how do i know if my starter is bad? on 1995 Toyota 4Runner

i recently replace the fan bracket and entire fan. i went to start her up and nothing. turned the key and heard a click. as if the starter was trying to engage but nothing. a quiet sound was coming from it while i was holding the key to crank it. battery good. every once in a while it will start. after driving it for about 20 min and turning it off it will start right back up. wtf?

by in Junction City, KS on March 23, 2014
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2 answers 5 comments
ANSWER by , March 23, 2014
The contacts are worn inside of the starter! Best to just replace the starter motor unit! Usually you can keep turning key to start and it will finally crank the engine.
COMMENT by , March 23, 2014
yea if i crank it enough it will go but i cant be there cranking my shit in every parking lot haha. so i might as well just replace the whole starter? how long of a process is this and what do you think it will run me? i work 6am- 5pm all week.
COMMENT by , March 23, 2014
At the top of this page there is an estimator. You can get that info for your zip code there! My shop is in VA...BTW, I have fixed more of these Toyota starters than i can count! ****Let others know what the real fix is so they will know what to do. ****.....After you are done playing with the cables and volt meter that is! Cause that aint your problem, been fixing this stuff before most knew what a wrench was!
ANSWER by , March 23, 2014
Check the battery connections and especially the ground connection at the engine. Usually a bad starter turns cold but has problems when warmed up by the engine. If the ground at the engine is loose or corroded, the heating effect of the engine expands the terminals and hardware enough to make a decent contact.
COMMENT by , March 24, 2014
should i just replace the wire entirely to be safe? is there a way to take the starter out and maybe just clean up the connections or should i focus on the wiring first before i throw a new starter in? im trying to fix it fast and not have to spend a lot of money. already put a lot into it this past couple months and it added up quick.
COMMENT by , March 24, 2014
The fastest and cheapest is to check wiring first. Put a voltmeter between the starter case and neg post of battery and crank the engine. If there is any voltage reading, undo cable terminals on both ends and clean. When the neg cable is disconnected from the battery, you can clean the positive cable at the starter.
COMMENT by , March 30, 2014
Just wondering if you are still clicking along with that starter? There is a video on youtube for the contacts replacement, if you have the time, tools and savvy! These Toyota starters are ALL the same btw,, so a video for any Toyota starter will show you what to do!