Starter Issues FAQ

TurboWarrior

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
763
Likes
0
Location
Canada
#1
If you have a (click) when you attempt to start the car emanating from the starter motor/solenoid that is what this writeup is about. If the motor does not even make a sound when you turn the key you may have other issues.

This is a list of what is wrong most of the time

1. The contacts in the back of the starter are worn out. Take off the back plate of the actuator unit by removing 3 bolts. Remove the plunger. If you see heavy wear on the 2 contacts that the plunger comes into contact with they need replacement.

Jeff Lange
The Toyota kits come with more than just the contacts; they include the bolts, washers, etc.

1986.5-90 Starter Contact Kits:
28226-72080 Battery Side Terminal Kit
28226-72010 Motor Side Terminal Kit

1991-92 Starter Contact Kits (Same as the JZA70 1JZ-GTE 1.4KW Kits):
28226-76070 Battery Side Terminal Kit
28226-74070 Motor Side Terminal Kit.
If you notice that the contacts aren't overly worn and the contact part of the plunger is ok then there is another problem.


2. You have a bad battery or your alternator is bad and the battery is not getting a full charge. Get the battery tested or try swapping out for another. If the car still doesn't start you have another problem. Clean your battery terminals always if they look rough with a heavy wire pipe cleaner or a longer bristled wire brush. If necessary replace the terminals or wires if they are bad.

By bad I mean cuts in the shielding, weakness in the wires. A weak battery + weak wiring + old starter, it all compounds the problem. Weak wiring sometimes you can’t do anything about but if your battery, alternator, terminals, obvious grounds are all good and you know they are it narrows the problem. Maybe you replace your starter and the problem goes away, but comes back on you after a length of time. That’s other weaknesses starting to show and replacing the starter only band-aided the problem until the starter came under some wear.


Assuming the battery and charge is ok
3. You have bad or worn wiring, usually a single bad wire. Try jumping the car with another vehicle or a booster pack. If the car starts when it is being boosted (which is usually at 14v) this is probably it. The extra voltage and current available compensates for the bad wire. The single wire spade terminal (the small one) at the back of the starter should be the culprit. Try holding a wire to that terminal and touching the end of the wire on the + side of the battery. If it starts to crank that is your problem!

Either run a switch from the + lead to the cabin and from the switch back to the starter. Or replace the wire. Run your own wire from the back of the starter into the cabin and splice/connect it to the ignition switch. The exact color on the wire on both ends I am not sure of yet. I think it’s slightly different too with an automatic transmission. Either way if you do the test and connect a wire from the spade terminal on the back of the starter and it cranks, this is your problem area.

Remember that when you use this test method or mount a switch it is bypassing the safety features of the car for starting. If it is in gear the car will fly forward. Make sure the vehicle is in neutral or park.


Less common causes are the ignition switch itself, Starter relay, Neutral start safety switch itself (auto), or clutch start safety switch (Manual Trans.)


The order you should test in should be easiest to most difficult.

1. battery and charging system
2. Cleaning the battery terminals and checking the obvious grounds and leads for wear.
3. Jumping the starter solenoid
4. Checking the contacts

1 and 2 are simple. 3 can be simple with thin arms like me, if not you may have to remove some parts. 4 the starter needs to be removed. Based on your gut instinct you may change the order. Hey its a good way to learn.


If your starter clicks only when your battery is a bit low this could also be your contacts or any of the above I mentioned. The mkiii is getting old. Everything is wearing out. Hope this helps!
 
Last edited:

flubyux2

Madd Tyte JDM yo ®
Authorized Seller
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Messages
1,019
Likes
0
Location
st. pete, fl
#2
i think i recall seeing a TSB for the mkiv regarding the starter click issue and it said to add an extra relay.

basically it uses the stock starter solenoid wire to trigger another relay. then the new relay pulls power from the battery or the alternator post to give a full voltage signal to the starter solenoid. its not a large amount of current, its just to trigger the starter.

the stock starter solenoid wire is very small and can experience a voltage drop. if you have insufficient voltage coming thru the vehicle harness and to the starter solenoid, the plunger will Move but not fully extend. if it does NOT fully extend, youll hear the gear contact the flywheel (thats the click) but the contacts will NOT engage. since the plunger does not full extend due to low voltage, the contacts dont engage and the starter motor never turns.

the solution is to get PROPER voltage to this starter solenoid/bendix so it fully extends. this way, itll engage the contacts on the plunger and the starter motor will turn. the way to do this, is add a standard bosch 30amp relay.
 

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#3
My Starter clicks after the engine heatsoaks. It will eventually start after some tries, some times up to 7 tries. You wait 2 hours for the temps to come down, it starts up 1st try.
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,117
Likes
18
Location
Lake County, IL
#4
My Starter clicks after the engine heatsoaks. It will eventually start after some tries, some times up to 7 tries. You wait 2 hours for the temps to come down, it starts up 1st try.
Do you plan on doing the starter relay mod? I had this same problem when I got my 87 in 2007 and I did the starter relay mod back then and it's been starting fine for me ever since.
 

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#5
Do you plan on doing the starter relay mod? I had this same problem when I got my 87 in 2007 and I did the starter relay mod back then and it's been starting fine for me ever since.
I am not too sure, I guess taking it apart and replacing the contacts would be better ?
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,117
Likes
18
Location
Lake County, IL
#6
I am not too sure, I guess taking it apart and replacing the contacts would be better ?
With a normal starter starting to fail, yes the contacts would be a starting point to change but since many other Supra owners have had this problem I would start with the starter mod first because it is good preventative maintenance for the future and it may solve your problem.

How old is your starter and how long have you been having starting issues?
 
Likes: alcyon

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#7
With a normal starter starting to fail, yes the contacts would be a starting point to change but since many other Supra owners have had this problem I would start with the starter mod first because it is good preventative maintenance for the future and it may solve your problem.

How old is your starter and how long have you been having starting issues?
Well I just bought the car last year in june..and only started driving it on the 10th of dec...its been having this problem since then.
 

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,117
Likes
18
Location
Lake County, IL
#8
Well I just bought the car last year in june..and only started driving it on the 10th of dec...its been having this problem since then.
I know this problem is scary because if you go out, you almost want to keep it running so you do not have starting problems in the middle of no where. I also remember the problem on mine at the time was that if I hook up a battery charger and put it on "start/crank mode" it would crank over like normal before I did the mod as well.

Have you tested your battery on the Supra? Also when you do this mod you should inspect the main positive battery cable going to the starter for any corrosion on the ends.
 
Likes: alcyon

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#9
I know this problem is scary because if you go out, you almost want to keep it running so you do not have starting problems in the middle of no where. I also remember the problem on mine at the time was that if I hook up a battery charger and put it on "start/crank mode" it would crank over like normal before I did the mod as well.

Have you tested your battery on the Supra? Also when you do this mod you should inspect the main positive battery cable going to the starter for any corrosion on the ends.
I just changed the battery a few months ago, while it did not solve the problem , it did help in that it will eventually crank over, and the clicking was loud and energetic unlike with the old battery.
 

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#10
Do you plan on doing the starter relay mod? I had this same problem when I got my 87 in 2007 and I did the starter relay mod back then and it's been starting fine for me ever since.
OK I think i will do the relay mod. Hopefully by this month end I can install it.
 

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#11

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,117
Likes
18
Location
Lake County, IL
#12
I only have one 30 Amp fuse tied in coming off of the battery positive terminal wire going to the relay. You want a fuse usually within a foot from the power source to protect your wiring and you definitely want to put a fuse in so you do not have any electrical fires from overloaded wires. The weatherproof fuse holder I have is similar to this one but mine is 10 gauge wire.

https://www.amazon.com/8-Gauge-Maxi...065&sr=8-11&keywords=weatherproof+fuse+holder
 
Likes: alcyon

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#13
I have done the starter relay mod, took me 2 1/2 hours. I tested the car twice after heatsoak, stopping for 20mins, then restarting, then 25mins, restarted, both times started on 1st turn. Just wow.
Do i have to be careful not to get water on this relay ?
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Likes: plaaya69

plaaya69

87T Supra
Authorized Seller
Contributor
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,117
Likes
18
Location
Lake County, IL
#14
Nice job alcyon. I mounted the relay straight up and down under the intake manifold. Use some dielectric grease around all the connector/terminals to protect it from the elements. I wrapped mine in black electrical tape around everything and its been fine all these years ever since but a better relay is this one with a weatherproof connector:

https://www.amazon.com/Fastronix-Weatherproof-Automotive-Relay-Socket/dp/B01CXA42XK


I am sure you notice the starter probably sounds a bit stronger as well when starting?
 

alcyon

New Member
Authorized Seller
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
27
Likes
2
Location
Kuala Lumpur
#15
Nice job alcyon. I mounted the relay straight up and down under the intake manifold. Use some dielectric grease around all the connector/terminals to protect it from the elements. I wrapped mine in black electrical tape around everything and its been fine all these years ever since but a better relay is this one with a weatherproof connector:

https://www.amazon.com/Fastronix-Weatherproof-Automotive-Relay-Socket/dp/B01CXA42XK


I am sure you notice the starter probably sounds a bit stronger as well when starting?
I like the position its at now, right behind the left strut tower, easy for me to reach the relay, I worry placing it near the manifold will be hard for me to troubleshoot. Yes i will bolt it on, I just dont have a bolt right now, will get one at work tomorrow. As for the sound, i am unsure, i guess its the same, but i love how I dont have worry about how ,long I have stopped, to wait for cooldown anymore.
just in case anyone is interested. Yellow wire goes to a 20A fuse , to the batt + (relay lead 87). The blue wire goes to the ign barrel starter cable (relay 85). the black goes to ground(relay 86), and the red goes to the starter solenoid (relay 30).
I soldered some connectors to match with the connections.

I now added a thick plastic spacer i made from scrap material in the factory, and took one M6 SS bolt from the store.
 

Attachments

Last edited: