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Discussion Starter #1
Check this out. This attached pic is my 8 hp Tecumseh (HMSK80) on an Ariens ST 824 (90's era).

The original owner burnt the brushes on the old starter. I put a new starter on it and not only broke one, but TWO mounting tabs right off!

Now to be fair, the prior owner sheered the bottom right mounting bolt off, so it was held only by three bolts at the time the mount broke. But still... this is a total FAIL on the part of Tecumseh, and here is why...

Notice on the upper mount, it literally protrudes out with a thin little overhang tab, just thick enough to accept the bolt. WHY? Why not extend the cast up from the case like the bottom mount is? What's with the literal cliffhanger here? But even still, the bottom one broke, and the reason? Look how thin the metal is here around the screw on the edge.

This is ALUMINUM for crying out loud. It is going to experience a lot of force with a starter. This is a pathetically weak mount.

</rant>

So, anyone else have this issue? I've scoured the web, can't find much. If it's "just me", then clearly I happened to win the engine with a bad cast engine block (weaker than normal alloy).

My Plan:
I am going to try and weld this up and re-tap. And when I do, I plan to add a LOT more material all around the screw area, thicker edges, and fill that stupid tab from behind to give it proper strength.

I'm not sure what to do about the bottom right. I'll probably have to remove the engine and put this in a mill and machine that out (can't drill it, hardened steel extractor is stuck in there, awesome... and pathetic... what ever happened to using anti-seize here, manufacturer and prior owner? sheesh!)

BTW, anyone know why these starters have spacers on the top mount such that you cannot tighten it down?
 

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Those crappy shoulder bolts were added so you can remove the starter without removing the fuel tank. They get loose over time since they are never tightened all the way down and it causes the starter to bounce back and forth. It is best to take them out and replace them with bolts that thread all the way down so they can be fully tightened.

Wonder if someone tried to tighten yours down after it bottomed out and that is what cracked the block hole.
 

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Haven't had it happen to me (yet) but wondering if there was any chance the bolts either were replacements and bottomed out or if there was supposed to be a washer and or lock washer and they were missing and the bolts bottomed out ??

Only time I've seen them broken it's been the connecting rod knocking it off the engine.

Have to admit I've never really looked at the mount that closely other than to start a bolt. It sure doesn't exude strength. Looks like the engineer made it just strong enough to hold the starter and no more. :(

It did hold up for two decades though. :blush:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The bolts look like OEM and bottoming out is not likely (I can see the holes are plenty deep enough. Overtorque is more likely, combined with stress of one bolt missing (the one that was sheered). I am just amazed at how fragile this whole area is as I look at it.

I hope my welding idea does the trick! I'm looking up how to best weld this kind of material (welder type, rod/wire type, and technique) and without damaging the engine block.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Those crappy shoulder bolts were added so you can remove the starter without removing the fuel tank... It is best to take them out and replace them with bolts that thread all the way down so they can be fully tightened.
LOL. It's soooooo easy to remove the tank. And one must ask oneself... how often do you need to get at the starter? Ideal answer is NEVER. Clearly Tecumseh really felt it was important to get at your starter motor, like, a lot. Perhaps they should simply source a stronger motor so that it's a lot harder to abuse and destroy them. (the prior owner said his quit working the very first time he tried it. haha! that must have been some start session, the brushes melted right through their holder!)
 

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So, anyone else have this issue? I've scoured the web, can't find much. If it's "just me", then clearly I happened to win the engine with a bad cast engine block (weaker than normal alloy).
Yep, seen it lots of times, but far, far more often I've seen the mounting ears on the starter itself get bent, twisted and broken.

BTW, anyone know why these starters have spacers on the top mount such that you cannot tighten it down?
As stated so you don't have to remove the starter.

LOL. It's soooooo easy to remove the tank. And one must ask oneself... how often do you need to get at the starter? Ideal answer is NEVER. Clearly Tecumseh really felt it was important to get at your starter motor, like, a lot.
The most likely reason they're made the way they are is those starters were often sold as a kit/add on accessory if you go back far enough. They were designed for ease of installation. The bolts don't normally loosen though, you tighten them up all the way, slide the starter into place and put in the bottom bolts.

Perhaps they should simply source a stronger motor so that it's a lot harder to abuse and destroy them. (the prior owner said his quit working the very first time he tried it. haha! that must have been some start session, the brushes melted right through their holder!)
It's very, very common to see those starters severely burnt inside. They're not nearly as weatherproof as they should be.
 

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I agree - they are not the best designed/made. But, it's the way of the world these days. They call it "value engineering" (i.e. cheap/low cost) so that they can offer the big box stores good bulk deals. When they were cost cutting many years ago - they left out the starters and offered them as "kit's" to increase profit margins on basically the same machines. Then they seemed to cut costs even more and made some machines with no ability to add the starter to (cheaper flywheel) and went cheapo on the carbs - China made rather than Walbro adjustables. Now, it's just more steps down the cheap ladder adding China engines, thinner sheet metal, yada - yada.
 
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