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2015 Starter Replacement DIY?

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by granny juicer, May 27, 2021.

  1. May 27, 2021 at 1:35 PM
    #1
    granny juicer

    granny juicer [OP] New Member

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    Background: Got my 4runner a bit wet running through deep puddles a few weeks ago. Had troubles with starting immediately after. Would take significantly longer than normal to start, but would usually crank and start up the first try. This week it refused to start. I turn the key and it clicks, but no crank..

    I know there are a few threads on replacing starters for older generations, but I can't seem to find any posts on here (or anywhere) for 5th gen. Does anyone know if this is something I could do in my parking garage with basic tools? I know where it is located and seems like a pain in the ass to get to.. Anyone here have experience doing this themselves?
     
  2. May 27, 2021 at 2:15 PM
    #2
    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    Might be dumb to ask but did you verify that your battery isn’t dead? I honestly wouldn’t think some water would damage your starter, especially a 6 year old one. When it’s pouring rain everything that isn’t in the cab is wet on the vehicle.
     
  3. May 27, 2021 at 2:24 PM
    #3
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    WOW! Amazing that a new Toyota 4runner (2020) has starter problem.

    I had starter failures in my 2005 4runner. Replaced about 4 of them, with the last one coming with a lifetime warranty purchased from Amazon.com.

    I kept all the receipts and box on the last one. Called the company once recently, and they said just let us know if it fails and we'll send you a new one.

    The last starter has been in there over 4+ years - longer than the OEM or any of the other replacement starters.

    Rest of the 4runner has been trouble-free for 15 years. Engine and tranny work like when I bought it off the dealer lot.

    I've got my fingers crossed.

    I've got cash if I have to buy another 4runner. I've had GM products (from brand new) and never again is all I have to say about GM junk. Rusted away, whereas 15-year-old 4runner is 100% rust FREE... all around!

    Note: Amazon does not offer a lifetime warranty on the starter now!

    Amazon.com : new toyota 4runner starter 4.0l
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  4. May 27, 2021 at 7:58 PM
    #4
    granny juicer

    granny juicer [OP] New Member

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    Verified battery isn’t dead / cleaned terminals. Tried jumping it just to be sure. Battery was replaced in March, so quite new. Checked all the fuses as well, made sure key wasn't dead, All electronics are acting pretty normal. Tried the old “beat the starter with a wrench” trick and still didn’t start, so leads me to think it may be a gunked up or lose connection somewhere.

    To be honest, it was a DEEP muddy puddle and way deeper than I should’ve been. Upper wheel front well, water in footwells deep lol. (Dipshit deep) Drove it around for a few weeks after and started on the first try everytime (slow starts). I’m thinking either a muddy / lose connection -or something completely different.

     
  5. May 27, 2021 at 10:41 PM
    #5
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    OP has a 2015.
     
    A&P likes this.
  6. May 28, 2021 at 2:28 AM
    #6
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    To the post above... it's not related to the year of the 4runner IMO.

    You need a new starter.
    I've replaced 4 in my 2005 4runner

    OEM lasted 4 years

    160,000 miles I have one from Amazon that came with a lifetime guarantee.
    Amazon.com: New Starter Replacement For 2010-2018 Toyota 4Runner 4.0L, 2011-2014 FJ Cruiser 4.0L, 2010-2014 Tundra 4.0L V6 28100-31131 428000-6841: Automotive

    Just replace your starter with the correct one you'll be up and running again

    Don't look for one with a lifetime warranty. They aren't offered now on Amazon.

    check the battery first.

    Let us know what fixed the issue.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  7. Jun 6, 2021 at 4:52 PM
    #7
    granny juicer

    granny juicer [OP] New Member

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    Update: Spent Saturday replacing it. Now it starts up perfectly. I definitely got lucky on this one!

    Had to use a lift & all. Needed to remove exhaust manifold where it connects to the engine & piping all the way down to the midpoint of the car. About 2 or 3 electrical components needed unplugged as well. Kind of a pain in the ass job for a non-mechanic such as myself, but definitely do-able with the right tools.

    Now that it’s repaired,heres a good picture of what not to do a week after buying your stock 4runner lol

    6A3B8125-7519-4734-99D8-C5F0773D76FE.jpg
     
    BionicRandy likes this.
  8. Jan 18, 2022 at 11:52 PM
    #8
    Toytrooper

    Toytrooper New Member

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    I have a 2016 sr5 with 72k miles and had crossed water a week ago. 2 days later on a cold start, the starter just clicks once. I reset and starts up just fine. No codes or errors given. Since then it has gotten worse as it takes a couple of tries to get it going. But only happens on cold starts. Ive been told it’s the solenoid on the starter. In the process I have managed to break the housing that holds the electrical plug. See pic below. Battery is new and all connection on it are good and tight. Regardless, now the starter has to be replaced because I broke that housing. I wanted to know how many screw are there and what is the easiest way to pull the starter off.

    Thank you In advance for any advice and guidance.
    upload_2022-1-18_23-52-4.jpg
     
  9. Jan 19, 2022 at 9:33 AM
    #9
    granny juicer

    granny juicer [OP] New Member

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    It was quite a bit of work to get the starter out. I had to go to one of those DIY shops that have lifts / tools for rent. Some of the bolts are pretty deep back. If I remember correctly there is about ~12 bolts and some are pretty deep and required a long flexible socket extension to reach. You have to pull it out just right, there’s not much wiggle room.
    We had to detach part of the break line, side rail, part of the exhaust manifold, etc. If i remember correctly, we had to pull the starter out from under the hood instead of through the wheelwell.

    Sorry this isnt more percise, Goodluck!
     
    Toytrooper[QUOTED] likes this.
  10. Jan 19, 2022 at 12:42 PM
    #10
    Toytrooper

    Toytrooper New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Looking forward to this task.
     
  11. Nov 30, 2022 at 8:57 AM
    #11
    daneo

    daneo New Member

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    I wanted to document this since there is so little info on how to remove the starter from the 5th gen. I also went for a swim with my 4Runner in a silty bog hole and it took close to 30 minutes for me to self recover with a winch. No check engine lights or other warning lights and the 4Runner did another 100 miles of trail and drove me an additional 5 hours home after that. So she still got me home! But, the starter started clicking and not turning over reliably during the course of the day, so it's time for replacement.

    I saw the videos for the 4th gen removing the starter through the wheel well. I don't believe this starter will come out the bottom, even with the drive shaft removed. Amazingly, the 5th gen seems to be an even bigger PITA to remove than the 4th gen.

    Step 0: Prepare for battle
    - Remove the battery lead(s) - this is ESSENTIAL because there is a LIVE 12V cable going to the starter
    - Put the front driver side on a jack stand. Remove front driver tire.
    - Remove the right (rear) splash guard from the wheel well.
    - Visually locate the starter and its associated wiring.
    - This would be a good time to hit those 2 bolts holding the starter with some penetrating lube.

    Step 1: Loosen the starter
    - Put a 14mm socket and universal joint on the end of about 1.5-2ft of extension on an impact gun.
    - Climb underneath and locate the 2x 19mm bolts. Feed the extension in alongside the exhaust header and drive shaft.
    - Make sure the socket is seated well on the bolt head, and give it a few ugga duggas. No need to remove yet. Loosening the electrical connections will be easier with the starter still held in place.

    Step 2: Remove the electrical connections
    - Double check your battery leads are off and haven't hopped back on...
    - Remove the starter heat shield - 3x 12mm bolts.
    - Use a pick (hook and 90 degree worked best for me) to remove the plastic cover over the stud
    - There should be 2x 12mm bolts you can now access. 12V and GND. Remove them with a small ratchet.
    - I believe there is also a 10mm wire that needs removing.
    - Once those are all removed, you can finish backing out the bolts holding the starter to the bell housing. Should be possible by hand.
    - Then, you can finesse the starter to give you access to remove the plastic solenoid connector by hand.
    - Baggie up these fasteners

    Step 3: Make access
    - Free the hard brake line's brackets. 1x 10mm on the engine side of the wheel well, 1x 10mm inside the wheel well, 1x 12mm on top of the frame, 1x 12mm on the outside of the frame. Put em in a baggie.
    - Remove the heat shield over the exhaust headers. 3x 12mm. Right one with an impact, other two with a 12mm wrench. Put em in a baggie. Finesse the heat shield out of the way.

    Step 4: Remove loosen the upper control arm
    This is the extra step over the 4th gen. It's not terrible, but still a pain.
    - Support the lower control arm with a jack stand or the 4R's screw jack
    - Support the knuckle by tying under the castle nut to the spring of the shock with some wire.
    - Remove the ABS bracket (10mm)
    - Use a 19mm wrench to take off the nut of the long (~12in) upper control arm through-bolt. Should be able to feed it out most of the way from the wheel well, might need to assist from under the hood.
    - Baggie up the nut and big washers. No need to remove the UCA ball joint connection to the knuckle. Just the long bolt needs to come out to make access.

    Step 5: Wrastle it out
    - It'll take some effort to get the wires behind the starter, but with some finagling it should come out. Congrats!

    Step 6: Put in the new one.
    -Should be steps 0 to 5 in reverse.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    surfingbuddhist likes this.
  12. Nov 30, 2022 at 8:58 AM
    #12
    daneo

    daneo New Member

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    Photo of the starter not coming out with the 4th gen instructions XD Still needed to remove the UCA and header heat shield to get it through.

    IMG_0783.jpg
     
    surfingbuddhist likes this.

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