Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
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A DIY starter remover from Hell
Sorry in advance for a long thread post
Saturday night I got home from a wedding. Sunday morning, after the truck sat overnight for about 4 hours, I go to start it and "click".... Lights come on, A/C comes on, radio, etc but the truck doesn't turn over.
So I call a couple people who are mechanics and they come look at and everyone of them said "it sounds like your starter went out because of it making just one click". Before I decide to tow the truck to toyota, I call for a price and they quoted me $1045 for parts and labor.... I told them they could shove it because I've changed plenty of starters on different vehicles and it's normally a 1-2 hour job.
So I climb under the truck locate the starter and I'm thinking this will be a cake walk. Start calling the car part places... No one had a starter in stock except AutoZone and they wanted 594.99 for it.... They lady on the phone was shocked at well on that price. So I did the next best thing and went online. Carparts.com had a BOSCH starter they claimed fit an '08 5.7 tundra and it was 236 for the part, core deposit, and overnight shipping.
Part arrived on Tuesday around 11 in the morning. Starter removal started at noon. After fighting the two starter mount bolts for 3 hours (removing the exhaust from the manifold) I finally got the starter unbolted but there was no opening big enough to remove the starter. So After fighting that for another hour looking for ways and twisting I called it a day.
Tuesday night I'm looking at Toyota tech and they show to remove the starter, you have to remove the fan belt, intake, dip stick guide, heat shields, alternator, manifold, and just listed this obnoxious set up but it made some sense because the starter cover/shield could not be removed to allow more wiggle room for the starter. So I contemplated all night and figure I would do some of the removal under the hood and maybe grab it from the top.
Wednesday morning I pull the intake out and reading Toyota tech once more decided I was going to skip the belt removal and remove the dip stick guide..... One bolt and clip removal of the dip stick guide and I hear a ping. Look under the truck and there is part of the starter showing the way of full removal.
Pull the starter out and check it to the one I bought...... WRONG ONE!!!! Call carparts in anger and they tell me that they won't send me a new one until they received this one. Even though it was clearly their fault, they wouldn't budge and tell me that I ordered the wrong one.
After dealing with them, I took the old starter to AutoZone to check the solenoid hoping now that the solenoid could be out. Tested 7 times and each time fired up.... My blood is boiling now!!!
Went home and put every thing back together and throwing the towel in. My next step was looking for a knowledgeable mechanic. Got it all together and went to start and still a "click". Big bummer for my week. Later on in the evening yesterday, had some friends over and I'm cleaning the engine cover, and just doing little stuff like that. I remove the terminals from the battery (did this as well during removal and installation) and wiped them down a bit and put them back on. One of my friends wanted to here the "click" sound.... I get in the truck and start it and VROOM she wakes up, straight pipes rumbling in the garage, and I was shocked, happy, and annoyed all at the same time.
I'm annoyed a 2 hour job turned into a 2 day job and at carparts for not admitting their mistake, but she's running now and unless you have the patience, the tools, and the knowledge I would not recommend doing this even though I found the easy way with the dipstick removal because tearing apart the manifold, heat shields, belts, and intake just didn't seem accurate and now know why it would've cost me over a grand at the dealership.
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