92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/18/11 5:38 p.m.

Jeep stranded us at the powdercoater a couple hours ago. (conveniently after completing a $310 work order, wooooooo)

It's a 2000 4.0 4x4 Sport.

Two questions:

1) Is rockauto correct in that only 99-01 starters will work? trying to weigh my chances of finding something in the junkyard vs. just buying a new one for $130. there's one 99 locally in the yard, and a bunch of older ones.

2) Any tips or tricks for this job? I'm not that tall, i couldn't reach the starter from the top unless i had a fairly large stepstool or tried to climb in the bay. Underneath? What tools do i need? How long should it take me? Going to have to be a parking lot job.

Thanks in advance!

imirk Reader
10/18/11 5:48 p.m.

it is auto?

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/18/11 5:49 p.m.

Yep, sorry. Otherwise i would have push started the darn thing to at least get it to my garage where i could fix it at my leisure.

Now i have to take the day off from work tomorrow. Boo.

hrdlydangerous Reader
10/18/11 5:49 p.m.

I don't know about the model year interchange but why chance a junk yard starter that could be twelve years old when you can have a new, warranted one for not a whole lot of coin? You don't want to do this job twice.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/18/11 5:54 p.m.

I'm not worried about doing the job again later if i can save $100 right now. (powdercoating was $100 more than i expected.) The job looks like it wouldn't be a problem at all if i had the truck at my garage rather than in the middle of a downpour in a public parking lot.

It's just not a great time.... trying to get the MX6 winterized at the same time. I'll pay the $130 if i have to, but i'd rather pay $30 and two hours of my day if i have the choice at the moment.

Woody SuperDork
10/18/11 6:52 p.m.

Two things:

  • Jeep battery cables suck. Make sure all connections are clean and that you have a good ground. I make my own Jeep cables.


  • Make sure that it's actually the starter and not the neutral safety switch. They fail all the time on automatics. Try starting it in Neutral instead of Park.


Vigo Dork
10/18/11 8:21 p.m.

Gotta say, ive messed with a lot more neutral switches and crank sensors than starters on cherokees. I dont want to toot that horn TOOO much but consider this my way of asking why you think the starter is the problem?

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/18/11 9:13 p.m.

The last few times i've started it, it's started to crank slower and slower, until today when i went to leave the powdercoater, it cranked extremely slow maybe half a crank, then stopped. Just wasn't expecting it to go south this quick.

Tapping the starter got another half crank out of it a couple times, but not enough for it to catch. It didn't start with a jump, either.

As for battery cables, previous owner already made his own, they're pretty beefy, pretty solid. Battery doesn't look all that great, but seems to be producing solid voltage. Considering that the jump didn't change things, i'm not worried about it.

Wally SuperDork
10/19/11 5:41 a.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/19/11 8:22 a.m.

^Lol, that was pretty funny... but it's an auto.

iceracer SuperDork
10/19/11 8:50 a.m.

Most starter failure problems are in the elctrical connections. First thing would be to see if the starter is getting current. Shame to spend big bucks on a starter to find out it is a broken wire causing the problem.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/19/11 8:54 a.m.

^True. I'll be checking that and also trying to start it in neutral when i get back up there. Unfortunately, it's in the parking lot of a business about 30 miles north of me.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/19/11 9:00 a.m.

Ok, so answer to question number 1 is "Only 99-01 works."

10/19/11 9:10 a.m.
Wally wrote: You could always pull start it


carzan HalfDork
10/19/11 11:41 a.m.

The starter on my '93 did pretty much what you said yours did. The shaft seized up, so I bought one from a boneyard for $30 and haven't looked back (that was about 3 years ago). I looked up part numbers and yours is different, as you said, so I doubt you will have the same luck as me. However, these guys, or some place similar might be worth checking out. I had a Mitsubishi starter rebuilt for WAY less than an Autozone special at one of these places and never had another issue. Mine was done in one day, too.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
10/19/11 4:19 p.m.

Well, for those that need another nugget of info...

Auto and manual 99-01 4.0 starters are the same.

$20, plus $20 in gas for my buddy, plus $15 for lunch, and she's running again.

That back bolt is an utter whore to tighten while laying under the truck in a big cold puddle of water, though. I must invest in some ratcheting wrenches. Craftsman "3 clicks per 360 degree rotation" don't cut it.

After closer inspection, all my grounds and power cables are already upgraded, so that was a nice surprise.

I think the starter has been going out for a LONG time, though. This thing starts CRAZY fast now.

Our Preferred Partners