Electric Start on Toro 824 w/ 8HP Tecumseh Engine

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  #1  
Old 01-26-09, 07:23 AM
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Electric Start on Toro 824 w/ 8HP Tecumseh Engine

I recently purchased a Toro 824 snowblower. It has an 8HP Tecumseh engine with electric start which worked just fine when I bought it, and I've used it a few times to clear our driveway. Yesterday, I had to move the blower. The temperature was very cold (I store the machine outside), and I tried to start it with the electric starter. Rather than turning the engine, I heard a kind of whirring/not-quite-grinding sound, as if the electric start was not turning the engine but slipping or something.

Any suggestions on how to approach this problem? Could it have to do with the cold temperature (~5-10F)? If I just continue to try using the electric start, could I cause more damage?

Unfortunately, the engine does not start easily with the pull cord, though it did start consistently with the electric starter before this problem occurred.

Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Last edited by ikleiman; 01-26-09 at 08:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-09, 08:14 AM
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Tecumseh

You most certainly could cause more damage if you continue to use the starter. It could be as simple as the 2 bolts that hold the starter on have come loose or not so simple the teeth on the starter have broken off. Remove the two lower bolts only no need to remove the top bolts and inspect the starter let us know what you find. If it is the teeth are broken off you will need to remove the flywheel to ensure that none of the broken teeth are trapped under the flywheel as they will destroy the alternator. Also inspect the ring gear on the flywheel a damaged tooth can destroy a new starter gear. You should switch to syntectic oil for easer starting at least SAE 5W30 or SAE 0W30 if the temperature stays around 0F or less.

AJ
 
  #3  
Old 01-26-09, 08:23 AM
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Could be that melting snow from the last time it was used froze and is preventing the solenoid to push the gear to the flywheel?
Sometimes a few LIGHT taps on the starter will free it up. Otherwise, see previous post.
 
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Old 01-26-09, 08:34 AM
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First, thanks so much for the help. I feel like such a novice with a new machine that I have not worked with before. Your help is invaluable to me!

OK. I removed the starter and examined it. The teeth are in great shape. However, when I run the starter motor and hang onto the teeth, they don't turn, in spite of the fact that the motor sounds fine. Now the question is, how can I fix the starter? What broke in it?

Hmm. On second thought, maybe the starter is not broken. Can you explain a little about how these starters work? What is the mechanism to engage it? Where does the solenoid reside? When I removed the starter, the gear wheel was frozen and did not spin till I tapped it. However, once it did spin, when I started the starter motor, it did not engage the gear wheel in any significant way. All I had to do to stop the wheel from spinning was to hold it lightly.
 
  #5  
Old 01-26-09, 09:32 AM
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Tecumseh starter

Right click on this link and choose save as. It is the service manual for your engine.

http://www.cpdonline.com/692509.pdf


On page 42 (page 46 of the PDF) you will find a picture of a typical Tecumseh starter. If you pull up on the starter gear you will find that it will come loose from the starter engaging nut pull it up and see if you can turn the engaging nut with a probe. If you turn the nut clock wise it should turn and come up from the starter( there are 3 small holes in the nut you can use one for these to turn the nut). If it does the rubber on the gear must be bad or just to cold to engage the gear. There is no solenoid.

AJ
 

Last edited by aj-allen; 01-26-09 at 09:57 AM.
  #6  
Old 01-26-09, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, AJ. I removed the starter and brought it inside to test. Once inside and warmed up, the starter seems to work and the engaging nut does engage the pinion gear (are my terms correct?). Could the cold somehow make it hard for the nut to engage the gear? I still can't see why the starter would not turn the engine. I notice that the pinion gear has no coating on it on the outer end of the gears, but the inner side has a black coating. Still, that shouldn't keep the gears from meshing should it? I'm also not clear about how the engaging nut can slip, but that looks like what happened. Could frozen moisture in there make it slip?

So, despite the fact that the starter seems to be working (removed from the engine and in the warm house), I'm not clear at all about why it woudn't engage, and so turn the engine. And how do I deal with the problem if it happens again (don't they usually do that?) once I reinstall the starter?

Also, are there any tricks to reinstalling the starter? I tried to just put it back on to see how simple it is to position correctly, but found it hard to get the gears in correctly so that the house bracket was resting under the upper bolts as well as the lower bolts on the brackets.

thanks again for your help.

IK
 

Last edited by ikleiman; 01-26-09 at 11:35 AM.
  #7  
Old 01-26-09, 01:11 PM
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Tecumseh starter

It is certainly possible that water got into the pinion gear and engagement nut and froze causing the pinion to not spin out and engage the ring gear. There really isn't any trick to reinstall the starter. Just slide the pinion gear in first and jiggle (technical term) the starter back and forth until the upper mounting pins slide under the head of the upper shoulder bolts and then just pivot the starter down and install the lower bolts. You should use a drop of lock tight on the lower bolts so that they won't loosen.

AJ
 
  #8  
Old 01-24-11, 01:15 PM
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I would like to thank the contributors to this thread. The comments and the link to the Tecumseh Tech Handbook did the trick. I have a very old Ariens Snowblower (ST504) that recently developed some to the electric starter symptoms described--- high whine, gears not engaging. I removed the starter from the snowblower-- 3 mounting screws that amazingly came off--- to inspect the visible starter gear and shaft. With no apparent damage to gearing, I put a small amount of oil (had no grease handy) to the screw threads on the shaft and worked it back and forth a few times to ensure it moved freely. I reinstalled and bingo the starter worked! Understanding how the starter engages (see Tecumseh manual) plus contributor comments saved the day--- and my back (I really don't like having to pull start the engine). Thanks!
 
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