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post #1 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Is electric start really needed on a rer

Am thinking of buying an older snapper rer and notice a lot of them are recoil only. Does anyone regret not getting electric start and what pointers can you give me to look out for
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 10:03 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I think all power equipment needs electrics start. No exceptions.
My push mower is electric start and I love it.

So would I regret not getting electric start on a riding machine (ie: bigger motor, therefore harder to start)?... of course!
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 10:19 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

If the engine is in good tune and you are reasonably fit manual start works just fine, less to go wrong. As we get older electric start becomes a necessity.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 10:34 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I have a snow blower with recoil start, and electric starter.
Never have been able to start it with recoil starter. If it dies at the end of the drive way, I have to tow it back to the shop. Or at least to a place where I can access 110 volt. Just my 2 cents.

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post #5 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 10:50 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I bought a WM280921b new in 2000. The 9HP Briggs was manual only. It usually started but sometimes got stubborn ,to be fair ,it was usually something forgotten by me. I later re-powered it with a Honda GXV 390 with electric start , I hooked everything up and used the electric start until the first battery went bad , then just pull started it ,I haven't used the starter in such along time ,it probably doesn't work. I make sure the choke is working ,gas is full and turned on, switch "on" and pull the engine until I feel compression ,then move it just past compression. It probably starts 9 out of 10 times with the first pull.. Old gas (over 90 days old) will cause a problem on cold start ,but it will usually work on a hot engine OK.
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-12-2019, 11:25 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

This new world is lazy. In my time engines never had electric start.
I still have many machines with recoil only. Even my 16 hp Roper
only has a recoil. It makes a better engine mechanic out of you.
If you get an engine that's giving you problems you can always put
a drill on it to help get it started.


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post #7 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 02:21 AM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

My summer stuff is split between pull-start and electric start, but my winter equipment, my Ariens snowblower and power brush I'll generally pull-start them, but when it's really cold out (below -30C), they don't always like starting right away, and then the 110V start comes in handy to crank it enough to get going.

I did get the 110V starter option on my Toro 21" snowblowers, but it's never been useful (either it starts with the pull cord, or it doesn't start, even with a bunch of cranking with the 110V starter). If I were to get another one, I wouldn't bother with the 110V starter for it.
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 10:36 AM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I have a Kohler CV14 with both manual and electric start. A few times the battery has gotten discharged when the thing sat for a while. Having the pull starter allowed me to get it going when I needed to use it. The electric starter seems to have difficulty on the first try, but seems to get going on the second. If you use the recoil starter, you can pull hard enough that you may think you will tip the machine onto its side, it is that difficult. It may be that the CR is not working at first, and then starts to work after a bit of rotation.
Would I want it without electric start? No. When it has sat for a while, even with the fuel cutoff valve closed, it can be a hard start, and get me pretty tired pulling it over.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I learned a few "starting tips" back in the dark ages , I rode British singles (441& 500CC) These came with a "compression relief valve" on the handlebars ,.and some people thought that you held the "
release" down while "kicking it through" . But it was used to get the piston past TDC on compression. Then when "kicked" the engine built up momentum before the next "compression" stroke and done properly made starting easy. They also had a "choke" and "tickler" which depressed the carb float and flooded the intake. So I still use some of these techniques on single cylinder engines. Electric starters take all the fun away, LOL.
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 02:40 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I'm glad my walkbehind mower (52" snapper walkbehind hydro) is electric start, not only because it's unlikely to be pull started (Kohler CV22S engine) in the dead of winter, but also because it's got a battery. My trucks alternator failed while driving around, and the low battery warning came up on the dash, and I could see that the battery was going to run out of juice before I would get home, but I remembered that I had it on the back of my truck, and having long booster cables, I hooked up the snapper's battery to the truck's battery with the cable, system voltage went back up to 12 and I got home before the other battery ran out. And just last week, I was caught in a thunderstorm, and was listening to the truck's radio with the engine off, forgot that it had the truck lights on (it's automatic, no way to turn them off) and killed the battery, but could use the snapper to jump start the truck.
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 08:16 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

Do you work on your mowers yourself and are you stout?

I have some Briggs up to 12hp that are easy to recoil start and some that cannot crank with a rope recoil.
I've got a Snapper RER that has both elec and recoil and it will start on first pull with the recoil, but you are eventually going to find that you wish you had elec start.

Best to have electric start. One thing the Snapper has going for it is the engine is not hard to swap out.
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post #12 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I try and do most of my own work and I guess I'm semi-stout. After reading these replies I think I just need to rule out ones w/o e/s
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 09:10 PM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

I keep and oil can filled with gas for hard starters...


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post #14 of 25 Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Could you please elaborate on this oil can full of gas trick. I am trying to learn all the nuances I can before I start looking for one
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-14-2019, 01:58 AM
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Re: Is electric start really needed on a rer

probably to squirt gas into the carb/intake. I use a can of starter spray for use in the dead of winter to help get a machine going if necessary...but I have to modify the intake of my Snapper Pro hydro 52" walkbehind mower (I made a plow for it) so I can get ether into it easier than undoing the air filter housing, then the air filter...
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