Starter doesn't retract

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by burlap, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    I have a 17 hp Kawasaki that hasn't run in a long time and I'm getting it back in shape. When I first turned it over the starter didn't retract. I had a fully charged battery, I checked the starter switch continuity according to the manual, and I put a little oil on the ring gear. It still does it. If I turn the flywheel the starter retracts. The starter number seems to be correct, although I've had problems with denso numbers not crossing accurately with the kawasaki numbers. Starters supposedly with the right numbers won't match the mounting holes. The engine is on a JD F525 and I'm not prepared to pay the JD price for a starter. I've also had problems crossing the JD numbers with denso numbers also- I bought and returned two starters with the right numbers and the wrong holes. My starter is in the shop now and I'm told the solenoid works fine so I told him to make sure the starter is cleaned and lubricated. All I can think of now is to take a file to each grove in the ring gear. Any ideas? Thanks, burlap
     
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,022

    I don't quite follow what your saying here. If you turn the key the starter engages the drive gear into the flywheel then when you let go of the key the gear stays engaged in the flywheel, Is this correct ? Is the engine running when it stays in the flywheel ?
     
  3. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    Right, I have to disconnect the battery cable for it to stop.
     
  4. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    I should add that even if I turn the key off it keeps going. burlap
     
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,022

    You may go to a auto parts store and get a couple (thin) starter shims for a small block Chevy and trim them to fit between your starter and the block. If you did try this start with one then add another if needed.
    Does the flywheel gear have any rust on the teeth from sitting causing a tighter fit ?
     
  6. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    Yes the ring does have rust on it. The effect of the shims is to lower the starter if I understand you correctly? burlap
     
  7. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,022

    Forget about the shims I was thinking of another engine. Do this, When you get the starter back remove the solenoid from the starter then mount the starter on the engine. Then grab the plunger and manually engage the drive into the flywheel by pulling down on it, If it engages easy and you can push it back up with the same results you have burnt contacts inside the solenoid and it is intermittent sticking, I have seen this a few times.

    While the starter is off you may want to try cleaning the teeth on the flywheel with a wire brush in a drill.
     
  8. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    Thanks I'll give it a try tomorrow. I appreciate your help.
     
  9. burlap

    burlap LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 66

    My starter still stays engaged even with the key in the off position. When I disconnect the ground wire on the battery it stops and now the starter retracts, must have been some rust on the ring gear.. If I disconnect the wire coming from the switch to the solenoid the starter still continues to rotate. I have checked continuity on the switch and the ignition relay according to the tech manual. And they all check out. Is there any way I can check for a wiring problem in the solenoid? If I' reading the schematic correctly if voltage can't come through the switch-it has to be coming from the battery terminal on the solenoid through a bad wire crossing over. Would appreciate some ideas before I buy a solenoid . burlap
     
  10. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,022

    Maybe this will give you a idea how a solenoid operates, This particular one is frame mounted but they all work the same basic way.

    I posted this in another thread the guy was having the same type problem, But on his the starter started spinning soon as he hooked the battery cable back up after installing a brand new defective solenoid.

    You see a solenoid is nothing more than a electromagnetic switch, There is a plunger inside that when activated or energized by the small spade connector wire causes this plunger to pop up and make contact with the two large post sticking out of the top. This causes the starter to start spinning thus cranking the engine over, When the key is returned to the run position the plunger falls back down disconnecting the two large post and stopping the starter from spinning.

    Now, If you have to disconnect your battery cable to stop the starter from spinning and you said you disconnected the small spade connector wire with no change in results I would have to lean towards a bad solenoid.
     

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