Starter / ignition problems

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by mpwangler, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. mpwangler

    mpwangler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    In few weeks I just went through two starters for an older Hustler Excel 400. This machine has the Ford 4 Cylinder 44 HP engine. A great machine when it is running...

    I pulled the first starter off when the gear on the starter would not spin the flywheel. The leading edge of the starter gear had been ground down and there were no teeth left. I figured this was normal wear (which it is not...) so I replace the starter.

    The second starter worked fine for a few starts. The last time I used the tractor it started OK, then after a few minutes I saw and smelled electrical smoke. I suspect the starter gear was engaged to the flywheel of the engine and it burned the starter up. The new starter froze up and the starter gear is destroyed where it locked up against the fly wheel of the engine.

    I suspect the ignition switch is bad and it sending current to the starter after the key is released. I will look for a new switch, but in time being I will get a new starter. I plan to put a push button cut-off switch between the starter and the switch to prevent this from happening again.

    Despite grinding up two starter gear units, the flywheel looks OK.

    Does this sound like a good plan of action?
    Thanks much!
  2. kkat

    kkat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Hey MIKE, I would check the solenoid sounds like it is sticking had the same thing happen to me and that was what is was. good luck
  3. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    New key switch available from R&R, about $13. Starter solenoid is available from Napa, I forget the exact part number. If you want the Napa number, just leave another post. We finally fazed out all of our Hustlers. We had a good sized fleet of 400s, 440s, and others.
    Too much of a pain to work on and the new Range Wings with hydraulic wing motors is a poor design in my opinion.

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