Starter fix (1 Viewer)

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
With failing starters replacing the contacts seems to be a standard approach and may cure the problem of a starter not doing its job. I'v been dealing with a with starter issue for at least two years. The failure of the starter has been sproradic and without pattern. In an attempt to fix this I have:

- swapped out starters (but always with a used one)
- replaced the battery
- replaced starter contacts
- built cables using 2 ga wire
- grounded starter directly to battery
- even had alternator shop rebuild starter

and finally

- replaced plunger.

Having good cables is a must. Installing the new battery neither helped nor hindered. The rebuild was just throwing $$ away. Replacing contacts was a short term solution. Replacing the plunger and having good contacts seems to be the answer to properly repairing an old starter.

Yesterday the problem popped up again. A turn of the key and nothing from the starter. I had a new plunger sitting on the counter thanks to John Hocker, Sierra Toyota. Part # 28235-35080, $18 + change. So I pulled the starter and swapped out the plunger; this could probably be done without yanking the starter. Hit the key and now have a nice strong starter response. My tenative conclusion is that the plunger wears along with the contacts and that both need to be replaced when a starter begins to show signs of failure.

One photo of fairly new contacts which been subjected to an old plunger, and a new and old plunger side by side.
starter contacts.jpg
plunger.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,534
Jim:

Thanks for posting this informative data.

Strater problems often start as an intermittent refusal to crank. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It is always wise to check all power connections and grounds for proper contact before tearing into the starter. If it still refuses to provide reliable service, time to suspect the contacts and plunger.

A new (rebuilt OEM) starter is about $130 less core charge from C-Dan. I recently bought one and the starter was swapped out. Now it not only works everytime, but seems more 'energized'.

Mike S
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
More energized is apt terminology for how this starter is acting after installing the new plunger. I have 3 more starters either on vehicles or the shelf, each with easily > 150k on them. At some point all will need to be refreshed and my initial approach will be to do the contacts and plunger as a set.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
1,217
Location
NW side of chicago
Thanks for posting your observations.
Is the starter for the 3fe the same design as the 60 series?
how many miles did you have on the vehicle before the plunger started giving trouble?
Would you recommend replacing the plunger with the starter on the vehicle if I was to do it for the first time?
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
Yeah this applies to the starters on 3FE's as well as the later 2F's, in fact this starter is on a 3FE. I don't know how many miles this starter had, but it was well over 200k. To replace the contacts you pull the plunger. This is a very easy and cheap repair. If you're beginning to have some trouble with the starter just replacing the contacts and plunger may cure things. It can be done in 1/2 hour or less and costs next to nothing (relatively speaking). I forget the price of the contacts and the part number but that info is probably posted somewhere.

On the 3FE list we've been talking about contact replacement on starters for a few years, but only recently has the plunger replacement come to light so I wanted to pass that along.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
171
Location
Richmond, CA
I may have fallen victim to these same symptoms lately. I left for a week and when I got back I could not start not even a click. I replaced the aged battery (without checking it) and voila strted like a charm. Until the next time I needed to start, same as before the new battery. I now beliueve it is the starter sticking in some way. Woudl you recommend plunger or contacts first or both simultaneously? Or for the sanity entire starter?
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,534
Sounds like contacts are getting dodgy. If you follow Jim's advice, you'll relpace both contacts and plunger. If I had read his post before I replaced my starter, I MIGHT have done the same. But I usually over react...

Mike
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
54
I had a similar problem on my '83. It seem that when it was warmed up the starter would not even click. If I banged on the starter solenoid it would sometimes catch and start. I finally figured out that the solenoid was not getting enough current through the ignition switch to pull the solenoid solidly for a connection. I simply put a standard 30 amp headlight relay on the starter solenoid circuit and no more starting problems ever. It's a cheap fix and it has worked for years.
SimS
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
et3Surge, I'd replace both the contacts and the plunger as this repair is easy and cheap. If this takes care of your starter problems then you're in good shape. But even if you have more severe starter problems and need to use your starter as a core you could swap the old parts back in and hang on to the new ones until needed.
 

Spook50

My daughter likes Stitch
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
6,351
Location
Spokane, WA
My starter cranks slow (always has) in cold weather, so I've got some 1AWG welding cable for its power and will ground it using 1/0 welding cable. I know my starter itself is old too (factory starter on an '88 w/ 217K miles now), but when I deploy next, I'll use some of that money to get a new Mean Grean and keep it aside for when my starter finally goes out on me.

You guys have any tricks for getting to your starters? I've tried to get at mine from underneath with my truck on a lift, and it still looks like a pain to get it off the engine.
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
Open hood, lean over right fender, reach down with 17 mm wrench, remove upper bolt, crawl under with 12 mm wrench, remove cable, disconnect small plug, take 17 mm back in hand, remove nut, lower starter. 5 minutes tops. Oh yeah, but first disconnect cable at battery unless you enjoy a little light show.

Same for either a 2F or 3FE.

I've never had a need for anything other than a stock gear reduction starter.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,498
Location
The Greatland
Your starter shoulkd not be difficult to get to at all. ???


I would not recommend replacing the contact with the starter still in the rig. There is a small amount of room for the contact to twist a little bit as you tighten them down. You want them to mate straight and flush with the plunger, not at any angle for optimum electrical contact and life of the components.
It is going to be tough, if not impossible to be certain that the contacts are straight without getting a good look at them as you tighten them up. I don't think that you will have much chance of seeing them while the starter is still on the engine.


Mark...
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2004
Messages
2,863
Location
Larkspur, CO
Should probably isolate the problem 1st: is it the solenoid/starter or the ignition switch circuit? Check by jumping the solenoid with a 12GA wire or larger from the battery cable post on the starter. Alligator-clip jumper wires work great. (It's really easy if you have any kind of lift at all.) If it starts OK when it didn't with the ignition switch, it's the ignition switch circuit not carrying enough amps to the solenoid.

As Sims pointed out, an ignition switch circuit that's developed too much resistance can be solved with a relay (near the starter is best). It's an old air-cooled VW trick. We're going to be needing it more & more as our rigs get older.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
202
Location
Davidsonville, MD
Pretty sure this is the case, but will a stock 60 starter bolt onto my 77? i seem to recall knowing this info off the top of my head at one point, but age and relative removal from the comuunity for 18 months has left things a little foggy. My stock 77 starter needs contacts and a plunger and, while i'll rebuild it to have, i'd rather drop in the later model starter.

Rob
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,424
Location
Alabama
Yes. Wiring is the same also except that you'll have an unused wire with the FJ40 harness. Don't worry about it just let it hang.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Toronto
Should probably isolate the problem 1st: is it the solenoid/starter or the ignition switch circuit? Check by jumping the solenoid with a 12GA wire or larger from the battery cable post on the starter. Alligator-clip jumper wires work great. (It's really easy if you have any kind of lift at all.) If it starts OK when it didn't with the ignition switch, it's the ignition switch circuit not carrying enough amps to the solenoid.

As Sims pointed out, an ignition switch circuit that's developed too much resistance can be solved with a relay (near the starter is best). It's an old air-cooled VW trick. We're going to be needing it more & more as our rigs get older.

I ll try this in the AM :bang: 3 hrs from now

Godwin et3Surge, I'd replace both the contacts and the plunger as this repair is easy and cheap. If this takes care of your starter problems then you're in good shape. But even if you have more severe starter problems and need to use your starter as a core you could swap the old parts back in and hang on to the new ones until needed.

trouble shoot then......,call local toyota for eta
if needed be I ll Replace the contacts RED NECKn it

Replace both the contacts and the plunger, to be followed

hmm
PS did I steal this thread Mouhahaha "no serious?
PS2 I did read more recent,just replied here :beer:



Thanks for all tips ih8mud.com
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
582
Location
central virginia
With failing starters replacing the contacts seems to be a standard approach and may cure the problem of a starter not doing its job. I'v been dealing with a with starter issue for at least two years. The failure of the starter has been sproradic and without pattern. In an attempt to fix this I have:

- swapped out starters (but always with a used one)
- replaced the battery
- replaced starter contacts
- built cables using 2 ga wire
- grounded starter directly to battery
- even had alternator shop rebuild starter

and finally

- replaced plunger.

Having good cables is a must. Installing the new battery neither helped nor hindered. The rebuild was just throwing $$ away. Replacing contacts was a short term solution. Replacing the plunger and having good contacts seems to be the answer to properly repairing an old starter.

Yesterday the problem popped up again. A turn of the key and nothing from the starter. I had a new plunger sitting on the counter thanks to John Hocker, Sierra Toyota. Part # 28235-35080, $18 + change. So I pulled the starter and swapped out the plunger; this could probably be done without yanking the starter. Hit the key and now have a nice strong starter response. My tenative conclusion is that the plunger wears along with the contacts and that both need to be replaced when a starter begins to show signs of failure.

One photo of fairly new contacts which been subjected to an old plunger, and a new and old plunger side by side.


Jim,

man thanks so much for this post...i have been having starter issues for the last week. replace the battery, and then saw your pics. so i took the starter apart and the contacts on the side from the battery had a groove warn in it. the other side to the starter motor was not and the plunger was warn on the under side. for a temp fix i switched the contacts and put the good side on the side where the battery cable comes in, put it back together and man fired right up and in fact the starter works better now than it ever has. i will order the new contacts and plunger tomorrow. i also took the motor winding cover off to look at the brushes just to make sure they were okay cleaned out the carbon dust and found a brush winding wire strand loose. put on a drop of solder just to ensure a good connection. but man without this i would have probably got a reman starter.

thanks this i why i love this site
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
130
Location
Oxnard, California
Indeed, a great post.

I had the same problems: symptoms being a click, click, click, and then would either start or would barely turn over. I used the search and found others with the same problem but none of the original posters ever said what fixed their starters. Luckily I had a spare starter and I replaced the old one...but the bendix wouldn't engage so I had to pull the replacement and cannibalize the contacts and clean up the plunger. Now it starts great, I'll rebuild the spare starter...and I got a lot of good practice removing/replacing starters!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom