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1999 Lexus GS 400 Starting Problems

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Old 12-01-08, 09:41 AM   #1
DeLorean00
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Default 1999 Lexus GS 400 Starting Problems

Hello I have a 1999 Lexus GS 400 and am having problems with my starter. When the car sits over night and I come out I will turn the key and only get a "click" but if I turn the key 2-5 times it will start. The battery does not seem to be bad, because when it does start it cranks over very fast and smooth. So does this sound like a bad starter? I know that the starter is located under the intake and is a big job to replace. I have read somewhere that this could be just the contacts on the starter going bad, is this the case? If so where can I buy just the contacts?

Thanks for any help!!

-Chris

PS- I did use the search button first but didn't find all my answers.
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Old 12-01-08, 09:55 AM   #2
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Welcome....

Yes, you can just replace the contacts on your starter. replacing the contacts, once the starter is removed should be a breeze.
Contacts and a plunger should be about $25.00 at the dealer or much cheaper at a starter repair shop.

I'll refer you to a starter repair site over at yotarepair.com

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Remove the intake as one unit will be the best way and the quickest, and yes you may reuse the intake gaskets.

Good luck
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Old 12-01-08, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT View Post
Welcome....

Yes, you can just replace the contacts on your starter. replacing the contacts, once the starter is removed should be a breeze.
Contacts and a plunger should be about $25.00 at the dealer or much cheaper at a starter repair shop.

I'll refer you to a starter repair site over at yotarepair.com

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Remove the intake as one unit will be the best way and the quickest, and yes you may reuse the intake gaskets.

Good luck
you can do that but its a safer bet to just replace the starter being a 1999. It takes a lot of heat and humidity from the location that it is in. It's not a fun job as you have to take a lot of wires off and IIRC, I had to take the fuel line off also.

Don't forget, even if you do take the intake manifold as an assembly, you'll still need gaskets. Also, you'll need coolant.

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-08, 10:22 AM   #4
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Just replace the starter with a NEW starter.. big $$$ for labor but u only wanna go in there once.. Give or take about $800 at a shop..
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Old 12-01-08, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone!! As for replacing the starter, where should I get one? And what do they cost? I have been told there are a lot of crappy aftermarket ones out there. As for changing the starter, I think I am going to do it myself. I work on cars a lot in my spare time and will just take it slow and make sure I do everything correct. Any big things I need to be careful with when I start this project? Obviously not to let anything falling to the heads, but any other things?
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Old 12-01-08, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeLorean00 View Post
Thanks everyone!! As for replacing the starter, where should I get one? And what do they cost? I have been told there are a lot of crappy aftermarket ones out there. As for changing the starter, I think I am going to do it myself. I work on cars a lot in my spare time and will just take it slow and make sure I do everything correct. Any big things I need to be careful with when I start this project? Obviously not to let anything falling to the heads, but any other things?
If you want to buy a new starter go OEM(Toyota). The dealer also have remanufactured starters much cheaper.

I have done many Toyota/Lexus starters by replacing the contacts and plunger, because my friends and I have more time than money, over many years, not one has failed. Heck that is what a remanufactured starter is.

Good luck and patience is your friend.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT View Post
If you want to buy a new starter go OEM(Toyota). The dealer also have remanufactured starters much cheaper.

I have done many Toyota/Lexus starters by replacing the contacts and plunger, because my friends and I have more time than money, over many years, not one has failed. Heck that is what a remanufactured starter is.

Good luck and patience is your friend.
Thanks, I have way more time then money right now. So I think that I will just replace the contacts. Do I need to order the intake gasket? I already have the correct Toyota anti-freeze in the garage.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:46 AM   #8
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Intake/head gaskets are about $16 per side.
It is your call to replace reuse them.

Most of the time they come off very much intact and in very good condition.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT View Post
Intake/head gaskets are about $16 per side.
It is your call to replace reuse them.

Most of the time they come off very much intact and in very good condition.
Ok, just to be safe I ordered the contacts (both), the plunger, and both sides of the lower intake gaskets from Lexus they should all me here tomorrow. As stated I have the correct Toyota Anti-Freeze, is there anything else I will need to order to do this job? I need it to go as smoothly as possible because its my girlfriends daily driver. Also can the contacts be changed while the starter is in place on the car, or do I have to remove it? I read some where that the transmission needs to be loosened in order to remove the starter is that correct?

THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Last edited by DeLorean00; 12-06-08 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 12-01-08, 12:12 PM   #10
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The starter is bolted to the bellhousing with 2 bolts. Thats it...
It would be much easier to remove the starter and work on it on the bench.

Use caution when working around the knock sensor wire not to break it and cover up the open holes in the head.
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Old 12-01-08, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT View Post
The starter is bolted to the bellhousing with 2 bolts. Thats it...
It would be much easier to remove the starter and work on it on the bench.

Use caution when working around the knock sensor wire not to break it and cover up the open holes in the head.
Thanks! Noted about the knock sensor. I will post pictures of my progress if anyone is interested. But I probably wont start until this weekend.
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Old 12-01-08, 02:53 PM   #12
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had the very same issue, with my 99 gs3, took it to my guy in wexford pa he put in a new starter and it has been perfect ever since... parts, labor and tax 274.00
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Old 12-02-08, 08:25 AM   #13
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let us know how this job goes.. keep us posted..
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Old 12-02-08, 10:09 AM   #14
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I'll be looking for project pics also. Good Luck
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Old 12-02-08, 10:44 AM   #15
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Great! Looking forward to it for future reference. Pics and part numbers would be helpful too : )
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Old 12-02-08, 10:44 AM
 
 
 
 
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