Starter removal, repair. - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Starter removal, repair.

I had garage day today with my FJ. I installed a lift kit, and replaced a couple idler pulleys, and fixed my starter. I searched for starter stuff beforehand on this forum and couldn't find much, so I thought I'd do my own little write-up for everyone.

The problem I had was that it would click but it didn't always turn over. I could keep clicking it till it finally did so I never got stranded, but I knew it needed attention. As I mentioned in another thread, I took my FJ to the dealer for this. They didn't want to repair it under warrenty because there was "evidence of mud". Yeah I know what your thinking, but I'll stay on subject for now.



The FJ's starter is mounted with two 17mm bolts going through the tranny into the starter. The top one was a real PITA, I had to use a cheater pipe over my socket wrench, and could only get a couple clicks a turn.

The main terminal and igniton plug weren't corroded and came off easy. There's heavy ground wire right next to the starter. I took that off to because it was on the same harness.

I've replaced a starter in almost every vehicle I've owned, and every time I've pulled it out from the bottom. Well, I can save you a 1/2 hour of time, frustration, and skinned knuckles by telling you this one needs to come out from above. I unbolted two 10mm screws to make room, one was the front differential breather caps, the other for a little metal flap that serves some silly unknown purpose. These screws were easier than the next viable option, and that would have been to disconnect the forward driveshaft.



I bought a starter for a 2007 tacoma, thinking it would be the same as the FJ's. it was only $130 at Autozone, compared to the $340 that the dealer wanted. Maybe they mistakenly gave me the V4 starter though, because it wasn't quite the same. The mounting holes were 10.5cm apart instead of 11.5cm (measured from center of hole) and the spindle had 9 teeth instead of the original's 10.




Anyhow, I'll save money by taking it back because I fixed the old one. The starter has two little rubber nipples over breather holes. the one nipple by the solenoid got flooded with mud, and dirtied the contacts. Time for a new scuba driver project- snorkel for the starter!



The solenoid operates with a round magnetic cylinder that has a washer-shaped terminal to connect the ciruit. Inside the front cover, this peice comes out easy without spilling out tiny parts. In my case, the contacts were very dirty, and there was a little corrosion from a short caused by the mud. I'm glad I found this, because it was draining the battery.



I cleaned the insides up with a tiny scraper, a small brass brush, and several q-tips to reach deeper inside. Compressed air would have been helpful too. I put a tiny bit of grease in the cylinder, I wanted to termals to stay clean.



I knocked off one of my little rubber nipples too. It confused me at first, I thought it squeezed into its hole. Instead I just had to pull out this little plastic clip with needlenoses and push the clip inside the nipple. I thought it'd be good to show this in case anyone knocks one off while it's in the car.





Well that's that. It went in easier than it came out and starts fine.

I'll write up my lift job later in another section.

-John.
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 11:23 PM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

Nice write up...

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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 11:34 PM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

just curious did you use some sort of electrical wash/solvent...like lps? when you cleaned it out....RR
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 11:57 PM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

great write-up thanks!
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-23-2007, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

Quote:
River Runner previously said: View Post
just curious did you use some sort of electrical wash/solvent...like lps? when you cleaned it out....RR
I would have if I had some on-hand. I used a little squirt of Liquid Wrench, not really flushing it but just to loosen stubborn spots of grime. I wiped it off well. I also wished I had some emory cloth. All I had was sandpaper and it was raining today, so the sandpaper left a mess at the first swipe because of the humidity.

I think the best solvent to use on a job like this is elbow-grease!

I really enjoy this kind of maintenence. You can't pay someone to just clean something off, there's obviously less liability in total replacement. The car dealerships seem to epitomize that idea. I'm hoping I can get the same user-friendliness out of my FJ that I've found in boat engines and old VW's.

-John.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-23-2007, 02:11 AM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

Thanks for taking your time to write up between the messy job most people wouldn't otherwise, it might come in handy down the road.
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 09-23-2007, 04:53 AM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

great info

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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 09:41 AM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

Great write up dude
mines doing the same think from wheeling last week.
im going to do the same thing but i think i'll work on the suba mod for the starter
i'll make a new post with the info and your write up if you dont mind?

Mods
Scuba / breather
DRL switch
Body mount chop
CB radio with Bandie mount
Fog lights
Pro Comp 6" lift
Pro Comp Extreme Mud Terrains 35X12.5 R18
Lowered front diff

Mods to come
ARB's front and rear 4.56 gears
ARB's fron air locker and compressor
Road Armor front winch bumper with brush guards
and what ever else my credit card can afford
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 06:24 AM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

What is the easiest way to get to the starter?
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 10:59 AM
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Re: Starter removal, repair.

Great write up and thanks for doing the dirty work, and knuckle-busting, for us

2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 5AT "C" package, Sun Fusion
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