Briggs and Stratton 18 HP Twin starter gear/bushing

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  #1  
Old 08-23-08, 06:52 PM
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Briggs and Stratton 18 HP Twin starter gear/bushing

I have replaced the fiber gear several times. Last time I noticed that the bushing was badly worn but didn't have a replacement and needed to get going again so just put it back together. It lasted about a month. I don't think I have damaged the starter itself (yet) as it still spins but the gear is obviously gone again. Judging from what I have found on this it is a very common problem. Seems like they should have used a ball bearing on the top end where the load is highest. A lot of motors are made this way - ball bearing on shaft end, bushing on opposite end. I wonder if any of the aftermarket starters are built this way. Even considered milling out an end cap to fit a ball bearing - it looks like there is plenty of room. Maybe I should start a business...

I have seen posts here about replacing the bushing or complete cap. I know the cap is available. Is the bushing available or is this something I would need to make/fit myself. Shouldn't be too hard but if they are available that's even better.

I even thought briefly about turning the worn bushing 180 degrees as a temporary fix but don't think I will try that.
 
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Old 08-23-08, 07:04 PM
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I am making an assumption that your engine is the opposed twinn cylinder engine. After looking at the parts breakdown for these starters it does not appear that the bushing is available as an individual part. You might want to try a bearing supply source and see if they have a bushing that would work, after all someone has to make it.

I am not aware of any aftermarket manufacturers that use ball or needle bearings in place of the bushing on this particular starter.
 
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Old 08-23-08, 11:54 PM
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Most auto starter rapiar shops should have bushing material the right size. You can turn the bushing around like you mentioned and get more use from it temporarily.

I'd say if you put a new end cap on it, the engine and/or equipment it's on probably won't last long enough to wear it out again. It usually takes many years of cranking to wear that bushing out. Electric motors normally have bearings because they turn so much. Starters turn very little in comparison during their lifetime, and bushings usually suffice more than enough.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 08:40 PM
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starter problems

I turned the bushing around when I replaced the gear last time. Seemed like it would work ok. Starter sounded a LOT better as the armature wasn't hitting the magnets. But after about 6 weeks the gear is shot again. I have put at least 4 gears on this in about a year. Usually happens to my wife when I am not around too. This is getting reallly old. I did notice that the gear stuck in the flywheel at least once since the bushing turn around. Perhaps this contributed to the early failure. I haven't replaced the part the gear fits onto (also plastic) and am thinking maybe it is worn and binding. Wondering if replacing the starter end cap (includes bushing), and complete assembly on end of shaft will make this work for a few years. It lasted longer than that before all this started happening. BTW, yes this is a opposed twin - 19.5 Hp I think - I stated the hp wrong before.

Also need something with a better suspension seat. We need something that will cover a fair amound of somewhat rough ground without breaking the bank. Thinking about just getting something better but not sure what. Have looked at just replacing the seat but the ones I have seen will raise the seat quite a bit - too much I think.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 10:19 PM
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Are you using genuine briggs gears? If not, that's the problem. I've never found a good aftermarket starter drive gear. They break, sometimes in a day, sometimes in a few months, but they never last. A new starter drive assembly from briggs along with a new endcap should make it last a long time. Use briggs parts only, especially with it being on a twin engine (lot more stress on the drive parts than some of the little single cylinder engines).
 
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Old 10-18-08, 09:43 AM
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starter issues...

Thanks for the response.

I am fairly confident that the gears are genuine. I think they are from www.jackssmallengines.com but they may be from willardssmallengines.com, I have used both for parts and both seem to be reputable.

I think the problem must be wear in the endcap bushing and starter drive wear(the part the gear fits on). Turning the bushing around probably wasn't such a good idea after all. When the engine starts there is a short push in the opposite direction that normally pushes the drive gear down and out of engagement. Since that shaft can move that way now the gear may bind in the flywheel and cause quick failure.
 
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