Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Replacing Starter in 93 Tercel


chirkware's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 973
TN

04-29-05, 06:09 PM   #1  
Replacing Starter in 93 Tercel

My 1993 Toyota Tercel has become quite a pain to start. I generally have to turn the key anywhere from 3-20 times before the starter does its thing. Occasionally, I give up and roll it off. I posted a thread about this problem a couple of months ago, and it was suggested then that the starter was the problem.

So, I'm wondering how hard that starter is to replace. I'm not a mechanic, just a simple, DIY parts swapper. I've done a starter before, but a 1970 240 Ford engine is quite simple compared to this Japanese concoction.

Any particular tips/warnings you can offer?

 
Sponsored Links
jeff67's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 616
NC

04-30-05, 02:00 AM   #2  
Just a tip...If you haven't isolated the problem to be the starter, check the ignition switch before replacing the starter if you're not hearing any clicking noise or starter related noise when turning the key to start. You can check for voltage at the soleniod with the key at run or use a remote starter switch ($10-$15, and no helper needed normally) available at sears or most auto parts stores to see if it works that way. Or take the starter off and have it tested at the auto parts store before buying the new one. Just trying to save you some money and hassle of replacing the starter without knowing it to be the problem.

Someone else should chime in with starter replacement help. Only advice on that I can give you is to disconnect the battery and use jack stands or ramps if you'll be working under the car. If you're buying a rebuilt starter, you should have it tested before taking it home. I had one before that didn't work when I installed it.

 
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,477
FL

04-30-05, 02:54 AM   #3  
You may also be able to repair your starter. Toyota starters are very reliable, but they will eventually wear out some of the parts, notably the contacts in the solenoid. Generally you will hear the solenoid CLICK, but won't get any rotation. Had this on my wife's former car, '95 Camry, and was going to replace the starter (not cheap) when one of our client garages mentioned the solenoid contacts. Ended up repairing it for about $25. Requires removing the starter from the car and opening up the solenoid portion, but the work is fairly straight forward if you are handy at all (if you're handy enough to R&R the starter you should be able to handle the contact replacement). You would need to check in advance on the availability of parts; I got mine from a specialty starter/alternator repair shop. R&R on the starter will be a couple of wires and 3 or 4 bolts. Sometimes have to remove other items to gain access, like air filter housing or something and be sure to follow jeff's safety tips on disconnecting battery and using jackstands if you go underneath (although I think your starter is probably accessible from up top).


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
toyotaman11769's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,531

04-30-05, 03:14 AM   #4  
Good advise about the contacts (they are available from Toyota). It is a very common problem and a contact repaired starter is most likely better than most of the rebuilds you buy. I would recommend replacing with a genuine Toyota reman, they are of a great quality if you want to replace it.

The starter is only accessible from the bottom.

 
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,477
FL

04-30-05, 04:00 AM   #5  
Should be able to find the procedure at www.autozone.com. Tercel must be a strange one, toydude; I think all the Toys I've ever owned were top accessible (although the one on my wife's '95 Camry was the first starter problem EVER on a Toy, so I wouldn't bet on that).

Oh, and replace the plunger as well as the contacts, it wears, too.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
toyotaman11769's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,531

04-30-05, 04:07 AM   #6  
Camrys from the top, Corollas and Tercels from the bottom.

 
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,477
FL

04-30-05, 04:11 AM   #7  
Drove my last Corolla (an '86) 125k without killing the starter. I like the Camry location; a lot easier working over the fender vice underneath (cleaner, too).


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
chirkware's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 973
TN

04-30-05, 06:03 AM   #8  
Posted By: jeff67 Just a tip...If you haven't isolated the problem to be the starter, check the ignition switch before replacing the starter if you're not hearing any clicking noise or starter related noise when turning the key to start.
I am getting the clicking noise, but nothing happening from the starter. I also note accessories cutting out when turning the ignition switch, so I believe it is doing its job.


Posted By: the_tow_guy You may also be able to repair your starter. Toyota starters are very reliable, but they will eventually wear out some of the parts, notably the contacts in the solenoid. Generally you will hear the solenoid CLICK, but won't get any rotation.
That sounds pretty much like what I'm getting. So it sounds like a repair may be possible?


Posted By: the_tow_guy Requires removing the starter from the car and opening up the solenoid portion, but the work is fairly straight forward if you are handy at all (if you're handy enough to R&R the starter you should be able to handle the contact replacement). You would need to check in advance on the availability of parts; I got mine from a specialty starter/alternator repair shop. R&R on the starter will be a couple of wires and 3 or 4 bolts.
Will definately want to check ahead of time on the parts. I wouldn't want to destroy my core and then end up having to pay the core fee on a reman.


Posted By: toyotaman11769 Good advise about the contacts (they are available from Toyota). It is a very common problem and a contact repaired starter is most likely better than most of the rebuilds you buy.

So if I go to the local Toyota dealers parts department, what would I ask for? Any idea roughly what I'd be looking to spend? Would I be able to find these parts online?

On Rock Auto's web site, they list starter brushes for the '93 Tercel. They are ACDELCO part #E777. Starter Brush Is that what I'm wanting? Seems to be the only parts they have for the starter.

Thanks for all the advise guys!

 
toyotaman11769's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,531

04-30-05, 06:34 AM   #9  
Starter contacts, no not the brushes

 
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,477
FL

05-01-05, 02:58 PM   #10  
I paid $20 for the two contacts and a plunger, but got mine from a specialty shop that we do towing for. I would think $30-40 for genuine Toy parts; just a guess.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
chirkware's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 973
TN

05-09-05, 07:02 AM   #11  
Thanks for all the responses guys! I actually ended up letting someone else worry about this problem. I just got my wife a Honda Odyssey, so I now drive her old Toyota Camry, and this poor old Tercel is looking for a new home. (I actually gave it to my uncle who sold me the Odyssey. He's got a used car lot.)

 
Search this Thread