Toyota 4Runner V6 1984-1995: How to Replace Starter
Don't get annoyed when your truck hesitates to start, fix the problem instead. Continue reading to find out how.
This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner V6 (1984-1995).
If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the ignition on your truck, odds are the starter motor is bad. Sometimes you can hit the starter with a small hammer to get it working again, but this indicates that the starter motor needs replacement. Continue reading to find out how to replace the starter motor on your own.
- Jack stands
- 12 and 14mm sockets
- Extension (6")
- Wheel bolt wrench
Step 1 – Preparation
The starter uses a lot of power when activated, so there is a big cable from the battery to the starter. To make sure that you don't have any accidents when working on the starter, disconnect the negative (black) cable from the battery.
Then jack up the right front side of the truck and put a jack stand under the car to off-load the jack. Then remove the right front wheel.
(Related Article: How to Jack Up Your Truck - YotaTech.com)
Step 2 – Disconnect positive cable on starter motor
To be able to remove the starter motor the electrical cable has to be removed. The cable can be found by tracing a thick cable from the positive side of the battery (usually indicated with red color) down to the starter motor. This cable is thick since this is where the starter motor gets the power to crank the engine and that consumes a lot of energy. The cable is held in place to the starter motor with a 12mm nut.
Find the starter motor behind the wheel well where you just removed the wheel. Remove the nut holding the cable to the starter motor and pull off the cable. Remove the starter from the side hole in the wheel well. This is a small hole so have patience working it back and forth until it comes out.
Step 3 – Disconnect the signal wire to the starter motor
Next thing to do is to remove the signal wire from the starter motor. The signal wire is the wire that gives the impulse to the starter motor to start cranking the engine. The signal wire is connected to the front end of the starter motor (the end facing the front of the car). Just look for a cable connected to the starter motor and you'll find the signal wire.
Squeeze the connector of the signal wire and pull it off from the starter motor.
Step 4 – Remove the two bolts holding the starter motor
There are two bolts holding the starter motor to the clutch housing, one upper bolt and one lower. The bolts are facing forward of your vehicle, which means that you unbolt them towards the front of your truck. The bolts are not easy to see, so you probably have to feel your way to the bolts or possibly use a small mirror to see them.
Use a long extension (about 6" long) and a swivel together with a 14mm socket when removing the top bolt of the starter motor. Start at the wheel well where you have removed the wheel. Put the socket and the extension behind the cables and feel your way in to the top bolt of the starter motor. When the socket is securely on the bolt, use a ratchet to unscrew the top bolt.
The lower bolt is a little bit easier to spot than the top bolt. Figure 4 shows the lower bolt. Take a 14mm socket and a ratchet and get under the truck to simply unscrew the lower bolt.
Now the starter motor should be loose. Wiggle it a little bit to get it out from the transmission housing and off from the truck. It is pretty tight to get the starter motor out, but it should be possible to get it out under the truck.
Step 5 – Reassemble everything
Reassemble everything in the reverse order with the new starter motor.
- Carefully refit the starter into the bell housing. This can be a bit fussy, as the gears need to mesh up right in order for the starter to bolt in correctly.
- Refit the wires to the starter.
- Reconnect the battery terminals and main starter cable.
- Bolt the wheel back on to the truck and lower it down.
- Attempt to start the truck and ensure the repair was successful.