Ariens/Tecumseh Starter Problem

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  #1  
Old 12-11-10, 07:18 PM
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Ariens/Tecumseh Starter Problem

7hp 40 year old Tecumseh on my 24in Ariens Sno Thro. Last year the electric starter would "whirr" but only catch if the engine was started first with the rope start and then it could be started again with the electric start. Later, the electric start would just "whirr". This year when I plug it in, I only hear a "click" from the button as I push it.

What are my sequential steps to check with this electric start, electrical, mechanical, etc.? Continues to start with the rope pull, but the electric start sure was convenient and a lot less effort.
 
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Old 12-12-10, 05:10 AM
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After 40 years it's probably time for a new starter. They run about $130 to $160 new, but all considered, I'd do an Ebay starter. Should get a good one for $50 or so.

First, though, pull the starter off and see if it will spin off the engine. If it does nothing but click tap it with a block of wood. If it takes off, the brushes are sticking or are gone in it. It's pretty easy to dismantle to check those, depending how much you want to mess with it.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 11:01 AM
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Some good news then nothing. Pulled the starter off the engine and gave it a couple of raps with a tool handle. Plugged in the AC and voila! Worked fine. So I sprayed WD40 on the shaft and gear and tested the movement. Everything seemed to work mechanically the way it should. Funny thing though, there was no plastic cap on the top of the core. Maybe disintegrated over the 40 years.

So I was psyched and remounted the starter to the engine and went to test again excited about the possibilities of a winter when I can start this without the pull. Guess what? Nothing. Just the "click" of the starter button.

I have a multimeter but could use some guidance as to how to test the switch and the connections to the starter unit. Or does what happened indicate problems with the starter motor itself?
 
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Old 12-24-10, 03:36 PM
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It may be in the switch, but since you got something with the rapping, the problem is likely in the brushes. You can pull the end off the starter with the long screws that run the length of it. The brush plate would be just under the end cap.

See if those are worn out or just not moving freely. Fix accordingly.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 04:15 PM
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How old is the battery? Is it one that has to be plugged into and AC outlet to charge?
 
  #6  
Old 12-24-10, 04:21 PM
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No battery. This a 70's era 7hp Tecumseh. Took the starter back off and gave it a few more taps, but nothing. Everything spins the way it should. Looked under the electrical cap end and things looked right.
 
  #7  
Old 12-24-10, 05:50 PM
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If you feel like you really want the electric over just the pull start and everything else is in good shape, I would pick up a starter on ebay for about $50.00 and be done with it.

If you can't get it to go by tapping it it may have bad windings or a shorted out armature. With forty years under its belt, just about anything is a could be.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 06:28 PM
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Agreed. I just got my hopes up when it turned right over after I took it off the engine block. I fully expected to reinstall it and have it start the Tecumseh. Oh well.
 
  #9  
Old 12-26-10, 06:36 PM
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Quick update; starter attached to engine, gave the starter a couple of raps with a tool handle. Spun a couple of times when I pushed the button then nothing. Didn't seem to turn the flywheel much.
 
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