Starter rebuild •  by Jon Pace

Email Contribution on replacing the contacts in the starter for a 1993-1997 Land Cruiser

> I just did this repair a month ago or so and posted my thoughts on
> the list so you might see if you can find those in the archives.

I already had, thanks.

For those of you wanting to do this procedure, I'm spelling out in detail what I figured out to do from all the previous posts. It's really not that hard - if you have the right tools. ;-)

> Getting to the wiring is easy-it's readily accessible through the
> wheel well (with the wheel off). It helps to remove the rubber
> rain flap.

First, disconnect the battery positive terminal. You do not want to try wrenching the nut off the starter if it's still hot - trust me.

Then, jack up the DS front tire, block up the truck, remove the tire and remove the rear splash guard (the same one you remove to do the "pesky heater hose").

Use a 12mm socket to remove the nut from the positive terminal on top of the starter. Move that wire out of the way, then push down on the little tab and pull out the little connector from the socket (it's right next to the positive post - you'll see it).

> The actual starter bolts are harder, one comes out in front, the
> other from the rear. It's the front one that is hard. I could see
> the bolt head fine, there is just very little room to swing the
> wrench. IIRC you need a socket, extension and a ratchet for the
> front, and a socket, universal, extension and a ratchet for the rear.

Now, get a 17mm socket and a 6" to 10" wobble extension. If you do not own wobble extensions - go buy some now. They act like miniature universal joints, but have much less flex (I'm guessing 15 degrees). They make it very easy to remove nuts you can't quite get lined up straight on.

First the front (top) bolt. I had a 10" extension, and it was too long, but it still worked. I suggest a shorter one. Any socket will work, you don't need deep sockets or anything, but you do want a wobble extension. They're just easier than universal joints.

You will have almost no leverage (unless you have impact tools, then this whole job is cake). I stuck the end of the wrench out the side of the wheel well and used a pipe extension so my wife could leverage it while I held it in place. Once it's loose, it's easy to remove.

Then the back (bottom) bolt. Again, you want a wobble extension. It's the 17mm bolt directly over the bell housing bolt. You can't get in there without an extension due to the transmission dipstick being in the way, and you can't get an extension on there very straight (well, maybe with a deep socket, but if you already have the extension for the front...) You have a lot more room, so get a little pipe for leverage and break it loose.

Now the starter can be removed between the engine and frame (basically, straight down) once you turn it the right way (end up).

When you get around to reinstalling everything you just removed, the two mounting bolts are torqued to 29 ft-lbf and the nut on the positive cable is torqued to 78 in-lbf.

> Pay very careful attention to the order of assembly of each starter
> contact. The factory manual has a great picture that will allow you
> to get it right, and get all the little insulators in the right
> order. Use a wire brush to clean up the plunger contact, mine was
> pretty grungy. Good luck!

Opening up the starter is easy. You remove the three 8mm bolts holding the cover plate on and it slips right off. According to my repair manual, if one of these three bolts holds a clamp holding a wire bundle, you have the 2.0kW cold starter.

Then work the terminal posts. Do one post at a time so you don't mix parts (it's easy to do). When you're removing the nut holding the post in place, it's 14mm. The part numbers for the posts are:

post \ model 1.4kW 2.0kW
positive 28226-55050 28226-66060
negative 28226-74070 28226-72010


I used the 2.0kW model posts (those were the numbers I saw on the list, and luckily I seem to have the cold starter). The posts are different in configuration. You can probably use just one of them for both sides, but they cost the same, so I did it right.

One word of warning - There is a small ball in the shaft where the plunger & spring fit, make sure you don't lose it. I'm not sure if mine is still there (I wasn't paying attention), so I may remove the starter again tonight for peace of mind.

A second word of warning - The washers that go under the nut on the outside of the posts are directional (convex design). Make sure you install them with the middle of the nut bowing out.

The contact plates have a maximum wear tolerance of 0.035" (0.9mm). You're supposed to replace them if they're worn further. I now understand why the starter sticks - it gets stuck in the groove it has bored into these plates.

According to the manual, when you loosely fit both posts you are supposed to insert a piece of wood (20 x 37 x 40mm) over the contact plates and press it down with 221 lbs of force!! While they're pressed down you torque the nuts holding the posts to 13 ft-lbf. This supposedly assures the contact plates are flat when they contact the plunger. I did not do this - does anyone? I can see how a side being higher would cause uneven wear, and premature sticking, of the contactors.

Clean up the plunger and reinstall it with ball and spring. Oddly, there's no wear tolerance on the plunger. Mine clearly had a ring worn around the circumference, but that seems not to matter. Torque the 8mm bolts back down to 22 (1.4kW model) or 32 (2.0 kW model) in-lbf.

After that you just reverse installation. Overall, a two banana job.

Good luck,