Lexus IS200 starter motor brush repair

This procedure is relevant to other Toyota planetary gear starters.

The exact factory procedure is under Starter Components in the TSRM

Symptoms of the problem:

  • No tick, tack from the starter solenoid when turning the key.
  • Tapping the starter with a stick while turning the key agitates the starter enough to start.

The starter solenoid has 1 power and 2 grounds: one ground to the body of the starter, and one ground through the starter motor. Both grounds need to be connected for the electromagnetic solenoid to pull in.

The problem is not with the solenoid itself, but with the grounding through the starter. This can be verified by:

  • Disconnecting the high current input to the solenoid input post
  • Disconnecting the link between the solenoid output post and the starter motor
  • Connecting ground to the solenoid output post
  • Connecting ground to the starter assembly body

Then power the solenoid signal +12v, it should pull in reliably every time.

Tapping the starter with a stick agitates the motor brushes to make better contact on the commutator, making a better ground through the motor. Based on these symptoms the brushes or commutator in the starter motor are worn out.

Pull the starter and dissassemble:

IMG_1460

Usually we start by taking the other end off, but here we can see the brushes are 100% finished. 2 barely protrude from the brush holders. Where did they go? That pile of graphite tells the story.

IMG_1458

The commutator is scored and filled with worn graphite. I wasn’t sure if this would be reusable.

IMG_1467

Cleaned off and sanded it down

IMG_1469

The minimum service specification is 27.0mm. This one is OK to be reused.

IMG_1472

Here’s the brush holder end. The brush holder assembly is replaceable and can be ordered from Toyota. This is for a 1999 IS200 with a 0.8kw starter. If yours is different check the catalogue

  • 1x 28140-70020 HOLDER ASSY, STARTER BRUSH
  • 2x 28142-70020 STARTER KIT (these are the negative brushes)

The brush holder assembly contains the positive brushes. The negative brushes are separate and have to be crimped on to posts on the field body. Details of this whole job are in the service manual.

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