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Discussion Starter #1
I went to start the tractor today and all I got was a fast clicking from the starter. Looks like it's trying to turn over the engine without success. I was able to turn the engine by hand, but still no luck starting. Here's the details:

Craftsman DYS4500 Model Number 917.288900.
Kohler Engine Model Number SV730, Type number 0028.

You Tube video showing the problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z--pSMRYvno

Any idea on what the problem is?
 

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Could be the battery. Did you try jumping it?

If it has an inertia style starter it may not be engaging. I've experienced this when it freezes up during the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried a battery charger and the indicator said it was almost fully charged, as I'd expect after mowing for several hours yesterday. I was also thinking that perhaps the starter teeth were not not engaging or somehow slipping. That's what it sounds like when you see the flywheel trying to turn.

I took the starter off and looked. It seems like the starter cog slides up and down the shaft, but I'm not exactly sure how that's supposed to work or what might be wrong with it.
 

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I tried a battery charger and the indicator said it was almost fully charged, as I'd expect after mowing for several hours yesterday. I was also thinking that perhaps the starter teeth were not not engaging or somehow slipping. That's what it sounds like when you see the flywheel trying to turn.

I took the starter off and looked. It seems like the starter cog slides up and down the shaft, but I'm not exactly sure how that's supposed to work or what might be wrong with it.


Check to make sure that the starter selenoid is pushing the starter gear all the way onto the flywheel ring. It sounds like it's not. Did you see any abnormal wear on the edges of the starter gear teeth?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, I took the plastic cover off the engine and watched the starter gear get pushed all the way into the flywheel ring. I also determined that the clicking sound is coming from the solenoid.

Then I went back to basics and tried jumping it as ggsteve suggested, and what do you know... it starts right up. Now I'm rather surprised that the battery that comes with a new tractor only lasts a little over a year?!
 
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