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Starting issues, some troubleshooting... but not much!

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Old 04-21-11, 06:04 PM   #1
andyman32
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Default Starting issues, some troubleshooting... but not much!

Since I got the car (only 5 months ago now!) it has only occasionally happened that when I put in the key, all the power systems come on, turn the key, it makes one loud click, then the instrument cluster dies hard. It does not turn over. When I take the key out, the steering wheel still retracts. Invariably, when I put the key back in and crank the car, it starts up perfect-o. It has had "episodes" like this perhaps a dozen times, out of perhaps 150 times I've started the car since I've owned it.

Today, for the very first time, I had the car parked on a slight up-slope (which I rarely or never do), cranked the key, it clicked, and died. Again. Again. I tried half a dozen times. It wouldn't turn over.

I tested the battery and it's virtually perfect.

I "shook" the car forcefully later this evening and it started up like a charm.

The possibilities, as far as I can tell, are:
1) failing starter relay
2) bad starter solenoid
3) bad / corroded terminal contacts on starter

The thing I'd like to avoid if not absolutely necessary is removing the intake manifold.

Could it be anything other than the 3 possibilities above?

And - what is the location of the starter relay? I can't seem to find that info anywhere...

If it's not a bad relay I'm just going to take off the manifold, inspect the terminals, and if they're good, replace the starter motor.

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-11, 08:40 PM   #2
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what are you driving??
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Old 04-21-11, 08:41 PM   #3
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1999 LS400 w/ 72k miles.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:08 PM   #4
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I have replaced the solenoid contacts in both of my 99's now they start first time & everytime
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Old 04-21-11, 09:28 PM   #5
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The fun ol starter,.
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Old 04-22-11, 05:50 AM   #6
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Ugh... so I guess "sticking starter relay", easy as it may be, probably isn't the deal here? :-/
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Old 04-22-11, 01:32 PM   #7
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it is not really hard, just time consuming and remembering where things go..
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Old 04-25-11, 08:05 PM   #8
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Billy - thanks for the great pictures! Very helpful. I already started pulling stuff off the top of the engine. When you replaced the terminals, did you see any visible, noticeable corruption or defect on the old ones?

It would be a mighty big shame to go to the effort of re-assembling the bowl of spaghetti that is on top of the intake manifold then find out that the solenoid has crapped out!
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Old 04-25-11, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyman32 View Post
Billy - thanks for the great pictures! Very helpful. I already started pulling stuff off the top of the engine. When you replaced the terminals, did you see any visible, noticeable corruption or defect on the old ones?

It would be a mighty big shame to go to the effort of re-assembling the bowl of spaghetti that is on top of the intake manifold then find out that the solenoid has crapped out!
sure, just look at my first photo of the plunger and the two contacts, all pitted up.....
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Old 04-25-11, 10:02 PM   #10
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Where to get the parts and how much?
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Old 04-26-11, 04:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billydpowe View Post
sure, just look at my first photo of the plunger and the two contacts, all pitted up.....
OK - I see that. Did you also replace the plunger then?

Supralaju - I found a terminal kit on carparts.com for about $18 delivered. It says it includes both terminals and all parts required to replace them. However, according to Sewell Lexus website the terminals retail for $15 each, so it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if I have to go get the right parts from the dealership after all.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supralaju View Post
Where to get the parts and how much?
sewell lexus:
28226-54412 terminal 15.00 6.18
28226-72010 terminal 16.94 9.12
28235-54380 plunger 34.26 19.02

$34.32

carparts.com is the best deal (if it has the plunger)



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Old 04-28-11, 05:00 AM   #13
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Hi Billy, I'm not sure if you have a different view or login for Sewell Lexus but the prices are about 50% higher than what you note above. Did you copy & paste those numbers recently, or back when you did the job on your car?

Carparts.com doesn't have the plunger, and also says the terminals were out of stock and canceled my porder. No other generic parts websites appear to have the terminals or plunger (I use rockauto and carpartsdiscount). They all have rebuilt starters but not the separate bits.

Sewell does, however, have a kit, http://lexus.sewellparts.com/accesso...1999/4316.html (click "Options: Starter Rebuild Kit") that includes both terminals, the plunger, and two intake manifold gaskets, for $80 plus shipping. That seems like a pretty fair deal considering the gaskets.

I guess I'll order that kit and try to do all this work next weekend...
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Old 04-28-11, 07:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyman32 View Post
Hi Billy, I'm not sure if you have a different view or login for Sewell Lexus but the prices are about 50% higher than what you note above. Did you copy & paste those numbers recently, or back when you did the job on your car?

Carparts.com doesn't have the plunger, and also says the terminals were out of stock and canceled my porder. No other generic parts websites appear to have the terminals or plunger (I use rockauto and carpartsdiscount). They all have rebuilt starters but not the separate bits.

Sewell does, however, have a kit, http://lexus.sewellparts.com/accesso...1999/4316.html (click "Options: Starter Rebuild Kit") that includes both terminals, the plunger, and two intake manifold gaskets, for $80 plus shipping. That seems like a pretty fair deal considering the gaskets.

I guess I'll order that kit and try to do all this work next weekend...
YES, I bought the kit also, because I wanted new gaskets, see photo:
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Old 04-28-11, 04:29 PM   #15
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Ah hah! That's where it came from. The individual parts are more expensive, the kit is definitely a steal. It's still exactly the same price. Nice.

Thanks Billy - I have a direction to march in!
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