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Gen1 V6 Starter won't engage #1104909
03/12/19 08:49 PM
03/12/19 08:49 PM
Dirk_Pitt  Offline OP
Need a Spot
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
Torrance, CA
Hello folks, I attempted to search for this issue but was unable to find this particular problem.

I've got a 1990 Montero with the 3.0L V6 that started to have problems starting. Attempted to start the vehicle last night and the starter wouldn't turn over, I heard the click from the relay near the passenger foot well and I get full electrical power to the vehicle (radio, headlights, central locking, etc.). This morning I started to try and diagnose the problem and decided I was going to pull the starter and take it down to AutoZone and get it tested, disconnected the battery and starter then after getting pissed off trying to break loose the starter bolts I reconnected everything and the vehicle started no problem, figured it was just a bad connection to the starter or something.

Drove the car to a shopping center about two miles away and then across the street to another shopping center and the car won't start again. I disconnect and reconnect the battery negative terminal and boom everything works just fine, drive back home shut it off and it won't start again. Disconnect negative terminal and reconnect starts right up again.

My car has no alarm system and it won't start in park or neutral when it doesn't want to start. Original starter with about 160k miles on it. Any ideas folks?

Thank you all for your time.

1990 Montero LWB 3.0L V6
Gen II Front Brakes
Bilstein 4600 Shocks
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Re: Gen1 V6 Starter won't engage [Re: Dirk_Pitt] #1104910
03/13/19 12:23 AM
03/13/19 12:23 AM
chadzeilenga  Offline
Getting the Wheeling Fever
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 72
Charlotte, NC USA
I’ve had similar with my Gen 1, but moving the shifter around resolved. I believe I need to clean the neutral safety switch.

Chad Zeilenga
1989 Gen 1 Montero
Re: Gen1 V6 Starter won't engage [Re: Dirk_Pitt] #1104926
03/24/19 03:19 AM
03/24/19 03:19 AM
rxinhed  Offline
Trail Leader
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,212
Montero Ranch *****
Wow, Dirk, 3 posts in 11 years!

Given that Cali has had a pretty wet year, I would certainly entertain that you're facing a grounding issue due to soaking. Also, if starter is original, the brushes do not last forever. I'd drop the starter and do some bench testing on it.

Also, check your battery cables for internal corrosion by bending them back and forth in your hands. If they crackle under the insulation, not good.


1988 Mighty Max turbo 2.6 service body
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Parts vehicles: 89 LS Montero 4-door, 2002 Sport AWD
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Re: Gen1 V6 Starter won't engage [Re: Dirk_Pitt] #1104938
04/04/19 12:43 PM
04/04/19 12:43 PM
Bigshankhank  Offline
Getting the Wheeling Fever
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 69
Tampa Bay Area
Yep, replace your battery cables or at the least cable ends.

1989 Dodge Raider V6
2001 Jeep Wrangler 4.0L
2008 Toyota 4-Runner SR5 4wd

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