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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My FJ is a 2007 6mt. I recently got it a couple of weeks ago and have since gone through doing some maintenance and modifications etc. A few days ago I took it out on the trails, pushed it pretty tough for what I assume was it’s first real outing off of pavement. The previous owner has had it since ‘07 and never really took it on any trails. Anyways, I did some rock crawling, mud holes, river crossings etc and the rig handled it like a champ throughout the day. The following day I cleaned it up to make sure everything was still in working order and now I’m getting a strange issue when starting and a whining sound when driving. When I start it and turn the key, all the lights come on but it take almost 3 seconds before it will even crank but then it will start up seemingly normal with no struggles. When I first did this I thought the battery was dead because of how long it took to crank. After it starts up, there’s now a very noticeable whining sound at idle that gets louder and louder under acceleration.
From what I’ve gathered I believe it might be the alternator, but I’ve heard people suggest a few other things like the idler pulley etc so I thought I’d get some second opinions by coming here.
 

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"... mud holes and river crossings ... "

Despite what you might think, there are consequences of submerging the starter, alternator, serpentine belt pulleys, and rear axle.

The "delayed start" symptom sounds like you got mud into the starter and the solenoid plunger is binding and sticking. The starter motor needs to be removed, disassembled, cleaned, and re-installed. If this is a high-mileage vehicle and you don't have the service history, you might as well just replace the starter.

The most likely source for the whining sound can be either one of the serpentine belt pulleys or the alternator, but there are other potential sources as well.

If the breather for the rear axle was dirty or stuck open (common on a higher-mileage vehicle) you may have drawn water into the axle housing. I'd pull a sample out of the axle and see if there is any trace of oil/water emulsion.
 

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one other thing to think about.....mud/sand, etc in clutch and pressure plate. i know with older Jeeps, it was a recipe for disaster to be doing a lot of clutching through deep mudholes. Not sure about the MT FJ but typically bellhousings, pressure plates and clutches arent watertight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here’s an update. Thanks for the information @FJtest it was in fact the starter that was the issue. My vehicle was running the original starter from ‘07 so I figured it was time for a new one. The starter install wasn’t really difficult at all and I managed it in my driveway with minimal tools. As for the whining sound, I ended up just going ahead and replaced the alternator as well as the pulleys and serpentine belt. That install was also easy, and the sound has since stopped.
 
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