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Discussion Starter #1
The starter doesn't engage the flywheel. I've removed the starter, bench tested it and it works perfectly every time. The gear throws out like it should, and returns like it should. No damage to the teeth either. I put it back in, and it works for 3 or 4 starts, then goes back to not engaging the flywheel. I've done this routine twice, same thing, works for a couple of starts, then it doesn't work anymore. I don't see anything wrong with it. Any thoughts? I hate to spend $200 to replace a starter that SEEMS to be working (but isn't). Definitely nothing to do with power. Besides the gear sticking on the shaft, what can go wrong?
Normally I wouldn't hold the starter power this long, but I was trying to see what the bendix gear was doing. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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The starter doesn't engage the flywheel. I've removed the starter, bench tested it and it works perfectly every time. The gear throws out like it should, and returns like it should. No damage to the teeth either. I put it back in, and it works for 3 or 4 starts, then goes back to not engaging the flywheel. I've done this routine twice, same thing, works for a couple of starts, then it doesn't work anymore. I don't see anything wrong with it. Any thoughts? I hate to spend $200 to replace a starter that SEEMS to be working (but isn't). Definitely nothing to do with power. Besides the gear sticking on the shaft, what can go wrong?
Normally I wouldn't hold the starter power this long, but I was trying to see what the bendix gear was doing. Any help would be appreciated.
I don't know about the 120 volt Ariens AX starter, but generally the problem is with:
1. the 4 carbon brushes being worn out or damaged or not moving freely in their slots;
2. the commutator being dirty and needs a light sanding to clean up to shiny metal;
3. the commutator segments should show a consistent low resistance between any 2 segments, if no resistance between segments then likely damaged armature;
4. the gaps between some segments of the commutator being filled in and shorting;
5. problems with the armature windings connecting to the commutator (no resistance), probably needs new starter.

Bushings and other mechanical problems are not likely since the starter works when unloaded but gives problems when loaded. If you want to take the starter apart to check the electrical connections there are a few videos on Utube that will help you (but for other makes than Ariens AX starters. Getting the 4 brushes re-installed is a pain and you need a retention mechanism (like a straight end of paperclip) to hold the brushes in their slots to replace the housing over the commutator.

Good luck.
 

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I not skilled in electric starters but I would open it up and look around for any likely failure modes (as Town listed). I have seen a few older units with burned wires, etc, that I ended up tossing. Sorry couldn't be of more help.

tx
 

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When it doesn’t work, try using a hammer to lightly tap the starter housing several times. If it works afterwards, then you probably have a worn spot on the armature.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have verified the bendix is free, and I lubed it some anyway. The electricals in the unit work, so not the brushes or commutator. I can't see a thing wrong with it. Work every time on the bench, but when reinstalled, it just spins free. I'm Baffled!
 

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Maybe when you bolt it up to the engine you are warping the starter motor housing and that can cause the jamming or not engagement.
I would replace the whole starter assembly if it is on a LCT motor, they are not worth trying to repair.
They did not use the best quality of materials when they manufactured the parts on those engines and they wore out rather quickly, if they ever worked properly from new.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I'll just have to get a new one. Sucks though, cause it (almost) works!
 
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