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GS300 3rd Gen Starter removal and replacement

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I recently had to replace my GS 3rd Gen Denso starter motor and was stunned and horrified by the extremely complex "Official" Lexus procedure involved, and the subsequent labour cost involved. (eg remove LH passenger seat entirely, remove entire centre console, remove LH exhaust manifold etc etc)

After lots of searching online I managed to find a much simpler and effective method (below) which any workshop with a vehicle hoist and transmission jack can carry out.  

MAKE SURE THE BATTERY CABLE IS COMPLETELY DISCONNECTED FROM THE  NEGATIVE TERMINAL & then wait 90 seconds after disconnecting the battery cable  to prevent any airbag and seat belt pretensioner activation

With the vehicle on the hoist, raise the vehicle to full working height.


.     Remove the underbody trim (splash guard) to provide access to the engine sump area.


2.     Disconnect the small black starter cable connector by depressing its retaining clip and pulling it away from the starter.

3.     Detach the terminal cap insulator and remove the12mm nut to disconnect the starter cable from the starter. Use a ¼ inch drive long handled ratchet and a 12mm socket)

4.     Remove the 2 starter retaining bolts using a 14mm flexible drive socket and a 3/8 inch flex head ratchet drive.  A very long socket extension (or double extension) may be required. It can be fiddly. Take care NOT to allow the starter to crash down through the gap. It will almost certainly NOT make it though the gap !

5.     To increase the gap, remove the two engine mount retaining bolts that are slightly recessed inside the subframe.

6.     After both engine mount retaining bolts are removed, place a transmission jack  under the engine oil sump, and gently raise the engine about 30mm (make sure you use a strong flat piece of wood to protect the sump from any transmission jack damage)

7.     With the starter now free of all cables, connectors, bolts and nuts, carefully lower, wriggle and slide the starter downwards (pinion end first) through the narrow gap between the engine oil sump and the cast aluminum engine subframe.

8.     If there’s insufficient clearance to slide the starter through the gap, raise the engine a few mm higher to increase the gap. Take great care not to raise the engine excessively.


1.  Time required is normally about an hour if a vehicle hoist and transmission jack are available. It will take much longer & is much more difficult if working under the car at ground level.

Before using this method, PLEASE watch the video link below. The comments below the indicate that this procedure can also be used on the Lexus IS 250, 350 and IS F V8 models, and that you do not need to raise the engine on the IS 250 and 350, only the 3rd Gen GS300. There is no mention of the 3rd Gen GS430 or GS460 in the video comments, but this method may also apply to those models .

I totally abandoned my ground level attempt, as I could not get sufficient working height with my home ramps, and  managed to persuade Dean's Automatics in Capalaba (a Brisbane Eastside Suburb) to do it for me using the above method. They are an RACQ approved repairer and did an excellent job for just $180 including GST.






Lexus GS300 3rd Gen Starter Removal.docx

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