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Truck won't start.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Bluecord, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Jan 29, 2021 at 3:54 PM
    #1
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2003 Tacoma double cab 4x4 with a 3.4L and automatic transmission with 280,000 miles. So a few days ago I started the truck up in the morning without any problems. I drove it around for a while and then came back home. When I went back out later to start it, it wouldn't start. I checked the battery and the voltage was good, around 12.4. I could hear a single click when I turned the key and the lights didn't dim so I thought it must be the starter. I ordered a kit to replace the starter contacts and plunger. Here is the kit I ordered.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031HL09...03&ie=UTF8&vehicleId=2&vehicleType=automotive

    I followed Timmy the Toolman's starter rebuild video and at first when I tried to start the truck I just got the same click. After trying a few times, the engine turned over very slowly and then just started making a high pitched squealing metal sound which I think is the starter not engaging fully when I try to start it. Before I remove the starter again, does anyone have any ideas what I might have done wrong? If it's not the starter itself that's the problem what could it be? Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Jan 29, 2021 at 3:57 PM
    #2
    Glamisman

    Glamisman Well-Known Member

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    either the cables to the starter or the ground cables are not making a good connection. I would start with the battery connections first.
     
  3. Jan 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM
    #3
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Would that cause grinding metal sound I'm hearing?
     
  4. Jan 29, 2021 at 4:13 PM
    #4
    cornbread_wy

    cornbread_wy Well-Known Member

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    I had the same issue and tried replacing the contacts in the starter. I ended up struggling to get it to work correctly and just went for a Napa replacement. Once that was in it fired up easily and no problems since.

    I would make sure you did a good job of rebuilding it. Not sure how to check it but if there is a way to verify your repair is good that would eliminate that scenario.

    I don't know about the grinding sound though...
     
  5. Jan 29, 2021 at 4:23 PM
    #5
    Glamisman

    Glamisman Well-Known Member

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    I dont know what you could have done to cause a metal grinding sound. The only thing I can think of is the solenoid is defective and is not retracting the bendix... thats the name of the device that engages the starter gear with the flywheel.
     
  6. Jan 29, 2021 at 4:30 PM
    #6
    Juice Weasel

    Juice Weasel Well-Known Member

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    You bought the cheapeast part you could find, 14 bucks. If you read the reviews the replacement pinion is too short compared to OEM, it doesn’t fully reach plate (maybe) so coupled with a bad bearing or belt you hear birds cry maybe?
     
  7. Jan 29, 2021 at 4:39 PM
    #7
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The plunger is the same length as the OEM one it replaced. Multiple 5 star reviews state it worked fine for 3rd gen 4Runners and 1st gen Tacomas. Bearings in the starter could be bad I guess. How much ball park would it cost to have the original starter bearings, etc replaced?
     
    Juice Weasel likes this.
  8. Jan 29, 2021 at 7:06 PM
    #8
    DrZ

    DrZ Well-Known Member

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    This may not be your problem, but the biggest thing that can go wrong with replacing the contacts is not getting them flat. And even if they are flat, if you overtighten the nut holding the cable on the outside that can cause the contact to rotate a little and give the same symptoms of worn out contacts.

    Are you sure the battery is strong and the cables are tight and not corroded? Did you try jump starting it to get some extra voltage?
     
  9. Jan 29, 2021 at 8:33 PM
    #9
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did try to jump start. No good. I'll pull the starter again tomorrow and make sure the contacts are flat. If that doesn't fix things I guess I'll try a new starter.
     
    DrZ likes this.
  10. Jan 30, 2021 at 7:14 AM
    #10
    Black DOG Lila

    Black DOG Lila Well-Known Member

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    When you pull the starter check the ring gear for worn, chipped or broken gear teeth. All it takes is one bad spot to cause grinding instead of cranking.
     
  11. Jan 30, 2021 at 11:29 AM
    #11
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It's windy, cold, and raining here today so I'll pull the starter tomorrow. Is the NAPA as good as the OEM or should I fork out the cash and wait for a reman'd OEM?
     
  12. Jan 30, 2021 at 11:56 AM
    #12
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Only you know how long you can keep the truck down.

    It would be good to know the problem first.
     
  13. Jan 30, 2021 at 12:33 PM
    #13
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have another car to drive, so I can wait to fix it. Just want it fixed right with the right part.
     
  14. Feb 4, 2021 at 11:40 AM
    #14
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I pulled the old starter again today and it looks like the bearings that are supposed to be underneath the washer around the gear in the below picture are gone. I can only guess that the washer was bad and dumped them into the engine hence the grinding metal sound I heard. How screwed am I and what should I do next?20210204_132636.jpg 20210204_133430.jpg
     
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  15. Feb 4, 2021 at 3:29 PM
    #15
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I tried to remove the under flywheel dust cover to see if I could find the bearings. There were only 3 bolts holding it on. I thought there were supposed to be 4 according to the FSM so the 4th one must have fallen out or been removed previously. After removing the 3 bolts I was still not able to remove the cover. I was able to pry it open about 1/4 inch at the bottom and shine a light in the crack. I didn't see any bearings, but I really couldn't see much at all since it's such a tight space and you can't look directly in, just at an angle from the passengers side. I crossed my fingers and started the truck. Started right up the first time. But I can hear those bearings rattling around in there.
     
  16. Feb 4, 2021 at 3:38 PM
    #16
    Timmah!

    Timmah! Well-Known Member

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    Dude, the fact you couldn't get the plate off means you means the 4th bolt you thought was missing is actually there. The hardest one to see is on the driver side. It's easiest to access from the driver side facing towards the front of the rig. Find it with your hand first and then get on it with a 12mm flex head box end wrench to get it off.

    Start watching the video below at play time 17:03 and I show where all the access plates bolts are. By the way, I'm Timmy the Toolman.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/O4GA3UhPC5Y
     
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  17. Feb 4, 2021 at 3:39 PM
    #17
    Rachelsdaddy

    Rachelsdaddy Well-Known Member

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    Damn. Nice startah mistah
     
  18. Feb 4, 2021 at 3:41 PM
    #18
    Rachelsdaddy

    Rachelsdaddy Well-Known Member

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    You are the man Tim. Your videos are awwwwwsome. You deserve a larger shop with a lift. Thanks
     
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  19. Feb 4, 2021 at 3:51 PM
    #19
    Timmah!

    Timmah! Well-Known Member

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    I'll need to move for that. It would be nice to have more room and a lift.
     
    cornbread_wy likes this.
  20. Feb 4, 2021 at 4:26 PM
    #20
    Bluecord

    Bluecord [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As usual, you are right Timmah! I've done so many things to my truck based off your videos. I appreciate all the time and effort you have given to help people like me fix their truck. Found the 4th bolt in the upper driver's side corner of the plate hiding under a clump of dried mud. Plate is now removed and 1 lonely bearing fell out. I know there's more in there. The question is how do I get them out!?!?!?
     
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