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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 08-18-2005, 08:22 PM   #1
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Loose starter?!?!

Warning: Long rambling rant. I am not a mechanic! and this proves it...but I have some decent diag abilities, for my skill level.

Have you ever had one of those days? My truck didn't start the other day when I was trying to come home from work. No problem, lights dim, dash lights dim, so I check the battery and cables. There's corosion build up (suddenly mind you) so I clean it off and make sure the cables are secure on the posts. She starts, Great. I make it home no problem.

This morning, not 12 hours later she wont start. Again there's corosion. Hitch a ride to work, no problem, I'll look at it tonight. Battery tests fine on the volt meter. Cables look good. I hear a popping from inside the engine bay. I disconnect my amp power line and test again. No change still she wont start, still I hear this "popping" noise. I continue down the line and check the connections on the starter and in doing so, SHE'S ABOUT TO FALL OFF!. What the hell is this?

I seriously can move the starter a good 1/4" up and down and side to side. So tomorrow my day to sleep in and go to work late I'll be up early to work on my baby. Have you ever had just one of those days?

-=Morphine=-
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:44 PM   #2
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Has the starter been worked on lately? It's wierd that it would loosen itself...
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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No, I haven't touched it at all since my rebuild, now a couple of months into driving it. I have had some personality conflicts with some people at work but I would never guess or accuse them of damage or dismantling of my vehicle. Plus the starters a beeatch to get to in the 3.0 v6. If they wanted to "mess with me" there are much easier, better, and quicker ways of doing so.

-=Morphine=-
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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Hey Morph, it is possible that the starter just worked lose. I forget the torque specs, I know it has one for both the mounting bolts.....It is always a good ideal to go back and check the bolts you can after major work has been completed and the road testing is complete.....while you are checking the starter You might want to go ahead and check the exhust manifold bolts....those have a history of working lose with after market headers.......I agree with your assesment of co workers.....it is way too much work to get to the starter for that to be a way to mess with someone.....hearing about the corrosion on top of the batt less than 12 hours after cleaning it seems like something that need to be looked at.......I have the same batt in this runner since I bought it and not had any corroision on it......
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:28 AM   #5
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Morphine, my coworkers starter in his Tacoma had a bolt fall out of it-and it was never worked on. Sounds very similar. Just thought I would throw that in. It might be somewhat common, not that makes you feel any better.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:37 AM   #6
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Yep - I've had to re-tighten my starter mounting bolts a few times
over the years. Seems to be a weird thing but may have something to do with expansion and contraction - not to meantion the creeks, rocks, mud,
logs and the occasional curb at the mall !

I agree that it's way to much trouble for your co-workers. A guy that I worked with continuously had a wet seat - wonder how that happened ?
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:05 PM   #7
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Over Achiever

Ok instead of just tightening the starter back in place I decided to pull it off and check the starter solenoid plates. Good thing to. They were shot. So $10 and a little sandpaper and my starter is being repaired. Thanks to the info on YT and 4crawler.com I'll be back in business better than before.

-=Morphine=-
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:13 PM   #8
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I had the exact same problem. My starter was healthy, but not starting the rig at all, just clicking. When I pushed the starter, or hit it with a hammer, it starts fine.

Creepy? Not quite. When I checked my starter, the starter gear was showing, and the top bolt holding it in was missing. Currently, its held in by a coat-hanger, works fine now
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fo_runner
Currently, its held in by a coat-hanger, works fine now
A coat hanger? That sounds Mickey Mouse to me. You should have used duct tape.
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:31 AM   #10
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You maybe can use lock-tight on the bolt just to keep it from vibrating loose again.
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:14 PM   #11
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Duct tape would just fry right up, but good idea though

Last edited by fo_runner; 08-20-2005 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:51 PM   #12
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Thread locker (blue loc-tite) on the bolts and check the starter solenoid wire, it works its way loose from time to time and the female connector gets worn out. I had an alternator fall out of a vehicle from the bolts "working" loose...so it is possible.

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Old 08-20-2005, 07:51 PM
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