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Kohler starter


LawnSite Senior Member
Florence, AL
I have a kohler starter (nippondenso type), which seems to hang almost every time the key is turned. I have taken it off, had it cleaned and replaced the solenoid. It works great on the bench. When I put it on the motor, it just doesn't seem to engage the flywheel. You can hear the solenoid pulling in hard and the starter spins fast.Does anyone know of anything that can go wrong with the gear the engages the flywheel. I wondered if it can wear some, so that it is harder for the teeth to engage the flywheel. I have checked and the gear that engages the flywheel is not slipping. I have several of this type of starter and after a while, they all at this same way. As I mentioned, I have purchased new solenoids for three of them and none will work when on the mower. When I put a new starter on the motor it works fine, so it isn't the electrical system. Any suggestions are appreciated. Kohler offered for me to send one of the starters back for testing and I may take them up on the offer, if I don't figure something out soon.


LawnSite Senior Member
issues with the starter assuming the type found on most v twins nippon type

1/solenoid -dirt entering where the plunger operates causing sticking of the plunger =poor operation of engagement into ring gear/flywheel

2/solenoid once dirt has entered as mentioned causes sticking and *** reduces the travel of the plunger ***, this causes the main power contacts to not touch each other correctly eg only 10 % of the total surface area [contact burning is the result ]=dead solenoid .Contacts in the rear of the solenoid .

3/ One way clutch [bendix] one way bearing causes this problem u mentioned . The part can fail intermitantly and then usally total failure results .Symtoms r the solenoid shifts gear into position and engine drive [rotation] either happens and then stops or there is just a spinning type noise .

4/throw out fork wears out

5/there r many wiring improvements u can make
large power cable to str mtr
large earth cable from batt [-] to str mtr
relay on the solenoid wire

6/replace with delco str mtr

7/ run external very heavy duty solenoid with timed relay

8/fit the biggest battery u can fit .Test battery prior to install ,some brand can be 20- 30% better than others .

any Q ??

tomo:waving: :waving:

ps nippon denso starters r very very good in 99% of time "" the kohler fitted unit is a lemon "" I suspect it is being used in an application that is to demanding 4 it and some sub standard parts such as a non serviceable solenoid .