Hi guys. I was just bouncing around and saw this, so please excuse me for butting in. The alternator does not "draw from the starter" any more than your toaster doesn't work because your neighbor has too many lights on his Christmas tree! You need to send the person who said that to see me for an in-depth electrical class. No mechanic can survive in this world today with that kind of thinking.
There is a common problem with these little silver Nippendenso starters that causes a rather loud, single clunk each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank". If you're hearing a real faint click, that's different and pretty easy to diagnose properly. That loud clunk can be heard from a long way off.
As CJ mentioned, rebuilt parts like starters don't really cause a lot of trouble, so if you're hearing the same clunk as before, a better suspect now is the battery cable going to the starter. The way you can start the diagnosis yourself is to use a test light with the ground clip connected to the battery negative post, then touch the test probe to the larger copper stud on the starter. That's the stud, not the terminal bolted to it. You'll see the test light light up. Now have a helper try to crank the engine. If the test light goes out, there's a bad connection somewhere on that cable.
If the test light stays bright, lets verify we're working on the right symptom. Move the test probe to the smaller terminal on the starter and try again. That wire could be bolted on or the terminal could be slid on. Either way, it has to stay connected for the test to be accurate. On this one the test light will not light up until the helper tries to crank the engine. If it doesn't light up during cranking, you don't have a starter problem. You have a starter circuit problem. You can try swapping the starter relay with one of the other ones like it, but they don't cause too much trouble.
If you never find voltage on the smaller terminal, it's more likely you have an ignition switch problem. There's two different things to look for. I'll get into that if it becomes necessary.
Thursday, January 1st, 2015 AT 10:50 PM