Lazy Starter


Old 07-15-05, 09:00 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20
Lazy Starter

Old Craftsman tractor, Model number 917 254 820 with a 20 HP Onan B48G two cylinder engine. When starter is engaged, it slowly turns over once, then won't turn again until ignition is turned off and reengaged. Sometimes then it will turn over normally, but other times it will turn over once and stop again.
I tried directly jumping the starter from the installed battery. Same thing. I also directly jumped the starter from a fully charged outside battery. Same thing.
The only way I can get the starter to work is to hook up an external charger/booster. The starter turns over normally and the engine starts easily when I do this. The engine runs smoothly and well, but I don't dare shut it down unless I can reach it with a booster.
I've used Workaholic (Interstate Batteries) SP-30R CCA 290CA Heavy Duty Batteries that have always worked fine until this started happening a month or so ago.
My question is, do I need a stronger battery, or do I need to be looking at the starter to solve the problem?
Thanks in advance.
Sponsored Links
Old 07-15-05, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 255

This indeed does sound like your starter is giving up the fight. Being you tried a different battery this should eliminate the need for a new one. Also, as long as the battery you have has been working fine up until now there is no reason to have a higher ampere hour battery. It would only serve to finish your starter off faster; if indeed this be your problem. Make sure you check for any lose connections first. Also, if your battery is over 2 or more years old you most likely need a new one.

If this engine has overhead valves, I would try adjusting them first. If this engine has a lot of run time then they need adjusting anyway. The problem you describe can be due to valve timing so I would adjust those first. If this does not cure your problem and after a new battery, it's time to rebuild the starter for sure.

God Bless,
Old 07-16-05, 02:39 AM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,639
I agree. It might be easy enough to just pull the starter, clean the internals, sand the copper contacts on the commutator and lube the bushings to freshen it up. If the brushes are badly worn, or the bushings (especially the drive end bushing), then replace them while you're in there. An automotive starter repair shop may well have the bushings and brushes if needed (or ones that can be altered to fit properly).

I also agree that the valve clearances can be the issue here. I think I would do the starter first if it was the easiest thing to access, or check the valve clearances first if they were the easiest to access. In either case, you won't be wasting your time becasue it would be a good idea to do BOTH anyway if they haven't had attention in a good long time.

This is all a.ssuming your battery is good, connections are clean and tight, and cables are in good shape.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes