to not engage?

@SUMMIT CRUISERS - I actually read through your thread a few weeks ago. That's kind of my next stop, but did you guys have the same "no crank no start" or would your starter still engage? The starter not engaging half the time is what's bothering me- is there something with the dampener/FPR that would cause that issue?
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
455
It looks like you might have two different issues going on here: you have a no crank no start and a cranking no start. As far as the no crank no start, you've already replaced the starter and it sounds like your battery is fine, so I'd look at the ignition switch. These are known to fail on the 93+ trucks, I assume its the same switch for the 91-92. You can generally open up the switch and clean it (a new Toyota switch is roughly $100)
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Location
Eastern NC/Atlanta
Gotcha. Also definitely not an improbable scenario having two issues at once. Is there a test procedure/some way to check it to see if it's bad that I could try? It seems possible, but I'm trying not to just keep throwing parts at it and hoping something sticks... I'll try digging into that in the AM, along with testing out my FPR to see if its putting out.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
2,121
Location
Edmond, Oklahoma
Thanks @Landseer, I'll give them a look, but would that cause the starter to not engage?

@SUMMIT CRUISERS - I actually read through your thread a few weeks ago. That's kind of my next stop, but did you guys have the same "no crank no start" or would your starter still engage? The starter not engaging half the time is what's bothering me- is there something with the dampener/FPR that would cause that issue?

Starter not engaging is typically caused by not enough voltage being transferred by the ignition switch. Is it the switch? Is it the source wire to the switch? Or is it the wire leaving the switch? I have another thread that fixes this on 94's with the addition of a Ford Solenoid. Here:
94 delayed cranking. Starter, ignition switch, or other?
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
48
Location
Eastern NC/Atlanta
I have another thread that fixes this on 94's with the addition of a Ford Solenoid. Here:
94 delayed cranking. Starter, ignition switch, or other?

@SUMMIT CRUISERS well- your suggestion so far has proven spot on! It cranks like a champ now- hot or cold.

I ended up chasing this one over a few months and dug deep the last couple days after being stranded on more than one occasion sadly. All was checking good with a volt/ohm meter- I don't have a way to check amperage but the volts at the solenoid were right at 11.9/12.0 (slightly low). My battery at the time was sitting about 12.6. Resistance wise it's tough to know if maybe when it was hot there was just enough extra resistance in the old wires that it wasn't getting the full shot of voltage to pull the solenoid and wouldn't crank- but that's my best guess.

I'll post up again in a week or so with hopefully still good news in case anyone else finds this thread in their searches/has the same issue. Super simple fix- under $30 for all the materials and the Ford relay. I'll also try and throw up a couple pictures.

What a pain ha.

Thanks again @SUMMIT CRUISERS @Landseer @morganism! This site has got to be one of the best on the ol interwebs.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
106
Location
Portland, Oregon
Hi all!

Searched and searched but couldn't find this same issue exactly, ran through emergency checklist procedures twice, throwing up the white flag before I have to take it to a shop and pay someone to figure it out, but it's my DD, and I can't keep going without a truck at really inopportune times.

Truck is a '91, 186K, 3-FE.

Problem: Has an intermittent starting issue. Doesn't like to start when the truck is hot/warm (driven within the last 4-5 hours). Sometimes I get a crank and no start (plenty of juice to crank though-fast, not a slow crank), sometimes I get the starter to "click and hold"- like it wants to crank but doesn't spin/engage. And when it's "cold" (hasn't been driven for hours- like an 8H work shift, or overnight) it usually starts right up without issue.

Things that I've replaced or are new within the last 2 months trying to track this down:
Starter- Toyota OEM remanufactured
Positive battery cable to starter (4ga)
Fusible links- Toyota OEM
Fuses- 15A EFI, 7.5A Ignition and 15A ECU-IG
Swapped EFI Relay with Power Main Relay (powers windows/sunroof) at drivers kick panel- same relay, and my windows worked fine both ways, and no change either way with starting issue.

Battery is less than a year old.

I've verified spark during "no start but cranking" times.

Verified grounds to less than 1 ohm.

I have not checked fuel during these times-I'm usually alone and don't want to dump fuel all over a warm/hot engine, but is there a cut out on the starting if there is no fuel- like when the starter won't engage?

Compression seems fine when it starts, so that leads me to believe it's not a compression issue?


If anyone can chime in, I'm all ears and ready to trouble shoot. Parked it in the garage so I've got easy access/light/space/tools.

-Thanks in advance!

Hurley
My 91 did the same thing and it turned out to be the wiring to the EFI relay was shot and shorted out on the body.

Check out pics of mine below.

4929656E-1BB9-4146-8D71-3BB1FD7A1C08.jpeg


221E6CCB-32F2-4B4A-918C-9E92C7415153.jpeg
 

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