Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kohler was using a wire wound field starter made by Nippondenso from Japan and now in the past few years have changed to a permanent magnet field starter made by Deco-Remy out of Korea. I have been seeing problems with the Deco-Remy starters. First the Nippondenso starter engage the flywheel and then start turning but the Deco-Remy starters are already turning by the time they engage the flywheel because of the way they are made due to them being permanent magnet type. The Deco-Remy starters seem to have a lot more problems and have to be removed for service a lot more than the Nippondenso did. The flywheel shows a lot more ware as well due to the fact the starter is already turning when it makes contact with the flywheel when using the Deco-Remy starter. The Deco-Remy starter is about half the price of the Nippondenso is the reason Kohler started using it. I have talked to Kohler about this more than once and they say there is no problem and point out the fact of all the unit they have in the field with this starter. I am saying it is only a matter of time before this comes back on them. The reason for this thread is to collect data on both type of starter and if I can collect enough data I hope to have something to show Kohler that they is in deed a problem with the Deco-Remy permanent magnet field type starters. These starter are used mainly on the CV and CH Command engines but are not limited to them. Please post your feelings and experiences with these starters. Look and this thread as a public letter to Kohler because when I get enough data I am going to give a link of this thread to Kohler for them to come here and read it and see first hand about this. Thank You
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
First, I commend you on attempting to get Kohler or for that matter any manufacturer to respond regarding potential problems with their products. I have been hammering Kawasaki for years for not honoring their warrantee claims on the pieces of crap they make, and frankly they don't care. AS a whole, small engine manufacturers really could care less about the service end of their product and focus more on the sales end.

Back to starters. When I had Kohlers in machines we ran, I found other problems with the Nip starters, in that the armatures would burn out and at the time, cost $250.00 (+-) a piece to replace. When the Delco starters came out, we went to them and had no problems as you describe, but it is not to say they are not happening. The typical manufacturers response is that they are not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
I've got 6 hours on a new Hustler Super Z with the Kohler 28 Hp EFI engine and I am having starter problems. The photo you have posted sure looks like the starter that is on this engine. Questions for you: 1. In your photo there are two brass colored pieces ....... what is inside the smaller one? And, 2. Should this smaller piece have play in it or should it be firmly attached to the silver metal piece with the 3 screws in the top? I can move this smaller brass colored piece with my hand. When you hit the ignition switch you will see a spark fly out from between the silver metal piece and the smaller brass colored piece. If you keep hitting the ingnition 6, 8, 10 times it will eventually engage the flywheel and start the motor. My dealer is supposed to call me as soon as he gets a new starter sent in.
Thanks,
Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
I happen to know as a fact that some of the Kohler people do come to this board and look around and discuss. They just dont advertise who they are.
I know this because when the Kohler reps here (in austin)a few weeks back, we had a discussion about his site and how often they come here and talk and read. So, they will see this and it wont hurt to send something to them too. You could call them also.

We interact with a lot of manufacturing firms and I have to say that I feel like of all the major engine guys, Kohler gives more of a crap than anyone else.

even though the cv730's seem to keep having crankcase breather and head gasket issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
Larry Davis said:
I've got 6 hours on a new Hustler Super Z with the Kohler 28 Hp EFI engine and I am having starter problems. The photo you have posted sure looks like the starter that is on this engine. Questions for you: 1. In your photo there are two brass colored pieces ....... what is inside the smaller one? And, 2. Should this smaller piece have play in it or should it be firmly attached to the silver metal piece with the 3 screws in the top? I can move this smaller brass colored piece with my hand. When you hit the ignition switch you will see a spark fly out from between the silver metal piece and the smaller brass colored piece. If you keep hitting the ingnition 6, 8, 10 times it will eventually engage the flywheel and start the motor. My dealer is supposed to call me as soon as he gets a new starter sent in.
Thanks,
Larry
The smaller piece is the solenoid and it is sparking because it is loose, If you tighten the three screws that will likely fix your starting problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,143 Posts
Didn't car starters have a switch that put power on the turning motor after the solenoid actuated. It was a crude reed type of switch as I recall? Are you saying this new starter puts power on the solenoid and the turning motor at the same time? So what are the failures you think we will see, cracked teeth on the starter gear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ed2hess said:
Didn't car starters have a switch that put power on the turning motor after the solenoid actuated. It was a crude reed type of switch as I recall? Are you saying this new starter puts power on the solenoid and the turning motor at the same time? So what are the failures you think we will see, cracked teeth on the starter gear?
That is the problem here. The solenoid has two coils in it . A PULL-IN coil and a HOLD COIL. The pull in coil is ran in series with the starter and drops out when the solenoid closes the main contacts. The solenoid pulls any where from 30 to 40 amps on pull in. The power bleeds though the starter and makes it turn before it should. Now the Nip starters had wire wound fields and the bleed though power was taken up by the field winding and the starter did not trun before it should. Now the Deco-Remy starter use mangets for the field so the power has to go some where and that is what makes the starter trun before it should. Now if they changed the solenoid design they would lose the power need for the pull in so they need to re-design the starter gear so it can engage the flwwheel while turning with eating the flywheel up. I think I will see a lot of starters being replaced for no reason because they grind and do not engage right and even when new starters are put on the grinding will come back iin short order and then a lot of flywheels will haing to be replaced because the teeth at grounded up so bad no starter will work with it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This shows the back side of the solenoid. The power bleed though I keep talking about is coming from the PULL-IN coil. Without the pull-in coil the solenoid would be too weak to pull the gear up to engage the flywheel. The hold coil would have to be made as strong as the pull in coil is and would burn out it a short time. So I see no way of getting around it easy so the gear is going to have to be made so this turning before engaging does not damage the flywheel

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
Ok fixer67, This is my findings; I didn't have a new Delco starter in stock, So I stayed after work and pulled one off a brand new Dixie Chopper. I performed the bench test you described and sure enough it started spinning,But not at max engaged RPM but it did spin. So I thought maybe if it was hooked to the unit harness that mite lower the amount of feed back, So I layed the starter on the frame and plugged the start wire back up and ran a ground jumper. It did still spin but slower than the bench test. I thought about my findings and started looking at the drive, It had a taper on the leading edge so I pulled a old K series torque engage starter from under my work bench and compaired the taper, Then a new style rubber type drive from a Magnum and just for the heck of it a old tecumseh and I found all of these had the same amount of taper on the drive as the new delco. With all this visual information compiled I do not see how there would be such a big problem if the old torque engage starters worked fine for years and years.
Kohler really lost their hind end on the denso solenoid problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, Restrorob. I now have conformation thanks to you. I can not believe you went though some much trouble to do the test. I to have found out a few things today. Kohler Service Bulletin 266 says that as high 98% of all Kohler starter warranty claims are bogus. 98% of all starters returned to Kohler for warranty are found not to have any thing wrong with them at all when tested to factory specs. Now this means two things. First the problem of the starter turning before it should is NOT a test you would do to test a starter when testing for factory specs. And second, it is the old story of the boy who cried wolf. With all these claims for starters that have turned out to be bad claims it is no wonder that Kohler will not listen to me about this. And another thing, Kohler says they have never heard of this problem before but they have because there is no telling how many of those 98% warranty claims were because of this problem and never caught. And to make matters worse is this is a problem that is slow to show up. If Kohler was to check flywheel replacement sells since going to the Deco starter I bet they would see a jump in sells. Where a flywheel would out last the motor before may last only 1500 to 2000 hours before needing to be replaced. And those numbers are high from seeing the flywheel on the units I have seen with this problem a flywheel may not last 800 to 1000 hours. It all depends on how many times it is started. Well the Kohler rep I showed the spinning test to showed the test to his boss. I was told to day that Kohler factory techs are talking to Deco techs about this now. So I finally got some one to see the problem. Now what happens next who knows. I will be on vacation next week so I will not hear what happen until I come back off vacation. Once again I thank you Restrorob for doing the test and posting you findings. I really needed that conformation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hey Fixer67, I got to hand it to you, you really seem to know your stuff when it comes to the electric starter. When I was just out of high school I spent some time working in a starter and alternator/generator rebuild shop.
1. restrorob says (and you confirmed) he found the armature was turning at a slow rate as the drive engaged the flywheel.
2. The drives and flywheel gears all seem to have the same taper or lead into each other whether they are solenoid shift or inertia drive.
3. Inertia drive starters engage well because they turn.
What makes the "low energy" turning Delco drive any different than an inertia drive starter? Maybe a better question is " Do the flywheels look any different on inertia drive systems than the Delco solenoid shift"?

I looked up that 266 bulletin. It looks like Kohler changed to the Delco starters back in 2000. The only problem we had was when we replaced a Denso starter with a Delco on an eXmark. The starter would keep running after you let off the key. We found out the way it was wired, the permanent magnet was energizing the solenoid to keep it engaged too long. Now Kohler puts some rewiring instructions in the box with a new starter. This only seems to be a problem when two solenoids are used in the system.
You quoted "98% of all starters returned to Kohler for warranty are found not to have any thing wrong with them at all when tested to factory specs." Actually the bulletin says 65% which seems like a pretty high number as well. If this is true, I've got to wonder how many starters are replaced for poor connections or even batteries that are hooked up backwards. I think we can all be a little guilty of trying to help out the customer at the manufacturers expense. You know what its like when you have sick units lined up all the way out the door and everyone wants it fixed today. Its just easier to replace the starter than test the system and replace the solenoid. I guess Kohler just figured it out. Anyway, I just don't see that many bad flywheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
To answer your #3 questions AirCooled, I didn't see any difference between the Delco drive and the inertia drive. In fact I'd be willing to bet I could remove the orginal drive,shift fork and solenoid then install a inertia drive (providing the worm on the armature is the same) with a frame mount solenoid and it would work fine. As for the flywheels I have heard of no changes between the two, All Kohler did is change starter brands because of too many solenoid failures and people not doing the proper test as you said and replacing the whole unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,143 Posts
When I got my new Scag in March I would hear a terrible gear crashing sound on cold starts. This happened a couple times a week. I was advised to shot some spray lube to help the engage gear get along the shaft. I did that and it worked. If they would have pulled the started it surely would have been NTF at the factory. Near the end of warranty I think I will check the flywheel teeth and the starter teeth, if I make it to 2 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
ed2hess said:
When I got my new Scag in March I would hear a terrible gear crashing sound on cold starts. This happened a couple times a week. I was advised to shot some spray lube to help the engage gear get along the shaft. I did that and it worked. If they would have pulled the started it surely would have been NTF at the factory. Near the end of warranty I think I will check the flywheel teeth and the starter teeth, if I make it to 2 years.
Thats a good idea, Check everything top to bottom and front to rear just before your warranty is expired, I have many customers come in just after and my hands are tied by the OEM's polices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
AirCooled said:
Hey Fixer67, I got to hand it to you, you really seem to know your stuff when it comes to the electric starter. When I was just out of high school I spent some time working in a starter and alternator/generator rebuild shop.
1. restrorob says (and you confirmed) he found the armature was turning at a slow rate as the drive engaged the flywheel.
2. The drives and flywheel gears all seem to have the same taper or lead into each other whether they are solenoid shift or inertia drive.
3. Inertia drive starters engage well because they turn.
What makes the "low energy" turning Delco drive any different than an inertia drive starter? Maybe a better question is " Do the flywheels look any different on inertia drive systems than the Delco solenoid shift"?

I looked up that 266 bulletin. It looks like Kohler changed to the Delco starters back in 2000. The only problem we had was when we replaced a Denso starter with a Delco on an eXmark. The starter would keep running after you let off the key. We found out the way it was wired, the permanent magnet was energizing the solenoid to keep it engaged too long. Now Kohler puts some rewiring instructions in the box with a new starter. This only seems to be a problem when two solenoids are used in the system.
You quoted "98% of all starters returned to Kohler for warranty are found not to have any thing wrong with them at all when tested to factory specs." Actually the bulletin says 65% which seems like a pretty high number as well. If this is true, I've got to wonder how many starters are replaced for poor connections or even batteries that are hooked up backwards. I think we can all be a little guilty of trying to help out the customer at the manufacturers expense. You know what its like when you have sick units lined up all the way out the door and everyone wants it fixed today. Its just easier to replace the starter than test the system and replace the solenoid. I guess Kohler just figured it out. Anyway, I just don't see that many bad flywheels.
I will have to read SB-266 again when I get back to work after vacation but if I remember right that 65% was of the 2% that really was bad. I will have to read it again. I do not have a home copy of SB-266. All I know is I am seeing Deco-Remy starters warring flywheels a lot more than they should. Just to day I seen a unit that had a charging problem (burned out stator). I og a real close look the flywheel and compared it to a new one from stock. It had 600 hours and showed a lot of ware for that amount of time. I too have looked at the taper of the gears and I see what you are saying. I was thanking that maybe if the overrun clutch was made to slip just one or two turns before it locked up to start the engine that may help it engage better. But then I noticed the groves on the shaft that already do just that. So may the pre-spinning is canceling out the effect of the groves that help the gears aline. Like every one has said , what about inertia drive starters. Well this Deco-Remy starter wants to act like a cross between an inertia drive starter and a solenoid starter it seems. You end up with a hybrid starter on your hands. I thank it all comes down to you can not have it both ways,it is either inertia drive or solenoid. But when you put a NEW out of the box starter on because it grinds because the teeth will not mate up (Kohler told us to) and you can not find out why and then just 200 hours later it happens again and you remove the starter and strip it down and clean it and can not find any thing wrong and put it back and then 20 hours later it is acting up yet again and now this is the second machine you have seen the SAME story happen to in 6 months it is madding. This pre-spinning is the only thing I have found to even come close to expaining this problem. The last machine went though 3 starters and still did not work right. It went though 2 of them with out ever leaving the shop. The only way we could even get it to stop the grinding was the owner went and found a used Nip wire wound starter and we put it on. He has not had any more starter problems. Like the Kohler rep told me, a lot of shops just replace the same part over and over and do not even try to find the root cause. They are making easy money replacing parts. The Kohler rep told me that even if I turn out to be so far off base about all of this he found it refreshing to see a tech or shop try to really fix a problem and not just replace parts. I am 99.999% sure the pre-spinning is the problem here but not 110% like I would like to be. That is the whole point of posting it here and getting Kohler to take a look at this. I am waiting to hear back from Kohler and see what they find out about all ot this. It may be a simple fix or take a re-design of some kind. I will let you all know what they say when I found out is what on this. I thank you all for all your input and testing you have done for me to confirm my tests.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
Here is a copy of service bulletin 266 for ALL to see !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
I made a close inspection of the loose solenoid and found that the three retaining screws had completely sheared off. Could anything other than over torqing during factory assembly cause such a thing to happen?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,001 Posts
Larry Davis said:
I made a close inspection of the loose solenoid and found that the three retaining screws had completely sheared off. Could anything other than over torqing during factory assembly cause such a thing to happen?
I know of no other way for this to happen other than a factory screw-up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I bought an exmark with a new motor on it with this same starter. Motor was less than 2 years old but Kohler would not back starter because I did not have purchase paperwork. You can date the motor and know that it isnt but a year and a half old. My problem was the starter would engage but it would hang in the flywheel for a second. I tried warranty, no luck and then took the starter apart and cleaned and lubed it. Didnt fix it. Bought an old starter off ebay and swapped it out.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top