Snapper riding mower starter trouble

nikelacesAugust 17, 2008

My older Snapper will not start. Starter makes a whirring sound. Thought it was the battery which is new this season, put it on the charger, it is charged. What should I do to test it?

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An engine problem and you don't even want to tell us the brand or model?

Sounds like the starter drive is gummed up. Remove starter, clean drive mechanism & reinstall.

To test a battery, take it to an auto parts store.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:48AM
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When you installed the battery, did you connect the positive cable to the plus (+) post, and the other cable to the (-) post? connecting the battery backwards will allow the starter to run, but it will turn backwards, resulting in the starter gear not moving up to engage with the flywheel.
Rusty J.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:24PM
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To support rustyj14's thought - it sounds like the starter gear is not engaging. Could be turning the wrong way if the battery leads are backwards. Also, the gear could be stuck. The starter shaft has a very coarse thred that the starter gear rides on and it relies on it's inertia to allow it to travel up the shaft as the starter engages. However if there is debris keeping it from traveling up to the flywheel it'll just sit there and whir. Also, and further still, if by coinsidence there are teeth missing on the flywheel, even if the starter gear is making it's way to the end of the starter shaft, nothing will mesh and again you'll just get a whirring. Could try turning the crankshaft over by hand a quarter turn, then try starting it agian. As a remote possibility, the stater gear could be stripped. If it's none of those, well, I'd be stumped.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 4:33PM
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"When you installed the battery, did you connect the positive cable to the plus (+) post, and the other cable to the (-) post?"

IF battery was connected backwards the charging system will be burnt out, would result in smoke, stink. That old a Snapper did not have a fuse to protect against this unless someone added one.

It should be easy enough to remove the little cover covering the starter gear and see what the heck it is doing.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 5:09PM
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Thanks to those who replied. Regarding the battery terminals they are connected correctly. Thankfully, this is not different from regular automotive. I have no experience with small engines other than using them.

Details of the Mower:
Snapper: Model 3311X5S ; Serial 63139828
Engine: Briggs&Stratton 11 HP Model 253707; Type 0159-01; Code 85112111
Starter has 8609361 stamped on it.

Starter cover has been removed. No debris in it. All teeth are present. No physical damage. The starter however will not rise to meet the flywheel. Mower is in park and blade is in the off position.

Thanks for any suggestions to repair.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:30PM
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i have the same problem with my kgro power pro mower, just put in a new battery, but starter gear does not ride high enough to enagage the flywheel

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:36PM
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You are following a 2 year old thread. You DID connect the battery up right, not backwards? Battery posts vary right positive, right negative.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:22AM
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Walt: I have two Snapper RER's, one is the old 28 inch cut, not Hi-vac. When i installed the battery in it--it turned out to be positive ground. (HUH??)
The other one is newer, has the Hi-vac grass thing, and it is negative ground.
The engine on the smaller one has been replaced, but the newer one is still negative ground, like the original engine.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 12:57PM
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I am getting same problem gear on starter doesn't rise up to meet the flywheel. read that some people have changed battery, solenoid and starter with no results. problem still present after that. It is frustrating. But now I am building confidence to say it is some kind of wiring/connection problem. some connection is developing enough resistance and starter is not getting enough power. I am going to check all my wiring on mine. Not sure when i would be able to get time to do it. But if you have found anything and fixed it let me know please.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Cheese, Magee!This problem has been covered many times!
First: Make sure the positive cable is attached to the positive post on the battery! That is the one with the + sign engraved in the top of the battery! (most new ones)!
The positive cable is red, unless some nit-wit has replaced it with a black colored one!
The starter motor is a DC motor. It will turn backwards if the connections of battery cables are reversed. i:e negative cable to positive post on battery and positive cable (red) to negative post. The gear on the starter post has threads molded into it, which correspond to the threads on the starter shaft. When the starter turns the correct way, centrifugal force acts on the heavy side of the gear, forcing it up to meet the starter gear teeth on the flywheel. This makes the starter turn. If you have a battery that is connected backwards, or charged backwards, the gear will NOT rise up, as centrifugal force will keep it at the bottom of the shaft! A new starter will not solve anything, except make the parts place happy!
If you have money to burn, after reading this treatise, send a few sheckels to the poor!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:55PM
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