bode

Starter Replacement

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Hi,

I am wondering if someone could direct me to someone knowledgeable. I want to replace my starter and am wanting to do it myself. Not 100% sure it is the starter. It is intermittent, and seems to work more often when strong, new battery is installed. I have replaced ground wire to battery, and it doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I hear the dreaded click, sound, and no start. I try again and after third time or so, it will start just fine. Seems like it is an electrical issue, but local mechanics just want to replace starter. Car is a 1999 LS 400 with 190,000 miles. Any good tutorials on this with pics. I have modest repair skills. Any diagnostic posts to verify for certain it is the starter. I do hear the starter relay click when attempting start.

Thanks for any help,

Bode

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It's always a difficult one to diagnose dodgy solenoids but one way would be to get someone on the key and tap the starter with the end of a heavy bar or stick.

If the motor spins then chances are it's the starter solenoid at fault.

I believe you can replace the solenoid contacts quite easily yourself, saving lots of money

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You probably have a bad starter solenoid contact issue.  Cheap fix but unfortunately labor intensive to get to your starter on that engine.  I have fixed two denso starters with your symptons in the last year with a kit from Amazon which included the solenoid and contacts for less than $15

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Lenore,

Thanks for the post and your thoughts. It is an intermittent problem and may indeed be the solenoid. But, it could also be dead spots on the coil or bad contacts, brushes, I think they still call them that. Anyway, if I go through the labor to get to the starter, wouldn't it be better just to replace the whole thing? More expensive than solenoid, but sure wouldn't want to do it twice if I was wrong. Thanks for tutorial and appreciate any opinion you can share. Is it harder to take the whole thing out than to replace just the solenoid?

Thanks

Bode

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Also to Trevor Catt,

You said it is easy to replace solenoid parts. Just so I'm sure here, the solenoid is right on top of the starter in middle of engine. Is that correct? If so, lot of work to get to that part, unless I'm missing something

Bode

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And a total waste of all the work, if your not totally rebuilding or replacing the whole starter. Yes contacts go bad and can cause the problems, but whats next since that starter is full of wear parts, like the one way clutch, brushes, commutator, bushings / bearings etc. Don't just fix a solenoid.

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58 minutes ago, Exhaustgases said:

And a total waste of all the work, if your not totally rebuilding or replacing the whole starter. Yes contacts go bad and can cause the problems, but whats next since that starter is full of wear parts, like the one way clutch, brushes, commutator, bushings / bearings etc. Don't just fix a solenoid.

Depends, If you purchase a brand new starter than yes.  But most rebuilds out there aren't that great.  The Starter is a hardy beast, and the contacts and solenoid are the high wear items.  You could tear the starter down and investigate to see if the brushes are worn...Both starters I worked on had well over 200k miles, and I feel very confident that the solenoid repair is all that was required. 

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HAY BODE... just to set you straight NO the solenoid is NOT right on top of the starter... it is right UNDERNEATH.. didnt you look at my photos??? both of ours are 99 ls400's

plus when you try to take those two bolts out behind the block..... well I dont want to scare you... 

AND But, it could also be dead spots on the coil or bad contacts, brushes, I think they still call them that. NEVER saw that failure... on a LS400 

I am out of here, make your choice and good luck

100_1792.thumb.jpg.124eed9ecd3989ad964f944ec9fc48b9.jpg

100_1791.thumb.jpg.6bdae6ff4862ec0f2e419892634c9e6b.jpg

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Billydpowell,

Thanks for the post, but you didn't tell me what happens when I try to take the 2 bolts out behind the block. Are you saying it is very difficult to get to them? Also, so I am clear about what you are saying, that you never saw a starter failure due to bad coil, just due to solenoid and contacts? My thought is if I can get the starter out, I will replace it, but if those 2 bolts are too hard to remove, I will replace parts. Just what I am thinking at the moment

Bode

 

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awesome picture Billy...you sure got yourself a mess there....Thanks for the feedback on those starters....Now we are both in trouble if the solenoid doesn't fix it.....

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On 3/22/2017 at 7:44 PM, bode said:

Billydpowell,

Thanks for the post, but you didn't tell me what happens when I try to take the 2 bolts out behind the block. Are you saying it is very difficult to get to them? Also, so I am clear about what you are saying, that you never saw a starter failure due to bad coil, just due to solenoid and contacts? My thought is if I can get the starter out, I will replace it, but if those 2 bolts are too hard to remove, I will replace parts. Just what I am thinking at the moment

Bode

 

The 2 bolts can be a nuisance since they are in back of the engine bay. You have to remove the coolant bridge and the wire harness but you will still have a hard time getting them off unless you have the right tool. The space is so limited and that's the reason why most ppl complain about this job other than the fact that you have to remove the intake manifold.

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thanks Craig, I gave them direction, but they sounded like they wanted coverage for every possible thing that could go wrong, so I gave up..

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Check out these links. The procedure is the same for the GS 400 so don't let that confuse you. You have to click "1992 Starter Replacement" to get to landars thread.

http://www.lextreme.com/starter.html

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-2nd-gen-1998-2005/394613-1999-lexus-gs-400-starting-problems-2.html

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