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Won't Crank, Starter Contact, Plunger R Worn Out?

Old 11-05-2014, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Default Won't Crank, Starter Contact, Plunger R Worn Out?

1997 Camry 4 Cylinder
This is my first DIY major job on my car.
Car is just making a click noise and motor won't turn. From all the folks I have talked to they said it's the starter. Before spending $280 Google/Utube revealed the fix is a fraction of that cost.

Ordered contact/plunger online. Meanwhile I pulled out the starter to look at the culprit. My questions,
1-Looking at the contact ring I see a lot of strike marks on it, but I am not sure of that itself is the only source of issue because it looks like the width is ok and so is the two contacters. I would like for your opinion if they are ok or not (I intend to replace whatever the case)

2-Barring number 1 above being the problem could the brushes be the issue? I hadn't ordered those and if so I sure would so I can get the entire job together (I did open the back of the starter, did not pull it apart and soot sipped out. The brushes seem fine, the metal rod where they rest is not groved nor covered in soot/dust.)

3-My buddy pulled the plunger out before I was sure about the order of things. I just wanted to verify if I have these in the right order?

4-The edges are kind of worn, is this ok or not?
Old 11-06-2014, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Posts: 11,742

Baring problems such as bad battery cables, connections, etc. the click issue is typically bad starter solenoid electrical contacts (very common). The kit should solve this issue.

You can try to view the brushes for wear but typically they don't wear out as the starter seldom operates for long.

As to the worn starter gear, if you have a die grinder, Dremel tool, etc could polish up the gear teeth to allow smoother engagement. This will save wear and tear on the ring gear. Don't over heat the metal and turn it blue!

Toyota might still sell the gear/clutch assy (assuming the starter is still original). See link below:

STARTER. Fits: 1997 TOYOTA CAMRY LE 2200CC 16-VALVE DOHC EFI, AUTOMATIC | ToyotaPartsOverstock.com

If the starter is original try to retain it rather then swap for "rebuilt" unit which could be of dubious quality.

FYI for future readers of this post, the starter solenoid contacts can be removed with starter still on engine. Remove rear cover for access.
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