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Starter gets too hot, won't start?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by fishsticks, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Recently bought 1999 2.4L 5 speed. Drove it about 50 miles the other day to pick up a friend, and when I tried to start it about 5 minutes after turning it off the starter wouldn't turn.

    We called his father who knows a bit about cars and he suggested that we let it cool off then try it again, he said the starter might be too hot. Waited about 5 minutes and shazam, it started up.

    Does it sound like the starter definitely has to be replaced? Anything else I should check on? I won't be able to take it to a shop until next week so I'm just looking into the possibilities and trying to budget for repairs. Thanks for any help with this.
     
  2. 98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 :POOPCORN: Staff Member

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    Sounds like you just have bad contacts in it. You can replace the starter or rebuild it.
     
  3. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the reply, 98toyota27. I've been checking a bit online and it seems that replacement runs around $300? Good grief, is this something that I can do myself? The Haynes guide makes it seem pretty straightforward, but I've read several things online about how it can be be fairly tricky, even on a 2.4L.
     
  4. 98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 :POOPCORN: Staff Member

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    $300??? That's crazy. You can get a new one for less than half of that and install yourself. Two wires and two bolts.
     
  5. 98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 :POOPCORN: Staff Member

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  6. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    MUCH appreciated. And thanks for the link. I've got a Haynes and will try it myself.
     
  7. fratermus

    fratermus Active Member

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    I'm a mechanical idiot, and have succesfully swapped out a starter before (assuming it's one you can get to easily). So that should give you more confidence.

    Until you get the starter swapped you might be able to use the traditional gentle tap-tap-tap on the starter with a soft mallet or broomhandle or something to see if you can get temporary contact to coax it along without waiting for cooldown. Or just enjoy the 5mins of zenlike sitting and consider it a mini-vacation.
     
  8. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Hey fratermus,

    First of all, great name.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I remember once a while back when a AAA guy rapped on the starter and magically got my car going-- I thought he was joking when he said it was worth trying. Ha-- live and learn.

    Zen-like sitting has its merits, but tonight the truck wouldn't start at all. Guess it's time to pull out the jack and stands and give this thing a go.
     
  9. Rozz

    Rozz Well-Known Member

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  10. wildjerseyfirefighter

    wildjerseyfirefighter I sell fishing and fishing accessories

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    i did one on my 3.4 2 years ago, and with running to get the starter and a couple breaks inbetween, it took about 2 hours to do.
     
  11. twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I heard its a big job to R/R the starter on a 3.4.
     
  12. skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    Once it starts having those symptoms, it's not long before complete failure.
     
  13. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Thanks to all for the feedback. Rozz, I also appreciate the links.

    I was planning to change the starter motor, but now I'm wondering if it's the solenoid contacts instead. I don't hear any clicking when the key is turned. Maybe I should just replace the whole shebang?
     
  14. CornellEngineer

    CornellEngineer New Member

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    This job also awaits me...pretty sure the contacts are shot. It's taking more and more attempts to get the engine turning. But when it eventually does, it feels like you just hit the lottery. Just received my replacement contacts a coupla days ago and plan on working it this weekend. Hope it goes well...some people seem to have an awful time getting the starter in and out, while other folks have little trouble. Guess that's the difference between the master mechanics and us inexperienced tinkerers.

    Not sure if contacts are your problem, however. I would think you'd hear the solenoid clicking loudly if it was.

    My g/f called the local Toyota dealer today just for the hell of it...they quoted her $300 for a replacement starter and another $150 of labor for essentially a little $10 piece of copper. And I thought gold was expensive!

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/105626-here-toyota-part-s-starter-rebuild.html

    Man, this dude sure knows how to clean up a part. I'll bet you could eat dinner off his garage floor.
     
  15. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Ha-- exactly. I've also been reacquainted with the timeless pleasure of push-starting.


    I suspect that someone with experience would not have much problem. It's been a pain for me because everything is so cramped in there and I don't have all the right tools. I've changed car starters before and it was a breeze.




    That's what I was thinking too. The guy I bought the truck from gave me a new starter so I just decided to replace the whole shebang.



    Yikes-- that's crazy. I got several quotes in the $225-300 range from local shops.


    http://forum.ih8mud.com/60-series-wagons/105626-here-toyota-part-s-starter-rebuild.html



    Nice. That's more like mechanical surgery than auto repair. Good luck with your project.
     
  16. CornellEngineer

    CornellEngineer New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement, fish...but I think I "solved" our starter problem yesterday. I had heard some time ago that some older trucks like ours were experiencing unusual amounts of corrosion and that our 1998 SR5 exhibited more rust than I liked to see, but that was about the extent of it. But yesterday when I crawled underneath to have a good look-see and plan my attack for the starter removal, it wasn't until then that I saw just how bad the underbody was rusted.

    I came back in, googled something like "Tacoma rust problem" and only just then found out about the Toyota buyback program. Sure enough, our VIN was on the list. I'm quite certain that given the extent of the corrosion our vehicle qualifies.

    Hope Toyota is still offering the 1.5x the KBB Suggested Retail Value...I'll be thrilled to get rid of that rusty bucket of bolts for around 10 grand.

    I sure do like easy "fixes" like that! So, anybody wanna buy a pair of new starter contacts and a shiny new plunger for around $25??? LOL.
     
  17. fishsticks

    fishsticks [OP] Member

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    Sweet deal, C.E. I'm on the West coast so I guess the buyback program doesn't apply, but with all of the repairs my truck needs I may soon wish that I qualified. Hope it all works out for you.
     
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