Trying to test starter...getting big spark...

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Old 07-01-20, 03:17 PM
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Trying to test starter...getting big spark...

I used the following method that I found in a search:

"To perform a simple test on the starter, you'll need a pair of jumper cables. With the engine off and the key in the "Start" position, connect one of the black clamps to the negative battery terminal and the other to the frame of the mower. Connect one of the red clamps to the positive battery terminal. Touch the other red clamp to the bolt that protrudes from the starter. If all is well with the starter, the mower will start. If not, replace the starter."

When I attach the red clamp at the end of this process to the starter, there's a big spark. Why is this happening?
 
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Old 07-01-20, 03:57 PM
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Starters draw a lot of current. I don't know what size engine you're talking about, but a car starter will typically draw 60 to 150 amps with no load, and up to 250 amps when turning over the engine. You will see a large spark when you connect the battery to the starter in the manner you described. All starters use a solenoid which is a heavy duty relay. When you turn the key to the start position, a low current is sent to the coil winding of the solenoid. When current is sent to the coil, it pulls down on a heavy duty contact, which sends the battery voltage to the starter motor. Sometimes the solenoid is separate from the starter, with others, the solenoid is part of the starter.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 04:10 PM
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It's a riding mower. By doing that test, I had read the mower should have turned over so I don't understand why it sparked.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 04:41 PM
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Yes.... you will get a good sized spark or sparks when connecting positive from battery to the large starter binding post.

Have you used a meter or test light to make sure you have power at the starter and the the start solenoid is getting power.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 04:55 PM
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I have a meter but how do I test those two things?
 
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Old 07-01-20, 04:58 PM
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Can you post a picture of your starter and connections. We can describe testing from that.
How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 05:12 PM
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In the following photo album, there's a pic of the starter, the engine model and a 5 sec video clip trying to start it just now.

I've already installed a brand new carburetor and fuel filter...also check both spark plugs and they are sparking.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GBYayhKUmWH1FvUK8
 
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Old 07-01-20, 05:24 PM
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To add to the previous post, I have installed a brand new battery as well.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 06:46 PM
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That engine is cranking just fine. There is no problem with the starter.

Have you checked for spark ?
Take the wire off the plug. Insert a Philips screwdriver. Wedge the screwdriver so that the metal shaft is very near ground but not touching. Crank the engine and look for a spark.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 07:01 PM
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Yes, I've already pulled the plugs, cleaned them, gapped them to 30 and tested successfully for spark. I don't get it.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 07:20 PM
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You tested for spark..... did you get spark ?
If you did get spark you are not getting fuel.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 07:30 PM
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The filter is filled with fuel and when I pulled the line at the carburetor, there was fuel there as well, although just a bit more than a trickle. Hmmm
 
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Old 07-02-20, 04:03 AM
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Get a can of starter fluid (auto parts store has it) spray around carb while cranking. Be sure plug wire are connected or you may get a big flame. (fluid is highly flammable) If mower starts you have a fuel problem.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 04:38 AM
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Many of these lawn mower engines use a fuel pump to pull fuel from the tank to the carburetor. You can easily check the fuel system (tank, filter, pump). Remove the fuel line (hose) from the carburetor (where fuel comes into the carb). Put the end of the hose that normally would go to the carb and put it in a bottle. Crank the engine for 5 seconds or so and see how much gas comes out. You should get a fair amount of gas. If it's a small amount, then you have a fuel delivery problem. This could be caused by a bad fuel pump, bad fuel filter (or installed backwards), collapsed fuel line from tank to filter, or bad fuel pickup in tank.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 05:03 AM
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To clarify:

This is the mower Cheese helped you with on the pull starter gear. It was causing a drag and you replaced the gear, but the mower wouldn't start as it had been prior to working on the starter gear?

You were using the pull start since either your battery was dead or the starter just wasn't turning the engine over? Now you're testing the electric starter thinking it may be the cause of it not starting?

If that's the case: the starter, rope or electric only has one function - to spin the engine over, nothing else. The actual start/running goes to the fuel and ignition systems. Also the overall condition of the engine has to be OK. Things like "operator in the seat", transmission in neutral has to be met. The catch is working the cables on the starter while in the seat.

For just checking the starter, the position of everything else doesn't matter. All you do is feed the starter motor with current directly. If the starter is good it will spin. For the engine to start, though you need to have all the other ducks in a row. The key has to be in the "on" position (not start necessarily), operator in the seat, etc.

As already pointed out, the spark you're concerned about is normal. The engine should start if mechanically sound.
 
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Old 07-04-20, 06:58 AM
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Hi, try cranking bit over for a bit then pull the plug and see if itís wet, if not try a spoonful of gas in the spark plug , insert plug and turn it over and see if it fires.
Geo
 
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Old 07-05-20, 09:46 PM
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Angry

I was able to spend some time on it today. Turns out the new fuel filter was on the wrong way because when I reversed it, the fuel gushed out the end that connected to the carburetor, whereas when it was the other way, it barely seeped through.

Still didn't fully start BUT did start momentarily when I sprayed in some starter fluid.

Brand new battery
Brand new carburetor
New gas hoses and vacuum hose
New starter gear
Good gas with seafoam

What the ^#&*!??
 
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Old 07-06-20, 12:49 AM
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Trash or water in the carb, choke not closing, or fuel solenoid not opening.
 
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