Starter Spins but doesn't engage

jascott7May 4, 2009

I can't seem to figure this out. I have an older craftsman lawn tractor with a briggs and stratton engine. I turn the key and the starter spins, but I'm guessing that it is suppose to jump up and turn the engine over, but that doesn't happen. Here's what I've tried so far.

Different Battery

Touching the post on the solenoid

touching the post on the starter

All of the above with the pole reversed on the battery

I've also tried everything with my car battery.

Everything is the same result, only spins never lifts. I took my old started in the be looked at and got it replaced with a new one. I've tried everything with both the old starter and the new one. Should the starter engage the engine when I touch the post on the starter itself.

Engine is a Briggs 281707-0137-01

Tractor is a Craftsman, not sure the model number, but it say's silver bullet on the back and there is a sticker on the seat that says Model C 4 9 60411.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was another recent post about this same problem. That problem turned out to be the starter was running backward because the battery was hooked up backward. DC motors run backward if you reverse the poles.

I guess the next thing I would want to know, if the poles are hooked up right, is if the starter gear is jumping out as it should to mate up with the flywheel. It should do this (extend out) even if it is laying on a bench when the power is hooked to it.

If it is then the only other things it could be is the flywheel is missing some teeth (You could turn the engine by hand and get the flywheel to turn some and check this), or the shaft on the starter is not long enough the meet up with the flywheel gears. I replaced a starter on my old Ford truck, and the first one they gave me was to short to work. It fit fine, but the shaft was too short.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've uploaded an image. I hope it works. On the image, Part 1 and Part 2 both spin, I imagine that Part 1 should lift up and turn the engine, that does not seem to be happening in my situation. I'm pretty sure that the battery is connected properly, but just in case I tried it both ways and it is the same problem. The only thing that plugs into the started is the cable from the solenoid, is that correct?

Here is a link that might be useful: Starter

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I has a similar problem and it turned out that the starter gear (nylon) was worn, So it seemed like the started was spinning but not engaging. Meanwhile, the starter was working fine. Just needed a $1 starter gear.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a look at the gear and all the teeth are in good shape. I watch it when I put power to it and it only spins never moves up to come in contact with the engine.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well check that the gear moves easily manually. That it isn't stuck on the spiral drive.

"All of the above with the pole reversed on the battery "

"but just in case I tried it both ways and it is the same problem. "

This is certain to have burned out the charging system OR a fuse if it happened to be fuse protected but doubt it was fuse protected.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I figured it out last night. I think the battery wasn't properly grounded. I grabbed some jumper cables and put one end on the negative terminal on the battery, and the other end on a bolt on the engine block, after that it started right up.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 11:04AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tractor starter-wrong rotation.
As I have been known locally as a lawn tractor fixer,...
John Deere 445 EFI wet plugs
Tractor won't start until you remove both spark plugs and...
Snapper Riding Lawn Mower Wiring Diagram
I'm trying to find a wiring diagram for a Snapper Rear...
Tuff Torq K46 Tranny
I've been reading many of the posts on this site and...
Everybody getting enough seat time with the snow?
I know I am, way too much and compared to New England,...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™