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Thread: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

  1. #1
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    Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    Hey all!

    I've got a 1989 4wd, 220k miles, live in the PNW, had it about a year. Got it check out when i got it, shop said it runs like a top, great condition.

    A year ago, it was having starter problems, basically, it seemed, if the engine was hot the starter wouldn't turn. If you waited a minute, or 15, it'd kick and start right up. On a late summer trip to CA it got worse, and hitting the starter with a heavy object become the norm. On that trip I swapped the starter for a freshly rebuilt one and the problem went away.

    Over the past couple days, the starter's been doing the thing again. Yesterday it was pretty hot here, and i parked it in the sun after driving for a bit, and 2 hours later it wouldn't turn. Just a little click, and kinda a faint bubbly noise? Stater was pretty hot to the touch, so i put some ice on it, waited till it melted, and tried: started right up. Later last night, after parking again for a few hours, wouldn't start. Starter was warm, put water on it to cool it off, started right up. Battery seems fine, but haven't really pulled it out for a real test...

    Is this a thing other people deal with? Is this a normal quirk? Is there a fix? I have a lifetime warranty on the starter, so i guess I'll just swap it again, but is there a true solution? Is it even about the starter being hot or is this a false conclusion?

    Another problem, perhaps unrelated: The 'brake' dash light comes on intermittently while driving. Seems to happen more often on turns, and less so on straight road. Parking brake doesn't make that same light go on, so I'm guessing it's simply just a bad switch related to the parking brake indicator. Thoughts on that?

    Thanks folx! Just kinda scratching my head at this starter trouble...

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    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    They sound like two unrelated items.
    On brake dash light that will often come on if brake fluid is low since it seems to come on in corners fluid is probably moving away from sensor.
    on the starter motor, if it is warm when the engine isn't warm sounds like you have an electrical issue or an open circuit? Not an auto electrician just a guess
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    sounds like the famous toyota van heat soak problem: do a search for "heat soak" and there's detailed info

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    Thanks for the replies!

    I read about the heat soak, thanks for the lead. While it definitely seems heat related, it doesn't seem like the gas is boiling and causing it to not start. Van doesn't even try to start- starter doesn't turn engine at all.

    More clues i remembered. Sometimes if theres good draw on the battery (while starting) from headlights, or my foots on the brake, or the wipers are going, then this happens. Kinda just clicks and doesn't turn. Turn off the headlights or whatever, starts fine (unless it doesn't).

    Talking to a friend with another 4wd van, has this draw problem, but not the heat problem. I'm guessing they are related? Is it a weird solenoid issue?

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    Im having this same problem, did you find out any information on this issue? did you ever get it fixed?

    -Spencer

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    SR - this is one of THE most common issues, a quick search would yield more answer than you have time to read, to shorten your search, try "starter contacts"
    or "click click click"

    When u say u have EXACTLY the same problem does that mean you have been icing your starter, you have christmas dash & you have lifetime warranty on starter????
    Sorry, but that phrase is deployed FAR too often.

    Remanned starters are notorious for being POS, same goes for alternators.
    A starter needs a certain amount of voltage and amperage to do its thing.
    Our vans are now turning 30 for the most part, some a little more, and time will take its toll on all systems.

    I have replaced about 1/3 of my vans harness due to corrosion at the factory splices,
    corrosion = increased resistance = voltage drop = no start

    Also things like bad grounds or bad battery leads or incorrectly wired repairs or a gazillion other things.
    That said, diagnosis isn't that hard once one has a good meter and know how to use it.
    Cheers

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    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    Ok, so add me to the list. Have the click, when turning the key. Checked the battery, yep 12.5vlts on the multi meter. Assume I need new starter contacts, order the kit (came w/a plunger as well, so replaced that to). Felt pretty good patting self on back yesterday afternoon. Go to start it today same click. After a string of expletives, I checked the battery, no itís fine; crawl under the van and tap the starter with the handle of a screw driver. Turn the key and starter motor fires. More expletives, shaking fist toward the heavens, etc. Before we talk about power supply or grounding connections, let me preface this with the idea that I have already replaced ground cables with custom 2.0g wires, run tandem 2.0g wires w/copper terminals to both starter and alternator. Any idea what I have failed to do? thanks for listening
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

  8. 07-22-2018, 08:57 PM


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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    BJ - Have you done anything to the trigger wire circuit?

    Sounds like you've eliminated all the other possible causes.
    Start with checking trigger voltage when the starter won't turn

    I'd be tempted to run a separate wire for the ign switch to the solenoid and try that out for a couple of weeks, if no further troubles present,
    make that wire permanent.

    Before doing that you may want to inspect the ign switch itself and make sure the contact for the "start position" isn't burned/corroded.
    Perhaps even just taking voltage readings from the back side might shed some light

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    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    Seems reasonable enough, but I would have thought it is something with the starter given that I can get it to start by tapping on it w/a hammer?
    Is there a tutorial on removing the ignition lock? Looked at it briefly when I was looking for the trigger wire at ignition switch. I could only find two green wires coming from back of ignition lock. Not sure where to find it.
    thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Burntboot View Post
    BJ - Have you done anything to the trigger wire circuit?

    Sounds like you've eliminated all the other possible causes.
    Start with checking trigger voltage when the starter won't turn

    I'd be tempted to run a separate wire for the ign switch to the solenoid and try that out for a couple of weeks, if no further troubles present,
    make that wire permanent.

    Before doing that you may want to inspect the ign switch itself and make sure the contact for the "start position" isn't burned/corroded.
    Perhaps even just taking voltage readings from the back side might shed some light
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    BJ - you don't need to pull the lock cylinder, the electrical portion mounts onto the end of the lock body.

    From post #17 of this thread Ignition switch question.

    "To rule this out, make sure your battery is good and fully charged, then rig up a voltmeter to your small solenoid wire (at the starter) and have somebody try to crank. If you see above 10.5 volts and it's not cranking, then the problem is in your starter. If the voltage is below that, then the problem is somewhere in the starter circuit. If the problem is in your starter, pop the solenoid cover off and inspect the contacts before condemning the entire starter. Tim"


    That is where I would want to start the investigation, having that answer (trigger wire voltage) will direct where to go next.

    If the problem is in the starter, worn brushes or worn bearings are repairable but if the commutator is damaged its time for new.
    The manual dedicates 12 pages to the starter and they quote specs for just about every imaginable thing you could want to inspect.

    Not that it applies, but when I went down this road I hadn't yet found Tim's plunger contact repair and went with an OEM factory rebuild.
    IIRC, I got a full 2 weeks before the click came back.
    -only to say that my issue probably had nothing to do with the starter, as every time I thought I had it repaired, it would only be good for a few weeks at best.

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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    I'd also try to rule out bad starter unit (while it's still connected to the van) v bad wiring by sending POS voltage directly to the starter.

    If it doesn't turn this way, I'd suspect something with the starter unit is no good.

    I've done this with jumper cables running from the battery, under the van, and to the contact on the starter.

  13. #12
    Van Addict trestlehed's Avatar
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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    I copy/pasted this (my experience/post) from an older thread:

    I had the same problem back in 2008 when I bought my van. After replacing the ignition, neutral start safety switch, rebuilt starter, and going thru the whole system with a fine toothed comb, my mechanic concluded that there was a small voltage drop somewhere, so he installed a starter bypass switch.

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...starter+bypass


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    Re: Hot start problem! Starter wont turn...

    I'll throw in my 2 cents as starter hot start was the reason for my one code brown moment on my road trip, and it's only gotten worse in this southern AZ summer. I had replaced the contacts in my auto zone brand starter prior to the trip, no difference. I just ended up buying a denso rebuild and have not had any heat soak issues since, and I ran it up to Phoenix in 113 degree heat and did some errands up there, where it would have definitely acted up.

    It's rarely the simple solution for me but I'll take my wins where I can get them.

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