I know I have to change out the copper solenoid contacts to fix my starter problem...but where is my starter (i'm looking for a diagram), and which tools will I need to remove it. (learning in progess)
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Many Toyotas have a problem with the large copper contacts in the starter solenoid.They get burnt and if they weld together, you'll have to take the battery cable off the battery to stop the starter.Pull the starter them remove and take apart the solenoid to find the contacts.Toyota does not sell solenoid contacts.Find a starter and alternator rebuilder in your area.I used to buy them for a buck a contact.
If its a nippon denso starter you need solenoid contacts (low cost repair if you find your local starter repair man) If your the handy type once you have got the starter off remove the tin cover (3 screws) the contacts are inside
Copper heavy duty contacts either side of starter motor armature within the motor body have worn to nothing and so no contact. No contact means no electricity to the starter motor coils means no turn over. You can buy a kit to replace the copper contacts for less than $10. It will take about 45 minutes to remove, clean, strip, replace and refit the starter motor.
Remove negative battery terminal... Remove the small lead from the starter solenoid, and the large lead from the starter. remove the (usually 2) bolts holding the starter on. lower starter out the bottom. (now.. since toyota starters don't go bad)... remove the 3 screws from the end of the solenoid housing... and go to a starter rebuild shop. Buy 2 new copper contacts for the solenoid, and replace them... presto new starter for less then $20 bucks.
If the truck is just making a heavy clicking noise then you likely need a set of solenoid contacts put in the starter solenoid switch.Remove the starter and then you will see three 8mm bolts holding the cover down on the top of the solenoid portion of the starter.Remove these and then pull the plunger out of the solenoid[careful of the spring].You will see that the copper contacts are no longer the same thickness,if this is the case replace them.You should be able to buy these at a starter repair shop or the dealer,one goes in easily the other is pressed together but you can remove it by setting it on a 14mm wrench and then set the wrench on a socket and hit the post [with the nut put back on it]with a hammer.Separate the post from the contact and then put the new contact on it and set the post into the square end of an upright deep 3/8 socket and hammer it in place with a large punch.Assemble the solenoid,put on the truck and you will be good to go.
You need to put a set of contacts in the starter solenoid portion of the starter,remove the starter and take the three 8mm headed bolts out of the solenoid portion of the solenoid switch and you will see that one of the copper contacts is burnt lower than the other.These contacts need to be even,a starter repair shop should be able to supply them.
You have two options: replace the starter (easiest, but most expensive), or replace the contacts (cheaper, but more work involved).
In any case, you have to remove the starter. Disconnect the battery BEFORE you start. Locate the starter and remove the wires going to it. The starter is held onto the transmission with 2 large bolts. Remove both, and slide the starter out.
If you want to change the contacts, observe the starter, locate a metal plate held on with 3 bolts. Remove the bolts and the plate. You will now see a plunger, and 2 copper colored contacts. Those are what needs to be replaced. Changing the contacts is easy, just do one at a time, and ensure that all insulators are installed properly on reassembly.
You need to remove the stater and get the worn contacts replaced. When you turn the key to start, and you get "one click", that is the starter solenoid engaging, but not transferring battery power to the starter motor windings. This is a very common issue. Don't believe the post about the neutral switch, you will get NO sound form the starter with a bad neutral switch. Here is the real deal: I am a Toyota Service Manager. I know exactly what your problem is, the "other posters" have nowhere near my experience with this issue. Trust me. If you remove the starter and get the contacts replaced, you will be fine.
You do not replace the solenoid, you just have to replace the affected parts. What you need to replace are the 2 copper contacts, and the solenoid plunger. After removing the starter, remove the 3 8 mm bolts at the top of the solenoid housing. Remove the metal cap, and extract the solenoid plunger. Loosen & discard the 2 burnt contacts, and reassemble, refit a new plunger and bolt it all back together. Get the contacts and the solenoid plunger at a Toyota dealer.