How to Change the Starter on a 1987 Toyota MR2

Changing the starter on your 1987 Toyota MR2 is straightforward. The starter is out in the open and easily reachable from under the vehicle. With many late-model Toyota vehicles, the starter is located away from the engine compartment and requires the disassembly of the battery area, intake and in some cases, the alternator. Fortunately, the MR2 does not require any of this. This makes changing the starter in the MR2 a great do-it-yourself project.

Tools Used: Jack, Jack stands, 12 mm wrench, 14 mm wrench, Towel

Change the Starter

Place a jack under the transmission cross member and jack the front of the MR2 off the ground. Place a jack stand directly behind the A-arms on the frame and lower the Toyota onto the jack stands. Secure the parking brake.

Open the engine hood and remove the negative battery cable with a 12 mm wrench. Place a towel over the battery to prevent the cable from accidentally connecting with the battery while you work on the car.

Locate the starter on the driver side of the vehicle, under the car. It is situated beside the transmission.

Loosen the lock nut that secures the ground wire to the starter with a 12 mm wrench. Thread the nut back onto the stud to avoid losing it.

Locate the solenoid. It is on the top side of the starter and it has an electrical harness connected to it. Remove the electrical harness from the solenoid.

Remove the two bolts that secure the starter to the engine with a 14 mm wrench.

Pull the starter out of the engine. Inspect the base of the starter and the mounting surface of the engine for metal shims. Collect them. They are used to install the new starter.

Stack the shims on the base of the new starter and insert the starter gear into the engine. Bolt the starter into place.

Reconnect the wiring harness to the solenoid and then reconnect the ground wire to the threaded stud. Secure the wire with the lock nut.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

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