Replacing Lexus 1999 LX470 Starter
The starter is located top center rear of the engine below the intake manifold. The job is not unusually difficult though you will spend time in the engine compartment. I will be 62 next month and I started this repair on a Friday and restarted the engine just after 9 AM the next day.
A rebuilt starter at local Autozone was $200 despite lower Internet price and the intake manifold gasket set was $60+ at the same store. The Lexus manuals will take time to translate and locate each abbreviated item in the instructions. With the exception of torque readings, read http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=9117 instead for a straight forward description of the process. I did not find the driver side starter bolt difficult to deal with from above. Photographs prior to pulling the intake manifold were extremely helpful with respect to the top two hoses on the front of the engine. You have to open cooling, fuel, electrical, vacuum, and air intake systems.
Two additional matters would have saved me lots of effort. First is the fusible link block. There is conflicting information that made me believe there should be a main fusible link. The Fusible link block cover presented the initial misinformation. When you review the literature you will find there is no fusible link in #2 position. If you decide to remove the 100 amp fusible link in #4 position to try using it in #2 position (the main fusible link), know it does not pull out. If you try to pull it out, you will break it. Before you go a step down this road just look to see if the two fusible links are blown and if they are not, immediately move on. If you destroy the 100 amp fusible link, the security system will partially disable your engine and it will disable your ability to shift from park.
Second, there is a plastic cover on the battery cable that attaches to the starter. After disconnecting the starter bolts at the rear and the ground cable at the block, you can pull the starter slightly forward. You do not have to fully open the plastic cable conduit. Pull out the driver side connector on the starter that comes from the starter relay controlled by the ignition switch. It is not encased in the plastic conduit. Then flip up the round most forward end of the plastic conduit cover and unbolt the cable that comes to the starter from the transmission end of the engine. Then unbolt the plastic conduit cover from the rear of the starter while leaving the starter pulled just forward enough to get to the bolt on the top rear of the starter. The starter won't move more forward because the cable from the rear of the engine is holding it until you unbolt the plastic conduit from the starter. After unbolting the plastic conduit, remove the starter.
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