Car not starting randomly? READ THIS (30 Amp Starter Relay Mod)

Idealsupra

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Moderator edit: Please read the entire thread. The circuit already has a relay that is easy to diagnose and fix.-Poodles

INTRO TO PROBLEM:​

I figured I would post a little public service announcement to hopefully help some people and save them the aggravation of trying to replace a starter multiple times and not fixing the problem.

My car had been randomly "not cranking" over the past few weeks. It was getting worse and left me stranded numerous times. Although it is a manual so I was normally able to recruit some guys to give me a push for me to pop it and be on my way.

Of course the normal response around here is the starter contacts are worn/bad. Sure this MIGHT be the case, however I would bet more often its something a LOT simpler to deal with and correct.

There ARE random threads on this site and others that have this in them and they are great tool. I figured maybe one more isnt a bad thing as there are more "Help my car isnt starting randomly" threads then I could sift through.

Ok so enough rambling. Here you go. If you are having problems with your car not cranking (yet youre hearing a click at the starter relay, and a "thicker" click at the starter area), then try this. DO THE 30AMP RELAY MOD. SERIOUSLY.

WHY THIS IS A PROBLEM:​

Basically, the old wiring and the setup of the stock starting circuit causes the voltage getting to the starter simply not enough at times. (Thanks IJ) The stock wire from the IGN side to the starter energizes the bendix and it's copper contacts and ring complete the motor circuit.

What happens though is not enough current to hold these contacts causes arcing so it just gets worse and worse.

SHOPPING LIST:​

To correct this (and basically enhance your starting circuit along the way), simply go to Advance Auto Parts and get the following:

  • 30AMP Relay- 4 prong self enclosed and it has a spot for a screw for mounting.
  • Spool of 10 gauge wire. 12 gauge would be ok as well but I prefer to be safe then sorry.
  • Spade connectors for said gauge wire
  • Loop connectors for said gauge wire

DIRECTIONS TO MODIFY AND CORRECT THIS PROBLEM:​

DISCONNECT NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL

Now find a place to mount the relay. I put mine down by the starter almost right off the framerail. I used one of the 10mm bolts that holds on one of the little shields.

Now take the wire and connectors and make:

  • 1(A)- loop end connector---> spade connector. Length is from wherever you mount the relay to the positive battery terminal.
  • 1(B)- spade end connector---> spade end connector. Length is from wherever you mount the relay to the terminal with the spade connector on the starter. Its encased by a brown "clip".
  • 1(C) spade end connector----> loop end connector. Length is from wherever you mount the relay to a body ground. Theres a lot of random 10mm bolt holes that you can use for this.

Connect (A) to the input side of the switch on the relay.

Connect (B) to the open side of the switch on the relay and the other side of (B) to the starter terminal (brown clip).

Connect (C) to either side of the coil on the relay and ground other side of (C) to the body.

Take the clip/wire (should be black with blue stripe) that normally goes to the starter and connect it to the other side of the coil on the relay.

Finally connect the other end of (A) to the positive terminal on the battery.

REATTACH NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL

WIRING DIAGRAMS:



Thats it. Ill bet doing this solves MOST of the starting problems out there. Its about a 30 minute job at most and only costs a total of about $15 if you need to buy everything.

I hope this helps. If someone does this and would like to take pictures from start to finish they can be added. Im going to be doing this to another Supra in a couple of weeks so if theres nothing by then I can do it myself.
 
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supraman7mgte

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Awesome write-up,I too have suffered from the,"no,I don't wanna start" problem!
 
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tekdeus

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

This mod solved my starting problem as well. There must be a way to get this message across to more people, since it is the #1 reason for our starting problems. Sticky?
 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

This mod solved my starting problem as well. There must be a way to get this message across to more people, since it is the #1 reason for our starting problems. Sticky?
Firstly... your car came out AWESOME. Nicely done.

Secondly, I would be glad to organize my post a bit more, add an actual wiring diagram and some pictures of everything as well if I knew the post wasnt going to just get buried in a day or two.

This info is seriously top 5as far as common problems with the supra that can be fixed easily.
 

jdub

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Do it Jayson and I'll put in the Ref Section.
 

IJ.

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Always thought it odd just how long the Black/blue stripe heavy line to the starter is.

Why did they bother putting the stock relay so far from the starter ;)
(add the NSS switch or bypass plug into the length + 20 year old wiring and it's a wonder any of these cars start)

Small correction Jay, this line doesn't provide the electricity to turn the starter at all it only energises the bendix and it's copper contacts and ring complete the motor circuit.

What happens though is not enough current to hold these contacts causes arcing so it just gets worse and worse.
 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Always thought it odd just how long the Black/blue stripe heavy line to the starter is.

Why did they bother putting the stock relay so far from the starter ;)
(add the NSS switch or bypass plug into the length + 20 year old wiring and it's a wonder any of these cars start)

Small correction Jay, this line doesn't provide the electricity to turn the starter at all it only energises the bendix and it's copper contacts and ring complete the motor circuit.

What happens though is not enough current to hold these contacts causes arcing so it just gets worse and worse.
Yep you are right (no surprise). I think I got caught up in my rambling lol. Good catch. Ill fix it.

Feel free to use this picture if you would like.

Thanks I got motivated and went ahead and made one using the TEWD icons. We can use both though :D
 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Ok I updated the post. Organized it some more and added the wiring diagram. Let me know what you guys think and if it needs anything else. Thanks!
 

IJ.

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

I use a 30a icecube relay that has it's own blade fuse :)
(there's no protection in your circuit so if anything goes wrong you let the magic smoke out)

 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

I use a 30a icecube relay that has it's own blade fuse :)
(there's no protection in your circuit so if anything goes wrong you let the magic smoke out)

Hey thats pretty nifty. I actually threw an inline fuse in my personal one lol. I guess I should add that huh...bah! I have to go back into the POS wannabe paint program I have and fix the diagram lol.

Whered you get the fused one? Not that it would help considering you are across the big pond lol.
 

IJ.

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

They're available from our local parts store Jay :)

Makes life so much easier.

I made a bracket that bolts under the brake pipe bracket by the starter and bolted a Relay Socket to it then if a relay dies it's a simple plugNplay change.
 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

They're available from our local parts store Jay :)

Makes life so much easier.

I made a bracket that bolts under the brake pipe bracket by the starter and bolted a Relay Socket to it then if a relay dies it's a simple plugNplay change.
Must be nice :(. They only had regular relays at my place. And Im doing a quick google search and every fused relay Im finding is out of this country lol.

Grrrrr.

They way I have it it would only take a few seconds also (just remove the four spade connectors and 1 one bolt and put them on the new relay). But yeah the relay socket would be quick pull out and put in(thats what she said heh).

EDIT: Heres a good cheap relay socket: http://www.robotmarketplace.com/products/0-REL-H.html Only $3. Not bad. Ill pick one up. Now just need to find a fused relay like you posted thats available in the states lol. Otherwise Ill just stick with my inline fuse I guess.
 

CyFi6

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Hmm I have never seen a relay with a fuse on it like that before, thats pretty cool.

About the topic: A classic example of having this problem is the car starts fine when cold, but wont start and just clicks when the engine is still hot. As the wire gets hot its resistance increases and gives this same symptom
 

Poodles

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

I don't remember if the starter wiring is part of the engine harness or not, but I haven't really had an issue with cranking/starting since replacing the harness (and fixing my crappy battery cables)
 

Idealsupra

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

I don't remember if the starter wiring is part of the engine harness or not, but I haven't really had an issue with cranking/starting since replacing the harness (and fixing my crappy battery cables)
Yeah the wire that goes to the starter from the IGN side runs through the harness.
 

hottscennessey

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

nice! I JUST got my last warrantied starter (been through 4 in the past year).

This will be my next mod.
 

Angry7M

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Yeah i had seen this mod on supraforums already.

I had the same problem sometimes the car wouldnt start when ever the engine was hot, sometimes it would be random. Finally saw the thread on supraforums and did this relay mod and my car has been starting fine, its been three weeks now.
 

Quin

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Sometimes have a somewhat similar problem but it's just due to a crappy connection. Upgrade time :)

Nice write up.
 

hottscennessey

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

Sometimes have a somewhat similar problem but it's just due to a crappy connection. Upgrade time :)

Nice write up.
Do et now.

I did it today. Cost me $12.. so worth it for the piece of mind.
 

Justin

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I hate accepting the fact that the wiring just got old. That seems like a cop-out but I have not been able to find any other solution.

I wired up a relay as well (slightly different) but its worked every time. I also have a brand new engine harness. I also have a brand new ignition switch harness.

Frustrating :)
 

1988SupraDreams

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Did the relay mod today and took pics, worked like a charm.

Test car: 1988 Toyota Supra NA/AT chassis converted to 89-92 Turbo 5spd AKA Wiring nightmare.
PICS:

Materials:


Starter wire from the igniton switch (Black with white stripe on my model):


Brown starter clip:


My chosen mounting location (Cruise control removed due to NA->T, Good spot for my coolant filter):


Right after my car started on the first try for the first time... ever:


I mounted the ground right under the body of the relay (Just make sure you can see metal where you mount the ground), and ran the positive straight to the battery. Overall this only cost me $3 (Price of the relay with my employee discount at napa) since I already had the other stuff laying around. SO worth it.

Thank you to the original poster, you saved me TONS of time and money.
HIGHLY reccomended.
 
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bigaaron

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The other issue is basically that the 1jz starter is much smaller then a 7m starter and is prone to failure. Not the contacts, but the operation of the starter gear. The relay is only going to solve peoples starting issues on maybe 1/4 of the cars, the rest are going to need a replacement starter.
 

Jervis Mcstabby

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Re: Car not starting randomly? READ THIS

They're available from our local parts store Jay :)

Makes life so much easier.

I made a bracket that bolts under the brake pipe bracket by the starter and bolted a Relay Socket to it then if a relay dies it's a simple plugNplay change.
Anyway you'd be willing to ship one out this way? It'd be prepaid, of course and the same as JustAnotherVictim's address.

Also, just grabbed a combo setup from Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280247816092

$7.00 Shipped for both parts
 

drostar

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I'd like to add, if I may, that it is a very very good idea to fuse the line right near the positive battery terminal. Even if the relay has a built-in fuse, if the relay is near the starter I'd say that's too far away. If the positive line loses its insulation for any reason (pinching, cut or melted), it'll short to ground and start your engine bay on fire unless it's fused.
 

jetjock

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Or people could fix the car right. It isn't the wiring. Never has been. At least on every car I've worked on. No surprise there since it doesn't make sense it would be. And even if the wiring was in question it can be checked in 60 seconds. I've even yanked this "improvement" off a couple of cars after offering to find the real cause and the owners never had a problem again.
 

Idealsupra

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Or people could fix the car right. It isn't the wiring. Never has been. At least on every car I've worked on. No surprise there since it doesn't make sense it would be. And even if the wiring was in question it can be checked in 60 seconds. I've even yanked this "improvement" off a couple of cars after offering to find the real cause and the owners never had a problem again.
The way I look at it is this:

Doing this= $15 and maybe an hour of time if you suck at wiring.
Finding the "real" problem as you put it: Probably $$$$ if you bring it somewhere OR lots of time to not only find the problem but to fix it.

And whos to say its not the "real" problem. Lets see I bypassed my WIRES and what do you know my car starts every time now.

So what else could it be when I bypass the wires and it works? And no Im not going to spend the hours of time to redo my wire harness when this works just the same IF NOT BETTER then the stock setup.
 
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jetjock

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I suppose to someone with your lack of electrical ability those are valid points. Mine was it'd take someone who knows what they're doing a quarter of an hour and wouldn't involve replacing or bypassing any wires, even in your car. As a further irony the techniques required are among the most basic in the business and can be learned by anyone in minutes. Guess you never had time.

As for "whose to say it's not the wires" how many of these have you tracked down and fixed? And do you actually think bypassing an entire circuit containing various components and multiple connections positively condemns the one part that is almost never at fault? Have you had to bypass any other "bad" wires in your car? Do you honestly believe Toyota used wire that goes bad only in this particular circuit? Maybe, just maybe, there might be another cause? A circuit weak point other than the wire itself that can be easily found and repaired, same as with 99.99% of all circuit problems? Nah....

It's not the wire Sparky. Even without having used those killer diagnostic skills of yours if you'd had any common sense you'd have already figured that out. That said it's your car so you're free to do as you like. However trying to present this as a smoking gun answer to a non-existent cause or worse, an improvement, is technical ignorance. It's nothing more than another electrical hack in a long line of electrical hacks dreamed up by "know enough to be dangerous" people who won't (or can't) fix it right.
 

Mr.PFloyd

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so this thread went to the shits fast.
So jetjock, what were the real problems on the cars that you yanked this mod out of?
 

JMDigital

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How many times did I call or txt you with this problem..

jetjock, I would also like to know what caused this problem in the supras you fixed.. I get this problem also.
 

YotaRob

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jetjock, I bet you dont just work on Supras, you work on all Toyota and others also, so you probably know what I mean when I say 02-06 Toyota a\c light flashing? Im betting on same problem with the starters. Please correct me if Im wrong so that I can continue to learn in my young age.

Of course if you are going to do this mod, why pull 12v all the way back from the battery if you have a bigass cable with 12v @ the starter?
 

Kevin S. OG

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I did a little bit different of a mod but this works just good.

I ran the wire from ign st directly to the starter like the canadian cars are done!
they are wired directy and if you look both the relay power and relay line feed for the starter are the same wire and it gets a ground from antitheft computer.

Meaning 100% of the current that starts the starter goes through the ignition key switch so it can handle the current wiring it directly. Again the fault is normaly the relay. or antitheft locking it out nsw etc.

most of the time its the relay thats the start issue bypassing the clutch NSW is a good idea saves the throw out bearing and crank wear when starting with out the clutch in.
 

jugodegolf

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Or people could fix the car right. It isn't the wiring. Never has been. At least on every car I've worked on. No surprise there since it doesn't make sense it would be. And even if the wiring was in question it can be checked in 60 seconds. I've even yanked this "improvement" off a couple of cars after offering to find the real cause and the owners never had a problem again.
First off I'm not here to knock anyone. If Ideal has a simpe cost efficient solution I think thats great. If you have a better solution please write it up. I'm sure most of us want the car fixed right and just need a little writeup on what/how to check for the starting problem. I will only take my car to the stealership as a last ditch effort after getting hosed time after time. I read Aarons post and I have 2 different sized used starters sitting on my shelf. I have a car that starts most of the time. All my connections are good what "REAL CAUSE" should I be looking for???