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Deutz-Allis 1920 (Sunstar) starter

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I went out to start my DA 1920 this morning, and I can hear the starter spinning, but it does not engage the engine. I had the starter rebuilt about a year ago, and it has worked fine. I assume the bendix is not spinning out - is there a lubrication point that I can use to free that up (or could there be another problem?). There is a bunch of sheet metal to take off to get to the starter, and I want to get in, fix the thing, and get it back together again. Thanks.

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Tim, Yes the bendix can be real finnicky about lubrication, Kohler has a special lube just for it. But I have found that WD-40 work OK. You will probably have to pull the engine to get at the starter, I can't picture how to remove it still in the tractor, and you will have to remove the starter to clean and lube the bendix. Good Luck! Mike S.

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Thanks - I will take it off tomorrow and give a clean and lube. Fortunately I can get the starter off if I remove the side sheet metal and some guarding around the engine. There is not a lot of room to maneuver - but I got iff off that way to get it rebuilt. I guess a season of dusty mowing has gotten it stuck. Thanks again for the advice.

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Tim, This is a fairly common problem with these inertia drive starters. It is facilitated when dirt gets on the helix and sticks. If you use any type of grease it just speeds it up. We fix a lot of these. We remove the drive and wire wheel the shaft and helix off, using a fine wire wheel. Then we clean out the inside of the drive with a solvent and little brush. Then spray the shaft and helix with dry graphite. Also note there will probably be a little sharp edge rolled on the outside of the shoulder that the drive kicks against when it kicks out. This often causes the drive to stick against the shoulder on the armature. We usually stick the armature in the lathe and just take a small file and knock off that burr. While it is apart slip the drive back on the armature hold the armature and take a channel lock and turn the gear. Inside the drive there is a rubber clutch that slips when the drive first kicks in and absorbs some of the initial shock of engagement. If the gear turns very easy while you are holding the armature, you might want to replace the drive so you don't have to remove the starter again in the near future. It is supposed to slip, but not really easy. This not a REALLY common failure, we have probably replaced about 1 a year over the years. Also put a thin film of grease in the front and rear bearings and the starter will spin faster and run smoother. Good luck, Al

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