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Starter Maintenance-maybe

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ed2hess, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,190

    I had a starter fail on 25hp Kohler and when I took it apart the gear wouldn't slide on the armature shaft. I took it apart cleaned it all up and bearings looked good and bushes were okay so I put some lube on the shaft and it now works. The electrical shop wanted $140 to rebuild. Now I don't have any illusions that this thing will last very long so I got a new one in standby. But I am wondering what kind of lube could/should be put on that shaft. Most lubes will gum it up with dust and may actually hurt things?
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Kohler has their own starter lube part# 52 357 02-S for these starters, Although I have never used it. Working for a Polaris dealer we have their part# 2871460 starter lube in stock, I figured if it's good enough for ATV's the way they are subjected to water/mud it's good enough for mower engines. Haven't never had any problems using it.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,190

    Thanks Rob for that information!!
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Jeez I always buy another instead of rebuild because even a starter on my car isn't that much, what is this world coming to?
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023


    Not everyone is LOADED like you !!!

    The starter in question list at $183.07, Add freight (most shops don't stock due to the high price) then uncle Sam's part and your over 200 bux. You can buy 3 or 4 average car starters for that price.

    If one has the ability (smarts) to take one apart and check it, In most cases all they will find is it needs a good cleaning and lube (call it seasonal service). Even if it needed a set of brushes at $30.04 they are still ahead of the game and the money saved can be spent on other things like fuel (out of sight anymore) to run the unit.

    The economy has gone to hell years ago and today most watch each penny they spend because it isn't going to get any better only worse.
  6. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    I had one of the old style Kohlers, circa 1990, and had constant problems for the almost ten years I had it. I had to do what you said at least once a year, sometimes twice, take it apart, clean and lube. It did not seem to matter what type lube, it just got dirty and dried out and the bendix would not kick in either because it was dry or the motor bearings were dry and would not spin fast enough. It also helped to clean the armature while I was at it.

    After that it would spin like a top for a while, until at least the next service.

    This was on a cub cadet and it also went through a battery each year. The JD I replaced it with still has the original battery and starter has been untouched on the Kawasaki engine, purchased new spring of 2000.
  7. fly-4-fun

    fly-4-fun LawnSite Member
    Posts: 0

    I have used graphite powder on the slide gear of my starters. Works great and doesn't gum up like regular grease will. Just my .02 worth..........
  8. AmsoilPower

    AmsoilPower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 938

    Exactly, you will want to use a dry graphite lube. It won't collect dirt.
  9. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    hello ,
    Starter motors fitted to most mowers come pre lubed at factory but only with a small amount .
    Using graphite powder works on a new or near new shaft but not well on a worn bedix /armature shaft . It will wash out easily also .

    The lube ''restrorob'' suggests lubes very well with only a small amount compared to using an auto grease [less chance of dust build up ] .The grease is also way way less tacky than standard auto types .


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