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hufhouse

Starter Question

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hufhouse
When I start my 7117, I first get a "whirrrrr". On the second attempt, it starts right up. It seems like some sort of gear isn't catching the first time around. It isn't a problem, but seemed like something that might be indicating a future problem. Any thoughts? (In other words, the engine doesn't turn on the first key turn. On the second turn of the key, the engine turns over and starts right up.)

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TimH
I had a similar problem and got a recommendation to use graphite for lubrication rather than grease. It was suggested that grease would serve to make dirt and dust stick, and make the problem worse. Any thoughts on that idea?

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PatRarick
It has been my experience that grease or oil will make dust adhere to the drive, thus making it stick more often. I either leave it dry, or lubricate with a dry lubricant such as silcone spray. To grease or not to grease seems to be an age old question. On the open gears on older farm equipment, there were just as many farmers in favor of greasing, as were against it. Pat

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Spyder
I had an old '55 Chevy that acted like that. I kept a hammer under the seat and would have to get out and give it a whack. Worked mostly every time. I agree with the others to clean and lightly lubricate it, then it should be good for another 20,000 miles or until it gets dirty. DaveG

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hufhouse
Well, since I am an "office boy" and somewhat inept at tearing apart small engines, I had better wait until winter to start tearing into the starter...unless of course it snows and I have to use the tractor then! Let's see...I have a parts manual somewhere. I could use that to figure out which of these doohickeys is the starter. Now, what the heck is a bendix? Probably something crooked since the root word appears to be "bent." Oh well, I'll probably just lubricate everything--wires and all--just to be safe. Seriously, I just wanted to make sure and reply to THANK YOU for the information and let you know that I READ it. However, since I probably won't give the solution a try right away, it might be awhile before you hear a result. (Wow, is that a load of guilt off my mind.) As always, you guys are great with the info. Thanks!

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PatRarick
Been told all my life, "Don't ignore the obvious", but I often still do. Problem could be as simple as a poor connection on the starter, battery, or solenoid. Hit the key once, and it arcs and creates a better connection, usually only temporarily, so it will work on the second shot. Worth a try. Pat

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Kent
Just in case you're not kidding, the bendix is actually named after the company that invented them (I guess -- at least there is a Bendix Corp.). Kind of like in some parts of the country a "coke" is a generic term for a carbonated soft drink -- a Pepsi can be a coke... Others call the part the the correct, more generic term (I think) starter drives.... If you remove the starter, there is a small gear on the end of it that slides out under the centrifugal force of the spinning starter motor. It engages matching gear teeth on the flywheel and spins the engine. They're spring loaded so that they retract (ie slide back to their original position) when you remove electrical current from the starter motor. The small gear must be able to freely slide forward and back on the shaft... That's the likely cause of your problem. The original grease will often get dirty and stiff (or will have worn away), preventing the gear from sliding out far enough to engage the teeth on the flywheel. The little "whirring noise" is the sound of the starter motor spinning this small gear, but the small gear is stuck and hasn't moved out far enough for its teeth to engage the flywheel's teeth... Clean the old grease completely off, check the shaft for wear or burrs, and LIGHTLY grease it with a good, high temperature grease, NOT really thick something like axle or wheel bearing grease.... The foot-draggin' Clubhouse Custodian...

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UCD
if you are going to grease it get Brake grease it is a high temp grease made for brake parts and does not attract dirt It comes in a small tube and any good parts store should have it and as the old brillcream add goes a little dab will doya This & $1.00 might get you a small Coffee Maynard aka/UCD

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goatfarmer
"Used" to be a Bendix corp.It was started by Vincent Bendix in South Bend back in the 20's as Bendix Aviation.Built airplane carbs,among other things.Branched out into automotive applications such as brakes and starter drives later.Bendix was bought out in the late 70's /early 80's by Allied/Signal,who put it in with the Fram Autolite division. Allied /Signal was merged with Honeywell a few years ago.Don't know what happened to Bendix in the shuffle. Probably more Bendix info than you needed right now! kennyL (whose father in law worked for Bendix brake and steering div.for 35 years)

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hufhouse
Thanks, everyone. Actually, I WAS having a little bit of fun, but there is some truth, too. I'm a pretty decent woodworker and I love mechanical stuff (like tearing apart a mower deck, cleaning everything up and putting it back together). However, small engine repair might as well be rocket science to me. However, this whole starter thing seems more on the "mechanical" side, so I probably can handle it. Once I FIND the starter, it shouldn't be any problem to finish the job! As far as the bad electrical connection, I'm leaning toward the bendix idea. On the first key turn, the starter "whirrrrs" with gusto, it just doesn't connect with the engine. Also, the problem is intermittent. Finally, it doesn't usually happen when the engine is warm, which makes me think this "bendix" thing gets all slicked up and free when it's hot down there. (Of course, one could say that the electrical connections get tighter when everything is hot, too. I could see that one coming.) Thanks again! I'll be looking into this soon.

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