Wheel Horse w/ Kohler M14

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  #1  
Old 12-02-03, 05:01 PM
wheelhorse
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Wheel Horse w/ Kohler M14

I have a Toro WH 314-8 with a Kohler M14 engine and when it's running, its running fine. However, getting it started has become a problem.....

I've noticed that when I turn the ignition the first time it usually cranks (and it sounds ok) but if I don't get it to turn over ON THAT FIRST SHOT I can't get it to crank again when I turn the key a second or third time. I get a buzzing sound instead of a crank.

So basically, I have ONE SHOT to turn it over! If not, sometimes I have to wait awhile (perhaps more than an hour) and try again. It usually works after waiting, but again, I have ONE SHOT.

To this point all I've tried is changing the spark plug and that didn't appear to help any. I don't think it's a battery issue because I do eventually get it to start (could be wrong of course).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-02-03, 05:35 PM
needles
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Sounds like the starter isn't getting enough juice to turn the engine over. That first time,is probably all the power built up and it cranks it over. After that,the buzzing sound is the starter working,but it doesn't have enough power to turn the engine over. Check the battery with a meter to see what it reads AFTER you start the engine for the first time. So..

Start it,let it run.
Turn it off.
Check battery with a meter,should read around 12 volts.

If you have a jumper pack,those portable things people use to jump cars,you can start the engine just with that. Ground the negitive,and put the positive on the one bolt that is sticking out from the starter. It will be on the side of the starter.
 
  #3  
Old 12-02-03, 10:36 PM
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Hello wheelhorse!

It does sound like a voltage issue. I think you have either: a starter problem, a bad battery, or more likely a bad solenoid, or a bad or loose connection either at the battery, at the solenoid, at the starter, or at the negative cable ground. Check these out and let us know what you find!
 
  #4  
Old 12-03-03, 10:49 AM
wheelhorse
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All the connections appear ok. I tried to jumper from battery+ to the starter bolt (bypassing the solenoid) and I get a buzz but no crank, just like before when I tried with the key. So I'm assuming the solenoid is not the problem.

With a voltmeter, I get 12.2v at rest between the posts, but when I turn the key(again, buzz but no crank) it drops to 11v. When I turn the key off it returns to 12v. The spec says it shouldn't go below 9v while cranking(although it never cranks) so I'm assuming the battery is ok?

A bad starter? Is there a way to know for sure?

Thanks for your help.
 
  #5  
Old 12-03-03, 01:07 PM
needles
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Hm,that's strange. Only thing I can think is a bad starter,but I don't know why it would work one time,then it won't.
 
  #6  
Old 12-03-03, 04:37 PM
wheelhorse
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I read up a little about starters since I last posted....Since the electrial portion appears ok, is it possible that the starter isn't properly engaging the drive mechanism? That may explain why the starter buzzes but doesn't crank (only on occasion). I want to avoid buying a new starter if I don't need one.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 12-04-03, 01:51 AM
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Very possible. Look at the starter drive when you crank it. If the starter is turning, but the gear is not jumping up and meshing with the teeth on the flywheel, then that is the problem. Usually taking the drive off and cleaning it will solve the problem.
 
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Old 12-04-03, 08:01 PM
wheelhorse
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That's exactly what's happening, the starter turns but doesn't engage the flywheel.

Any tips or tricks on removing and cleaning the starter? It seems like I have to remove the oil fill tube in order to get at one of the thru bolts holding the starter. Is there anyway I could avoid this? Is it possible to clean the starter without removing it?

Thanks for all the help up to this point!
 
  #9  
Old 12-05-03, 01:03 AM
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Go ahead and remove the starter. There are different ways used to attatch the drive mechanism...some have a nut on the end, some have a C clip. It should be easy to see how to tget the drive off once you remove the starter. It would be good to disassemble the starter and clean the brush housing, commutator, and lube the bushings while it is off. If the starter is not turning fast enough, it will also cause the drive to remain disengaged.
 
  #10  
Old 12-06-03, 08:07 AM
wheelhorse
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THAT DID IT!!!!!

It starts better NOW than it has in years! Now I can plow the snow off my driveway!

Thanks for all your help!...enjoy the holidays!
 
  #11  
Old 12-07-03, 12:01 AM
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Glad you got it fixed! Happy holidays to you too!
 
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