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Craftsman Starter Question


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#1 keithhe OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 12:20 PM

Hi Folks,

 

My first post here. I've been trying to figure out a non-start issue on my father's Craftsman 917.271843 (21 HP / B&S). I've figured out that it is starter related. Starter makes noise like a spin sound, but not engaging flywheel.

 

I removed the shrouds to access top of the starter and can see that the starter does in fact spin, but the small gear wheel does not lift to engage the flywheel, as suspected. Is this in fact a replace the starter issue, or is there something else I may be missing?

 

Also, I can see two bolts on top of starter that appear to be means of removal. Outside one is easy enough to access, but inner one is literally right under the flywheel. Please tell me I don't have to completely remove flywheel just to remove the starter? If not, what exactly do I need to do?

 

Also, is there a good online place to order the starter from? Starter I know is a 497596 evidently.

 

Thanks in advance for any help and or guidance.



#2 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 12:53 PM

Very common for starter drives to be bad. Usually plastic gears wear off teeth, but also is  a spring in there with it and needs to be clean. First make sure battery is strong enough to spin fast enough to make gear push out and engage. Have you tried charging that?   W/out enough spin, gear won't come out. Also might try spraying air over that end of starter and manually moving the gear up down, to clean area out, They don't recommend lubing, yet I like to use Graphite lube like Lock-Eaze on them. Goes on wet, then dries, leaving graphite behind for lubing w/out attracting dirt and grass to it. I don't know what engine this is for access to the bolt or such for removal.  The drive kits can be bought, but make sure you have correct one and be careful with it, might have to drive a pin or pull off a cap/clip to get it all off, don't bend or break the shaft. If you can see the gear clearly, maybe that can be done right on the engine in tractor??  Might check a manual for your engine or maybe instructions are in the kit??


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#3 keithhe OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 01:02 PM

Thanks Grumpy,

 

The gear actually looks fine, and spring is there. It is actually quite clean, and gear can easily be lifted by my fingers, so nothing obstructing it. Just not sure by what mechanism it is lifted to engage the flywheel. Battery is new, as I initially thought it might be problem, so that is not the issue. Gear spins very fast, just does not lift to engage the flywheel.

 

Perhaps there is some kit that replaces the gear and spring, but would need to figure out how that comes off. There is a type of cap on top of shaft, spring and the gear that can be seen. Perhaps I can take a photo and figure out how to post that here?

 

** Evidently the site won't let me post photos yet. Thought they might help.


Edited by keithhe, July 21, 2016 - 01:26 PM.


#4 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 01:45 PM

:welcometogttalk: :camera: May be able to replace starter drive without removing the starter



#5 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 02:21 PM

I looked it up for you at sears parts direct.  It's the starter drive assembly and Sears sells it for $22.76.  The sears part number is 696541.

With the numbers off the engine shroud you can probably get it at a small engine shop for about $15 and no shipping charge.

 

Looking at the picture Sears has of the starter I suspect you'll have to remove the starter or flywheel to get at it.

BSstarter.jpg

 


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#6 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 02:49 PM

A lot of the B&S had plastic gears! They will shred, keeping the damage in that gear! Best get a new one and check how it lines up!



#7 keithhe OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 03:01 PM

Thanks folks. I'm a little confused by the responses. Is it recommended to replace starter (does a starter come with the gear?)? Is what I refer to as "gear" actually called starter drive assembly? I appreciate all the responses.

I think it's letting me post photos now. IMG_4758.JPG IMG_4759.JPG

#8 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 03:31 PM

The Starter Drive assembly is the heavy plate behind the gear, the gear, the spring, the nylon center and misc other bits.  If the starter spins but the gear doesn't throw out to the flywheel you probably only need the drive assembly.

 

Yes, a new starter will include the drive assembly.

 

I fairly often had to disassemble the drive assembly for the Kohler in my lawn tractor.  It's a different design but only takes a little dirt to make it malfunction.  The Kohler had a steel gear and I could get the starter off without pulling the flywheel.

When the Briggs on my Speedex started doing it I had intended to just clean it.  After opening things up I saw my gear was chewed up and replaced the whole drive.

 

Looking at your picture it looks like you have to pull the flywheel to remove the starter or the drive.  If you're going to go to that much trouble you might as well spend $15-$20 so you know it'll work when you put it back together.

 

It disassembles by depressing the cup at the end back against the spring and digging the wire "C" ring out of the slot in the shaft.  You're likely to distort that ring - if you just attempt a cleaning you need to re-shape it so it's tight on the shaft and lets the cup move out around it.  The kit includes a new :C" ring.  The way I install the clip is with a socket that will just fit over the shaft and tap it to push the clip over and into the slot.

 

Here is a kit on Amazon: https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B003RWT220 .  You can see the parts involved.

 


Edited by MiCarl, July 21, 2016 - 03:39 PM.


#9 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 03:35 PM

OK, Like previously said the battery needs to be strong enough to spin the starter "fast" as the gear is lifted by centrifugal force. The bolt under the flywheel can be removed / installed without removing the flywheel. There should be a recessed pocket under the flywheel to allow the bolt to be lifted up enough to take the starter off.  At least the L-heads have the recessed pockets, can be somewhat difficult though.


Edited by larrybl, July 21, 2016 - 03:38 PM.


#10 keithhe OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 03:40 PM

MiCarl,

 

I ordered the kit you mentioned. Thank you. Not at all sure what there is preventing the gear from rising and engaging the flywheel, but evidently something is. Inexpensive enough, even on Amazon with my Prime, so no great loss if somehow this does not work. I see the thing spin, quite well, so I guess starter is fine, just the drive part is not working.

 

I think the hard part is getting the "C" clip, which I can see, out and new one back in. The socket idea is great, and I will try that.

 

Larry, I guess I don't actually need to pull the starter now, as I think the whole drive thing can be done in place, as I understand it. Thanks you though !! 

 

Thanks again folks, very helpful information !!


Edited by keithhe, July 21, 2016 - 03:44 PM.


#11 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 04:05 PM

Thanks folks. I'm a little confused by the responses. Is it recommended to replace starter (does a starter come with the gear?)? Is what I refer to as "gear" actually called starter drive assembly? I appreciate all the responses.

I think it's letting me post photos now. attachicon.gifIMG_4758.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_4759.JPG

If the Starter Drive does not  extend out when the starter is engaged, then it is bad or needs cleaned and a small amount of lube applied! That gear on the end should go out and engage the flywheel  for it to start the engine!



#12 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 04:25 PM

To remove the "C" clip, place a rag over the top and stick a small flat screwdriver through the rag and carefully pry one side of the clip up and work your way around the clip till it comes off. The rag is to catch the clip and prevent the ping-ping-ping od ricocheting around the shop. 

 

To install the clip I find a socket that just fits over the shaft, put the clip centered on the shaft and use the socket and hammer to tap it back on. Use the rag again over the clip and socket.


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#13 Rock farmer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 05:01 PM

The starter can be removed without removing the flywheel.
Use an open end wrench and let the starter lower away from the bolt as you un-screw it.
You probably just need a new gear assembly.
But, check your ring gear too!
And clean your electrical connections while your at it.

Joe

#14 keithhe OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 06:58 PM

Kenny, Larry and Rock,

 

Great advice and noted. Thanks again. Really blown away by the responsiveness and help on this forum!!


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#15 Doxey OFFLINE  

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Posted July 21, 2016 - 10:16 PM

I second what Rock farmer said.  I have removed at least 4 this way.  Takes time and patience, but it will come out.


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