Question about 1991 Toyota Pickup

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The connection between the clutch and the ignitor

I have a 1991 Toyota 2-wd truck. Basic.
A few months ago I was driving home, on the last leg of my 4-hour trip. I was heading south on 95, coming into Boston- there was construction but no signs to slow down. I was going about 75. I hit a few good size bumps-after one bump I actually said to myself, "that's gonna cost me."

I get off the freeway at the cloverleaf, and as I am shifting to head home on a surface road, my truck starts bucking like a bronco and the check engine light goes on, as soon as I'm in third gear, I'm ok-but this happens at every stop light-I shift into first-bucking, I shift into second-bucking, once I ease it into third, I can drive fine.

So then I don't drive the truck for a few weeks because I was out of town. I come back and drive the truck and it works fine. No symptoms of any problem.

About a month later, the bucking happens again. I took it to the garage-the one owned by Ray M of Car Talk-in Cambridge, MA. They say that it is my ignitor but they were unable to find the part. I found the part from a used part dealer in Tucson, AZ. So they install the part, do a full tune-up. Replace the battery-all in all it cost me 1400.00-cash (they don't accept credit cards). I drove home my truck last night, and by about the 4th mile, when I’m shifting between 1st and 2nd, the same bucking happens and the check engine light flashes momentarily. Once I get it into 2nd, all is fine. So now I think it wasn’t the ignitor at all but the switch that is on the clutch the runs to the ignitor. I don’t know how this all works but I was hoping you would give me some insight into how exactly the clutch and the ignitor work together.


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  • roxane_johns Dec 06, 2008

    Dear Toyota Ed,
    That can't be true. On my Toyota, and on my old 5-gear Nissan Sentra, and on our Nissan Pathfinder, we must have the clutch fully pressed to the floor- for the engine to turn over-So maybe it's not the clutch itself-but some switch on the clutch pedal that relays to the ignitor. Think about it.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    The clutch start switch interupts the start signal to the starter motor solenoid. It allows the "key position to start" power to flow to the starter solenoid.

  • Toyota Ed May 11, 2010

    There is no interaction between the clutch and the igniter.

    The igniter is an electronic device, the clutch is a mechanical device.



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There is a little button switch on the top of the clutch mounting bracket check it it is adjustable it may be off also the mounting plate for the clutch and brake pedal may be bent i have seen this in these trucks many times check it out for contact on the switch

Posted on Dec 19, 2008


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