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Discussion Starter #1
Several years ago I put in an 110 electric start kit on my snow blower with the HMSK80 engine (?).

For the last few seasons, seems like it got noisy when engaged and sometimes does not engage the ring gear, just spins. I can give the starter handle a slight tug and it sometimes will engage then.

I have the starter off and lubed the shaft and work gear. The rubber dust cap is gone.

When I apply power to the starter, the gear moves out, but seems to slide back even if I keep power on. It only stays extended out for a second or two, then the spring seems to push it back, even with power still on.

Is that normal?

There is a lot of play, wiggle, in the gear when it is fully extended. There is also a 1/4 inch or so of axial movement in the entire rotor as if a thrust bush was gone.

Bendix kit fix?
 

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I got some advice from my Mechanic/Friend regarding lubricating the 12 Volt Starters . . . . never grease the pinion gear. Apparently, grease collects dirt, grass clippings, grit, whatever is floating around, and the gear will get stuck and fail to extend or retract.

That may also apply to the 120 AC Starters; and the grease is even thicker during the winter. The thought is that the gear will glide nicely up and down without grease or oil (or dirt). The absence of the dust cap on yours may have accelerated the collection of grime.

Just my 2¢
 

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I'd clean and try on the machine without any lube and if that doesn.t work I'd try a bit of WD 40.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What is troubling me is why the gear goes back to "rest" position after a second or two, even with the power still on the motor.

I'd think it would stay out until the power was shut off.
 

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I have had a couple with sticking issues. Assuming the gear is not damaged, I've disassembled them and after cleaning the shaft up, used white grease on them and not had an issue.
 

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The gear moving out and back again sounds normal to me. It's driven out by inertia and once it reaches full shaft speed it is forced back again by the spring. Failure to engage reliably could be dirt, corrosion or a problem inside the starter rotor.

What really sounded problematic is: " There is a lot of play, wiggle, in the gear when it is fully extended. There is also a 1/4 inch or so of axial movement in the entire rotor as if a thrust bush was gone." I've never seen a starter that bad - so it sounds destroyed to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The gear moving out and back again sounds normal to me. It's driven out by inertia and once it reaches full shaft speed it is forced back again by the spring. Failure to engage reliably could be dirt, corrosion or a problem inside the starter rotor.

What really sounded problematic is: " There is a lot of play, wiggle, in the gear when it is fully extended. There is also a 1/4 inch or so of axial movement in the entire rotor as if a thrust bush was gone." I've never seen a starter that bad - so it sounds destroyed to me.
I know this is really old, but . . . I lived with it for a couple seasons and now have removed the engine shroud, with the starter in place and can see that when it does not engage, the pinion is extended fully, but deflects and "rides on top" of the flywheel teeth. This is with a new pinon set. There is not a lot of axial play in the rotor of the motor, but there is a lot of play in the pinion. I did replace the pinion with a "genuine" pinion set also.
 
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