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GregF

Starter casting broken - cause?

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GregF
I have an AC917H that I repowered with a 16hp Kohler 341S. Other than changing the drive shaft, there were no other changes required to fit the single cylinder engine where the KT17 twin cylinder used to be and everthing has been operating well all summer. I was using the tractor last Saturday and during starting, the enginee seemed to stop suddenly like it had hit something. This caused the casting on the cast aluminum starter mounting flange to break. I could still start the engine by wedging something against the starter to ensure that the starter gear engaged the flywheel. I had a spare starter and put it on. Within a couple of minutes, the second starter flange broke. The engine turns free. I checked to see if the drive shaft bolts were hitting anything and they are clear. The BGB turns free by hand. Could it be a faulty compression release in the engine? Something else? I don't really know where to begin and would welcome any ideas. Thanks, Greg

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Vassal
Not familiar with these engines but here's a few thoughts from left field; Any chance the starter wiring/relay could have intermittent short that causes momentary engagement of starter? This would probably make a horrendous noise, but just at thought. Any chance crankshaft could have thrust movement that would allow flywheel etc., to come in contact with starter housing etc? Upon closeOO inspection, are there any signs of impact to flywheel or starter nose/housing etc?

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brozak
Check EVERY tooth of the flywheel for something stuck between teeth. You would probably not feel it by holding the starter in place while cranking but it seems to me that something is forcing the starter away from the engine.

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HubbardRA
It sounds like something is on the mounting surface that the starter bolts to. When the starter mount is tightened, it is putting a large strain on the mount. When the starter then hangs up, it already has the large load on it and doesn't take much to break the mount at that point. I say this because my son broke two extra 4 barrel carbs by bolting them onto his manifold with a large piece of trash under the gasket. He told me what was happening, I pulled the gasket and found the trash, after he ruined two $300 carbs that were mine. My point - check the mounting if you have already broken two housings. From what I have seen, the Kohler starter cannot engage hard enough to break a mount. I have some experience with these mounts since I once used a B/S starter and welded on the gear from a VW starter and made it work on a K341 Kohler.

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GregF
Thanks to all for the advice. This gets me started. I'll check for trash under the starter flange and pull the engine if the mounting boss looks ok. I'll post what I find. Greg

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xenon172
Could also be bad bearings that are allowing play in the crank. It sounds like something is pushing the starter away from the engine. Something stuck in the flywheel could also do that

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GregF
I removed the engine today and took off the flywheel cover. Every tooth looks good. The engine turns free and there doesn't seem to be any play in the crank. The starter mounting boss also shows no sign of any trash trapped under the starter flange. What I did find was what seems to be an excessive amount of play when I turn the driveshaft by hand after removing the engine. the drive shaft is bolted tight to the input shaft on the BGB. When I turn the shaft back and forth, I can feel and hear a clunk. How much play is normal? Thanks, Greg

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D-17_Dave
Shouldn't be any noticeable play from the engine end. Could be that the teeth on a gear in the BGB helped trash the starter but I'd bet something passed through the flywheel teeth and has fallen out.

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