Jump to content

Unofficial Home of Old Simplicity & Allis-Chalmers Garden Tractors

Sign in to follow this  
DMKNLD

Kohler K321 starter replacement question

Recommended Posts

DMKNLD

I traced my hard starting issues to my Kohler starter going bad, which even in the single digit temps we've had, got quite hot to the touch when I was trying to get it to turn my 7114H over. Though my battery was on the way out too, so I replaced that and was able to at least get it started to clear the driveway of our multiple New England snow storms this week.

Lots of after-market starters available on-line at 1/2 the cost or less of a Kohler starter. Is it worth it to go the OEM route, or do the after-market ones hold up OK? Or should I just get mine rebuilt at our local electrical motor repair shop ?

Also, short of lubricating the bendix with some light oil, is there anything else I can do to nurse my starter along before I can replace it, so I can snow blow with it on Monday (and likely Wed as well), in what will be our 4th and 5th storms in 10 days in New England ?

As an aside, I enjoy the winter 'seat time' as much as anybody, but in single digit temps, with blizzard conditions, doing more hours on it this week alone than I did all last winter - I say enough already !! Thank God for the hard cab, or I would have flown the white flag and paid someone else to do it !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DMKNLD

Touche', Rokon. :)

I guess being out snow blowing until well after midnight last night, as well as the storm before that, has made be more grouchy than normal, as well as sleep deprived ! Or maybe it's the hypothermia 'talking'? What's the saying, "sleep is for when you're dead" ? XX(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rokon2813

LOL, I don't know of any tricks for a starter on it's way out. Maybe taking it apart and cleaning it, but that might not be a good idea when you could need it right away.

OEM is almost always best, but aftermarket can be fine too.

IMO Kohler can be one of those brands that you pay extra for the name.

If the aftermarket is from a well known name (Stens comes to mind) I would think it would be okay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edlincoln

The original starters are Bosch and fairly easy to clean. The comutator is like a big segmented washer. The 4 brushes are in the end cap. They also have permanent magnets bonded to the case, that's why it says "do not strike" on the starter. I used some narrow metal strips to hold the brushes down while placing the end cap back on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GrincheyOne

If you can gain access to the Bendix cage, you can try some CRC silicone spray. concentrate on the nylon spiral on the top end of the shaft. Greases have a bad habit of collecting grit and grime.

Wayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brettw

Sometimes a good cleaning and a new brush set can do the trick. The brush sets are easy to replace, and fairly reasonable ($14-19 on fleabay), but at that point, maybe $50 for a new starter is the best way to go. It would provide for limited down time, and solve the bendix problem all at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeES

If the starter is getting hot, the old/bad brushes = poor contact adding resistance thus heat or likely you may have a "broken" magnet and it is dragging on the rotor (this will generate heat quickly). A starter/generator shop may be able to fix it (epoxy back into place)...but you will probably need a new one. I have had very good luck with the aftermarket starters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DMKNLD

Just an update on my starter issues. I got a referral from my local Simplicity dealer to a starter / generator repair guy in the next town over, who rebuilt my Kohler starter. I brought it in at 11 AM and he had it done by 3 PM, and charged me $37, which seemed very reasonable for same day service, and given what an OEM starter would cost.

I put it back in my 7114H to snow blow the driveway and front yard for the 6th time in less than 2 weeks, and it fired up on the first crank rotation - like I remember how it would start on a warm summer day!

Considering we are back in the New England deep freeze, with more snow so far than we typically get for the entire winter, that memory is likely as close to a 'warm summer day' feeling as I'm going to get for quite a while in Maine ! C

Thanks for the helpful suggestions everybody !:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
arnoldir

Hey DMKNLD,

Glad you got it sorted locally.

I just wanted to add my 2 cents in case someone else picks up this post.

Typical 1st place to look on any starter I've ever fixed was that as the brushes wear down the copper contact segments on the commutator the insulating material does not wear away as fast and will eventually stand higher than the copper and prevent the brushes from making good contact.

I typicaly take an old hacksaw blade, break off a 4" peice so the teeth run up to the end, and use this to carefully cut down the insulator so it sits below the copper by a bit.

I've done nothing more than this and a fine sandpaper wipe of the commutator segments and had starters go several more years if there is enough of the brushes left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sammiefish

DO NOT oil these guys.

I haven't read if you decided to replace or not but.

Clean the oil now with some spray solvent.

Dry

Spray with graphite or DRY lubricant if your issue is with the engage gear

Otherwise clean

Only other thing is sealed bearings or brushes

Aftermarket is cheap and fine if you can deal with that idea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×