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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright, I've read through all the threads on how to fix the *click* *click* *click* that you get when trying to start the truck.

First off a little history on what I've already done. About 4 months ago when I went to start my truck sometime all I would hear is click click click, other times it would start fine.

So, I pulled the starter and inspected the Contacts -- They looked fine still, so I cleaned them up and put it all back together. This seemed to help for a little while.

It started happening bad again, so I thought I may as well try replacing the starter -- big waste of money, this helped nothing.

I noticed that I was getting the clicking most often when the battery wasn't at full charge (after I had been running my stereo with the truck off, etc)

I had read about people adding relays, push button starter switches and all sort of other crap to fix this problem, which they said was most often caused by the ignition switch wearing out. So I decided to start trouble shooting the Ignition system.

I noticed that there are two relays that click when you turn the key to start. One is in the passenger kick panel by the ECU, and the other is bolted to the passenger fender. Both of these relays click when I turned the key but the truck won't start, so I figured that these relays were not what is causing the problem.

So then I pulled out the FSM and inspected the wiring diagram for the starter system thoroughly. I found that the Starter Relay (pass. fender) was wired really strange. As I'm sure most people know, usually a relay has a low amp switched power source (terminal #3) and ground (#1) which controls a high powered input from battery (#4) and high powered output to the device (#2). Now for some reason Toyota has the power from the ignition switch going to both input terminals 3 & 4, so this means the wire going to the starter is going be as weak as the worn out ignition. Why the hell they would do this is beyond me. So I cut the wire going into #4 and wrapped up the end going back to the ignition so it wouldn't short out, and then ran a wire directly from the battery to terminal #4 on the relay. (See diagram below.) Note that you can't see that the wire for #4 actually conects to the wire for #3 coming from the ignition, but it does somewhere in the system.

I tested this fix by running my steroe for a couple hours to kill the battery and then tried to start it, and it works! The starter turned over slowly (due to the dead battery) and started the engine right up. This is something that I have never been able to do before -- if my battery wasn't at 100% it wouldn't start, now it will start as long as there is enough power to turn over the engine. :)

starter_fix_small.jpg
(alternate link to the pic: http://members.shaw.ca/big_ern/images/starter_fix_small.gif)

Click HERE for the full diagram showing the entire starting system.

The connector for the relay is labled like this:


Female:
___
---------
| 1 | 2 |
---------
| 3 | 4 |
---------

Male:
___
---------
| 2 | 1 |
---------
| 4 | 3 |
---------

(The ___ is the top side of the connector)



So to Summarize, if your here *click* *click* *click* when you try to start and it is not the starter contacts:

Cut the wire going into terminal #4

Wire terminal #4 directly to the battery.

Done! :)

Much easier and cheaper than adding a new relay and starter switches like a lot of people seem to do. All it cost me was a 2 foot piece of wire which i already had laying around, and about 2 hours worth of time to trouble shoot and go over the wiring diagram. Now that I've done all the trouble shooting I don't think it should take anyone more than 20 mins to do.


I hope this helps some people out with there starting problems. If anyone thinks this should be in the FAQ feel free to add it.




NOTE: This was all done on my '89 4Runner with the 3.0L V6. I imagine that some vehicles will be different, so check your wiring diagram before you cut any wires and blame me when you fawk something up :flipoff2:
 

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WOW... All I've ever had to do is clean the copper contacts in the solenoid and it works great.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried cleaning the contacts and replacing the starter altogether but nothing helped. Also read that a lot of people either replace the ignition cylinder or put in a separate push button instead of turning the key to START, but I figured that there must be a better, easier, cheaper way to do it.
 

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thats good info, i had noticed that myself but never bothered to change it.
good to know that helps out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I bet that if you did my mod, the contacts in the starter would last longer since they would make a better connection and not arc nearly as much which is what causes them to wear out in the first place
 

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The one reason I can see why Toyota may have done it is if the starter relay fails stuck in an "on" position the starter will crank and crank. You'd have to run under the hood and start pulling wires to stop it. With the way they wired it, turning the key off would kill it.

Just a guess.....

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
ROKTOY said:
The one reason I can see why Toyota may have done it is if the starter relay fails stuck in an "on" position the starter will crank and crank. You'd have to run under the hood and start pulling wires to stop it. With the way they wired it, turning the key off would kill it.

Just a guess.....

Jay
Makes sense, but then why bother putting in a relay in the first place? Why not just wire it directly to the starter? The way toyota did it puts even more strain (a small amount, but still more) on the ignition switch since it not only has to power the starter, but also the relay.


4CrawlR -- Actually your site is the one that gave me the insight as to what to look for on the wiring diagram since I knew that the ignition source was often quite weak. I knew I had the factory relay -- it just needed some modifications to how it works. :)
 

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It is wired directly from the ignition switch to the starter solenoidon my '85, no relay at all. So, my fix was to add a relay to power the solenoid and remove the direct ign. sw. to solenoid connection. So now I have ignition_switch->relay_coil->ground and then battery->relay_contact->solenoid->ground. The ign. sw. only powers the relay I added plus whatever else it used to do, so the load on it is now a few 10s of milli-amps vs. a few amps.

So essentially I have the same setup you have, but had to add the relay. All I had to do was cut and splice one wire to install it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Any ideas what Toyota was trying to solve by putting the relay in the later models like they did? It just doesn't seem to make any sense to me, and certainly does not function like a relay mormally does (ie how yours and mine are setup now)
 

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Big_Ern said:
.

Done! :)

Much easier and cheaper than adding a new relay and starter switches like a lot of people seem to do.
:

Good job man but on 85's there is no starting relay, that's why we install one!
 

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There also seems to be a hughe quality control problem with re-manufactured starters.

My dd 4runner started the click, click, click about 3 months ago. I installed Autozones best (life time warantee) re-maned starter and within 2 or 3 days it started doing the same thing. I took it back and got another one. This one lasted about a week. The next one I got started clicking as soon as I installed it. (I kept going because I'm stubborn) The next one lasted for a couple of weeks.,......

Finally, after 5 starters, I got one that works. It has worked fine for over a month now and has never clicked.

I've had similar problems with my trail rig, but not quite this extream. I only had to install 3 starters in it to get a good one. :mad3: That was about a year ago.
 

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Relays started in 86. Took me too many hours staring at my truck and Jay's wiring diagram for the 4.3 swap, scratching my head, trying to figure out why his wiring was different than mine. I already had a relay (his was an '85, mine an '86).
 

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Big_Ern said:
Any ideas what Toyota was trying to solve by putting the relay in the later models like they did? It just doesn't seem to make any sense to me, and certainly does not function like a relay mormally does (ie how yours and mine are setup now)
Maybe they use it like a logic delay buffer but with mechanical components. I don't know how fast that relay coil would energize with respect to the contact closure, but maybe it allows a little more time for the ignition switch contacts to fully close before the higher starter solenoid current starts to flow from it. Maybe that can extend the lifetime of the ignition switch contacts. :confused:

Jay
 

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kjmcdaniel said:
There also seems to be a hughe quality control problem with re-manufactured starters.

My dd 4runner started the click, click, click about 3 months ago. I installed Autozones best (life time warantee) re-maned starter and within 2 or 3 days it started doing the same thing. I took it back and got another one. This one lasted about a week. The next one I got started clicking as soon as I installed it. (I kept going because I'm stubborn) The next one lasted for a couple of weeks.,......

Finally, after 5 starters, I got one that works. It has worked fine for over a month now and has never clicked.

I've had similar problems with my trail rig, but not quite this extream. I only had to install 3 starters in it to get a good one. :mad3: That was about a year ago.
That is why I advocate repairing the original starter if at all possible: http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/Starter.shtml

It costs under $10 to replace the contacts in the solenoid (the most common problem) and it takes no more time that swapping the starter out (probably even less time, if you figure running back and forth to the parts store). Once you trade in your original starter for an unknown rebuilt, who knows what you are getting? Due to the often intermittent nature of the "click-click" problem, I suspect that many rebuild shops get the core back, plug it into a test stand and if it "works", they clean and paint it and throw it into a box and call it rebuilt. A good shop would disassemble the whole starter, replace wear items like contacts, brushes, bearings, etc. and then reassemble it. But how can you judge which type of shop rebuilt the unit you got?
 

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4CrawlR said:
That is why I advocate repairing the original starter if at all possible:
The Toy starter quality is very good. I agree....would much rather rebuild the stocker than go with a parts store rebuild.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ROKTOY said:
The Toy starter quality is very good. I agree....would much rather rebuild the stocker than go with a parts store rebuild.

Jay

Ya I would too -- I'm kinda pissed off now that I installed a rebuilt and it didn't fix the problem, but of course now I don't have the old one since I had to send it back for the core charge. This new one sounds wussy, it doesn't sound or feel like it turning the engine over as strong as my old one......

Hmm, the logic delay thing sorta makes sense to me. Still doesn't seem like it would make that much difference, but they must have had a reason for putting it in.


I bought the contacts from Toyota when I first tore mine down, but I ended up just cleaning it and putting it all back together since it looked in good shape. So I ended up returning the contacts -- I wanted my $50 back!! Toyota parts Canada is a rip off :mad3:
 

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For sure don't pay $50 for a set of contacts. They should not be more than US$5/ea:
http://www.4Crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/Starter.shtml#OnlineOrdering

I suppose the wiring is also like that for redundancy, in case the relay dies, you still have the ability to start, and as mentioned, if the contacts weld together, the starter shuts off with the anyway. I wired mine so I can restore it to stock with one connector at the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ya I saw you site, but I figured shiping up to Canada would be a pain in the ass, and I also needed them right away. I will definitely ge them from you in the future if they burn out on me.
 
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