Replace Starter in a 1998 Tacoma

Save some money by doing your auto repairs yourself. These instructions are specifically for replacing the starter in a 1998 2.7L 4 cylinder Toyota Tacoma, and the 1999 2.4L 4 cylinder Tacoma.


  1. Read through entire process, and consult repair manual if possible, to gain an understanding of all of the steps required. Look carefully at the layout of the starter, engine, brake lines, etc, to determine what will be involved with replacing your starter.
  2. Disconnect negative terminal on battery.
  3. Remove the flexible rubber liner from the back of the wheel well on the side of the engine where the starter is located. This will give you better access to the starter.
  4. Remove the plastic cap from the battery cable on the starter. Then, unscrew the nut that holds the cable onto the starter, and remove the cable.
  5. Remove the other battery connector from the starter.
  6. Unscrew the two bolts that hold the starter onto the engine.
  7. Pull the starter forward to disconnect, then wiggle it out through the hole in the wheel well. Set the old starter aside, you can usually return it to the parts store where you bought the new one.
  8. Wiggle the new starter into the engine compartment in a similar fashion.
  9. Insert the starter into the engine, make sure that the gears engage the flywheel, and are not just resting on top.
  10. Finger-tighten bolts to make sure they are threaded correctly, then tighten. The repair manual suggests using a torque wrench to tighten them to {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}. lbs., be careful to not over-tighten and break the bolt.
  11. Attach the battery cable and battery connector (wires removed in steps 4 and 5). Then replace the plastic cap.
  12. Replace the flexible rubber in the wheel well.
  13. Reconnect the negative battery terminal and try starting your truck.



  • Removing the flexible rubber liner from the wheel well gives you much better access to the starter. I found that the top bolt is easiest to remove from the side of the truck, while the bottom bolt is easiest to remove from underneath.
  • To remove the old starter from the engine compartment, it is necessary to bend one of the brake lines slightly, and turn the starter just the right way. If it isn't coming out, take a step back, then try to turn the starter in a new direction to wiggle it out.


  • Make sure you disconnect the battery before doing any work on your engine that involves electrical components

Things You'll Need

  • 12mm wrench
  • 14mm wrench
  • New Starter
  • 1-2 Hours

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