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Can you show us some pictures of it and the location of the motor and starter?

I would think you would have to remove some of the engine's metal covers to get to it. Is the engine an 18 HP opposed twin with a horizontal shaft? If it has a horizontal shaft with the shafts facing front to back the starter should be on the left hand side of the tractor like on the early 1990's GT6000 tractors.
 

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to get at that starter you need to pull the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes you are correct, briggs opposed twin,starter tucked in low on the left side. I was hoping I could just pull the motor up an inch or two and get it off. Hopefully I don't have to pull the flywheel.
 

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No , you don't have to pull the flywheel. Two bolts hold the starter to the engine block. I had to pull the motor to get the starter off. The engine is bolted to a mounting plate which is bolted to the frame. I removed the engine and plate together, then had to remove the plate from the engine to get the starter out. Royal pain in the butt... Here is a link to a couple of pics of my job doing this: http://www.globalsoftware-inc.com/coolerman/1335/Page7.htm

Good luck!
 

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It has been a while since I have worked on a starter on one of these engines. A good set of tools is what is necessary to do the job. If I remember, one bolt comes out with little effort while the other bolt is a booger to get out. I am trying to remember if I used a thin tappet wrench to reach the difficult bolt. Once you get the easy bolt out you can loosen the other bolt to the point where it gets really tight to work with. Then reach in with your fingers and twist it out. Wobbling the starter once loose may be necessary to get the extra room needed to get the bolt out.

I was able to remove and replace a starter in one without pulling the engine.
 

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On Rob's 84' GT18 he didnt' have to pull the motor.... he just tipped it a
bit and was able to get the starter out, although there were quite a few
choice words while doing this, he did manage to get the new starter gear on.




Merrie​
Merrie​
 

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I have changed countless starter gears on this type of application. In this year alone, I’ve changed at least five of them. I never remove the engine or the flywheel.

With an open end, I turn the bolts out the old fashion way. Taking the starter off is the easy part. It’s putting it back on that’s the challenge.

Fishing the starter in and out of it’s position before/after the bolts can be a tricky affair, but once you learn how to twist it in and out, it’s really quite simple. The bottom line is that while it’s not the best application in the world to work on, it’s entirely possible to do. I am no master mechanic.

When taking it off, it’s easier to completely remove the outboard bolt first. The bolts are quite long for this application, so it’s going to take a lot of turning due to the fact that you cannot get a very good bite on the bolt with the wrench.

Once it’s off, and I’m ready to reinstall the starter, I have now come to the hardest part of uninstalling/reinstalling the starter. Getting the inboard bolt started is the single most hardest portion of this entire job. If it takes me 30 minutes start to finish of taking old starter off, installing a new starter gear, and bolting it back up to the engine, getting that inboard starter bolt started and tightened up consumes at least 25 minutes of the total job. While those figures may seem like arbitrary numbers, consider this: If I omit the inboard starter bolt, I can have the starter out, install a new gear, and have the starter bolted up and the tractor running in five minutes. I’ve done this job more times than I care to talk about. When I’m cutting firewood, cutting grass, and doing yard chores, this old tractor can be started and stopped up to thirty times a day. When I’m using it like this, it will go through a starter gear every other day. I’ll go onto starter gears, my woes, and how I think I solved the problem.

Getting the inboard bolt started. I always get the outboard bolt started. I then fish the inboard bolt in place. Once it’s there, and here’s the tricky part, I have an open end wrench and a small screwdriver. I place the wrench on the bolt, and I apply inward pressure with the screwdriver. This is a very frustrating part. I lube the bolt up good so there’s no friction from the threads. I can only make very small fractions of a rotation, so it’s very hard to get it started. Once it’s started, I completely remove the outboard bolt, and turn the inboard one until it’s almost snug, and then I do the outboard bolt.

I have given serious consideration to fabbing up a wrench for this application. A thin gauge piece of steel brazed to one side of an open end wrench, so I can apply a lot of inward pressure while I turn the wrench when trying to start the inboard starter bolt.

If this is in reference to chewed up starter gears, here are some lessons that I’ve learned:

Do not buy the cheap Taiwan gears. They do not last nearly as long as the ones made in America by Briggs & Stratton. The OEM type gears can be found at several places. For example, http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Starter-Gear/695708/1567972

Just as the photo above shows, my starter gear was only partially contacting the flywheel. I shimmed the starter out by using 1/8 inch washers. If I had wanted to do a proper job, I’d have fabbed up a one-piece shim from aluminum. Using two small but thick washers wasn’t a lot of fun… I dropped one into the flywheel shroud and fishing it out with a magnet on a stick wasn’t much fun. Once I shimmed the starter forward 1/8th of an inch, even the Taiwan gears lasted significantly longer. If you’re familiar with older cars from the 50s through the 70s, a one piece shim similar to what was used on starters for GM applications would be perfect. When I change my next gear, that’s what I’m going to fab up. With a shim like I’m describing, I can put it in after the inboard bolt’s started. It would make it much easier.

Other thoughts:

When I say I was changing them every other day, I’m not being facetious. I was using the tractor hard. When the 1989 GT18 is only being used to cut grass during a typical Central Pennsylvania growing season, the cheap Taiwan starter gears will last a few years. However, when I used it a lot, it would go through a gear every other day prior to shimming the starter forward. As far as how much shimming is needed, I simply eyeballed it. My starter is so far away from the flywheel, that I could probably get away with a 3/16 shim and the gear still won’t contact the flywheel when the starter’s not engaged.

Good luck. This is a job that requires a lot of patients, which is something that I’m in short supply of.

If you would like photos, I can provide them. I’m currently too unmotivated to tear it apart and take some photos, but I will do it.
 

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I've done it several times and it was good training for replacing the starter on the Kohler engine of my Generac full home back-up generator. :)
 

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Just to give others some photos and ideas, I took a perfectly serviceable starter off an 18 HP Briggs & Stratton opposed twin cylinder tonight to show that the engine and flywheel do not have to be removed.



In this photo, one can see that I was originally using lock washers for shims. The lock washers measure .075 thousands.



Note the difference between the two gears. The one on the left had the .075 washers shimming the starter forward. The gear on the right didn’t have any shims and was installed like it was from the factory. The gear on the left has well over 100 starts on it, while the gear on the right only has about 50. Since shimming the gears, they really do last a lot longer. Additionally, the shiny portion of the gear that you're seeing is actually the coast side. I know it looks like the drive side, but the gears are facing the wrong way and are upside down. I can only assume that the flywheel's wearing it as the gear disengages the flywheel. Hey, I'm no master mechanic be sure...



I used an old steel door hinge because I couldn’t find a decent piece of aluminum. It did work nonetheless. The shim I made was .0875 inches thick. Here are photos of my template. I’m still unsure if I’m going to make a new shim that’s .125 inches thick or not. I’ll have to poke with it some more. Here are photos of my template.




Once the bolts are out, the starter simply twists out as long as the wires are cleared out of the way.




After changing the gear, insert the inboard bolt into the starter and slide the entire unit back into place. *Note, one can see the bolt’s really there.



I tried a new method tonight. After jamming the inboard bolt home with a screw driver, I didn’t start the outboard bolt. I simply kept prying with the screwdriver as I turned the bolt with a ½ inch open end wrench. It started right away. I tried this method several times, which is new to me as I used to start the outboard bolt first. Each time I tried it this new way, the bolt started right away. It’s rather simple actually.



Once the inboard bolt’s turned in as far as it can go, but still leave room for the shim, I pop in the shim, and start the outboard bolt.



The above set up works far better than messing with washers… It knocked off considerable time because I didn’t play drop the washer, take out starter, and do it all over again for thirty minutes. It was rather simple with the new shim. It still takes about 10 – 15 minutes due to the rear bolt being so time consuming.

I could probably get away with 1/32 – 1/16 additional shimming. In the next photo, I jogged the starter until the gear stayed engaged with the flywheel. I know it’s blurry, but one can see that the gear’s not completely engaging the flywheel. As I’ve stated previously, I’m not sure if I’m going to mess with this set up anymore. I’m currently using the cheap imported gears from Taiwan, and I’m quite impressed with how long they’ve held up. With the shim, the gear’s already lasted for a week's worth of daily use cutting firewood, burning yard waste, and hauling dirt, so this means that the tractor’s started at least 30 times a day. With use like that and no shim, the gears have to be replaced every other day, or at least that’s been my experience. I have to stress this again and again, do not buy the cheap Taiwan gears if you can avoid them. Get the OEM gears from Briggs & Stratton. They're still made in America, and they're considerably more durable! The Taiwan gears I'm using are Stens. It's what the local guy working out of his home's garage carries, so in a pinch that's what I use. Next time I'm simply ordering ten of the OEM Briggs & Stratton gears. They're definitely worth it.



Other thoughts, problems, and things that I've run into:

When changing this style starter, I run across this every so often.



Yes, that’s the bolt I dropped down into the cooling shroud, and wouldn’t you know it that little bugger’s out of my reach! I simply tape old speaker magnets from junk cheap speakers to a stick. In this application, I used an old twisty shaft from a junked stationary bicycle’s speedometer and fished it right out.




I’m supposed to be putting together a sticky thread on this procedure. I hope to be able to get a hold of the new style starter gear return that looks like this. *Note how the spring’s much larger and goes on the outside of the white worm gear looking thing.



The old style has never satisfied me on its ability to proper return the gear after the engine’s been started. *Note how small the spring is and its location.



I’m going to see if I can fit the new style set up on the old type starter. I have a junk starter that volunteered to be my guinea pig.

I’ll keep you posted. This is bolillo_loco reporting from underground radio free Pennsylvania on pirate satellite
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I was able to re-install the new starter , what a complete pain . The starter would not come out without pulling the motor ...there is no clearance as in bolillo_loco's photo....mine sits a little below the c channel...see the photo attached....one good thing is I was able to remove the starter without removing the flywheel and the shroud around it....but pretty much everything else had to be removed.
 

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bolillo_loco I don't see any of your pics?

My GT18 is an 84 model and there is no way that starter will come out without pulling the engine, or at least tilting it. Like deepsand's, mine sits below the channel. I tried forever to get it out and I'm not a bad mechanic. If my gear goes soon (I, like you, use my GT for many other things beside mowing) I'll try to replace the gear in place.
 

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I just removed this starter, and it's not worth trying it without pulling the engine. Getting the starter off without pulling the flywheel is hard enough because the interior bolt is hard to get to with a regular 1/2" wrench. There just isn't much clearance between the bolt and flywheel, and it took me about 15 minutes to patiently get the bolt off - not enough room to use even a flat ratchet. I'd recommend two people to get the engine off because the location of the bolts is such that it is quite a pain to do it on your own. Get yourself two long combination wrenches - one 1/2" and one 9/16" to make the job a lot easier.
 

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Just to give others some photos and ideas, I took a perfectly serviceable starter off an 18 HP Briggs & Stratton opposed twin cylinder tonight to show that the engine and flywheel do not have to be removed.



In this photo, one can see that I was originally using lock washers for shims. The lock washers measure .075 thousands.



Note the difference between the two gears. The one on the left had the .075 washers shimming the starter forward. The gear on the right didn’t have any shims and was installed like it was from the factory. The gear on the left has well over 100 starts on it, while the gear on the right only has about 50. Since shimming the gears, they really do last a lot longer. Additionally, the shiny portion of the gear that you're seeing is actually the coast side. I know it looks like the drive side, but the gears are facing the wrong way and are upside down. I can only assume that the flywheel's wearing it as the gear disengages the flywheel. Hey, I'm no master mechanic be sure...



I used an old steel door hinge because I couldn’t find a decent piece of aluminum. It did work nonetheless. The shim I made was .0875 inches thick. Here are photos of my template. I’m still unsure if I’m going to make a new shim that’s .125 inches thick or not. I’ll have to poke with it some more. Here are photos of my template.




Once the bolts are out, the starter simply twists out as long as the wires are cleared out of the way.




After changing the gear, insert the inboard bolt into the starter and slide the entire unit back into place. *Note, one can see the bolt’s really there.



I tried a new method tonight. After jamming the inboard bolt home with a screw driver, I didn’t start the outboard bolt. I simply kept prying with the screwdriver as I turned the bolt with a ½ inch open end wrench. It started right away. I tried this method several times, which is new to me as I used to start the outboard bolt first. Each time I tried it this new way, the bolt started right away. It’s rather simple actually.



Once the inboard bolt’s turned in as far as it can go, but still leave room for the shim, I pop in the shim, and start the outboard bolt.



The above set up works far better than messing with washers… It knocked off considerable time because I didn’t play drop the washer, take out starter, and do it all over again for thirty minutes. It was rather simple with the new shim. It still takes about 10 – 15 minutes due to the rear bolt being so time consuming.

I could probably get away with 1/32 – 1/16 additional shimming. In the next photo, I jogged the starter until the gear stayed engaged with the flywheel. I know it’s blurry, but one can see that the gear’s not completely engaging the flywheel. As I’ve stated previously, I’m not sure if I’m going to mess with this set up anymore. I’m currently using the cheap imported gears from Taiwan, and I’m quite impressed with how long they’ve held up. With the shim, the gear’s already lasted for a week's worth of daily use cutting firewood, burning yard waste, and hauling dirt, so this means that the tractor’s started at least 30 times a day. With use like that and no shim, the gears have to be replaced every other day, or at least that’s been my experience. I have to stress this again and again, do not buy the cheap Taiwan gears if you can avoid them. Get the OEM gears from Briggs & Stratton. They're still made in America, and they're considerably more durable! The Taiwan gears I'm using are Stens. It's what the local guy working out of his home's garage carries, so in a pinch that's what I use. Next time I'm simply ordering ten of the OEM Briggs & Stratton gears. They're definitely worth it.



Other thoughts, problems, and things that I've run into:

When changing this style starter, I run across this every so often.



Yes, that’s the bolt I dropped down into the cooling shroud, and wouldn’t you know it that little bugger’s out of my reach! I simply tape old speaker magnets from junk cheap speakers to a stick. In this application, I used an old twisty shaft from a junked stationary bicycle’s speedometer and fished it right out.




I’m supposed to be putting together a sticky thread on this procedure. I hope to be able to get a hold of the new style starter gear return that looks like this. *Note how the spring’s much larger and goes on the outside of the white worm gear looking thing.



The old style has never satisfied me on its ability to proper return the gear after the engine’s been started. *Note how small the spring is and its location.



I’m going to see if I can fit the new style set up on the old type starter. I have a junk starter that volunteered to be my guinea pig.

I’ll keep you posted. This is bolillo_loco reporting from underground radio free Pennsylvania on pirate satellite
Hi im trying to get my starter out can u do a video of the wtisting it out?
 

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....just fyi, this is an 8 year old thread, and swatar_gap hasn't logged into the site since 2014. You might try searching youtube directly, or asked in a new thread if someone else can help.
 
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