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Intermittent ignition problem?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Black '00 Tundra, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Oct 14, 2020 at 5:16 PM
    #1
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Hello again forum! I am sad about my ignition. I thought it was probably a weak battery so I replaced it with a really expensive AGM battery, the Odyssey Extreme. I took a video of the situation, which I will try to create a link inside this post. Basically, more and more often, when I turn the ignition key, I hear a slight click like a relay sound somewhere, and the dash lights all go off while I'm holding the key, but nothing happens. I have to turn it a bunch of times and then eventually it fires right up. When it does crank over, it cranks with authority, noticeably cranks harder/faster than it did with the old battery, and fires right up. But it's taking longer and longer to get the truck to start, and this is getting me pretty worried. Sometimes, the engine will actually start cranking and then stop after a few cranks before the engine starts running! This is WITH the brand new fancy battery with 1500 cold-cranking amps!

    There's a lousy electrical connection somewhere. Should I try replacing the ignition switch/module? Is there some electrical connections that I can try cleaning and reseating?

    Link to my video of the problem: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6JdcqkqUgi1vV5gQ8

    Edit (12/29/20): This issue turned out to be a bad starter. Replacing the starter fixed the problem. Read the rest of this thread for some great info on starter troubleshooting, how to replace the starter, other side-jobs you can do while you're in there, and how to save yourself a ton of time and money by doing the starter job yourself and not paying a mechanic mega-money to do it for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  2. Oct 15, 2020 at 10:46 AM
    #2
    Lil Steve

    Lil Steve Living the dream

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    I'd start by making sure all your battery and ground connections are clean and tight. From what I could tell in your video, looking at the voltmeter it does drop slightly (as it should) when trying to start the truck. If all your cables check out OK then I suspect you have a faulty starter, it doesn't exactly sound too healthy when it finally does crank and start.
     
  3. Oct 15, 2020 at 11:18 AM
    #3
    41bigdawg

    41bigdawg Let the BIG DAWG Eat

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    After watching the video, the dash lights go out which leads me to believe it is a worn out ignition switch. There are several contacts in that switch that send power to all the systems in the truck according to the key position, these do get corroded and worn over time. Sounds like you are having to cycle the key several time to get it to start and this has gradually gotten worse so the ignition switch might be an easy solution. Hope that helps.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2020 at 1:04 PM
    #4
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Would there be any point in taking out my ignition switch, disassembling it, cleaning and inspecting, maybe rebuilding with parts, or is it truly best policy to just replace it?

    I found some parts on Amazon for a good price. Would you forum members suggest one or both of these parts to fix my problem?

    Ignition starter switch: Beck Arnley 201-1792
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002E571U6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_JYkIFb8Y2E477

    Ignition lock cylinder: Standard Motor Products US247L
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C803DO/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_QYkIFbPW14M5P
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    41bigdawg likes this.
  5. Oct 15, 2020 at 1:24 PM
    #5
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    I have inspected the wires where they connect to the battery terminals last week. There is some corrosion but not too bad I think. I used one of those battery cleaning tools to brush out the inside of the connectors just for a really solid contact, and I have them torqued down properly. The video I took was after that.

    Also I don't know what it is but this truck has always made a huge amount of noise while starting. That whining starter gear noise is probably twice as loud on this truck as on any vehicle I've ever owned, but I figured it was just how these trucks sound. Maybe I'm wrong.... Does anyone else on the forum think these 1st gen Toyota Tundras make an abnormal amount of starter noise while cranking?
     
  6. Oct 15, 2020 at 3:32 PM
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    artsr2002

    artsr2002 2005 Tundra DC SR5

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    It's a manly strong starting noise not a wimpy starting noise. Enjoy it.
     
  7. Oct 15, 2020 at 3:47 PM
    #7
    41bigdawg

    41bigdawg Let the BIG DAWG Eat

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    You certainly can take the switch out clean the contacts with emry paper and give it a shot. Be very careful taking it apart, pay particular attention to how it comes apart so you can reassemble it properly. There are lots of little springs and contacts in there that have to go in a specific way. The easy way is just replace the switch, you can use your old lock cylinder so you don't have to change keys.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2020 at 5:31 PM
    #8
    035VZFE

    035VZFE Restored a Tundra top to bottom

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    I have mentioned to multiple members of this forum that had this issue, it's the ignition switch. 5 minute repair with parts on Amazon. Two screws on lock cylinder back end. Remove those. Disconnect the ignition cable from switch. Put in new switch aligning it with lock cylinder.
    Voila.
    Good as new.
    I bought my truck with every possible issue you can think of; rust, bad brakes, bad transmission, you name it. Ignition switch was bad and I was dumb, thinking it was the battery terminals. Even if your battery connections were weak, you would still be getting current! You are getting plenty good current from what it sounds like, but the ignition switches contacts are worn, and only conducting current intermittently.
    Hope that helps
     
  9. Oct 15, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    #9
    10 blue trucks

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    My Tundra has had not had this issue in 280k miles, so I can only speak to other vehicles I have owned that had this issue. One was a starter relay in the fuse box. One was intermittent ground at the starter. And one was a bad switch in the column. YMMV
     
  10. Oct 16, 2020 at 4:45 AM
    #10
    Professional Hand Model

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  11. Oct 16, 2020 at 6:11 AM
    #11
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Elitist forum troll

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    Before you go down the ignition switch rabbit hole, the other possibility (the one that happened to me) was the starter contacts were worn out. They are located inside the starter and make contact with each other when the relay sends current to the starter. Over time the area that makes contact can wear out. $13 fix when I did mine. Oh, and $108 for an intake manifold gasket. Not sure how you will be able to determine the cause of your particular problem without trial and error though. Could be the ignition switch....
     
  12. Oct 16, 2020 at 10:45 AM
    #12
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    I can live with a manly starter noise then. :) I will consider this macho-sounding man-racket from now on. I'd love to add a Magnaflow exhaust to this truck too at some point too.
     
  13. Oct 16, 2020 at 10:46 AM
    #13
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Ok yep I'm going to replace the starter switch next then, like you said. I'll bet that's it. Thank you sir.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2020 at 10:52 AM
    #14
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I think I will just replace the starter switch after all since we're only talking about $29.

    Just out of curiosity though, if/when I replace the ignition lock cylinder, how does that work since it has to turn with your specific key? Do you take the cylinder to a locksmith and have them redo it inside to work with your key, or do you have to start using a new key that they lock cylinder comes with? Because then I'd have one key for the ignition and another key for the doors.
     
  15. Oct 16, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #15
    41bigdawg

    41bigdawg Let the BIG DAWG Eat

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    You can use the old lock cylinder just remove it from the old switch when you take it out and put it in the new switch. The lock cylinder and the switch are 2 separate parts. You will still use your old key
     
  16. Nov 17, 2020 at 10:00 PM
    #16
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Where did you get the information that shows you how to replace the starter contacts on the starter? Mine might really be doing this too. I'm about to buy a whole new Denso starter, but if I can replace the contacts inside the starter assembly for $13, that would be awesome.
     
  17. Nov 17, 2020 at 10:06 PM
    #17
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Also, I took another video the other day. The issue has gotten worse. Now I can barely start the engine. Takes a bunch of tries. Now it will turn over a few cranks and then stop most of the time. Here's the new video showing it pooping out a few times: https://photos.app.goo.gl/M8fcryvcNLTqga5SA
     
  18. Nov 18, 2020 at 5:32 AM
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    KNABORES

    KNABORES Elitist forum troll

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    I removed the starter and unbolted the cap on the back of the starter. The contacts are sitting inside. They are held in place with a single screw each if I recall (been 12 years). Reattached the cap and re-installed the starter. Had to replace the intake manifold gaskets while I was in there. I was able to do this job without fully removing the intake manifold. I unbolted the intake and manifold and lifted it as high as I could before I ran out of slack on all the plumbing attached to it. Then placed some 2x4 blocks between it and the motor. I was able to reach underneath the intake and unbolt the starter then. Having longer arms and being limber are both helpful, I possess neither.
     
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  19. Nov 18, 2020 at 10:56 AM
    #19
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for the info. Did you replace the contacts with new ones or just clean the contacts or something? Where do I get replacement contacts? Also, do you have to drain the coolant in order to unbolt the intake manifold?
     
  20. Nov 18, 2020 at 11:45 AM
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    Johnsonman

    Johnsonman New Member

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  21. Nov 18, 2020 at 12:08 PM
    #21
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Not sure of your year model. Some 00-02 Tundras come with the 1.4kw Starter. The cold package offers 00-02 Tundras 2.0kw HD Starters.

    We had one member install the 2.0kw Starter going from the weaker 1.4kw. Its an upgrade! Plug and play. No brainer and the upgraded HD Starters cost less. You’ll need new gaskets for your intake manifolds.

    Lots of work and many mangle this job not going in prepared. Stuff falls in the manifolds. Gaskets leak. Crap aftermarket starters. Poor repair diagnoses.

    Best off spending the extra $100 for a complete HD 2.0kw Reman Denso. Buy Toyota Intake Gaskets.

    upload_2020-11-18_15-6-46.jpg
     
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  22. Nov 18, 2020 at 4:19 PM
    #22
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Awesome! I'd love to upgrade the strength of the starter. Between that and my awesome powerhouse of a new battery, the truck should crank with serious authority. Where is this for sale? I see one remanufactured Toyota brand starter with this same part number for on Amazon for about $200. I like your $112.21 better.
     
  23. Nov 18, 2020 at 4:32 PM
    #23
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Awesome tip thank you. I think I'm probably going to go with the 2KW upgraded, extra-manly starter though, instead of the starter solenoid repair kit. I will keep this in mind though. I didn't know you could just rebuild the electrical contacts inside the starter, but I'll bet that would solve my problem too. The symptoms I'm having does give me the sensation of a bad electrical connection in the starter.
     
  24. Nov 18, 2020 at 4:32 PM
    #24
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    The one I posted is from my local stealer that participates in the New Toyota Parts Programme. Depending on where you live and proximity to participating dealers may alter your price. The $112 price is after core return bring back. Core is usually $75.

    Do an internet search close to you. My stealer has local pick up (free) which saves shipping.

    One member upgraded after a failed aftermarket 1.4kw install (after 2 weeks) and was blown by the difference in starting. The cool thing is the upgrade is cheaper going from Denso 1.4 to the 2.0 by like $50.
     
  25. Nov 18, 2020 at 7:04 PM
    #25
    artsr2002

    artsr2002 2005 Tundra DC SR5

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    Reman DENSO 2800320 at RockAuto like $126 before core return. Core is listed at $34. Tax and shipping extra of course.
     
  26. Dec 9, 2020 at 3:58 PM
    #26
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    Thanks Hand Model!!! Ok yesterday I completed that son-of-a-bitch job getting all the way down into the asshole of the engine starting at the esophagus. Got it all apart, replaced the fuel injectors while I was in there. I'm glad I did. The rusty old starter that was in there was literally a no-name Chinese starter that was totally worn to shit. The rear housing was cracked, the gear was very worn, there was a metal washer that was caught up and mangled in the gear, the bearing near the gear was worn out, and the electrical contacts/brushes were TOTALLY worn down to a nub. I'm so glad I took your advice and ordered the upgraded 2KW Toyota brand starter. I got the engine all back together, miraculously managed to avoid stripping anything or breaking anything, didn't have any screws left over.

    The result: SUCCESS!!! Holy shit this truck cranks and starts almost immediately now, and making about half the gear noise that it used to, while doing it. I thought that old starter was really noisy. That's why it was noisy is because the bearings were worn out. I love this new HD starter. Holy shit what a difference. Between that new hero starter and my new Odyssey Extreme AGM battery, the cranks over probably 4x the speed than before, starts almost instantaneously, and makes half the gear noise while doing it. I'm amazed and very happy. I took some pictures of the carnage on the old Chinese starter that was constructed out of Play Dough.

    Here's a 10-second video of how the truck starts now: https://photos.app.goo.gl/LAYzsGz7wTJqupZC6

    20201206_171248.jpg
    20201206_171402.jpg
    20201206_171437.jpg
    20201206_203925.jpg
    20201206_204048.jpg
    20201206_184954.jpg
     
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  27. Dec 9, 2020 at 4:07 PM
    #27
    Professional Hand Model

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    :yes:

    Schweetly! I’m amazed that these Cold Package Starters are le$$. Also, my truck still starts strongly after almost 20 years on the same 2.0kw starter. Its almost instantaneous even in cold weather. You are the second person to attest to the Win Win Starter Upgrade.
     
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  28. Dec 9, 2020 at 4:12 PM
    #28
    Professional Hand Model

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    I watched that starter vid. My truck starts just like that. I’ve timed a few starts and they all average about .75 seconds.
     
  29. Dec 9, 2020 at 5:06 PM
    #29
    Black '00 Tundra

    Black '00 Tundra [OP] New Member

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    20 years on that cold package starter!?!? That's incredible! This makes me feel so secure that I won't have to do that nasty starter job on my Tundra ever again. The hardest part was those damned starter mounting bolts that are backed right up next to the firewall with no room to work or see back there.
     
  30. Dec 9, 2020 at 5:07 PM
    #30
    Black '00 Tundra

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    Yay! There should be a special forum just for us heroes who have upgraded to the HD winter starter. ;) That's cool you timed how long it takes to start when you turn the key. I never timed it but instead counted how many lumps to the starting noise. I used to count 6 to 10 lumps. Now I count 3 or 4 lumps, and they happen about 4x as fast as with the old crappy SLA battery with the old crappy Chinese bullshit starter.
     

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