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Kohler Starter Cleaning Help?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by mcambrose, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. mcambrose

    mcambrose LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    Can anyone give me any good suggestions for disassembling my starter on my Kohler 20hp so I can clean it. I have cleaned it before, but I have a devil of a time getting the clip off. When I reassemble, I have a hard time getting the washer back over the clip. Most of the time I end up accidentally pulling the rotar out of the brushes and that takes me several tries to put back together. Any suggestions to make it easier would be appreciated. Maybe I'm going at it all wrong.


  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    And if I may ask, WHY on earth are you cleaning your starter? If it aint broke dont fix it.
  3. SLR

    SLR LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,218

    attempting to rebuild my 12hp briggs/strat..now that it's all ready to be assembled again..how on Earth do you get those springs compressed behind the brushes and put in the rotor at the same time?..even a vechile starter has tiny holes for pins to hold them in place..i mean do i have to drill holes to put the springs in ,then seal it back up??
  4. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    hello, assuming it is a soleoid shift str ,i have done the nippon denso brand and yes they are a pita.To remove place a close fitting tube overend of shaft and sharply tap "gently" to push coller down therefore releasing circlip.Support armature in soft jaws in vice and a piece of soft wood under opposite end.I use either flat circlip pliers or my screwdrivers/sealpicks to shift circlip of shaft. To install preferable new clip or have it as round as possible. Either file ends of clip to best suit circlip pliers or place clip on hard wood invert armature and gently tap opposite end, this will forceclip to spread and move onto shaft.To install collar over clip support shaft in vise hanging from retainer, squash clip with small vise grips on the edge of jaws and sharply tap the end to push clip in to retainer. still a pita job. I imagine the delco str would not be to much different refer manual.What grease do you use.I found grease attracts to much dirt and therefore causes binding issues on the bendix/str drive.I am going to experiment with dry spray lube? Do whatever works 4 u . Hope this helps TOMO::dancing: :drinkup:
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    I never remove a starter drive (Bendix) unless it's bad, To clean just spray a little carb. & choke cleaner on the worm splines then work it up and down then blow it out with compressed air. I lube all starters with Polaris ATV & Watercraft starter lube part # 2871460.

    Take the end cap and set it on a workbench, Barrow two extra hands then install brushes in the slot holding them in carefully by the wires and set the armature in place. With the armature in the end cap start the housing over the top of the armature while holding downward pressure on the armature at the very end where the drive goes on.
    The magnets will pull the armature up out of the end cap if not held, Also make sure your fingers are clear of the end cap and housing because the magnets will pull the housing down to the end cap very quickly and pinch the sh!t out of them.
  6. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Hello, Restrorob how do you find the lube from Polaris is it tacky or only slighlty.My machines operate in very dusty enviroment to much or very tacky lube on str drives causes eventual operation issues [ch25s walkers]. I have now converted to delco strs and both are due for clean out.Any suggestions? Thanks TOMO
  7. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    I'm not sure if you can find it in Australia, It is sold at Polaris Dealerships under their part number. If there is a Dealer over there they will most likely have it or can get it. It's a lite tacky graphite base grease and a little goes a long way. I have been using it around 8yrs. now and have had no problems at all with it, I use it in ALL starters. If it works well under watery and muddy conditions as ATV's are subjected to I'm sure it would serve you well.
  8. SLR

    SLR LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,218

    Take the end cap and set it on a workbench, Barrow two extra hands then install brushes in the slot holding them in carefully by the wires and
    thx Restrorob..but ahhrrg..just don't make sense even with help..i mean there's no room for any fingers anywhere near the springs/brushes,there's just way a person can be quick enough to put the the cap cover as the bedix is quickly put in..i wish there were simple holes from the factory to hold'em in!
  9. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Let me try this again, I do it all the time.

    With the starter completely disassembled, Both end caps off and Bendix off.
    Set the brush end cap on the bench, Put the brushes in their respective slots and push them in. Have the two extra hands hold the brush wires so they don't pop back out. Then take the armature and install it in the end cap (no housing in the way).
    Then straighten the brush wires out so not to get pinched with the housing. While holding the armature straight up on the bench with a downward pressure in the center with your hand, Grab the housing and slide it over top of the armature until it rest on your hand. At this point remove your hand off the housing and put it on the top end of the armature shaft with a downward pressure, Then quickly remove your hand from around the armature and the magnets will pull the housing down to the end cap. Align the housing and end cap and finish assembly.

    It sounds difficult but I could have done four in the time it took to type this out.

    Good Luck
  10. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Hello, just rang Bosch/OZ and found that they do not recommend str bendix lube at all due to dirt causing binding. Although we know
    Kohler recommends it for there strs, maybe due to there design delco/nippon.I will still experiment with lube [dry spray,polaris lube,non tacky grease] as some lube is better than none. This all mainly to prevent wear or slow wear on commutator spline to promote smooth trouble free operation of str drive gear. Is the str drive lubed when new???????? Be interesting to find out.... thanks tomo :waving: :waving:

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