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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys need some help, i bought a used 2007 fj it has 209k on it. It has some problems starting, so this happens intermittent. I go start and just one click from the starter and it does not engage. I have changed the following to try to solve the problem, new starter, new battery, new starter relay? It does this from time to time. When it does if i let the car sit for a while then it usually starts. Has this happen to anyone else?
 

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I am going through the exact same thing as you!! My 2008 will turn into a paperweight at the worst possible times... New battery, new cables, new starter, starter relay on the way. I am looking at the ignition switch now as it's practically the last component (other than ECU and/or bad wire). I'll be very curious what you find...
 

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Worth reading.


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This is general automotive not specifically for an FJ.
Worth reading.

6 Symptoms of a Bad Ground Strap, Location & Replacement Cost (mechanicbase.com)

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I ordered a new positive wire harness, lets see if this fixes the problem will keep you guys posted.
 

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I ordered a new positive wire harness, lets see if this fixes the problem will keep you guys posted.
Just checking back to see if you've installed the wire harness yet? And, if so, has starting been more consistent?

About the same time you opted to go this route, I chose to replace the ignition starter switch. FJ started reliably until yesterday then went back to being stupid. I've discovered over the year-long course of this "trial", working the key and cycling power seems to make it start sooner. At the beginning, I was convinced this was an immobilizer issue; now thinking it's assuredly power related.
 

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"Working the key" definitely points to a bad switch in the ignition key cylinder as your root cause.
 

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Starter switch was replaced (not the locking cylinder, though). With a new switch, the electronic portion of the cylinder should no longer be an issue, correct? That can only leave something in the power side of the equation...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I ordered on but have not installed it. I also changed the ignition switch and still the same results.
 

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If you are actually getting a click at the starter -- but no crank -- the issue is NOT the ignition switch or lock cylinder.

As @REEL-M-N wisely mentioned about grounds, go back to first principals: clean, tight, low-resistance connections.

There are several critical grounding points under the hood -- on the engine, frame rail, and chassis. Each one should be unbolted, wire brushed to shiny bright, and refastened.

Positive and negative cable connections both at the terminal and the battery post should be wire brushed and tightened to spec.

Even though the starter and battery have been changed, the terminal condition and cleanliness are often overlooked. Don't just assume something is tight and clean just by looking at it.
 

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Here's one other potential cause of the 'starter clicks but doesn't crank' syndrome.

As noted, if the solenoid in the starter clicks every time you turn the key, the starter motor is clearly getting the required trigger signal, and the solenoid id being actuated, but the motor itself is not getting current.

The Denso solenoid assembly is a simple high-current switch that applies current to the motor windings. There are two stationary, parallel copper contacts, and a copper washer that's attached to the solenoid plunger. When the solenoid receives a START signal from the ignition switch, the solenoid coil is energized, the plunger with its copper washer moves forward, and the copper washer 'shorts' across the two stationary contacts, closing the circuit and applying current to the motor windings.

If you seriously overtorque the nut on the stud where the high-current cable attaches to the starter, it is possible to slightly rotate one of the stationary copper contacts. When the solenoid is actuated, the plunger will move forward until it hits the 'high' contact. If this contact has rotated far enough, it can stop the solenoid plunger before it touches the second contact, and the even though the solenoid clicks, the plunger will never short across both contacts, and the motor will never get turned on.

Obviously, you'll want to check the easy stuff first: the battery chassis ground, then the engine block ground. Pulling the starter to perform a bench-test would be the last resort. If it fails the bench test, then remove the rear cover and see if the solenoid contact got twisted out of position.
 

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From your list it looks like perhaps the only part not already replaced is the ignition key cylinder switch?
You a correct... Battery, cables, starter, relay, ignition switch... next on the list would be the ignition cylinder. Can they be re-keyed to work with existing keys (sure hope so...)?
 

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You a correct... Battery, cables, starter, relay, ignition switch... next on the list would be the ignition cylinder. Can they be re-keyed to work with existing keys (sure hope so...)?
AGAIN, if the starter solenoid is clicking every time you turn the ignition key to the START position, then a bad ignition switch is NOT the root cause of your problem.

Stop and think for a moment about how the starting system works.
 

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Unfortunately some fundamentally incorrect information presented in the first link "How Your FJ Cruiser's Ignition Switch Works".

Line #2 states: "Ignition- This position activates your ignition system and the fuel pump. At this point fuel is pressurized at the fuel rails ..."

Actually, the fuel pump is only turned on when the engine starts to crank, then stays on only as long as the engine is running. If the engine stalls, the fuel pump instantly shuts off.

Put your head close to the fuel tank, and have someone turn the ignition switch to the RUN position. Total silence ... the fuel pump is NOT running. It only starts when the engine cranks, and the sound of it running is masked by starter noise and then engine noise once the engine starts.

Many early fuel-injected engines turned on the fuel pump as soon as the ignition key was turned to the RUN position, but for safety reasons Toyota does not. That's why it's critical that the fuel injectors do not leak while the engine is shut off ... the starting system design assumes that the fuel rail remains pressurized after engine shutdown, and that some residual fuel pressure is available the instant the first injector gets the first command to open.
 

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....Many early fuel-injected engines turned on the fuel pump as soon as the ignition key was turned to the RUN position, but for safety reasons Toyota does not. That's why it's critical that the fuel injectors do not leak while the engine is shut off ... the starting system design assumes that the fuel rail remains pressurized after engine shutdown, and that some residual fuel pressure is available the instant the first injector gets the first command to open.
I owned a PT Cruiser that turned on the fuel pump as soon as you turned the key. I could hear it fire up as soon as I twisted the key to the "on" position and before the starter engaged. Glad I don't own it anymore but still own my FJ.
 
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