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Thread: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

  1. #1
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    Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    Aloha fellow van enthusiasts! I purchased an 87 Toyota vanwagon (4x4 LE; auto transmission etc...) in late February, early March and as much as I love this vehicle, its been problem after problem! Which brings me to my next point (haha). Lately, Ive been having issues starting the van in the morning or after it sits all day at work. There are times when I crank it over and it does nothing, no sound, no clicking, nothing. I then back the key off about half way and the van will start up. Initially, I thought it might have been the battery, but after having it tested, it seems the battery is good. There are times when I go to start up the van (after sitting all day; after my shift at work) and the van seems like it wants to start, but does not. I then retry and start it and it starts right up. I spoke to someone who refurbishes starters and he's claiming its an ignition issue. Ive read several of the posts here with regards other vans having the same issue and it seems it could be a plethora of other issues...(starter, alternator,(I replaced the alternator a couple of months ago) fuse able links etc...)
    Im hoping you may be able to point me in the right direction. My buddy who is a mechanic doesnt think its the ignition....hahaha, PLEASE HELP ME!!!!
    What should I check first, should I start a list and then go down it to rule out possibilities? Would it be possible to give me a list to start on? Im abit confused with all the other posts I read with regards issues like these that some have had in the past.
    Any info is helpful.....
    On a positive side note....we have a large hurricane on its way in a couple of days...if things really go my way, I'll break down somewhere and will attempt to fix this in the rain, like I did the alternator which was a beast for me to take out and re-install! You gota love working outside in a downpour, thats how it goes over here in Hawaii!!
    Much mahalo from 'da islands'....
    Nokaoivan....
    Ps...sorry about my sarcasm, Im going
    Oh yea, one more thing....I have gotten some great info from this website and am truly thankful the Llamavan for helping me out and letting me join.

  2. #2
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by nokaoivan View Post
    There are times when I crank it over and it does nothing, no sound, no clicking, nothing. I then back the key off about half way and the van will start up.
    Although there are other possibilities, this really sounds like your starter is about to croak. Ask me how I know ...

    Fortunately, starter replacement is simple and quick AS LONG AS you disconnect the battery first.

    I moved your thread because the problem occurs on all vans.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  3. #3
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    Ok, thanks Gwen, I appreciate it...
    Is there a link for starter removal? After reading up on this, everyone seems to say its pretty easy....(believe me when I say, when I work on cars, nothing is as easy as it seems.) but most of the comments have not gone too in depth about it. To be honest, Im not really sure where its located.
    Thanks for the info tho....I think I'll go and get the starter today before the hurricane hits...thanks again!

  4. #4
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    Starter is located under the oil filter (and typically covered in grime as a result). Two bolts and the electrical connection. Approach from below; you will not have to jack up the 4WD van unless you are pretty stout. I intended to document this on general principle, but was too pressed for time on both occasions.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  5. #5
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    Thanks for the advice...am going to try and tackle this in a few hours...thanks again

  6. #6
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    So after getting the re manufactured starter....I attempted the install. All went relatively smooth...It wasn't super easy for me (working on cars is never super easy for me btw) but I got it installed!
    So, I went to turn the van on and.............NOTHING!!!
    No sound, no click, no nothing!!! Abit frustrated, I took out the starter, looked it over, made sure I did everything right and tried again....
    NOTHING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!
    So I re installed the old stater that I had and it started up just fine. Great..(Im being super sarcastic btw...) I called the shop who specializes in re manufacturing starters and alternators...they're claiming it was my fault....somehow....some kind of installation error. So going to bring it back in a few days, hopefully if the island is still here from the oncoming hurricanes which are supposed to start hitting Thursday.
    I love this van..and will post pics soon, but this thing is driving me crazy at times!!!!
    After looking around the internet, I found a thread which gave me some insight on the installation...
    Here it is.... http://www.toyotavanpeople.com/forum...+removal#p9811
    I still love this site btw...all the info has been a huge help to me...aloha my friends....
    This is me btw today, after installing a new starter twice and then the old one!!!

  7. #7
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting van cold issue, possible ignition issue?

    I am of the opinion if you couldn't install the starter correctly, you also couldn't have gotten the original starter to work, especially not the first time.

    I am wondering (besides whether the shop accidentally sold you an un-re-manufactured starter) if they might have sold you a starter for a 3Y van. I do know that they are different. I've been told (but can't verify, because I just keep my spare starters separate and labeled) that the 4Y starter works fine on the 3Y vans, but the 3Y starter isn't strong enough to turn over the 4Y engine.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

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