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Starter will not engage

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by kkiger, May 30, 2009.

  1. kkiger

    kkiger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2


    I have a Honda Harmony 1011 riding mower that was given to me. It was working fine until a few days ago when the battery died. I put a charger on it and now when I tried to start it the starter motor just spins. It will not engage. As it was given to me I have no manuals on it. If it was a car I would say the solenoid is bad. Any ideas or help?

  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If the solenoid is bad the starter won't do anything at all.

    More than likely it's this gear, and I forgot what it's called so hopefully someone else can shed more light on this subject,
    I know what I'm talking about it's just the terminology escapes me... I believe it's called the Helix gear.

    But it's located in the nose end of the starter, I believe they can be accessed without having to disassemble the motor
    although in some to most cases the motor does have to be unmounted from the engine's side...
    It would be located right behind the pinion gear, and that, the pinion gear is the gear that engages the flywheel itself,
    right behind that, on the shaft itself there's this gear.

    This gear, when the starter spins up, somehow manages to POP the toothed gear out...
    As the shaft spins, it rides out, hard to explain in words.

    More than likely, that gear is either stripped or worn, or it might just need cleaning and some wd-40 lube, get it working again.
    And you could replace the whole starter, but it's a whole lot cheaper to see if just cleaning and lubing that gear does it.
    Also, if you have a long enough extension for the lube can, it is possible you can reach it without having to remove the starter,
    but first time around I'd probably pull it anyhow.

    And that's what I think it would be, I am pretty sure it's called a Helix gear, that.

    Yes, here's a picture, a ways of detail, unfortunately, it's usually easy in actual application:

    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  3. SLR

    SLR LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,218

    I think the word is "Bendix"
  4. kkiger

    kkiger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for the quick response and the picture. Whats the easy way to get the starter off? It looks to me that I have to take the body off!!
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    There's usually a couple of mounting bolts but...

    First, disconnect the + battery cable and lay it out of the way or you chance a BIG spark lol
    Then, and you might have to remove the two electrical cables on the starter itself...
    But usually there's two bolts that hold the starter onto the side of the engine.
    Looking at that picture do NOT mess with the thru bolts LOL

    You might have to remove a cover or two...
    The bolts could be in front, or to the rear, or one each in front and back,
    sometimes they're right down the middle, just have to look for them.

    Once you get those off the starter should come out, but if you did not disconnect
    the cables coming in from the battery and the solenoid then proceed carefully, otherwise
    it should slide right out.
    After you get the two mounting bolts off, that is.

    What kind of engine is it?
    Last edited: May 30, 2009

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