How to Replace the Starter in a 1998 Toyota 4Runner

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The starter motor in the 1998 Toyota 4Runner can fail quickly or over time. If your starter has begun to make strange noises such as grinding or clicking, it is time to remove it and have it bench-tested, replacing it if necessary. Replacement starter motors are available new from the Toyota dealership, new and rebuilt from most auto-parts stores and even used from a salvage yard. Most new starters carry a warranty while used ones will not.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet
  • Torque wrench
  • Open the hood of your 4Runner and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal, using a wrench to remove the retaining bolt. Lift the battery cable off the battery and set it aside.

  • Position a jack under the front of your 4Runner. Raise the truck until it is high enough to comfortably work under, then place a set of jack stands under the frame. Lower the jack, allowing the 4Runner to settle onto the jack stands.

  • From under the truck, locate the starter motor on the passenger’s side of the engine. Remove the electrical connectors from the starter. Press the tab on the push-in connector and pull the connector free of the socket on the starter. Remove the retaining bolt on the second connector with a wrench and remove the wire from the stud.

  • Locate the two starter-mounting bolts at the front of the starter where the starter meets the bell housing. These bolts slide in from the back, or transmission, side of the bell housing. Remove them with a socket and ratchet while supporting the starter motor. Lower the starter and remove it from under the truck.

  • Position the new starter in the engine compartment from below. Slide the nose of the starter into the hole on the bell housing. Insert the mounting bolts from the transmission side of the bell housing and thread them into the starter.

  • Tighten the two mounting bolts to 29 ft-lbs. with a torque wrench. Attach the wiring-harness connectors to the starter. Start with the push-in connector and slide the wiring connector into the starter connector until the two lock together.

  • Place the ring connector from the second wire on the stud, thread on the retaining nut and torque the nut to 70 pounds-inches with a torque wrench.

  • Raise the front of your 4Runner with a jack until it is off the jack stands. Remove the jack stands from under the truck and lower the jack, setting the truck on the ground.

  • Connect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal and tighten the retaining bolt on the cable end with a wrench.

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Resources

  • "Toyota 4Runner Factory Service Manual"; Toyota Motor Corportation; 2002

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