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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang, if this has been discussed before, please someone direct me to the
past messages so as not to clog up the board. i got frustrated not finding the same situation explained/solved. This question has also been posted on the other site just hoping to get some direction. Thanks

My 1981 224 serial# 140******* kohler 321AS has been working great up til today.
Now the starter is not engaging the flywheel and just grinds teeth. I have
applied a liberal amount of WD40 to the shaft and gears and am letting it soak.
I have washed the engine down a few times since I got it but always tried to not
get the starter wet. As I have been fiddling with it I have only used short taps
on the ignition switch so as not to do too much damage to the teeth.

I have also very gingerly tried with the help of a small screwdriver to
work the shaft to and fro, then I turned the flywheel by hand while spraying
WD40 on the sarter shaft.

The starter shaft turns when the flywheel is turned but it still is not
fully engaging... Still nothing has helped, I even tapped lightly on the starter
housing with a soft mallet to see if that would help, I have had that work on
automotive starters before. In this case, No dice...

Just short of tearing into the starter is there anything I can try to free up
the shaft to travel in and out to engage/disengage the flywheel?

Thanks much all, just one more obstacle to overcome on the quest for the
tractor of a lifetime.

kungdrew
 

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Have you checked your battery? Sometimes when the battery goes south it won't have enough juice to ingage the starter. Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, battery is good, I removed the starter and found the anti drift spring is missing, having trouble getting the nut to break free at the end of the starter shaft. Anyone had this problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just going to replace the whole starter unit. Heck, just going to move on and fix something else. Thanks for looking at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If anyone has one they awould like to sell, let me know. otherwise I will get an aftermarket one from ebay.
 

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I don't know if they're still available, but you used to be able to buy just the drive assembly. I used to keep several on hand because some of my employees could regularly tear them up on the CC 1650.
 

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What moves the gear out on the starter is the very fast rpm takeoff...
If the battery is low or if you have a bad connection or if the starter is shorted it wont have the zip needed to kick the gear out all the way....
 

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Im not familiar with the kohler, since mine has a onan in it. However, the starter must be adjusted so that the gear will engage the flywheel, but not be loosed enough that it slips. If you spin the gear by hand so that it moves toward the flywheel, does it line up with the teeth in the flywheel and engage like its supposed too? Maybe it just needs to be adjusted. Lubing the spiral shaft would be of great benefit too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey gang, i got a used one on the way for less than $30 shipped, thanks to all that responded. Now I will be up and running and can rebuild the original at my leisure. even if the used one craps out in a couple months, the best quick fix I could find for now.
 
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