Why Won't My Starter Engage?


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Old 02-19-19, 06:08 PM
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Why Won't My Starter Engage?

This is no longer a question... since this problem has been solved, but I just had to share this...

I've inherited my grandpa's old Gehl 3000 skid loader, (2 cyl 25 hp Onan NHCV MS) which has always been a real pain in my ^$$... you know how it is, when something never wants to start when you need it to? Well that is this thing to a T.

Among other problems, it has never wanted to engage with the flywheel reliably. I always assumed that maybe the flywheel was missing about half the teeth or something the way it sounded. And in cold weather it was always worse.

Well after doing that for a while the other day, (just spinning, grinding now and then) it finally quit doing anything. Done. Dead. I had apparently laid on the starter too long.

So I took the starter off and found that a soldered ignition wire on the outside of the solenoid had melted. (the switch wire) Fixed that easily with a soldering gun. Hooked the starter up to 12V on the bench and it spins just fine. Hooked the solenoid up to 12V and it engages immediately. Powered both solenoid and starter and it seems to throw out and spin correctly. So what's the problem???

But also noticed that the throw out bearing/gear could be turned in BOTH directions. Don't think its supposed to do that! It would lock up every now and then, but usually it would slip and keep turning. AHA! This is the problem I thought!

So I watched a lot of Youtube videos and finally found one entitled: "Why Won't My Starter Engage?" (search for it by name if you want to watch it) The first 1:20 is really funny and describes how I feel when my skid loader doesn't start. LOL!

Anyway, his solution was to disassemble and soak what I would call the "throwout bearing clutch". Mine even looked identical to the one in his video. But I didn't go that far... I partially disassembled, then sprayed a little brake cleaner down the shaft and worked it in... sprayed a little more.. worked it in. In a few seconds it was working the way it's supposed to... turning freely one way, but locking firmly in the other direction.

Put it back together and it works like a champ again. Even started for me! (Nice)

So I don't know if this will help anyone else, but wanted to share.
 
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Old 02-19-19, 06:50 PM
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Your right, funny beginning! I was hoping that it might be the issue I have been having with my tractor, but it is not. My issue is the solenoid will engage but it will not make the contacts to power the starter.
 
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Old 02-19-19, 06:59 PM
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Well... that's how mine acted. The solenoid engaged but it would hit the flywheel and not turn it. It won't turn it if that throw out bearing turns both ways!

But yeah, if you put the starter on the bench and power up the solenoid and jump it to make the starter spin... and no spin... well you have more problems than I. Thankfully they are fairly simple to diagnose!
 
 

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