Why oh why does my starter drag ?

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  #1  
Old 03-20-08, 06:55 PM
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Why oh why does my starter drag ?

B&S 18 HP, 422707, type 0179. I've had to replace the starter on several 18 HP engines (riding mowers) that have come my way in the last year. B&S P/N for Starter is 497596

I am told that the "bearings" located inside the end caps go bad, which causes the alignment of windings and magnets to touch.

One starter worked ok for about three seconds until the bottom end cap warmed up/got hot. Another one turned slowly, too slow to start the mower, and the end cap got too hot to touch. On one starter I was able to wiggle the teeth end of the shaft back and forth.

I've taken some starters apart and looked at brushes, windings, etc and it all looked ok. But I wouldn't know good from bad. And the bolt that sticks out from the bracket that also holds the hot lead attachment is often broken or cracked.

What is the key to successfully repairing a starter ? Is it simply replacing both end caps, or is there more to it?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-08, 05:55 PM
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You didn't mention what brand units these were but a lot of them have the battery under the seat with a long positive cable ran to the front. Then they purchase the engine from Briggs with the shorter version starter (the part number you posted), So they end up with lower battery voltage/amperage (due to long cable) going to the shorter starter which causes slower turn-overs.

Once one of these L-twins gets some hours on them carbon builds up on the pistons and heads, This could increase compression which doesn't help with the above mentioned.

I have had a few come in hammering like crazy and found so much carbon the pistons were slamming on it.

A fix for your starter problems could be to purchase starter part# 498148 @ $199.50 which is 4 3/8" long instead of 3 5/8" but would require notching the cylinder sheet metal cover, Check/decarbon the cylinders and replace the starter solenoid. If the starters are getting that hot the contacts inside the solenoid could have burnt and could be causing a voltage drop as well.

On your short starter with loose bushings, Look at the armature windings for any broken or looks burnt. Use a multimeter set on ohm's and put the neg lead on the shaft then touch each section where the brushes ride all the way around to make sure none are shorted to the shaft.

The cracked wire stud is from over tightening the cable on then not holding the cable when loosening to remove.

Reassemble using new end caps and Kohler starter lube part# 52 357 02 @ around $3.00 a tube, Decarbon and new solenoid.

And of course you always want to have a good battery in the unit.

Good Luck
 
  #3  
Old 03-23-08, 06:21 AM
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Isufficient battery/starter cable size is a common problem on the box store mowers. I recommend using nothing smaller than #6 (gage) cables with #4 or #2 best.
 
  #4  
Old 03-27-08, 08:58 PM
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So far, all the models have been MTD. Battery under the seat.

History - replacing starter with a brand new one always made the problem go away.

I purchased new end caps with the idea to replace those on a starter which was dragging. When I used my dial caliper - love that thing - both cap bushings were exactly the same. I was told that the starter was new, but had been bolted on a mower that was sitting outside for a few months.

I did not replace cap and bolted starter back on.

UPDATE - Today, I replaced the solenoid, as suggested, and there was a marked improvement in the operation of the starter, so much so I was able to get the motor spinning fast enough. Unfortunately, it was on it's last leg and three minutes after getting it running, it locked up on me.

They went that away. =======>

In the future, I will try a new solenoid before replacing the starter. Thanks for all your help. I feel smarter.
 
  #5  
Old 03-28-08, 02:42 PM
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If you do a voltage drop test over the solenoid, It will tell you if it's O.K. instead of changing it unnecessarly. With a Good battery, put the + of your DVOM on the battery side terminal of the solenoid & the - of the DVOM on the starter side terminal of the solenoid. You will see batt voltage. Crank the engine & while it's cranking read the meter. Anything more than 0.3 volts is a fail. This test will work for batt cables, light wiring, grounds, etc & checks the voltage loss in the circuit under actual operating conditions.. Roger
 
  #6  
Old 03-28-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hopkinsr2 View Post
If you do a voltage drop test over the solenoid, It will tell you if it's O.K. instead of changing it unnecessarly. With a Good battery, put the + of your DVOM on the battery side terminal of the solenoid & the - of the DVOM on the starter side terminal of the solenoid. You will see batt voltage. Crank the engine & while it's cranking read the meter. Anything more than 0.3 volts is a fail. This test will work for batt cables, light wiring, grounds, etc & checks the voltage loss in the circuit under actual operating conditions.. Roger
Uhhh, what is a DVOM ? I have volt meter, but I've never been really good with stuff electrical, unless you count shocking yourself a dozen or so times as being electrically challenged.

Where do I set the meter so that it will read 0.3 and not 3000.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-28-08, 03:44 PM
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A DVOM is a digital volt ohm meter. Most box stores sell them for 10 bucks or less. most meters have a/c, d/c settings. Set it for d/c. Now set the voltage range (if you can, maybe not on some meters) to a range that will show @ least battery voltage. Some meters are fully automatic so you may only need to select the volts d/c function. If you have a regular anolog volt meter, you can use it for this test as well, just DVOM is a lot less typing for me who doesen't know how to type What this test is showing you is the voltage lost over the resistance in a series circuit. If you have 12 volts going into the relay with no resistance, you will have 12 volts coming out & a voltage differance of 0 volts. If there is resistance in that solenoid, voltage will be lost (ohms law) & that is what you will see as 0.3 volts on the meter. The voltage lost also lowers the currant flow so you do not have 12 volts, 300 cca available to the starter moter. Really confused now?? I am, I can't even spell "motor" anymore lol. Thanks, Roger
 

Last edited by hopkinsr2; 03-28-08 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Spelling, (lots)
  #8  
Old 03-28-08, 07:36 PM
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So I take it that while I'm holding the leads to the solenoid, that I am to start the mower with my teeth ? jk.
 
  #9  
Old 03-28-08, 08:40 PM
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Yep!! You have to learn to sit on the seat, push the clutch, turn the key ETC,ETC,, Why do you think the mechanics get 150.00 per hour ???lol??? You will need an assistant to turn the key while she (insert cute here) sits on the seat, a couple jumper wires to axcess the terminals (the solenoid is under the seat,, right??) Some times it takes some imagination to make it work, But when it's done, You'll have it figured out.. Good Luck,, Roger
 
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Old 03-30-08, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Rain Man av View Post
So I take it that while I'm holding the leads to the solenoid, that I am to start the mower with my teeth ? jk.

Rain Man,

Zip over to your local electronics supply store (Radio Shack ?) and pick up a package of alligator clips. Make up a couple test jumper leads, Take two of them and fold the crimping ears over just tight enough so they will slide onto your test meter probes.

Then you will have a free hand to play with whatever you want....
 
  #11  
Old 04-10-08, 08:41 PM
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Another mower, another starter dragging. Was tightening bolts on the solenoid to make sure wires were not loose. One broke. So I replaced the solenoid and the starter began doing it's job.

One odd thing - starter is hard to get turning, but once turning, it operates well enough to start the engine. I'm thinking about pulling the starter and applying that Kohler lube and check the results. Any suggestions as to what causes a starter slow to start turning but after a few turns, turns well enough to start ?
 

Last edited by Rain Man av; 04-10-08 at 08:44 PM. Reason: 'cause I'm a moron
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Old 04-10-08, 10:52 PM
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Thanks .. the posts here have been very informative for me...

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